The final day of 2020 is upon us and the quality of the bowl games, and the intriguing into the December 31 Bowl Game lines, is picking up.
The Thursday slate of bowl game odds features three exciting matchups, two of which pit elite Group of Five teams vs. solid power-conference teams. There’s also the undefeated San Jose Spartans taking on MAC champions Ball State.
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Longtime sports broadcaster and gambling expert Michael Jenkins is here to give you his betting analysis and favorite picks for the December 31 bowl game lines.
DECEMBER 31 BOWL GAME LINES
ARMED FORCES BOWL ODDS
#22 TULSA (6-2) vs MISSISSIPPI STATE (3-7). 12 p.m. ET
Moneyline: Tulsa -122, Mississippi State +100
Spread: Tulsa -1.5
Over/Under: 45.5 points
Click here for the full list of Armed Forces Bowl odds.
Let’s start this Armed Forces Bowl preview with a tried-and-true cliché. These two teams are headed in different directions!
Tulsa is coming off a tough 27-24 loss to Cincinnati in the AAC Championship game, but before that, the Golden Hurricane had reeled off six straight victories. While Tulsa’s record is impressive, its offense is not. The Golden Hurricane have been held under 30 points in four consecutive games.
Mike Leach has enjoyed a rude welcome to the SEC, with his Bulldogs notching only three wins. However, the Dawgs ripped Missouri 51-32 last time out. The Under is 8-0 in Tulsa’s last eight non-conference games.
ARIZONA BOWL ODDS
#19 SAN JOSE STATE (7-0) vs. BALL STATE (6-1). 1 p.m. ET
Moneyline: San Jose State -360, Ball State +270
Spread: San Jose State -9.5
Over/Under: 64 points
Click here for the full list of Arizona Bowl odds.
This is what I’m talking about. Forget your fancy sponsors and nonsense bowl game names. Give me the Arizona Bowl held in Arizona! While this game might normally be overlooked, it’s a surprisingly great matchup featuring a San Jose State team looking for the first perfect season in school history.
Will the Spartans make national championship rings like UCF did if they finish undefeated? We can only hope. Ball State is also looking to make history with its first bowl win ever. The Cardinals have won seven straight and are 4-0 ATS in their last four overall after a 38-28 upset over Buffalo in the MAC Championship game.
LIBERTY BOWL ODDS
WEST VIRGINIA (5-4) vs. ARMY (9-2). 4 p.m. ET
Moneyline: West Virginia -286, Army +225
Spread: West Virginia -7
Over/Under: 41.5 points
Click here for the full list of Liberty Bowl odds.
The Mountaineers are a small favorite based on playing in a Power 5 conference, but they stumble into the Liberty Bowl having lost three of their last five, including a 42-6 stomping at the hands of Iowa State.
West Virginia was originally scheduled to face Tennessee, but when the Vols backed out because of COVID-19 concerns, Army was more than happy to step in. The Black Knights finished winning their fourth consecutive Commander-in-Chief’s trophy thanks to victories over Air Force and Navy.
Army is 5-1 ATS in its last six games against the Big 12, and expect wet weather conditions to be a factor.