Happy New Year everyone! We are lucky enough to start off 2019 with the final slate of bowl games before the College Football Playoff National Championship game between Clemson and Alabama next Monday. There were five huge bowl games to choose from on Tuesday: the Outback Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Citrus Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl.
The sharps in Vegas identified a couple plays they liked to start out the new year. How did it all play out? Let’s take a closer look.
Undefeated UCF rolled into Arizona for the Fiesta Bowl without its starting quarterback, but with a massive chip on its shoulder. The sharps expected yet another perfect season from the Knights… or at least for them to be within seven points by the end of the game. Things started off strong for bettors and UCF when the Knights jumped out to a 14-3 lead just 8:21 into the game. But then LSU turned on the jets.
The Tigers scored three consecutive touchdowns before UCF could muster a response. However, the Knights scored with just four seconds left in the first half to keep things close, 24-21. Unfortunately for UCF and bettors, it was the last time the Knights would reach the end zone until 2:24 remaining in the fourth quarter — by then it was too late. In the interim, LSU outscored UCF 16-3.
When the clock hit triple-zeros, UCF was a half-point shy of covering the spread — a supremely disappointing result after getting that early double-digit lead as an underdog.
Penn State/Kentucky (UNDER 21.5 in 2H)
After these two teams combined to score just 17 points in the first half, the sharps jumped at the opportunity to take the under on 21.5 points for the final half. Unfortunately, each team began to find its offensive groove, albeit at different times.
Kentucky found it first, matching the game’s first-half total by themselves in the third quarter to take a 27-7 lead. The Wildcats were held off the scoresheet in the fourth, but that’s when Penn State began scoring. They too scored 17 points in a quarter to push the second half total over by just 2.5 points. The dagger was a Jake Pinegar 32-yard field goal with 4:12 remaining in the game to bring Penn State to within a field goal.
In the end, the Nittany Lions lost by a field goal and bettors did too.