BetSided Bowl Bash: Best Bets for Friday, December 29th Bowl Action

Nov 25, 2023; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Rocco Becht (3) passes the
Nov 25, 2023; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Rocco Becht (3) passes the / Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Friday's bowl action brings in high level competition, highlighted by the Cotton Bowl between Missouri and Ohio State.

There are plenty of games to choose from on the Friday bowl card, and we got you covered from the early game between Clemson and Kentucky down to the night cap between Missouri and Ohio State. In between, two explosive offenses are set to do battle as Iowa State and Memphis are set to play in the Liberty Bowl.

Here are our three favorite bets for the Friday bowl slate, courtesy of the BetSided Bowl Bash!

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Best College Football Bets for Friday, December 29th

Clemson vs. Kentucky Prediction and Pick

These have been two offenses that have struggled amidst lofty expectations, and I think we see each offense struggle yet again.

It's worth noting that Clemson's defense will be short-handed, fifth in EPA/Pass, but without safety Andrew Mukuba and future NFL stud cornerback Nate Wiggins. However, Kentucky's inability to stretch the field will leave the team punting the ball often. Leary is outside the top 100 in terms of completion percentage and the offensive line has struggled to get a push all season, outside the top 100 in line yards.

While the Wildcats have a dangerous running back in Ray Davis (1,063 yards on nearly six yards per carry), the Clemson defensive line is elite, eighth in tackles for loss and 35th in yards per carry allowed. Overall, the Tigers are fifth in terms of points per drive allowed, the team is elite at limiting scoring opportunities.

The rub with these two teams all season has been it's shaky passing game, Clemson in particularly is brutal with its nation's worst explosive pass rate, and I think that plays out yet again. I'll take the under in this game as each team plays incredibly conservative and plays in a rock fight style matchup.


Iowa State vs. Memphis Prediction and Pick

I'm expecting fireworks here for two of the most explosive passing offenses in the country. As mentioned above, Iowa State is 10th in explosive pass offense and does a great job of protecting the passer. Becht should have plenty of time to generate chunk plays with his arm against a Memphis defense that is outside the top 100 in terms of tackling, per Pro Football Focus.

The Tigers enter this one as a significant underdog despite playing at home, due mostly in part to its leaky defense that is outside the top 100 in explosive play rate and allowing more than six yards per play.

However, the offense should be up to the task, top 30 in yards per play while scoring touchdowns on about 78% of red zone possessions, the third highest mark in the country. While Iowa State's defense has been formidable all season, 32nd in success rate allowed the pass rush hasn't gotten home all season and the unit has been vulnerable to chunk passes. The team is 98th in sacks (21) and is 94th in explosive play rate.

I'm expecting each quarterback to generate big gains through the air and for this game to be far more higher scoring than the modest total indicates.

I'll take the over.


Missouri vs. Ohio State Prediction and Pick

There is a laundry list of opt outs on the Ohio State sideline, generating this massive line shift.

The Buckeyes will be without McCord, possibly its starting running back TreVeyon Henderson and definitely its two backups Miyan Williams and Chip Trayanum, potentially future top five pick in the NFL Draft and Heisman Trophy finalist Marvin Harrison Jr. and Julian Fleming on offense. While Emeka Egbuka stated he'd play, this is a patchwork Ohio State offense.

On defense, the Buckeyes should be closer to full strength with a handful of backups opting out of the game, but given the early opt out news there could be more on the way. Make sure to monitor the OSU news ahead of this game.

Given all the question marks, it's tough to peg what version of the Buckeyes we will see, and if this number has shifted far enough in favor of Missouri, who should have all members of its top 10 offense on hand, including Luther Burden III, who had 83 catches for 1,197 and eight receiving touchdowns this season.

Ohio State may have high profile players (if some of those even play), but that won't manifest on the field in this bowl game against a Missouri team that had a banner season, winning 10 games and competitive in the SEC all season long.

With the Tigers ability to stretch the field in the passing game as well as feed the ball to talented running back Cody Schrader (1,489 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns), I believe we see a maximum effort and comfortable win as Ohio State heads into this one with plenty of opt outs and little to play for after missing out on the CFP.

PICK: Missouri ML (+150)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Track Reed's bets here!