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Army, Hawaii highlight betting favorites on Saturday’s bowl game odds


Army (10-2), with quarterback Kelvin Hopkins at the controls of its run-based triple-option, are 4.5-point betting favorites against the Houston Cougars (8-4) with a 60.5-point total in the Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth on Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by

Army is only 8-20 against the spread in its last 28 games against teams from the American, as well as 1-5 against the spread (ATS) in its last six games as a favorite of 3.5 to 6.5 points at kickoff. However, the Black Knights lead the country in time of possession and the linchpin of Houston’s resistance to the run, nose tackle Ed Oliver, is sitting out to get ready for the NFL draft.

Houston, which is 1-4 ATS in its last five games according to the OddsShark College Football Database, appears to be counting on a freshman quarterback, Clayton Tune, in a game where a handful of empty possessions will be magnified. The total has gone UNDER in seven of Army’s last nine games against American Athletic Conference teams.

Elsewhere on the second weekend of the college football bowl season:

MEMPHIS (8-5) vs. WAKE FOREST (6-6)
The Memphis Tigers are 3.5-point favorites against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons with a 73-point total in the Birmingham Bowl at Legion Field in Birmingham. Memphis, which has the No. 3 offense in the country built around a run-pass threat of Brady White and Patrick Taylor, will be trying to continue a streak of being 5-0 ATS in its last five games as a favorite.

Wake Forest’s season-long defensive issues are a concern, but it is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games against teams from the American, as well as 7-1 ATS at online betting sites in its last eight games in December. The total has gone OVER in five of Memphis’ last six games.

BUFFALO (10-3) vs. TROY (9-3)
The Buffalo Bulls are 1.5-point favorites against the Troy Trojans with a 49.5-point total in the Dollar General Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. Buffalo, 5-1 ATS in its last six games as a favorite, will need to negate a strong Troy pass rush to boost quarterback Tyree Jackson.

The Sun Belt Conference representative is 5-1 in the last six editions of this game and the Trojans are close to home, as well as 8-0 SU in their last eight games after a loss, so how bettors feel about underdog Troy comes down to gauging the capabilities of an offense that’s counting on sophomore quarterback Sawyer Smith having his receiving corps healthy again.

The total has gone UNDER in three of Troy’s last four games, with an average combined score of 37.0 points.

In Saturday’s final bowl matchup, the Hawaii Rainbow are one-point favorites on the Hawaii Bowl odds against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs with a 61-point total at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. There is a decided disparity in experience that augurs poorly for Hawaii, which is not only playing in its first bowl in eight seasons, but is also 0-15-1 ATS in its last 16 games as a favorite

Louisiana Tech has won its last four bowls and is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games as a road underdog, which both seem promising signs as quarterback J’Mar Smith faces a Hawaii defense that is among the bottom 30 in the country playing the run and the pass. The total has gone UNDER in four of Hawaii’s last five home games, with an average combined score of 58.2 points.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at

Matthew Baldwin’s decision leaves Ohio State with two scholarship QBs

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And then there were two.

Seeing the Justin Fields writing on the wall, Tate Martell transferred from Ohio State in mid-January and ultimately landed at Miami.  Three months later, another OSU signal-caller, Matthew Baldwin, confirmed on Twitter Thursday night that he too has decided to take his leave of the Buckeyes and place his name into the NCAA transfer database.

“[S]pring was a tough time for me personally. My family and I have prayed and talked a lot about where I belong and what is best for me,” Baldwin wrote as part of a very classy Twitter post revealing his decision. “In the end, we feel like it’d be better for me to step away from Ohio State.”

A four-star member of OSU’s 2018 recruiting class, Baldwin was rated as the No. 12 pro-style quarterback in the country coming out of high school in Austin, Texas.  Baldwin didn’t play a down for the Buckeyes as he continued his rehab from an ACL injury he suffered late in his high school career at Lake Travis.

With the twin departures of Baldwin and Martell, OSU is now down to two scholarship quarterbacks — the Georgia transfer Fields (HERE) and West Virginia transfer Chris Chugunov (HERE).  Fields was widely expected to be the Buckeyes’ starter under center in the 2019 opener; Baldwin’s decision ensures that, barring injury, that will indeed be the case.

Arkansas to add former Notre Dame OL Luke Jones

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A week and a half after word broke Luke Jones was intending to leave Notre Dame comes the announcement Jones is going to be playing closer to home. The Arkansas native announced with a message on Twitter he is coming home to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks.

“I would like to thank the University of Note Dame for giving me the opportunity to pursue my dream of playing college football,” Jones said in a brief message on his Twitter account. “However, I have decided to transfer and play football for the University of Arkansas. I will be enrolling in the summer and am excited for this new chapter in my life!”

Jones spent a brief moment with the Notre Dame program as he was a member of the Class of 2018 in South Bend. Prior to committing to the Fighting Irish, Jones had been committed to the Arkansas football program in his recruiting process, but Notre Dame emerged victorious in the recruiting game during a coaching change with the Razorbacks.

Jones will be required to sit out the 2019 season under standard NCAA transfer rules, although those seem to be more like guidelines these days, so we’ll wait to see if there is a chance Jones gets to jump into the mix in the offensive line for the Razorbacks this fall.

Ex-Pitt TE Tyler Sear announces transfer to Temple

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Tight end Tyler Sear is hopping on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and heading from one metropolitan corner of the state to the next. Sear announced on his Twitter account on Thursday he is transferring from Pitt to Temple.

The Class of 2017 recruit of the Panthers left the program last October for what was simply described as personal reasons. It was unknown if the leave of absence was a short-term or long-term plan as the decisions about the status were being kept close to the vest within the Pitt program.

Sear did battle some injury concerns during his time at Pitt that prevented him from potentially reaching his full potential for the Panthers. He caught two passes for nine yards last season prior to his stepping away from the team.

Perhaps a clean slate with a new program will do Sear good as he steps in to try contributing with the Owls in the AAC. Sear will have to sit out the 2019 season due to standard NCAA transfer rules, unless an exception is granted by the NCAA. It is unknown if a waiver will be filed by Sear and Temple for immediate eligibility.

Sear has not used a redshirt year yet so he could burn that in 2019 while waiting to get back on the field if he is forced to sit out the 2019 season. That ould leave Sear with two years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2020 season.

Michigan CB Myles Sims enters transfer portal

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Add another name to the growing list of players entering the transfer portal. This time it is Michigan cornerback Myles Sims. According to a report from 247 Sports, the former four-star prospect in Michigan’s Class of 2018 is evaluating his options.

Any player who adds his name to the transfer portal is allowed to make contact with potential programs of interest, but it does not automatically mean that player is gone for god. Sims will have the option of pulling his name out of the portal in the event he decides to stay in Ann Arbor. How quickly Sims will make any decision one way or the other remains to be seen.

Sims did not see the field last season for Michigan so he can use the 2018 season as his redshirt year. That gives the former four-star recruit four years of eligibility remaining, although he will likely have to burn one year of eligibility by sitting out the upcoming 2019 season.

Standard NCAA transfer rules require a player to sit out a full season before being ruled eligible to play again, although exceptions have been made a bit more frequently over the past year. Whether or not Sims will have the chance to play right away this fall will have to wait to be determined when he decides what his plans will be moving forward.