2018 Bowl Gambling Picks

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We have started off the bowl season via early VIP picks — damn you, Memphis and the over! — and public picks on Lock It In at 4-3. Combining that with some brutal beats in the conference title games we are 6-9 in our past 15 games for a total record this season of 97-80 or a 55% winning percentage on the year.

What should you do with all the money I’ve made you this year?

Go sign up for Outkick VIP.

If you want an autographed copy — as many of you do — this is the second year we’ve had the picks up early on the Outkick VIP message board. If you love to ride with the Outkick picks I post my picks on Monday on the VIP message board so you can get the earliest numbers possible. Then I’ll post the picks for free here on Wednesday afternoon. Several thousand of you signed up for the Outkick VIP last year and this year’s VIP’s will receive an autographed copy of my new book, Republicans Buy Sneakers Too, access to our VIP events across the nation, a VIP message board, a VIP phone line for my radio show, and other cool experiences, potentially involving the new TV show, which will be announced on the VIP message board. So make sure you sign up for Outkick VIP today.

It’s $99 and makes a great gift.

So stop being so cheap and sign up today.

All of our Outkick VIPs have now received their signed copies of the books. (And if you haven’t received your copy email support@outkickthecoverage.com and let them know your name and your address. We did have some signed copies of the book bounce back because addresses didn’t match).

The weekly Outkick picks are presented by SportsBookReview.com, which features the best one stop shop to compare prices on games anywhere on the Internet. The site will also let you know which side all the betting action is on, which is a pretty phenomenal resource as well.

So here we go with the Outkick picks presented by SportsBookReview.

We’re going 18-0, kids.

Here we go starting with games played tomorrow:

Vandy -4 vs. Baylor, now Vandy -4

Vanderbilt has a pretty good offense and much better talent than Baylor.

They also have Kyle Shurmur, who is looking to get drafted and wants to put more good tape out there, finishing off his college career in a bowl game and winning a bowl game at Vanderbilt is a BIG deal.

In fact, the Commodores have only done it four times in their history, which means Vandy players will be fired up for this opportunity.

As a result I think the Commodores come out and handle Baylor with ease.

Syracuse-West Virginia, the over 67, now over 67.5

Will Grier decided to sit this game out which resulted in an eight point line swing.

But I don’t think it changed the overall trajectory of the game. Namely, there are going to be a ton of points scored by both teams.

Anytime you give me a Dana Holgersen against Dino Babers game I’m taking the over and sitting back and counting my cash.

Florida +7.5 vs. Michigan and the under 51, now Florida +6.5 and 51

Great stat for you — in the past 20 bowl games where the SEC team is a six point or more underdog, the SEC is 16-4 against the number, winning 11 of them outright.

So what happens when you get the Gators by over a touchdown in a bowl game?

You take the Gators.

I also think the Michigan defense will emerge from the beat down against Ohio State and play well, keeping this score under the number.

So take the Gators and the under.

South Carolina -4 vs. Virginia, now South Carolina -6

Gambling rule: when you have a chance to bet on a mediocre SEC team playing against a mediocre ACC team, you always take the mediocre SEC team to win and cover because a mediocre SEC team is much better than a mediocre ACC team.

This is betting science.

So applying our rule: Gamecocks win by over a touchdown.

Alabama -14 vs. Oklahoma and the under 80.5, now Bama -14 76.5

Sometimes betting on college football games is a bit like trying to analyze an NCAA tournament game. And one of the biggest things about betting on an NCAA tournament game is figuring out which pace the game will be played at. In this game I feel like Alabama will dictate pace.

With that in mind, I feel like Alabama could score sixty on Oklahoma, but I don’t think they will because I don’t think Nick Saban is going to want to get into a shootout with Oklahoma. I think he’s going to slowly strangle the life out of Oklahoma by physically pounding them.

And I also believe Kyler Murray winning the Heisman trophy is the worst thing that could happen to Oklahoma because it’s allowed Nick Saban to convince his Alabama football dynasty that the country has no respect for them. (Seriously, Saban’s ability to play the no respect card on a team that has been favored by kickoff in over 100 games is truly monumental.) The result? The Tide takes this game out of the clouds and puts it on the legs of its running backs. (That’s particularly the case if Tua is truly not 100%).

