Three college football bowl bets you shouldn’t wait on

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With college football bowl season on the way, Covers Expert Steve Merril looks at which matchups you should be sooner rather than later, if you want to get the best of the oddsmakers’ lines. Next week, he’ll look at which bowl games you should bet at the last minute.

Las Vegas Bowl: Utah Utes (-2.5) vs. BYU Cougars

Utah currently stands as a 2.5-point favorite over BYU and most books still have that line. But a few have gone to -3 already. I expect this line to hit the key number of three at the majority of sportsbooks, so shrewd bettors should jump on this game now.

Brigham Young is losing head coach Bronco Mendenhall to Virginia, but he will coach the Cougars in this game. However, that’s a tricky situation, especially for the players who will be returning to BYU next season. They may tune Mendenhall out, and the distraction is enough to make BYU a fragile team. Utah has no such issues, and they’ll come with their best effort against an in-state rival. Bettors should play this game now and take the best of the number.

New Mexico Bowl: New Mexico Lobos (+10) vs. Arizona Wildcats

This line briefly came out with Arizona as a -12.5 to -13 point favorite over New Mexico, but it quickly settled on the current line of -10. This line should eventually tick down below the key number of 10 at some point, so bettors should get on this game now.

New Mexico is essentially playing a home game. The Lobos went 5-2 SU at home this season with one of those losses only coming by seven points. Arizona went 2-4 SU on the road with one of its wins coming by seven points. The Wildcats went 1-4 SU down the stretch while the Lobos went 3-2 SU over their last five games. Take New Mexico now before the line goes lower.

Hawaii Bowl: Cincinnati Bearcats vs. San Diego State Aztecs (N/A)

Cincinnati and San Diego State are complete opposites. The Bearcats have a potent offense and a terrible defense. Cincinnati likes to throw the ball a lot. They average 373 passing yards per game. The Aztecs run the ball essentially on every play, averaging 48 rushing attempts per game while running for 235 yards per game.

This total, which has yet to hit the board, will be a difficult one for the oddsmakers to set because of the opposite styles of play. Cincinnati is currently a 1.5-point favorite over San Diego State. That indicates that this total may be shaded to the Over just a bit. Cincinnati to the Over and San Diego State to the Under are correlated in this game.


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