Last-minute college football bowl bets books don’t want you to make

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With college football bowl season on the way, Covers Expert Steve Merril looks at which matchups you should wait out until the last minute before kickoff to bet, if you want to get the best of the oddsmakers’ lines. Check out Steve’s best bowl games to bet right now.

Taxslayer Bowl: Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Georgia Bulldogs (-6.5)

Georgia opened as a 7-point favorite over Penn State and some early money came in on the underdog, pushing the line down to 6.5 at most sportsbooks. But I expect more Georgia money to come in closer to kick off, especially since the SEC is considered the superior conference to the Big Ten. That will influence the public into betting this game.

Bettors are going to remember Georgia winning its last four games of the regular season while Penn State lost its last three games. Penn State has more stability as Georgia lost head coach Mark Richt to Miami. Getting +7 on Penn State should show, so hold out for a good line on the Nittany Lions.

Peach Bowl: Houston Cougars vs. Florida State Seminoles (-7)

Florida State was posted as a 6.5-point favorite versus Houston and the line has since gone up to -7 on the Seminoles. I anticipate this line going even higher, especially since Florida State is a known team playing an unknown (to the public) team.

The Seminoles can hardly be excited to play in the Peach Bowl on New Year’s Eve after playing for a championship the last two years. Florida State will not give Houston the respect it deserves either. The Cougars went 12-1 SU during the regular season with their lone loss coming by just three points in a game they rested their key players. Wait this game out and take Houston plus more points closer to kickoff.

Military Bowl: Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Navy Midshipmen (56)

Pittsburgh and Navy are both similar teams as they rely heavily on running the football. Despite that, both teams have extremely efficient offenses that produce a lot of points. The Panthers rank No. 37 in offensive efficiency while averaging 28.2 points per game. The Midshipmen rank No. 3 while averaging 36.2 points per game.

Both teams have good defenses. Pittsburgh is allowing 24.6 points per game on 5.6 yards per play versus offenses that average 30.7 points per game on 5.9 yards per play. Navy’s defense only allows 21.3 points per game on 5.5 yards per play versus offenses that average 28.8 points per game on 5.8 yards per play. Something has to give in this game.


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