Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral
Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral (2) passes against Arkansas during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Oxford, Miss. Mississippi won 52-51. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)


Patrick Werkmeister

Following a perfect 4-0 betting performance in Friday’s college football playoff games, this slate of New Year’s Day bowl games is a great opportunity to stay hot. From the Rose Bowl to the Sugar Bowl, today’s action is filled with some great matchups. Now that we’ve arrived at the cream of the crop of bowl games, this college football season is almost over as all we have left after this is the National Championship. Although certain players either opt-out for the NFL draft or enter the college transfer portal, careful analysis of each matchup will avoid any team that is missing their star players. With this in mind, here is what I love for this NY6 bowl slate.

Oklahoma State (+2.5) vs. Notre Dame ~ Fiesta
From State Farm Stadium in Arizona, the Oklahoma State Hokies take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Fiesta Bowl. The opening line for this contest favored the Irish by two points and they are currently listed as two and a half-point favorites. While the Okies are a stellar is 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games, Notre Dame is also a very impressive 7-0 ATS in their past seven matches. Last time out, Oklahoma State was narrowly defeated by the Baylor Bears, 21-16, whereas the Fighting Irish blew out Stanford 45-14. While Notre Dame will be without their best player, safety Kyle Hamilton, the Cowboys will only be without their defensive coordinator and look to be at full strength in this one. Both teams have stifling defenses, but without their star player, it will be difficult for the Irish to replicate some of the performances they put up this year. With no one transferring or opting-out of this bowl game for the Cowboys, they are in a great position to continue the dominance they’re capable of. As long as they take care of the ball with minor success on defense, they should have no problem covering this margin with a home crowd. Take Oklahoma State plus the points in this matchup.

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Utah vs. Ohio State (-4) ~ Rose
For this edition of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, the Ohio State Buckeyes face off against the Pac-12 champion Utah Utes. The Buckeyes opened as nine and a half-point favorites, but they are currently favored by just four points. Although both programs finished the year with 10 wins each, Ohio State was unable to compete for the Big 10 championship after being defeated by the Michigan Wolverines. While the Buckeyes are an efficient 6-3 ATS in their past nine games, Utah also has a 6-3 record ATS in their past nine contests. Last game out, Utah destroyed the Oregon Ducks, 38-10. Contrarily, the Buckeyes were dominated by their archrivals Michigan, 42-27. With the stockpile of 4- and 5-star recruits Ohio State has over Utah, they will have the overwhelming matchup advantage in this one. Neither team will be missing many players at all on either side of the ball, so it will just come down to the depth and coaching from the Buckeye sideline. Although Utah has been on fire, this is just a poor matchup for them against the Buckeyes. Take Ohio State minus the points to get it done for Mack Brown and cover this margin.

Baylor vs. Mississippi (-1.5) ~ Sugar
From the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, the Baylor Bears take on the Mississippi Rebels in the Sugar Bowl. The Rebels opened this game as two and a half-point favorites and they are currently favored by just one and a half-points. Although Baylor finished the season with a very impressive 9-4 record ATS, Ole miss finished the season with a very solid 7-4 record ATS. Last time out for these programs, the Bears secured the Big 12 title against Oklahoma State whereas Ole Miss beat their in-state rivals Mississippi State, 31-21. With their star quarterback Matt Corral, the Rebel’s offense has been one of the best in the country where he has thrown for over 3,000 yards. Unlike their opponent, the Ole Miss offense can put up a lot of points whereas Baylor has relied heavily on their defense all year long. Take the Rebels minus the points to cover this spread with their players ready to go.

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