December 16, 2021

Corrigan's Gambling Corner: Bahamas, Cure Bowl Best Bets - Dec. 16, 2021

Hello, and welcome to the 2021-2022 college football bowl season. It is time to get pumped for a lot of awesome college football games.

Bowl season also marks the return of consistent gambling picks for college football. I hit 63.6% of my bets in college football this season, and based on the board, this bowl season is going to be very profitable. 

We have the best bets from both of the bowl games that will be played today. With two MAC teams playing today, this is the closest we are getting to some MACtion until next season. 

Savior this moment, folks. 

Anyway, let's get into the picks. If you decide to tail our picks, we ask that you do so responsibly. 

Here are today's winners. 

*Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

Bahamas Bowl: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders vs. Toledo Rockets

Spread: Toledo -10 | Total: 50.5 | ML: Toledo (-430), Middle Tenn (+320) |

Toledo finished the season 7-5, but four of those losses came by three or fewer points, and one of those losses came at Notre Dame. While the Rockets are not world-beaters, they are much better than what their record indicates.

The Rockets will call on their two-headed monster of quarterback DeQuan Finn and running back Bryant Koback. On the season, Koback had career highs in rushing yards (1281), yards per rush (6.7), rushing touchdowns (15), scrimmage yards (1618), scrimmage yards per game (7.4), and total touchdowns (18).

For obvious reasons, Toledo leans on the run, and with a 5.3 yards per rush, there is a reason. However, Finn is a very productive quarterback, and although he only completes 59% of his passes, he only turned the ball over one time with his arm this season, and he tossed 16 touchdowns. Finn also added 419 yards rushing and eight rushing touchdowns, so expect a lot of designed quarterback runs and option plays to get both Koback and Finn involved.

The Blue Raiders are fairly decent on defense as they only allow 3.9 yards per rush and 134.1 rushing yards per game, but teams are only running the ball on 46% of all offensive plays against Middle Tennessee. In their six losses this season, Middle Tennessee is giving up 170.2 rushing yards per game. The formula to beat them is clear, all you have to do is run the damn ball.

Now, Middle Tennessee is 60th in scoring offense, 63rd in points per play, and they are the best team in the country in forcing turnovers, so this is not some JV-caliber team, they have some dudes.

However, Middle Tennessee has been playing with their third-string quarterback all season, and the Toledo defense has some real players. Most notably are cornerback Samuel Womack and linebacker Jamal Hines.

Quarterback Nick Vattiato for the Blue Raiders has done a commendable job given the circumstances, but Toledo's defense is in the top 30 in scoring, points per play, yards per play, yards per pass, and passing yards per game. I do not see a way that Middle Tennessee keeps up in this game, but with the spread being a touch higher than I would like, we are going to root against points in this game.

Toledo will run the ball, which will drain the clock, and I based on the numbers, Toledo's defense is much better than the Middle Tennessee offense. This will keep the total way under the number. 

Pick: Under 50.5 (-110)

Tailgreeter Cure Bowl: Northern Illinois Huskies at Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Spread: Coastal Carolina -10.5 | Total: 62.5 | ML: Coastal Carolina (-420), N Illinois (+310)

Northern Illinois played six games in 2020, and they lost all six of those games. In 2021, Michigan State quarterback, Rocky Lombardi transferred into the program, and the Huskies went on to win the MAC Championship.

As a superfan of MAction, I have been very impressed with this team all season long. The Huskies are 41st in scoring, 57 in yards per game, 54th in yards per play, fourth in rushing yards per game, and 73rd in yards per pass. This team can move the ball both on the ground, and with Lombardi's arm. The running game is one of the best in the country, and with five 400+ yard rushers on the roster, you can tell.

Starting running back, Jay Ducker is averaging 114.8 rushing yards per game over his last four, and he is the lone 1,000-yard rusher for the Huskies. Defensively, there is some work to do in the front seven, but against the pass, the Huskies are only giving up 238.1 passing yards per game and only allowing opposing teams to complete 59% of their passes this season.

Northern Illinois has been a delightful team to watch this season, and they are the second-youngest team in college football, just behind Navy. However, Coastal Carolina has been quietly rolling teams this season.

We all remember the Chanticleers' magical 2020 season, and although they lost twice in 2021, Coastal Carolina is still a wagon on offense. They are sixth in scoring, fourth in points per play, second in yards per play, fifth in yards per rush, and second in yards per pass.

Good luck slowing down this offense.

Quarterback Grayson McCall missed a few games with an upper-body injury, but he has been terrific in 2021. McCall is only a sophomore, and he completed 73% of his passes for 23 touchdowns and only three interceptions.

Coastal Carolina has also been cycling through three running backs, and those three combined for 2,032 yards and 25 touchdowns. Combine that with tight end Isaiah Likely and leading receiver, Jaivon Heiligh, and you have six players that consistently make an impact in this offense.

The Huskies are a good story, but not all stories have happy endings. Coastal Carolina will win this game big, and if you can find an alt-line with great value, I implore you to take it. This Northern Illinois defense doesn't stand a chance.

Pick: Coastal Carolina -10.5 (-115)

Photo: Getty Images