NCAAF

College Football Betting Guide: Montgomery Bowl

Two three-loss teams will square off in the Montgomery Bowl this season: the 7-3 Memphis Tigers and the 5-3 Florida Atlantic Owls. FanDuel Sportsbook lists the over/under in this game at 50.5 points with the Tigers an 8.5-point favorite.

At quick glance, the line looks a little steep. Based on our nERD rating, the Tigers' -6.82 mark would imply they'd lose to an average opponent on a neutral field by around a touchdown. That ranks them 90th in the country. The Owls' nERD of -11.52 pits them 104th in the country. The nERD differential of 4.70 points is certainly closer than the line.

Tigers come into this game having won four of their past five games by a combined point differential of +35. The Owls, meanwhile, have played just two games since November 20th. They lost 20-3 to the Georgia Southern Eagles and 45-31 to the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.

Game Overview

Here's a snapshot of each team's pass and rush offense and defense ranks, based on adjusted passing yards per attempt and rushing yards per carry.

TeamPassing
Offense
Passing
Defense
Rushing
Offense
Rushing
Defense
Memphis Tigers49638140
Florida Atlantic Owls109436655


The Tigers' offense is more potent and have averaged 31.6 points per game, good for 43rd in the nation. Florida Atlantic has mustered just 20.0 points per game, ranking them 112th out of 127 teams.

CollegeFootballData.com shows the Tigers with 0.18 predicted points added per play on offense but allowing 0.23 defensively, for a net score of -0.05. They're a subpar team. The Owls actually average 0.10 predicted points added per play on offense and allow 0.04 on defense, a net of 0.06. This goes against the nERD efficiency ratings. FAU, though, has allowed only 16.5 points per game this season, 9th-best in the nation.

Algorithm-Based Bets

Our detailed game projections do like the Owls to keep it closer than the nERD scores indicate. Despite Memphis winning 73.7% of the simulated outcomes, Florida Atlantic +8.5 sits as a two-star bet out of five. Florida Atlantic covered that spread in 57.7% of our simulated outcomes.

Another two-star bet is actually on the over, despite the Owls' defense rating so well. The over hit 58.2% of the time. Memphis lets up 29.7 points per game, so we can't forget that. The median projection is a 30.1-22.8 win for the Tigers, for a total of 52.9 points.