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Here's our 2018-19 primer, crammed with situational tips, coaching trends, and more.
This is a situation we touched on all the way back in Week 5 when Bowling Green and Georgia Tech met, with the total for that game set at 65. Georgia Tech totals are rarely that high due to the program's identity: run the ball and field an above-average defense. But when the situation calls for high-scoring affairs, they usually materialize.
The Yellow Jackets have flown over the total in 10 of the previous 12 games when it's set at 60 or higher. That includes three of four contests during the regular season in which the over was hit comfortably at an average score of 77.7 total points - the other was a push at 66.
Minnesota's defense is No. 44 in the country in defensive S&P+ rankings but the No. 111 in rushing IsoPPP+, which accounts for explosive plays allowed on the ground. That should give a substantial edge to the aforementioned Georgia Tech run game. And don't worry about the Golden Gophers' defense having extra time to prepare for the triple option, because ...
Giving the edge to a defense with more time to prepare for this type of offense is an outdated narrative. Minnesota (versus Georgia Tech) and Houston (versus Army) might have the benefit of multiple weeks to study the opposing offensive scheme but it hasn't mattered much in the past. Dating back to the 2015 bowl season, teams that run the triple option (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Georgia Tech) are averaging 41.1 points per game over an eight-game sample in bowl games, while all eight have gone over their team total.
Alabama played its worst offensive game of the season in the SEC championship and still scored 35 points against Georgia's stout defense - S&P+'s No. 16 overall unit. It could have been even more if not for two turnovers inside the red zone.
The Crimson Tide went under their team total of 38.5 in that one, moving head coach Nick Saban to 19-5 to the team total over on a neutral field in non-BCS or non-playoff situations. He could easily move to 20-5 on Dec. 29 against Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semifinals, despite a huge number of 81.5.
The Sooners' defensive struggles this season have been well-documented. They rank No. 89 in S&P+ defense, No. 91 in S&P+ pass defense, No. 109 in S&P+ success rate, No. 75 in front-seven havoc rate, and No. 81 in defensive back havoc rate.
There aren't many favorable matchups for Oklahoma's defense, and the No. 2 scoring unit in the entire country is certainly not one of them.
Alabama isn't the only SEC affiliate that has been scorching-hot in neutral-site games. Georgia covered the spread over the Crimson Tide in the title game, a frequent occurrence for the Bulldogs. Over the last two seasons under head coach Kirby Smart, Georgia is 8-1 against the spread and 8-1 to the team total over - averaging 31.7 points per game - in the previous nine neutral-site contests. The Bulldogs are giving 11 points to Texas in the Sugar Bowl, with the total sitting at 58.5 in most shops.
It's fitting to end the season by including Eastern Michigan, which was regularly featured in our betting nuggets this year. Squaring off against Sun Belt foe Georgia Southern in the Camellia Bowl as a one-point underdog, Eastern Michigan will fall into two playable angles.
Under head coach Chris Creighton, the Eagles are 11-2 against the spread in non-conference games and 17-5 against the number as an underdog since 2016. Originally opening as a pick 'em, money moved Georgia Southern as a short favorite.
We're glad you asked. Here is an up-to-date list of notable players who are bypassing the final game of the season to prepare for the NFL draft:
Alex Kolodziej is theScore's betting writer. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 11 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AlexKoIodziej.