By Ryan Mayer
The college football bowl season is upon us. With 40 games spread out over the next two 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/Bookmaker.eu. Find all our picks here.
All lines listed are as of publishing date. As always lines may change in the lead up to games so be sure to check.
Miami Beach Bowl
Central Michigan vs. Tulsa
Spread: Tulsa -11.5
Spread: If that line looks to be high to you, well, consider the nature of these two offenses. Tulsa is an offensive juggernaut, ranking 11th in the country while averaging 41.4 points per game and Central Michigan’s defense has given up 28-plus points per game on the year. The Hurricane feature a two-headed monster at running back in James Flanders and D’Angelo Brewer, who each surpassed 1,000 yards this season and combined for 24 touchdowns. Tulsa can air it out too, with QB Dane Evans looking for, and often finding, his favorite target Keevan Lucas (74 receptions 1,108 yards 12 TDs).
On the flip side, the Chippewas like to air things out as well with their senior QB Cooper Rush. The biggest problem for the Chips is that their top running back, Devon Spalding is dealing with a shoulder injury and his status is unclear for this game. In the end, I’m not sure that the Chips have the firepower necessary to match Tulsa score-for-score. Also, the Hurricane are 8-4 against the spread this year, whereas Central Michigan is just 5-7, which makes me a little more confident in this pick. Tulsa -11.5
Total: As you may have gleaned from the paragraph above, both of these teams can flat out score, hence the higher total on this game. Tulsa is averaging 44.8 points per game over their last six games while Central has been hovering around 22.2 points per contest. If you can do basic math, that’s right at 67 points combined between the two teams. Considering that neither team is particularly proficient or stingy on the defensive side of the ball, that leads me to believe that we’re in for a shootout. While the number is on the higher side, I’ll take the over. Over 68.
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him.