It’s a great week of college football postseason action with multiple games each day other than Sunday because of the NFL.
Here are three best bets with spreads/totals from OddsTrader’s new-look college football odds board.
Thursday, December 29, 2022 – 05:30 PM EST at Camping World Stadium
ESPN has this matchup between Oklahoma of the Big 12 and No. 13 Florida State of the ACC – the Seminoles could be legitimate national title contenders next season. Obviously, they will have a huge fan advantage edge playing in Florida.
We highly doubt many Sooners fans will make the long trek to Orlando to follow their disappointing 6-6 team under first-year coach Brent Venables.
The program was expected to take a step back after losing Coach Lincoln Riley and star QB Caleb Williams after last season, plus a lot of other defections. But no one thought Oklahoma would drop to 6-6 –including losses by 31 points to TCU and 49 to Texas. This will be a return to Orlando for Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel, formerly of UCF. Defensively, Florida St. is fourth nationally and leads the ACC with just 158.9 passing yards per game allowed.
Four of Oklahoma’s players have opted out to prepare for the NFL Draft:
- Starting tackle Anton Harrison
- Starting tackle Wanya Morris
- Defensive lineman Jalen Redmond
- Running back Eric Gray
Florida State Seminoles
Florida St. really hasn’t lost anyone of note, as safety Jammie Robinson and defensive end Jared Verse (NFL prospects) both plan to play. Verse made a major impact in his first season with Florida State, leading the team with 7.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss, with 41 tackles, a blocked field goal and a fumble recovery.
The Noles closed the season on a five-game winning streak and four of those were blowouts. Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis became the first player in program history to account for at least three touchdowns with one or fewer turnovers in six consecutive games, which also is the longest active streak in the nation.
At OddsTrader, a whopping 87% of the spread lean is on Florida State. The Sooners are 2-7 ATS in their past nine games. FSU is 4-1 ATS in its past five.
NCAAF Pick: Florida State -9.5 (-110) at FanDuel
Friday, December 30, 2022 – 03:30 PM EST at TIAA Bank Field
ESPN has the telecast of No. 21 and independent Notre Dame against No. 19 South Carolina of the SEC.
South Carolina Gamecocks
The Gamecocks closed the regular season about as well as any team in the country, with a 63-38 upset against No. 5 Tennessee and a 31-30 stunner at No. 8 Clemson that eliminated the Tigers from College Football Playoff contention.
After opening the season with a 1-2 mark, the Gamecocks won seven of their final nine contests, including three over-ranked opponents. They are looking to finish the season ranked for the first time since they were No. 4 at the end of the 2013 season.
USC quarterback and Oklahoma transfer Spencer Rattler was rather inconsistent this year, but something clicked in those final two games as he threw for 438 yards and six TDs vs. the Vols, and 360 yards and two TDs against Clemson. Offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield did leave for Nebraska.
South Carolina lost some players to the draft and portal, but top receiver Juice Wells (63 catches, 898 yards, six TDs), a first-team All-SEC pick, indicated he plans to play.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The Irish lost one of the country’s top tight ends in Michael Mayer to the draft, and quarterback Drew Pyne transferred to Arizona State.
Mayer had a team-leading 67 catches —more than twice the number of ND’s second-leading receiver, Lorenzo Styles (30). His 5.6 receptions per game is second nationally to Utah’s Dalton Kincaid for tight ends. Overall, Mayer had 809 receiving yards and a school-record nine TDs.
Pyne entered the portal early this month after he was told that Notre Dame would not only be going into the portal for a QB, but also that Pyne wasn’t locked into starting in the bowl game now that Tyler Buchner was getting back to health. Buchner missed the final 10 games but will start this one.
The Gamecocks are taking a 61% lean on the spread at OddsTrader. They are 5-2 ATS in their past seven.
NCAAF Pick: South Carolina +2.5 (-110) at BetMGM
Music City Bowl
Saturday, December 31, 2022 – 12:00 PM EST at Nissan Stadium
ABC has this matchup between Iowa of the Big Ten and Kentucky of the SEC, and we would be shocked if this isn’t the most offensively ugly bowl game of them all. Both are excellent defensive teams, with Iowa allowing just 14.4 points per game and Kentucky 19.1.
Those units should dominate because the Hawkeyes are without starting quarterback Spencer Petras due to injury and backup Alex Padilla, who entered the transfer portal. Third-stringer Joey Labas (zero career pass attempts) is expected to start, but Carson May could also get some snaps.
Kentucky fired offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello, and starting QB Will Levis and star running back Christopher Rodriguez Jr. both opted out to prepare for the NFL Draft.
When Levis was sidelined earlier this season, Kaiya Sheron started against South Carolina and threw for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Levis will be a first-round pick, while Rodriguez rushed for 3,644 yards and 32 TDs in his career.
His backup, Kavosiey Smoke (277 yards, TD) also is out. UK coach Mark Stoops played defensive back at Iowa from 1986 to 1988 and later served as a graduate assistant there.
The under is 7-0 in Iowa’s past seven non-conference games and 13-3 in Kentucky’s past 16 overall.
NCAAF Pick: Under 32 Points (-110) at BetMGM