In our final College Football bowl previews of the season, we take a look at the exciting American New Year’s Day slate. We’ve got some very tantalizing fixtures on the card today, highlighted by the Rose Bowl between Ohio State and Washington. LSU taking on Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl, and Texas taking on Georgia in the Sugar Bowl are two other fixtures to watch today. Let’s provide our best spread bet for each of these intriguing fixtures.
LSU enters this as the #11 ranked team in the country after a solid 9-3 season. QB Joe Burrow emerged as an efficient dual-threat option, totalling 2800 yards and 19 combined touchdowns to just 4 picks. RB Nick Brossette led a rushing attack that went over 2000 yards and 29 touchdowns this season. Defensively, the Tigers have always had elite talent. Linebacker Devin White led the way this season, totalling 115 combined tackles and 3 sacks. Safety Grant Delpit is another solid playmaker, registering 5 sacks and 5 interceptions this season.
Central Florida Knights
UCF enter this one off an undefeated season that saw them finish 1st in the American Athletic conference. QB Mackenzie Milton had a solid campaign, throwing for 2600 yards and 25 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions. RB Greg McRae was a revelation on the ground, averaging 9 yards per carry and going for 9 TD’s this season. The Knights defence is also solid and filled with playmakers. DB Richie Grant led the way with 101 combined tackles and 6 interceptions, whilst Titus Davis chimed in with 6.5 sacks off the edge.
Prediction: Central Florida +7.5
With a ton of talk about going for an undefeated season, it’s tough for me to back against UCF here. Even against a strong LSU defence, they’ve got the talent up front to run the ball effectively. Getting over a touchdown, give me the Knights here.
The Huskies enter this one off an impressive 10-3 season that saw them claim the Pac 12 Championship. QB Jake Browning emerged as a solid option at QB, throwing for 2800 yards and 16 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions. RB Myles Gaskin had another strong campaign on the ground, averaging 4.9 yards per carry and going for 10 touchdowns. Not to be outdone, the defence was outstanding all year. Linebacker Ben Burr-Kivven was everywhere, totalling 165 tackles and 2 interceptions, whilst DB Byron Murphy had 13 pass deflections and 4 picks.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State enter this one as the #6 ranked team in the country after a 12-1 campaign of their own. QB Dwayne Haskins emerged as one of the best in College Football, throwing for 4500 yards and 47 touchdowns to just 8 picks. The Buckeyes rushing attack was also very solid, totalling over 2200 yards and 22 touchdowns. Whilst they’ve had a somewhat mixed season, the Buckeyes defence is still very talented. Defensive Linemen Chase Young and Dre’Mont Jones lead the way up front, combining for 18 sacks this season. Linebacker Malik Harrison is also a very solid option, going for 74 tackles and 2.5 sacks on the campaign.
Prediction: Ohio State -6.5
In what is likely both Dwayne Haskins’ and Urban Meyer’s final game, I expect a very strong display from the Buckeyes here. I just don’t see how Washington’s offence can hang with them. Laying under a touchdown, the value is on Ohio State here.
The Longhorns enter this one with a 9-4 record, falling to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game last time out. Sam Ehlinger proved a very solid option at Quarterback, throwing for 3100 yards and 25 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions. The running game was also strong for Texas all year, eclipsing 2000 yards and 21 touchdowns. Whilst they’ve been up and down, there is some definite talent on this Longhorns defence. Linebacker Gary Johnson has been excellent with 85 tackles and 5.5 sacks on the year, whilst Lineman Charles Omenihu has 9.5 sacks of his own.
Georgia enter this one with an impressive 11-2 record, losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship last time out. QB Jake Fromm has been excellent, throwing for 2500 yards and 27 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions. RB D’Andre Swift has also been a revelation, averaging 6.7 yards per carry and scoring 10 touchdowns. This Georgia defence is also laced with talent. In 9 of their 13 games this season, they’ve held opponents to 21 points or less. Linebacker D’Andre Walker has been particularly great, totalling 45 tackles and 7.5 sacks.
Prediction: Georgia -12.5
I think Georgia is comfortably the more talented team here and they’ll be looking to avenge their loss to Alabama last time out. Their defence should contain Ehlinger in this one, whilst Jake Fromm enjoys another big day. Laying less than 14, I’m confident in the Bulldogs here.