College Bowl Game Betting Lines January 2, 2012
Carrie Stroup here for Gambling911.com hoping you all had a wonderful New Year. Today I have all the early College Bowl game betting lines for Monday January 2, 2012 excluding the Noon Eastern Time game. Remember to claim your FREE CASH up to $250 when you open an online sports betting account today here.
Michigan State vs. Georgia TicketCity Bowl Betting:
Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Georgia -3 & 50
Opening Line & Total: Bulldogs -3 & 51.5
Two 10-win teams, and conference championship game losers, should make for an exciting Outback Bowl Monday in Tampa.
The schools are pretty evenly matched, with both wanting to erase the sting of losses in their respective conference title games. This contest features two great quarterbacks in Georgia’s Aaron Murray (33 TD, 12 INT) and Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins (24 TD, 7 INT). However, these schools also boast top-5 defenses in the country, and are especially stingy in defending the pass (Georgia 165 YPG, 7th in FBS; Michigan State 168 YPG, 11th in nation). The Bulldogs are also 8-2 ATS as a favorite this season, and should outlast the Spartans with an offense that is slightly better than Michigan State’s unit.
Georgia has reached a bowl in 15 straight seasons, carrying a stellar 11-3 record during the streak. On the flip side, MSU hasn’t won a postseason game since 2001, losing five straight bowl games. One of these losses was a 24-12 defeat to Georgia in the 2009 Capital One Bowl.
Michigan State’s offense wasn’t to blame for the 42-39 loss to Wisconsin in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game. Cousins threw for 281 yards and 3 TD (all to B.J. Cunningham) while Le’Veon Bell rushed for 106 of his team’s 190 yards on the ground. Cousins has struggled in his three career bowl games, completing just 27-of-50 passes for 376 yards, 1 TD and 3 INT. But he has been rolling to finish out his senior season, throwing 2+ TD in five straight games, totaling 13 TD and 2 INT in this span. However, Georgia’s defense is top-notch, led by All-American LB Jarvis Jones and first-team S Baccari Rambo.
Georgia snapped a 10-game winning streak with its 42-10 SEC Championship loss to No. 1 LSU. Murray was just 16-of-40 for 163 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT, but has still thrown 20 TD passes in his past seven games. He’ll have to be wary of All-America DL Jerel Worthy (8.5 TFL) and a Spartans defense with 3.1 sacks per game (8th in nation). Georgia’s top RB Isaiah Crowell has been slowed by an injured ankle, but he should be close to 100 percent with the long layoff. He’s had some big games against SEC schools this year, rushing for 147 yards at Ole Miss, 132 versus Auburn and 118 on just 16 carries (7.4 YPC) against an excellent South Carolina team.
FLORIDA GATORS (6-6) vs. OHIO STATE BUCKEYES (6-6)
Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Florida -2 & 44
Opening Line & Total: Gators -1.5 & 44.5
Although the Gator Bowl features a rematch of the 2007 BCS title game, it also showcases two once-proud football programs who are just trying to avoid a losing season.
Florida has not covered a spread since September, going 2-6 SU (0-8 ATS) in the past two months, while OSU has suffered three straight SU defeats. The biggest problem for these schools has been poor quarterback play. Gators QB John Brantley has 6 TD and 6 INT in nine FBS games, and OSU has the fifth-worst passing offense in the country (124 YPG). Florida is 5-1 in its past six bowls and the Buckeyes are 6-1 in their past seven non-BCS title bowls. This should be a tight, low-scoring affair, which will likely be decided by turnovers.
Florida has been awful against quality teams this year, averaging 11.8 PPG and 223 total YPG in five contests against ranked opponents. The offense doesn’t figure to improve with offensive coordinator Charlie Weis now coaching at Kansas. Running backs coach Brian White will replace Weis as the Gators play-caller on Monday. The good news is that Brantley will be able to start despite suffering a concussion in his team’s 21-7 loss to Florida State in the season finale. Brantley threw 3 INT before suffering the injury, and it’s certainly possible that freshmen Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel could see some time under center as well. The two frosh combined to complete 34-of-73 passes (47%) for 354 yards, 2 TD and 6 INT. The Gators running game has also been subpar (74th in nation, 144 YPG), especially in the past three contests (107 YPG, 3.3 YPC). But that will likely be the preferred method of attack as OSU has allowed 516 rushing yards to Penn State and Michigan in its past two games.
The Buckeyes will certainly rush the football early and often. QB Braxton Miller leads the team with 695 yards (4.8 YPC) and 7 TD, including 90 rushing YPG in his past five games. RB Dan Herron has 596 yards (4.8 YPC) and 3 TD in just six games, all against Big Ten foes. Before Florida limited FSU to 30 yards on 46 carries, the Gators allowed 215 rushing yards at South Carolina and a head-scratching 233 yards (5.2 YPC) to Furman, an FCS school. Ohio State doesn’t bother throwing the ball too much, but Miller had a solid passing day at Michigan in the 40-34 season-ending loss, completing 14-of-25 passes for 235 yards (9.4 YPA), 2 TD and 1 INT.
NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS (9-3) vs. SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS (10-2)
Sportsbook.com Line & Total: South Carolina -3 & 46
Opening Line & Total: Gamecocks -1.5 & 48
South Carolina tries to close out an excellent season with its fourth straight win when it faces an erratic Nebraska team in Monday’s Capital One Bowl.
This is not a good matchup for the inconsistent, run-heavy Cornhuskers. The Gamecocks rank fourth in the nation in total defense (269 YPG), and have allowed just 119 rushing YPG on 3.5 YPC in their past seven games. Nebraska has rushed for 200 yards just once in the past five games, averaging 3.7 YPC in this span. And its top RB, Rex Burkhead, has been hampered by an ankle injury. On the other side of the ball, the Blackshirts have given up 27+ points six times and South Carolina (227 rushing YPG in past three games) is coming off a 34-13 drubbing of ACC champion Clemson.
The Huskers have alternated wins and losses in five straight weeks, and will be forced to try to run on a stellar Gamecocks defense, because QB Taylor Martinez is not a great thrower. Martinez has just 12 TD and two 200-yard passing games this season. He’s also done very little with his legs in the second half of the year, rushing for a mere 253 yards (3.5 YPC) and zero touchdowns. But this offense goes as Rex Burkhead goes. In three losses this season, Burkhead has averaged 67 YPG on 4.0 YPC. In the nine victories, he has 119 YPG on 5.1 YPC. But he’ll have his work cut out for him, because in the past six games versus FBS schools, South Carolina’s defense has surrendered just 99 rushing YPG on a meager 3.2 yards per carry.
The Gamecocks have been through a lot this season, but they have a chance to finish 11-2 if they can knock off Nebraska. South Carolina dismissed embattled QB Stephen Garcia and then lost star RB Marcus Lattimore for the season with a knee injury. And stud WR Alshon Jeffery, whose production has dropped from 1,517 yards to 614, is battling a hand injury. Jeffery is listed as probable for Monday’s game though. The Gamecocks rushing offense continues to thrive, rumbling for 198 YPG (25th in nation) including three straight games of 210+ rushing yards. QB Connor Shaw did it all against Clemson, completing 14-of-20 passes for 210 yards and 3 TD, while rushing for 107 yards and another score. He has 19 total touchdowns in the past seven games since becoming the starter.
- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter
Submitted by Carrie Stroup on Mon, 01/02/2012 - 12:46