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College Football: B1G Bets! Expert Picks for Big Ten Bowl Games

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College Football: B1G Bets! Expert Picks for Big Ten Bowl Games

2021-12-28 20:04:41


-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen. (Image Source: Getty Images)

Record to Date:

Championship Week: 2-0 (+3 Units); Season: 45-30-1 (+23½ Units)

Sides: 37-21-1 (+20 Units); Game Total: 1-4 (-1½ Units); Team Total: 9-5 (+5 Units)

Here are the B1G Bets for the bowl games:

B1GGEST BETS (2 Units): Championship Week: 1-0; Season: 10-4-1 (+12 Units)

Michigan +7½ Georgia

Full Preview Tomorrow.

Michigan: Out for Season: WR Ronnie Bell

Georgia: Out for Season: WR Arian Smith, OL Tate Ratledge, DB Tykee Smith; Out Indefinitely: WR Arik Gilbert, LB Adam Anderson, LB Rian Davis, CB Jalen Kimber; Questionable: QB J.T. Daniels, RB Kendall Milton, WR George Pickens; Probable: WR Ladd McConkey

Total: 64½; Money Line: Ohio State -310/ Michigan +255

Date: Dec. 31; Time: 7:30 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit)

Game: Orange Bowl; Location: Miami, FL; Stadium: Hard Rock Stadium

Michigan – CFB Playoffs: 2; AP Top 25: 2; Coaches Poll: 2; SP+: 4; PFF: 4

Georgia – CFB Playoffs: 3; AP Top 25: 3; Coaches Poll: 3; SP+: 1; PFF: 2

B1GGER BET (1 Unit): Championship Week: 1-0; Season: 23-11 (+12 Units)

Minnesota -4.5 West Virginia

Click for Full Preview. (Posted Dec. 27)

Minnesota: Transfer Portal: QB Zach Annexstad, WR Brady Boyd; Out for Season: RB Mohamed Ibrahim, RB Treyson Potts, RB Bryce Williams

West Virginia: Opt-Out: RB Leddie Brown; Transfer Portal: WR Isaiah Esdale, TE TJ Banks, OT Parker Moorer, LB VanDarius Cowan; Out for Season: TE Mike O’Laughlin, CB Nicktroy Fortune, Questionable: LB Lance Dixon, CB Jackie Matthews

Total: 45; Money Line: Minnesota -190/West Virginia +170

Date: Dec. 28; Time: 10:15 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN (Dave Flemming, Rod Gilmore)

Game: Guaranteed Rate Bowl; Location: Phoenix, AZ; Stadium: Chase Field

Minnesota – CFB Playoffs: NR; AP Top 25: NR (29); Coaches Poll: NR (29); SP+: 20; PFF: 15

West Virginia – CFB Playoffs: NR; AP Top 25: NR; Coaches Poll: NR; SP+: 72; PFF: 54

Tennessee -5.5 Purdue

The loss of wide receiver David Bell and defensive end George Karlaftis is just too much for the Boilermakers to overcome. They aren’t just All-B1G players, but All-American caliber. Bell was a first-team consensus All-American and Karlaftis (AFCA first team) arguably should have been. The duo were the best players on the team, hands down. How does Jeff Brohm replace Bell’s production or the impact Karlaftis creates on this much-improved defense? The short answer: he doesn’t because he can’t. Not only will Bell sit out, but Purdue will also be without their No. 2 wideout Milton Wright and left tackle Greg Long is doubtful. Their top cornerback Dedrick Mackey (with Corey Trice already out) has also not made the trip, yet another key loss at a thin position for the Boilermakers.

After a slow start, the Vols offense took off in October behind the strong play of quarterback Hendon Hooker (26 TDs, 3 INTs). Since then, Tennessee finished 5-3 with their losses coming against CFP teams Alabama and Georgia, as well as Ole Miss. All three are top-8 teams. How did the Vols do in their other five games? They scored at least 45 points in all five and won by 24-plus points in four of those games, two of which came against bowl teams Missouri (62-24) and South Carolina (45-20).

With an edge on both sides of the ball, as well as special teams (9th vs 118th per SP+) look for the Volunteers to continue their momentum and rollover Purdue.

