Ryan Mayer

The college football bowl season is upon us. With 39 games spread out over the next two and a half weeks there is plenty of opportunity to add a little bonus to your holiday gift pile. Our bowl picks series will let you know who we think will come out on top against the spread. All lines and totals courtesy of Sportsline. Find all our picks here. All lines are as of the date of publication.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Central Michigan (8-4) vs. Wyoming (7-5)

Spread: Wyoming -3

Total: 45.5

Spread: The Cowboys offense has struggled badly this season despite having a guy who is expected to be one of the first QBs taken off the board in April’s draft. Josh Allen entered the season as the top QB in the class for some, but he’s had a rough year, partially of his own making and partially due to a lower level of talent around him. After throwing for over 3,200 yards and 28 TDs last year, Allen threw for just over 1,600 with 13 TDs this season before suffering a sprained AC joint late in the season and missing the final two games. The offense suffered as a whole, ranking in the bottom third of the country in points per game at 22.3 and just 286 yards per outing. The saving grace has been a defense that has allowed opponents to score just 17 points and gain 332 yards per game. The Cowboys have been effective with their pass rush, racking up 28.5 sacks with Carl Granderson (7.5) and Youhanna Ghaifan (5) being the main catalysts. That has led to a pass defense that gives up just 160 yards per game to opponents and allows opposing passers to complete just under 55 percent of their passes.

That could make for tough sledding for a Central Michigan offense led by QB Shane Morris that likes to sling it. There’s good balance in the offense with the Chips averaging 35 attempts through the air and on the ground per game. Morris hasn’t been overly accurate, completing just 55 percent of his passes, but he’s got a good weapon on the outside in Mark Chapman (54 receptions 805 yards 5 TDs) and a good back in the backfield with him in Jonathan Ward (167 carries 988 yards 9 TD). CMU is top 60 in scoring at 29.7 points per game and their defense has been allowing 26.8 points per contest.

Both teams are 7-5 against the spread this season, and all that combined with the potential lack of Josh Allen for the Cowboys and a Wyoming pass defense that could limit Alec Morris has led to this game being essentially a pick’em. A lot depends on Allen here, if he plays, Cowboys should win. If not, CMU takes it. He’s listed as probable, and has a lot to prove to draft folks after a tough year, so lets go with the Cowboys here. Wyoming -3

Total: Due to the low-scoring nature of Wyoming’s offense and a tough Cowboys defense, the under looks likely. Wyoming has hit the over in just 2 out of 12 games this season while CMU is 6-6 against the number. Under 45.5

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