College Football Bowl Betting Guide: Saturday 12/17/22

College football bowl season is officially in full swing, and there are six games scheduled for Saturday, starting at 11:00 a.m. Eastern and running all day long.

How can we bet these games (based on college football odds from FanDuel Sportsbook)?

Washington State vs. Fresno State

Washington State Cougars +4.0 (-112)

Fresno State is just a borderline top-50 offense and defense on the year by FEI and SP+. They rank just 62nd by numberFire's power rankings.

The Washington State Cougars, at full strength, are a top-30 team by numberFire's metrics this season, and they finished 7-5 on the year.

They enter this game against the Bulldogs as 4.0-point underdogs after opening as favorites.

They've lost their top two target-getters -- De'Zhaun Stribling and Donovan Ollie -- to the transfer portal. They've also lost a trio of linebackers -- Daiyan Henley, Francisco Mauigoa, and Travion Brown -- who averaged 512 snaps between them this season.

Even with those absences, the model here likes the Cougars to cover.

Rice vs. Southern Miss

Under 45.5 (-114)
Southern Mississippi -6.5 (-110)

A lot of the bowl games are impacted by injuries or transfer portal news. This matchup between the Rice Owls and the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles isn't really one of them.

The 5-7 Rice Owls rank 94th in offensive SP+ and 11th in defensive SP+. By FEI, they are outside the top 100 in both offensive and defensive FEI.

Southern Miss ranks weak offensively (105th by SP+) but is a strong defensive team (42nd). The FEI ranks are 119th and 64th, respectively.

It's no surprise, then, that they're favored by 6.5 points. numberFire's model likes them to cover with a 53.1% probability, making it a one-star lean.

Southern Miss is also getting a lot of the betting action. They have had 68% of the spread bets and 76% of the spread money.

The lack of good offense here combined with the solid Southern Miss defense means we should look to the under, as well.

North Texas vs. Boise State

Boise State Broncos Moneyline (-410)
Boise State Broncos -10.5 (-112)

Can the North Texas Mean Green limit the Boise State offense and George Holani?

The data makes it seem skeptical.

North Texas ranks 112th in defensive FEI and 99th in defensive SP+, and based on our adjusted rushing yards per attempt here at numberFire, they rank 110th specifically on the ground.

On the flip side, Boise State ranks 23rd in pass defense, via opponent-adjusted yards per attempt allowed, to combat a North Texas team that sits 25th offensively. SP+ has North Texas' offense ranked 53rd overall.

One note here is that this game is in Texas -- only 23 miles from the North Texas campus.

Other than that, we should expect Boise State to win. There should be points, but the 59.5-point over/under is pretty efficient. Though we should lean toward the under, it's not a priority play.