Purdue: Opt-Out: WR David Bell, DE George Karlaftis; Transfer Portal: QB Jack Plummer, RB Ja’Quez Cross, DT Anthony Watts; Out for Season: RB Sampson James, WR Mershawn Rice, WR Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen, TE Jack Cravaack, CB Cory Trice; Out Indefinitely: OG DJ Washington; Out: WR Milton Wright; Doubtful: OT Greg Long

Tennessee: Opt-Out: CB Alontae Taylor; Transfer Portal: RBTiyon Evans; Out for Season: LB Juwan Mitchell; Out Indefinitely: OL Kingston Harris; Questionable: QB Hendon Hooker

Total: 41½; Money Line: Nebraska -115/Iowa +105

Date: Dec. 30; Time: 3:00 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN (Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers)

Game: Music City Bowl; Location: Nashville, TN; Stadium: Nissan Stadium

Purdue – CFB Playoffs: NR; AP Top 25: NR (30); Coaches Poll: NR (37); SP+: 40; PFF: 45

Tennessee – CFB Playoffs: NR; AP Top 25: NR; Coaches Poll: NR; SP+: 11; PFF: 52

Wisconsin -6 Arizona State

The Badgers are facing an Arizona State program that’s in flux, including numerous opt-outs and transfers. Among them are their top two running backs, including 1,000-yard rusher Rachaad White who is also their second-leading receiver. Defensively, ASU has lost several defensive backs and most importantly linebacker Darien Butler, their second-leading tackler (tied for the team lead with 8.5 TFLs). These are key players, while the players leaving the Wisconsin program haven’t been contributors this season.

While it hasn’t been pretty offensively for Wisconsin, freshman running back Braelon Allen (7.1 YPC) is an absolute stud. A physical runner with the ability to break off long runs. He has seven 100-yard efforts in eight games since taking over as the primary ball carrier with 11 rushing touchdowns. ASU is 33rd against the run which may sound good, but against the best three rushing offenses they faced they were gashed. Oregon State ran for 237 yards, Utah 208, and UCLA 199 (including -18 yards by the team). Since Allen’s become the focal point of the offense, their overall efficiency has been much improved.

Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst has been a phenomenal bowl coach with a 5-1 mark leading the Badgers, including three wins over ranked teams. What does he do against unranked foes? They beat Miami 35-3 in the 2018 Pinstripe Bowl and Wake Forest 42-28 in the 2020 Duke’s Mayo Bowl. If you’re not fully invested the Badgers will bludgeon you. Expect a big day on the ground for Wisconsin while the No. 2 ranked defense per SP+ creates havoc (and potentially points) in a double-digit win.

Wisconsin: Opt-Out: None; Transfer Portal: RB Jalen Berger, Antwan Roberts, FB Quan Easterling, CB Donte Burton, CB Deron Harrell; Out for Season: RB Isaac Guerendo, RB Chez Mellusi, TE Clay Cundiff, TE Cole Dakovich, TE Cam Large, LB Aaron Witt, CB Al Ashford, LS Duncan McKinley; Out Indefinitely: TE Hayden Rucci; Out: FB John Chenal, TE Jack Eschenbach, S Collin Wilder; Questionable: RB Jackson Acker, WR A.J. Abbott, OT Logan Bruss, C Joe Tippmann, LB Spencer Lytle, LB Marty Strey

Arizona State: Opt-Out: RB Rachaad White, LB Darien Butler, CB Chase Lucas, CB Jack Jones; Transfer Portal: RB DeaMonte Trayanum, WR Johnny Wilson, DE Jordan Banks, CB Tommi Hill; Out Indefinitely: RB Jackson He, WR Johnny Wilson, TE Jake Ray; Questionable: TE Jalin Conyers, TE Curtis Hodges, OG Henry Hattis, DB Evan Fields, DB Willie Harts

Total: 39; Money Line: Wisconsin -260/Minnesota +220

Date: Dec. 30; Time: 10:30 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN (Beth Mowins, Kirk Morrison)

Game: Las Vegas Bowl; Location: Las Vegas, NV; Stadium: Allegiant Stadium

Wisconsin – CFB Playoffs: NR; AP Top 25: NR (27); Coaches Poll: NR (27); SP+: 9; PFF: 19

Arizona State – CFB Playoffs: NR; AP Top 25: NR; Coaches Poll: NR; SP+: 23; PFF: 44

B1G BETS (1/2 Unit): Championship Week: 0-0; Season: 14-15 (-0.5 Unit)

Arizona State Under 17½ Points

The Sun Devils have been a run-first team this season as Jayden Daniels has failed to make the progress Herm Edwards hoped for following his breakout freshman season. Without their top two running backs (21 rushing TDs lost) that will likely put more of a load on the quarterback. The problem for ASU is he’s just as likely to throw an interception (9) as he is a touchdown (10) against a Wisconsin defense that will have him on his heels. The Badgers are fifth in passing defense and one of just a handful of defenses that have more interceptions (15) than TD passes allowed (9). Not just great against the pass, the Badgers are dominant against the run (No. 1) and have allowed more than 300 fewer yards on the ground than the next best team (Georgia). Overall, they’re No. 1 in total defense, No. 2 in yards per play, and sixth in scoring defense (16.4 PPG). They held eight of 12 opponents below 17 points this season.

