Key betting numbers for Dec. 31-Jan. 2 bowls

ByBen Fawkes ESPN logo
Thursday, December 29, 2016

Looking to bet on any college football bowls this holiday season? We've got plenty of terrific content to help you make your picks at [url TARGET="_blank" HREF="" ]Chalk[/url], including a graphical representation of some key betting numbers for the bowl games on Dec. 31 through Jan. 2.[br /][br /][h2][url TARGET="_blank" HREF="" ]Bowl betting guide[/url] | [url TARGET="_blank" HREF="" ]Vegas Rankings[/url] | [url TARGET="_blank" HREF="" ]Betting nuggets[/url][/h2][br /][Ads /][br /]Dec. 31[/h2][br /][br /][img SRC="" ][br /][br /][b]Will Harris:[/b]Louisville was ranked as high as third in the nation but lost its last two games to Houston and Kentucky and fell out of consideration for a New Year's Six bowl berth. LSU followed a tough offseason with a wild season that saw longtime boss Les Miles supplanted by Ed Orgeron. The Tigers went 5-2 after "Coach Eaux" took over, averaging more than 43 points per game in the wins.[br /][br /][img SRC="" ][br /][br /][b]Will Harris:[/b]Georgia Tech turned in a losing season last year, ending an 18-year bowl streak. The Jackets rebounded in coach Paul Johnson's ninth season with an 8-4 campaign, capped by a win over rival Georgia. Kentucky is headed to its first bowl since 2010, and the game widely known as the Gator Bowl is delighted to host a bowl-hungry SEC fan base. Both teams boast rushing offenses among the nation's top 15.[br /][Ads /][br /][h2]Jan. 2[/h2][br /][br /][img SRC="" ][br /][br /][b]Will Harris:[/b]Iowa beat Florida here in the 2003 affair, then the Gators got revenge two years later. The Hawkeyes are 2-2 in Outback appearances under coach Kirk Ferentz, all against SEC opposition. Iowa held Michigan, Illinois and Nebraska to a combined 23 points during a three-game winning streak to close the year. After winning at LSU to clinch the SEC East crown, Florida was beaten convincingly first by Florida State and then Alabama in the league championship game.[br /][br /][img SRC="" ][br /][br /][b]Will Harris:[/b]Wisconsin saw its quest for a fourth Big Ten championship in seven years end when the Badgers couldn't hold a 28-7 lead over Penn State. A bowl victory would give the program its fourth 11-win season in that same span. Western Michigan and fanatically energetic coach P.J. Fleck authored the 2016 season's only unbeaten campaign besides Alabama's. The Broncos held off a game Ohio team in the MAC title bout to go 13-0 and register the school's first MAC championship since 1988. With the unprecedented-in-the-league talent Fleck has stockpiled, veteran leadership at every position and a superstar difference-maker in all-time FBS receiving leader Corey Davis, the Broncos could well be the best team in MAC history.[br /][Ads /][br /][img SRC="" ][br /][br /][b]Will Harris:[/b]USC beat Colorado in October and closed the season on an eight-game win streak, thus beating the Buffaloes out for the Rose Bowl spot opposite Big Ten champion Penn State. The last Rose Bowl appearance for the Trojans was a 38-24 win over the Nittany Lions after the 2008 season, then-coach Pete Carroll's next-to-last with the Trojans. The Lions won the Big Ten title after overcoming a 28-7 deficit against Wisconsin, once again showing off a potent downfield passing game.[br /][br /][img SRC="" ][br /][br /][b]Will Harris:[/b]Big 12 champion Oklahoma started the season 1-2 but rattled off nine straight wins to land in the Sugar Bowl for the second time in four years. Auburn limps in at 8-4, having lost November games to rivals Georgia and Alabama but still gets the nod as the second-best SEC squad in a down year for the league. A shootout could be in store, as Oklahoma's offense features two Heisman finalists, and the Tigers have rushed for more than 400 yards four times this year.[br /][br /][h2][url TARGET="_blank" HREF="" ]Bowl betting guide[/url] | [url TARGET="_blank" HREF="" ]Vegas Rankings[/url] | [url TARGET="_blank" HREF="" ]Betting nuggets[/url][/h2]