College Football Bowl Betting Guide: Tuesday 12/20/22
Tuesday offers two bowls to the betting slate.
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl features Eastern Michigan and San Jose State, and the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl features Liberty and Toledo. There aren’t any ranked teams playing until the Holiday Bowl on December 28, but bettors and fans alike are treated to consecutive days with at least one game (with the exception of Christmas and New Year's Day) until January 2.
San Jose State is a 3.5-point favorite in the Potato Bowl, which is right in line with our model’s projection, so we won’t go in-depth on that matchup since there isn't an edge on the spread or total. Each team has four losses, but San Jose State has one fewer win because they played in only 11 games. Their matchup with New Mexico State was postponed after the tragic death of Spartans running back Camdan McWright and was never rescheduled.
Eastern Michigan had an impressive non-conference win against Arizona State, which led to the Sun Devils' firing of Herm Edwards, but San Jose State is a deserving favorite with a defense ranked 35th in ESPN’s SP+ ranking.
The Boca Raton Bowl is a matchup with a little more juice; Liberty has won their last three bowl games under Hugh Freeze, who recently was hired at Auburn. Freeze has turned Liberty into a legitimate Division I FBS program after they became fully eligible for the 2019 season. Toledo won the MAC Championship despite a 7-5 regular season record, adding to the intrigue of this matchup, which is more interesting than a typical game with teams outside the Power 5.
Note: All college football odds are from FanDuel Sportsbook. Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All ratings are out of five stars. Please check numberFire's model to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.
Liberty +3.5 (-114): 1 Star
This isn’t a home run pick by our model, but we’re looking for edges whenever we can during bowl season. The Flames are an underdog with new head coach Jamey Chadwell, who was recently hired away from Coastal Carolina after the departure of Freeze. Chadwell led the Chanticleers to 9 wins this season and 11 wins in each of the preceding seasons.
Toledo won their conference, but the MAC is one of the weakest conferences in Division I. Despite being an underdog, Liberty actually ranks ahead of Toledo in numberFire's rankings and ESPN's SP+ ranks. Both teams have had more success on defense this season, but Liberty has an excellent defensive line that ranks 10th in average line yards and 5th in sack rate, according to Football Outsiders.
The Rockets’ quarterback, Dequan Finn, has been inconsistent this season. For instance, he threw six touchdowns and no interceptions against Kent State, and then, he threw a touchdown and four interceptions against Buffalo the next week. If the Flames can keep pressure on Finn and force him to be erratic, it’ll be a long night for Toledo.
Liberty only has a 53.1% probability to cover per our model, but that’s enough of an edge to warrant a star in our rating system. Even with a brand new head coach, this Flames team is good enough to dispatch the 2022 MAC Champions.