Maryland -3½ Virginia Tech

The Terps appear to be a befuddling team but they really aren’t. They’ve played six teams that have a winning record and are 0-6 in those games. They’ve played six teams that are .500 or worse and are 6-0 in those games. Not only are the Hokies 6-6 but the version that is taking the field on Wednesday is a far cry from the Virginia Tech squad that qualified for a bowl game. Gone are starting quarterback Braxton Burmeister, backup quarterback Knox Kadum, leading receivers Tayvion Robinson (receptions) and Tre Turner (yards), starting D-linemen Amare Barno and Jordan Williams, leading interceptor Jermaine Waller, and starting offensive lineman Lecitus Smith. This might seem like an overly simplistic handicap but the depleted Hokies are a team that Maryland will be able to handle in Mike Locksley's first bowl game as a head coach. Why make it more complicated than it has to be?

Maryland Over -29½

Easily the best unit in this game is Maryland’s offense (No. 34 in SP+) led by the trio of Taulia Tagovailoa (8.0 YPP, 24 TDs), Rakim Jarrett (56 receptions), and Tayon Fleet-Davis (5.5 YPC, 9 TDs). Wideout Carlos Carriere and tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo give the Terps three players with at least five TD receptions on the season. SP+ ranks Tech’s defense 47th in the country and that’s with all their players. In four games against defenses ranked outside the top 40, Maryland has scored at least 30 points each time for an average of 36.3 points per game. The Terps live off of chunk plays and are 10th in pass plays of 20-plus yards while the Hokies are 79th in pass plays allowed of 20-plus yards (66th in pass plays of 30-plus yards). This is a good matchup.

Maryland: Opt-Out: None; Transfer Portal: RB Peny Boone, RB Isaiah Jacobs, LB Brandon Jennings, LB Terrence Lewis; Out for Season: WR Dontay Demus Jr., WR Marcus Fleming, WR Jeshaun Jones, LB Durell Nchami

Virginia Tech: Opt-Out: WR Tre Turner, DE Amare Barno, OG Lecitus Smith, DT Jordan Williams, CB Jermaine Waller; Transfer Portal: QB Braxton Burmeister, QB Knox Kadum, WR Tayvion Robinson; Out for Season: LB Dean Ferguson; Out Indefinitely: TE James Mitchell; Questionable: WR Dean Ferguson, WR Jaden Payoute

Total: 53; Money Line: Maryland -125/Rutgers +105

Date: Dec. 29; Time: 2:15 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN (Matt Barrie, Roddy Jones)

Game: Pinstripe Bowl; Location: Bronx, NY; Stadium: Yankee Stadium

Maryland – CFB Playoffs: NR; AP Top 25: NR; Coaches Poll: NR; SP+: 68; PFF: 70

Virginia Tech – CFB Playoffs: NR; AP Top 25: NR; Coaches Poll: NR; SP+: 62; PFF: 59

West Virginia Under 19½

In Minnesota’s last 10 games—a solid sample size—the Gophers have allowed 20 points just two times with a high of 27 points to Iowa in a weird loss (they allowed just 12 first downs and 277 yards to the Hawkeyes). They’re ranked 11th in defensive SP+ and will face a WVU unit that is 73rd in SP+ offense that is without their leading rusher Leddie Brown, who has opted out to prepare for the NFL Draft. The Gophers finished the regular season ranked fourth nationally in total defense and ninth in passing defense, rushing defense, as well as scoring defense (18.3 PPG). In their past ten games, the points per drop to 14.8 with eight opponents scoring 16 or less and their current streak of six-straight games of below 300 yards allowed is tops in the country. Throw in a ball-controlling offense and some inside knowledge from newly re-hired OC Kirk Ciarrocca, who was an analyst on the West Virginia staff this past season, the Gophers will lockdown the Mountaineers.


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College Football: B1G Bets! Expert Picks for Big Ten Bowl Games

28 December, 2021

  -by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen. (Image Source: Getty Images) Record to Date: Championship Week: 2-0 (+3 Units); Season: 45-30-1 (+23½......More

College Football B1G Bets Bowl Preview: Guaranteed Rate Bowl Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

27 December, 2021

  -by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Minnesota’s 379-pound offensive tackle Daniel Faalele. (Image Source: Getty Images) Record to Date: Championship Week: 2-0 (+3 Units);......More

NFL: Tampa Bay Bucs 'Earned It,' Tom Brady Said of NFC South Division Title After Win

27 December, 2021

  ‘Bucs earned division title’ – Brady  ...More

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