In Between the Lines: Chapter 12
Time flies when you’re having fun. Happy New Year. I’m sure you’re excited to wave 2020 goodbye, as I am ecstatic. Along with the joy of a new year, the beginning of 2021 also means it’s time to go bowling. No, I am not talking about the kind of bowling at an alley where you try and knock down all the pins. I am instead referring to the college football Bowl games, including the New Year’s Six!
With a stacked sports schedule comes fervent sports bettors. “In Between the Lines” gives avid fans and sports bettors exactly what they want. Looking ahead to the upcoming week in sports, “In Between the Lines” offers inside analysis on line movements and key stats.
Here’s what you absolutely can’t miss this upcoming week in sports:
1. College Football Rose Bowl – No. 4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (CFP Semifinal 1/1/21 at 4pm)
Currently, the Alabama Crimson Tide are 19.5-point favorites against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. If this point spread stays where it is, it would be the biggest spread in a College Football Playoff game. Regardless, the Tide still hold this record, as they were 15-point favorites over Oklahoma back in 2018. Way to go, Bama.
Alabama is not only used to being good, but they are also used to being the favorite. In fact, this is the 79th straight game that Alabama has been a favorite, which is the longest active streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
I definitely like Alabama on the moneyline at -1000. Although, 19.5 points is a lot, it’s definitely possible for the Crimson Tide. Alabama is 7-1 against the spread over their eight games as a favorite. They are also 6-1 against the spread over their past seven as a double-digit favorite. Additionally, the Clemson Tigers recently defeated Notre Dame 34-10, which is a 24-point differential. As the No. 1 seed, I like the Crimson Tide on the moneyline and against the spread in this one.
2. College Football Sugar Bowl – No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes at No. 2 Clemson Tigers (CFP Semifinal 1/1/21 at 8pm)
The Clemson Tigers are currently a 7.5-point favorite against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Historically, Clemson has done very well against Ohio State. The Tigers are 4-0 straight up against the Buckeyes and have covered in the past the three meetings. Their meeting in 1978 resulted in a push.
This will be the fifth meeting between Clemson and Ohio State. The 7.5 points is the most either team has ever been favored in the matchup. I like Clemson on the moneyline at -280 and them covering the 7.5-point spread. The Tigers are 19-5-1 against the spread against top-10 teams since Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney’s first full season back in 2008.
3. College Football Peach Bowl – No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs at No. 8 Cincinnati Bearcats (1/1/21 at 12pm)
The Georgia Bulldogs are currently a 7.5-point favorite against the Cincinnati Bearcats. However, the Bearcats have had an impeccable season, as they are currently undefeated at 9-0. The Bulldogs are 6-1 against the spread in bowl games since 2014. However, the betting nugget I love most about this matchup is that Cincinnati is 4-0 against the spread in their past four games as an underdog.
Cincinnati is 5-11 against the spread in bowl games, and 1-4 against the spread as an underdog. Despite the fact that Cincinnati hasn’t historically done all that well with bowl game coverage, I like the possibility of this year being different.
I smell an upset. Betting wise, I like the Bearcats on the moneyline at +250. I know that may sound pretty bold, but Cincinnati is still undefeated, and I like the idea of them upsetting the Bulldogs.
4. College Football Fiesta Bowl – No. 25 Oregon Ducks at No. 10 Iowa State Cyclones (1/2/21 at 4pm)
I am just going to start out by saying I love the Oregon Ducks. However, despite the fact that I am a fan of them, I will be as objective as possible. The Ducks are currently a 3.5-point underdog against the Cyclones. Since 2018, Oregon is 2-1 straight up and against the spread against top-10 opponents.
The Ducks also perform really well as underdogs. Not only are they 3-0 against the spread the past three times they have been an underdog, but since 1994, they are 8-3 against the spread as an underdog in bowl games. If they win this one, this will be their fifth straight bowl game win as an underdog. That being said, I like the Ducks moneyline at +145 plus the 3.5-point spread.