Four schools from Conference USA will take part in the five bowl games slated for Saturday, starting with the North Texas Mean Green (9-4) facing the Troy Trojans (10-2) in the New Orleans Bowl as consensus 7-point underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Trojans ride a six-game winning streak into the matchup and have won seven of the past eight meetings with the Mean Green (5-3 against the spread).
Two more Conference USA teams are listed as underdogs, the Marshall Thundering Herd (7-5) against the Colorado State Rams (7-5) in the New Mexico Bowl and the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (6-6) versus the Arkansas State Red Wolves (7-4) in the Camellia Bowl.
The Thundering Herd are 5.5-point dogs and would figure to have an edge based on betting trends, going 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games played during December, while the Rams have failed to cover the number in each of their previous six games overall.
The same cannot be said about the Blue Raiders though as 3.5-point dogs, since they have lost the past three meetings with the Red Wolves both straight up and ATS. Middle Tennessee is also a disappointing 1-5 SU and 0-6 ATS in its last six games following a victory. Meanwhile, Arkansas State has gone 6-2 SU in its previous eight in December.
The lone favorites from Conference USA are the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (6-6) as 6.5-point chalk over the Georgia State Panthers (6-5) in theAutoNation Cure Bowl. The Hilltoppers are just 3-9 ATS in their 12 games this season, dropping four of their last five SU as well. However, the Panthers are one of the weaker Sun Belt teams in the postseason and have lost two in a row after three straight wins. Georgia State is playing in its second-ever bowl game, falling short in the 2015 Cure Bowl.
The most high-profile game of the day will happen in the Las Vegas Bowl when the Pac-12’s Oregon Ducks (7-5) battle the Boise State Broncos (10-3), who won the Mountain West but are 7.5-point underdogs. The Ducks will be breaking in new head coach Mario Cristobal, their offensive coordinator during the regular season taking over for the departed Willie Taggart.
The Broncos have won four of their past five games against Pac-12 schools (3-2 ATS) along with nine of their last 12 (6-6 ATS).
New Orleans Bowl: Troy (-7) vs North Texas
North Texas is 4-1 against the spread in its last five games.
The total has gone UNDER for bettors in seven of Troy’s last 10 games.
Cure Bowl: Georgia State vs Western Kentucky (-6.5)
The total has gone UNDER for bettors in five of Georgia State’s last six games.
Western Kentucky is 3-9 against the spread in its last 12 games.
Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State vs Oregon (-7.5)
Boise State is 4-1 against the spread in its last five games after a win.
The total has gone UNDER for bettors in five of Oregon’s last seven games.
New Mexico Bowl: Marshall vs Colorado State (-5.5)
Marshall is 11-3 against the spread in its last 14 games in December.
Colorado State is 0-6 against the spread in its last six games.
Camellia Bowl: Arkansas State (-3.5) vs Middle Tennessee
Middle Tennessee is 0-6 against the spread in its last six games after a win.
The total has gone UNDER for bettors in five of Arkansas State’s last six games.