I think Bama wins this game 45-21, which brings the score in well beneath the seismic over/under we opened with.

That means you get the cover and the under.

Notre Dame +13 vs. Clemson, the over 55, Notre Dame +13 and the over

The biggest flaw Clemson has on its team is its pass defense, which has been absolutely torched at times this season. That’s especially the case when they played against decent talent. South Carolina’s Jake Bentley went for 510 yards in the final game of the regular season against Clemson and Kellen Mond went for 430 early in the year. That means in games against SEC opponents Clemson gave up and average of 470 yards passing. (Keep this in mind if Clemson matches up with Alabama).

Putting those performances into further context, Mond only threw for over 300 yards once and he averaged just 247 yards passing per game on the season. Jake Bentley averaged just 268 yards passing on the season and only went over 300 yards passing twice.

Well, Notre Dame’s Ian Book has been a much better passer than either Mond or Bentley, which is why I think Notre Dame will have success moving the football against Clemson and why I’m taking the Fighting Irish and the over in this game.

And, you know what, if I’m completely wrong on this I still think the over is too low because if Clemson comes out and waxes Notre Dame, as they have crushed many teams this season, I still feel like the over hits.

So take the Irish and the over.

Mizzou -7.5 vs. Oklahoma State and the over 74, now Mizzou -8 and 74.5

My prediction?

Points, lots of points.

I absolutely love Mizzou to score fifty points here and I think Oklahoma State also puts up 35.

Combine those two numbers and you’ve got an easy cover and an easy over.

Sometimes gambling really is this easy.

Texas A&M -6 vs. NC State and the under 58.5, A&M -7 and 59

One big part of bowl betting is motivation. Another big part of bowl betting is relative conference strength. And the SEC has dominated the ACC this year, frequently in humiliating fashion.

I think Jimbo Fisher wants to get to nine wins in year one at A&M and I think if you look at N.C. State this team is a total paper tiger.

Who have the Wolfpack beaten that’s remotely impressive all year? No one.

That’s why the Aggies win this game by double digits and stifle the Wolfpack offense.

Take A&M and the under.

Mississippi State vs. Iowa, the under 44, now 43.5

What’s going to happen when Mississippi State’s all world defense goes up against Iowa’s offense from 1958?

Not many points!

This one is just too easy. The game will be low scoring and awful to watch.

Unless you have the under, in which case you’ll enjoy this 24-14 Mississippi State win.

Penn State -6.5 vs. Kentucky, now Penn State -6.5

As regular readers of the betting picks column know I don’t believe in Kentucky’s offense at all.

I don’t know why Kentucky is suddenly going to get hot offensively against Penn State.

Meanwhile Penn State is a fascinating team. They’ve played one bad game all season — at Michigan — and could, and maybe should, have beaten both Michigan State and Ohio State. Late collapses in both games snatched away an 11-1 season from the Nittany Lions.

I think a fully healthy Trace McSorley goes off in a big way in this one and the Nittany Lions win by ten.

LSU -7 vs. Central Florida, the over 54.5, now LSU -7.5 and 55.5

This is one of my favorite bets of bowl season, I think LSU is going to open a absolute can of whoop ass on UCF and shut up their entire fan base.

I don’t think UCF will be able to throw the ball with McKenzie Milton out and as a result I believe LSU will stack the line and crush the UCF rushing attack.

The result?

An LSU bloodbath.

Call it LSU 48 UCF 17.

Georgia -13 vs. Texas, now Georgia -13

Georgia is, in my opinion, the second best team in college football this year.

Texas is not close to the second best team.

As a result the Bulldogs should show up and run all over Texas, crushing the Longhorns in the process. There are only two things that make me nervous about this bet: 1. Tom Herman’s record as an underdog and 2. Georgia’s motivation here.

Will the Bulldogs really care about this game?

I think they will, which is why I don’t think this game will be close.

There you have it kids, we’re going

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions, and started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers.