Tulsa vs. Old Dominion Odds and Predictions: Our Top Pick for Monday’s Myrtle Beach Bowl (December 20)

Tulsa vs. Old Dominion Odds and Predictions: Our Top Pick for Monday’s Myrtle Beach Bowl (December 20) article feature image
Credit:

Michael Shroyer and Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured, from left: Lala Davis (12) of the Old Dominion Monarchs and Anthony Watkins (23) of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

Tulsa vs. Old Dominion Myrtle Beach Bowl Odds

Monday, Dec. 20
2:30 p.m. ET
ESPN
Tulsa Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-7.5
-110
54.5
-110o / -110u
-300
Old Dominion Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+7.5
-110
54.5
-110o / -110u
+260
Odds via BetMGM and updated Monday at 1:52 p.m. ET. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Old Dominion Monarchs look to build off the 2016 Bahamas Bowl for their second bowl win in program history Monday when they take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the Myrtle Beach Bowl.

The Monarchs finished the season on fire, winning their last five games of the season to reach bowl eligibility. The crazy part of their season was it took until Oct. 30 to win their first game against an FBS opponent. Old Dominion will be one of the more motivated teams in bowl season given how it finished the regular season and the fact that it’s been five years since its last bowl victory.

On the other side of the coin, it was a season full of close calls for the Golden Hurricane with eight of their 12 games finishing within one score. They started the season off with a tough loss to UC Davis but came very close to beating College Football Playoff contenders Oklahoma State and Cincinnati.

That said, Tulsa might be a favorite of more than a touchdown, but it has won only one game by double digits this season. So, we’ll see if the Golden Hurricane can take down a former conference foe.


Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Golden Hurricane Offense

The Tulsa offense really struggled all season to move the ball efficiently, ranking 80th in Success Rate and 105th in EPA/Play.

Tulsa runs the ball at a fairly high rate, but it hasn’t been successful in doing so this season. The Golden Hurricane were outside the top 100 in Rushing Success Rate, Offensive Line Yards and EPA/Rush.

So, even though they run the ball on a little more than 57% of their offensive plays, they aren’t likely to have much success and also won’t be able to break off many explosive plays against Old Dominion’s rush defense.

Quarterback Davis Brin has had a fairly average season throwing the ball this season, averaging 7.9 yards per attempt with a 72.8 passing grade, per PFF. He’s the type of quarterback who likes to take a lot of chances down the field, as he has 24 big-time throws with 25 turnover-worthy plays this season.

In fact, Brin’s 25 turnover-worthy plays were the second-most in college football. So, going up against an Old Dominion secondary that had the 22nd-best coverage grade, according to PFF, is not the best of matchups.

The biggest thing, though, is Tulsa is terrible at Finishing Drives, ranking 98th this season, while Old Dominion ranks 47th in Finishing Drives defensively.

Golden Hurricane Defense 

The reason that Tulsa is bowl eligible is because of its defense, which allowed only 5.3 yards per play this season.

The Golden Hurricane have been solid versus the run this year, allowing only 4.1 yards per rush and ranking 40th in Defensive Line Yards.

However, Tulsa was fairly susceptible to giving up explosive plays in the running game, ranking 54th in explosive rushing allowed, while Old Dominion sits 11th in explosive rushing this season.

The secondary has been fairly average, allowing 7.2 yards per attempt. The Golden Hurricane are also 44th in Passing Success Rate Allowed, 35th in EPA/Pass allowed, and own the 68th-best coverage grade, per PFF. So, we’ll see if they can slow down a sizzling Hayden Wolff for Old Dominion.

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Old Dominion Monarchs

Monarchs Offense

During their five-game win streak, the Monarchs were an offensive juggernaut, gaining 6.2 yards per play.

One of the main reasons Old Dominion turned its season around was because of the change it made at quarterback from D.J. Mack to Hayden Wolff.

The latter started the final seven games and put up some pretty solid numbers, averaging 7.8 yards per attempt and a 75.8 PFF passing grade with 18 big-time throws and only nine turnover-worthy plays.

Hayden Wolff drops one in for Zack Kuntz and @ODUFootball is on the board first!

🖥 > https://t.co/ELBIGWweUR pic.twitter.com/mQbCxVgqZb

— Conference USA (@ConferenceUSA) November 20, 2021

Old Dominion was pretty mediocre running the ball this season, averaging 3.9 yards per carry. However, the team proved to be much more effective during its five-game winning streak, running the ball for 4.7 yards per carry.

Tulsa is fairly average versus both the run and the pass, so Old Dominion should be able to move the ball.

The biggest thing in this matchup for the Monarchs is protecting Wolff. Tulsa has the sixth-best pass-rushing grade in the country, per PFF, while Wolff is below-average when pressured, owning a 50.0 passing grade this season.

Monarchs Defense

Defensively, Old Dominion has been very good for a Group of Five team, allowing 5.3 yards per play and ranking 45th in Success Rate Allowed.

If teams plan to stop Tulsa, they have to be able to limit explosive plays, and Old Dominion will be well equipped to do that. The Monarchs finished the regular season 41st in big plays allowed.

Old Dominion isn’t elite versus the run or pass, but it has been incredibly solid against both. The Monarchs allowed only 3.6 yards per rush this season, ranked 42nd in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and 10th in rushing explosiveness allowed. So, it should be able to shut down the Golden Hurricane rushing attack, which sits outside the top 100 in Success Rate.

The biggest thing, though, is Old Dominion should be able to put pressure on Brin, considering it recorded the 18th-best pass-rushing grade in the country, per PFF.


Tulsa vs. Old Dominion Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Old Dominion and Tulsa match up statistically:

Old Dominion Offense vs. Tulsa Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 58 57
Line Yards 73 40
Pass Success 93 44
Pass Blocking** 84 6
Big Play 108 57
Havoc 73
Finishing Drives 88 81
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Tulsa Offense vs. Old Dominion Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 106 42
Line Yards 104 62
Pass Success 94 58
Pass Blocking** 61 18
Big Play 25 41
Havoc 65
Finishing Drives 98 47
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 87 27
Coverage 22 68
Middle 8 111 4
SP+ Special Teams 80 33
Plays per Minute 34 43
Rush Rate 54.8% (67) 56.2% (57)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Tulsa vs. Old Dominion Betting Pick

Given how hot this Old Dominion team is coming into bowl season — along with the fact Tulsa has been well below-average on offense — I love the Monarchs to cover this sizable number.

I only have Tulsa projected at -4.2, so give me Old Dominion +9.5 as my top selection.

Pick: Old Dominion +9.5

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