NCAAF betting: Five teams poised for letdowns in bowl games
Every college bowl season comes with teams who are playing in games they never thought they would be in after heartbreaking losses. Those teams can often bring value as they can go into the game just wanting to get things over with while their opponents are eying up an upset.
Here is a look at five teams that will be less than excited with their bowl destinations this holiday season.
Northern Illinois (Lost MAC Championship to Bowling Green)
The Huskies had dreams of another return to the BCS with Heisman candidate Jordan Lynch registering eye-popping rushing numbers as a quarterback along the way before Bowling Green got their revenge on Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship Game in convincing fashion. Luckily for NIU, their opponent Utah State is also coming off a disappointing loss in the Mountain West Championship Game to Fresno State at home last weekend and will also be reeling.
Northern Illinois is getting -1.5 and Utah State lost to the two top quality programs in the Mountain West in Boise State and Fresno, with Lynch putting up such solid numbers and wanting to end his college career on a high note to attract NFL attention, the Huskies are likely not the team to find value when it comes to a lack of motivation following a letdown.
USC (Lost to UCLA to end season)
USC has been a mess all season and are going through the emotional roller coaster of their interim coach Ed Orgeron being replaced by Steve Sarkisian for next season as the Trojans opted to bring in an established head coach following USC's loss to their rivals in UCLA to end their Pac 12 season. Going up against Derek Carr and the Fresno State Bulldogs, a team that has top wide receiver talent and a dominant passing game, the Trojans could be looking at an upset going against the nation's best passer in Carr.
USC are currently sitting as 6-point favorites over Fresno State.
Oregon (Lost to Stanford/Arizona to lose Pac 12 title)
The Ducks were pegged as the team that was going to face Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game backed by the early Heisman favorite in redshirt-sophomore Marcus Mariota before an MCL sprain slowed Mariota and Oregon's offense in losses to Stanford and Arizona to dash their Pac 12 title hopes. The Ducks will now have to settle for a game against Texas to end their season, but they might not mind facing the Longhorns who struggled mightily against a similar offensive scheme in Baylor to end their season. They are two touchdown favorites, but Texas showed that they struggled to match the pace of a high speed offense. Oregon could very well run up the score against the Longhorns who have more than their share of distractions with the current Mack Brown/Nick Saban rumors that ended with Saban extending his contract at Alabama.
Georgia (Lost Aaron Murray to season ending ACL injury)
Georgia hasn't been the same since losing Aaron Murray in what was the final blow of an injury-plagued season for the Bulldogs. They will be playing a Nebraska team that is also missing their starter in Taylor Martinez. But as 9-point favorites without the quarterback who has been the staple of their program for years, Georgia may be in line for an upset against the Cornhuskers.
Miami Hurricanes (Missed ACC Championship Game with three-game losing streak)
Miami expected to win the ACC Coastal to avenge a loss to Florida State in the ACC Championship Game, but instead were shocked by an upstart Duke in the final loss of a three-game losing streak that dashed any dreams of the Hurricanes returning to a BCS bowl. Losing Duke Johnson at running back, Miami has just not been the same team and will be in tough against the 11-1 Louisville Cardinals and likely first overall draft pick Teddy Bridgewater. The Hurricanes run on swagger, and they haven't had much of it since their losing streak.