South Florida Bulls vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders Birmingham Bowl Free Pick - Betting Odds
One of the more interesting matchups on Saturday, Dec. 23 is this season’s Birmingham Bowl between the AAC’s South Florida Bulls and the Texas Tech Red Raiders out of the Big 12. Game time from Legion Field is set for 12 p.m. (ET) and ESPN will carry the game nationally.
South Florida vs. Texas Tech Game Overview
The Bulls were in prime position for a spot in the recent AAC Championship, but they came up just short in a wild 49-42 loss to Central Florida on Nov. 24 as 10-point road underdogs. South Florida ended the season 9-2 straight-up and even with that cover against UCF its was 5-6 against the spread after failing to cover in its previous four games. The total has stayed UNDER in seven of 11 games this year.
Behind senior standout Quinton Flowers at quarterback, the Bulls racked up an average of 508.7 yards of total offense a game with a 37.8-point scoring average that was ranked 16th in the nation. Flowers threw for 2,600 yards and 21 touchdowns while also leading the team in rushing with 972 yards and 10 scores on 182 carries. Marquez Valdes-Scantling was his favorite target in the passing game with 50 receptions for 746 yards and five touchdowns, but he only accounted for 26 yards receiving in his last two games.
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Texas Tech stumbled down the stretch with just two wins (SU and ATS) in its last seven games, but it did knock off Texas 27-23 in its season finale on No. 24 as a 7.5-point road underdog. The total stayed UNDER 58 points in that game and it has stayed UNDER in five of its last six outings. The Red Raiders are 6-6 SU on the year with a 6-5-1 record ATS. The total stayed UNDER in 10 of the 11 games.
The Red Raiders started the season with big wins against the Pac-12’s Arizona State Sun Devils and Houston, out of the AAC while putting up some big numbers on the scoreboard. Looking back at their last six games, they only crossed the 30-point mark in two of those contests as part of an overall scoring average on the year of 34.3 points per game. This offense was ranked 11th in the country in passing yards (326.8) behind senior quarterback Nic Shimoek. He threw for 3,547 yards and 30 touchdowns against eight interceptions.
South Florida vs. Texas Tech Game Betting Trends
- The Bulls have gone 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games coming off a SU loss, but they have failed to cover in four of their last five games played outside the conference. The total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in eight of their last 11 nonconference games.
- The Red Raiders are a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last four nonconference games, but they are just 2-7 ATS in their last nine bowl games. The total has gone OVER in seven of their last eight games in a bowl.
- This will be the first meeting between these two teams in recent memory.
South Florida vs. Texas Tech Free Game Prediction
South Florida won last season’s Birmingham Bowl facing a major program with a seven-point victory against the SEC’s South Carolina Gamecocks and think it is poised to do the same this time around while covering as a slight favorite against a Red Raiders’ team that has to be disappointed in how their season turned out even with that closing win against the Longhorns.
I tend to lean towards the hungrier teams in these early bowl games, especially when a solid Mid Major is facing a mid-level team from a Power 5 Conference.