The bad news is that we have some time to kill before we get to the playoff semi-finals and the College Football national Championship Game. The good news is that there is a lot of football to watch and wager on between now and then. Yes, we are heading into bowl season, which is now just a few days away. There is a lot of ground to cover here, and if you are familiar with wagering during bowl season, you are well aware of just how difficult it can be. Star players headed to the NFL Draft will sit out some games, while there will always be a handful of teams who go through the motions and don’t deliver their best effort. Either way, the games still get played and we are going to do all we can to break them all down for you. For this piece, we are concentrating on the Lending Tree Bowl, which is set to go on December 17 at 5:45 PM EST. Let’s take a closer look at the teams involved and how they got here so you can bet on their College Football Bowl Odds.
Who is Playing in the LendingTree Bowl? | Rice Owls versus Southern Miss Golden Eagles Betting Preview
Southern Miss Golden Eagles
That the Eagles made it to a bowl game at all is a decent achievement when you consider that they go out to an 0-2 start on the year. They then went on a run that saw them win 5 of their next 6, making it seem as though they would quickly become bowl eligible. Things did not go according to plan, though, as the Golden Eagles went into a slump that saw them lose 3 in a row, heading into the final week of the regular season needing a win to secure a bowl spot. They came away with a 20-10 win over UL Monroe to earn that spot. Southern Miss was not great offensively this season, averaging just 24 PPG, while surrendering a touch over 23 PPG. They were, though, a very good bet against the spread, covering in 9 of their 12 games. They were 7-5 O/U.
While 6 wins is considered the mark to become bowl eligible, there are some teams who sneak in with fewer wins. The Rice Owls are one of those teams, as they went a rather lackluster 5-7 SU in the regular season. They could have made things a whole lot easier on themselves, as they were sitting at 5-4 heading into the final 3 games of the season. They went ahead and lost all of those games, thanks in large part to a struggling offense that managed to average just 11 PPG over that final stretch. That was well off the pace of the 25 PPG they managed throughout the course of the season. The Owls went 7-5 ATS, while going 8-4 O/U.
Betting and Prediction
Neither one of these teams finished the season on a particularly high note, so it is going to be interesting to see how they come into this game. In their last 10 meetings, it is the Golden Eagles who hold a 6-4 edge. Rice covered the spread in 6 of those meetings, while the OVER hit in 7 of the 10. Southern Miss is a 6 ½ point favorite in this one, with the point total set at 46 ½. I like Southern Miss to win SU in what should be a low scoring affair.