Last Updated: 2017-12-28
Finally it is here. After all of the college football bowl games and all of the teams that have played we get a game with two teams that were considered national title contenders. There is no doubt it, the Goodyear Cotton Bowl is one of the bets college football bowl games of the year.
The Cotton Bowl is on Friday December 29th and it is considered one of the best bowl games of the season. This game will be the nightcap of a busy five day schedule and will definitely be the must-see game of the day. This year it features a team from the Pac 12 and one team from the Big 12.
On one side is Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes, a team that had final four aspirations, but may not be fired up to play in this bowl game. On the other side is the USC Trojans, a good team in their own right who always seem to be overlooked when it comes to the college football rankings. There will be plenty on the line in this game between two proud football programs.
The Buckeyes are 11-2 on the season and 8-1 in the Big Ten. That record was good enough for first place in the East division. They barely beat out the Michigan State Spartans and the Penn State Nittany Lions for the division crown. They ended the season on a four game winning streak which included a big win over their rival in the Michigan Wolverines and a win in the Big Ten title game against the Wisconsin Badgers. The most notable loss of the season is obviously the ugly blowout loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes. It was that loss that kept the Buckeyes out of the college football playoffs.
The Buckeyes were a good team this season but they were not good for football bettors. They were 6-7 against the spread (ATS) this season which included a 5-5 ATS record in the last ten games.
The USC Trojans also believe that they had a good enough record to be in the college football playoffs. They had an eleven win season and also went 8-1 in the Pac 12 South. Those eight wins were good enough for the division title. They finished a full two games higher in the standings than the Arizona State Sun Devils.
They finished the season on a five game winning streak which included a victory over the Stanford Cardinal for the Pac 12 title. The losses were almost excusable for the Trojans as they lost to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Washington State Cougars. Both games were on the road and both games were against ranked opponents.
Although USC had a tremendous regular season record they were a nightmare at the betting window. The Trojans were 3-9 ATS on the season which is tied for the worst ATS record among bowl teams this year. They were just 1-3 ATS on the road and they were 2-7 ATS in the last nine games overall.
Since this game features two very popular teams it is going to get plenty of betting action from the public. At one point during college football bowl betting this game had 20 percent of the entire handle on bowl games being bet on this game in Las Vegas.
Ohio State opened as touchdown favorites and since then the line has shifted and it is now at (-7.5) at many of the major offshore sports betting sites. Although a high scoring game is expected the line has only moved a half point since it opened. The total opened at 64 points and is now up to 64.5.
The public is betting on both sides of this game. As of the writing of this article USC is getting just 52 percent of the betting action. They are betting a bit heavier on the over as 66 percent of the wagers coming in on the Cotton Bowl are betting for this to be a high scoring game.
The Trojans are led by QB San Darnold who is a lock for a first round pick in the NFL draft. He will want to end the season on a high note, but that may not happen. According to the betting trends, the Trojans may be in trouble. The Trojans are 16-34-1 ATS in their last 51 games following a straight up win, 2-5 ATS when they go up against a team with a winning record and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 bowl games. It doesn’t stop there. They are also 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game, 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a loss against the spread and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games on turf.
Ohio State also has a good quarterback as JT Barrett is as skilled as they come. He can spread the ball all over the field as he has 11 different players that have scored a touchdown this season via the pass. Like USC however, the Buckeyes have some negative betting trends in this game. The Buckeyes are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game, 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games.
Many people are suggesting that Urban Meyer is upset about this game and will be disappointed that they did not make the playoffs. Yes, they are upset that they did not make the playoffs but a big win in this game would only prove that they should have been able to play for the National Championship. The Buckeyes also have fans that travel well so there should be plenty of support for the Buckeyes in this game.
This point spread is high for a reason and that is because the Buckeyes will win and win big. No need to worry about dropping these points as the Buckeyes make a statement with a double digit win in the Cotton Bowl.
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