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  • Writer's pictureRob Bowron @Beta_Rank_FB

Bowl Season Week III: The Last of 2019

Season to date (83-30) Straight Up (59-46)* Against the Spread

The Beta_Rank Matchup Tool

Tuesday December, 31st

The Belk Bowl

#39 Virginia Tech (8-4) vs. #26 Kentucky (7-5)

9:00am PT, ESPN

Line: Virginia Tech -2.5

Beta_Rank Win Prob: Kentucky 66%

Beta_Rank Line: Kentucky -5.17 (DO NOT GAMBLE)

Beta_Rank Breakdown

Rob: Both of these teams come in with pretty good defenses, but while the Wildcats have a middling Power 5 offense the Hokies have a bad one. The Wildcats come in at #45 on offense, but with a big #5/#123 run/pass split that is a little concerning given how teams have been able to game plan to shut down the opponent's run game a lot of bowl season. The Hokies come in at #27 and don't have much of a run/pass split at #32/#30. The other side of the ball pits a #71 Hokies offense with a #55/#66 run/pass split against a #23 Wildcats defense with a #56/#14 split. It could be a grind of a game, but I like the Wildcats to pull it off.

Kentucky 27 Virginia Tech 23


The Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl

#45 Florida State (6-6) vs. #52 Arizona State (7-5)

11:00am PT, CBS

Line: ASU -7.0

Beta_Rank Win Prob: FSU 56%

Beta_Rank Line: FSU -2.11 (DO NOT GAMBLE)

Beta_Rank Breakdown

Rob: One of these teams seems more dysfunctional and that is driving the line, but there is A LOT going on below the surface here. ASU will have new coordinators and be without Aiyuk and Benjamin. Meanwhile FSU will have the best of the playcallers on both squads on the sideline in Kendall Briles. The ASU defense did make progress under Danny Gonzales, but they were not a good unit by any means. They come in at #41 and with a #31/#60 run/pass split. They do struggle to get off the field though and give up long drives; #92 in Drive Efficiency. The Seminoles are not a great offense, but it's a lack of big plays that kill them. They rank #54 with an #81/#33 run/pass split and with a #12 in Drive Efficiency. The other side of the ball is a mess for the Sun Devils. They come in at #77 with a #91/#48 split and they get a middling FSU defense at #48. The Seminoles have a #61/#40 split. I like the Seminoles here. I think the Sun Devils struggle without Aiyuk and Benjamin with a unit that has been a mess all season.

FSU 30 ASU 27


The Liberty Bowl

#17 Navy (10-2) vs. #30 Kansas State (8-4)

12:45pm PT, ESPN

Line: Navy -3.5

Beta_Rank Win Prob: Navy 73%

Beta_Rank Line: Navy -6.78 (DO NOT GAMBLE)

Beta_Rank Breakdown

Rob: I really like what Scottie Hazelton has done with K-State's defense, but this is going to be tough sledding against Navy. The Midshipmen are #8 on offense with a #1/#127 run/pass split. The Wildcats are #24 with a #49/#17 split that could be trouble in this game. I think the Wildcats will have a plan that can work to slow the interior dives, but the outside runs from Navy are the ones that gouge you. The other side of the ball is an interesting matchup of the #50 offense with a #26/#81 split and the #51 defense with an #18/#98 split. The Wildcats will do well in this game to lean more into passing. The Midshipmen just don't have the talent to cover most passing attacks.

Navy 34 K-State 27


The Arizona Bowl

#66 Wyoming (7-5) vs. #103 Georgia State (7-5)

1:30pm PT, CBS Sports Network

Line: Wyoming -7.0

Beta_Rank Win Prob: Wyoming 79%

Beta_Rank Line: Wyoming -8.94 (DO NOT GAMBLE)

Beta_Rank Breakdown

Rob: Georgia State's defense might be bad enough to make Wyoming's awful offense to put up some points; even with freshman Levi Williams starting. The Panthers are at #117 on defense with a #115/#114 run/pass split. The Cowboys are a run first offense at #108 with a #32/#124 split. They should be able to run in this game, but teams with extra time to prepare have been decent at stopping the run. The other side of the ball pits the usually solid Cowboys defense at #32 with a #9/#66 split against the #60 Panther offense with an #18/#108 split. Wyoming has seen something like this offense before against Air Force.

Wyoming 30 Georgia State 20


The Alamo Bowl

#8 Utah (7-5) vs. #25 Texas (7-5)

4:30pm PT, ESPN

Line: Utah -7.0

Beta_Rank Win Prob: Utah 86%

Beta_Rank Line: Utah -14.11 (DO NOT GAMBLE)

Beta_Rank Breakdown

Rob: This game has all the bowl nuttiness you could ask for. Do the Utes care and show up? Does Texas care and show up? How does Texas do with interim OC/DC's? The other way to look at it though might be that the Utes are mad after getting waxed in their last game or that the Utes have dominated lesser opponents, but struggled when they face more talented teams like Washington and Oregon. Texas has the more talented roster, but Utah has played better over the season. The Utes offense comes in at #15 with a #16/#50 run/pass split. They struggled to run the ball against Oregon and did not have their usual outside running game. They will need to be more varied than just hammering Moss up the middle in this game. Texas comes in at #59 and they have struggled this season. They have a #52/#62 split. They are good at Drive Efficiency at #2, but without their DC we'll see how they do in this game. The #20 Texas offense has a split of #52/#20 and they will throw the ball effectively in this game. The Utes will be without their best cover guy and will have to rely on their defensive line to get pressure; something they did not do effectively against Oregon. The Utes are #8 on defense with a #5/#12 split. They make most of their hay containing big plays; #5 in Explosive Drives. I like the Utes here. I think Whittingham has them ready and Texas is in the middle of a staff transition.

Utah 38 Texas 27

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