Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:10 AM EST.
San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl
Monday, December 31st, 2018 – SDCCU Stadium – San Diego, CA
UTAH -7 +101 over Northwestern
7:00 PM EST. Most books have this game at -6½ with extra vig, thus, you are probably better off waiting until game time to bet this one but we have no problem selling a half point and playing Utah at -7 right now.
Buying low and selling high is a practice we preach. The Utes, though they are in position to close with their fifth 10-win season in 10 years, find themselves coming into the Holiday Bowl with a poor market perspective thanks to a lackluster 10-3 loss suffered at the hands of Washington in the Pac-12 Championship. As a result of what was an overall boring defensive game matched by a pedestrian offensive effort, Northwestern has become one of the most appealing dogs this bowl season by a market that responds to what it saw last. We’re hearing lots of talking heads expressing interest in taking back these points but to us, that is a huge red flag. Look no further than what occurred to NW’s B1G running mate, Purdue, that got its doors blown off by Auburn in the Music City Bowl. The Boilermakers underwent similar circumstances as a highly-coveted public underdog. Purdue is not the only BIG team to get smoked either, as Michigan was destroyed by Florida (41-15). Don’t ignore that.
The opening number in this market further expands upon this premise, as we saw the Utes open as a 7½-point choice in sharper sports books, which as we have also elaborated on previously as being a notorious favorite-friendly number in the college ranks. The hook is designed to attract action on the favorite under the veil of winning the bet even if Northwestern loses by a touchdown.
Many query as to whether or not Utah can score enough points to cover here with respect to their performance against Washington (one of the best scoring defenses in America) but the real issue should be raised with whether Northwestern can find any success against the Utes defense, which in its own right is very good. Northwestern has already had plenty of inconsistencies in their offensive game this season but they won’t be afforded as many mulligans as they will against teams such as Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska, who are not known for their defensive acumen or an ability to score. Regardless of what transpired in their last outing, Utah can do both, as they have broken the 30-point threshold in seven of their last nine contests.
Northwestern has also made a living coming in off the radar and wreaking havoc to the unsuspected. However, you can be rest assured that Utes Coach Kyle Whittingham has prepared accordingly. Taking a page out of his mentor Urban Meyer’s cookbook, Coach W is a stellar 10-1 SU in bowl games as the skipper of the Utah program. Very simply, we are getting the favorable end of a mismatch and we’ll look to cash in on a short-priced favorite that could easily win this one by multiple possessions.
Open an account today at and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
Utah -7 +101 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.02)