5 Best College Football Bowl Predictions Against The Spread: December 20-24

5 best predictions against the spread for college football’s early bowl games – December 20th through the 24th. Which games appear to be the best bets against the spread?

5 best predictions for college football bowl games – Monday, December 20 through Friday, December 24. What games appear to be the best bets and the best picks?


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CFN Experts Picks: Bowls Dec 17-27
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Results So Far ATS: 85-67-2

One massive miscalculation later …

I blame missing EVERYTHING against the spread during an epically bad Saturday on the stress and strain of having to scramble to find ESPN after the YouTube TV/Disney kerfuffle, and …

I can’t blame this multi-billion conglomerates. It was all my fault for totally whiffing on my belief that Conference USA was going to get rim-rocked this bowl season – except, of course, for my pick of Marshall to cover against Louisiana. (It didn’t.)

Picking bowl games takes a different skill set from the regular season. Logic, reason, and normal rules don’t always apply – hello, Jackson State and BYU.

So I’m done with you, Conference USA. You win.

I’m staying away from the against the spread calls of Old Dominion vs Tulsa in the Myrtle Beach Bowl (I like Tulsa -9, of course), UTSA vs San Diego State in Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl (I like SDSU -2.5, of course), and Miami University vs North Texas in the Frisco Football Classic (I like MU, of course).

I always stick with my picks, I take my beating, and then I move on. But there were things that have gone the right was so far.

The point totals went just fine over the first several games, so I’m mostly going with those for these bowls during the week before Christmas.

Pray for me.

Click on each game for the preview 

5. Missouri vs Army: Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

LINE Army -4
ATS PICK Missouri

Oh, I am well aware that you pick against Army at your own risk.

I’m an adult, I take responsibility for my own actions, and I will almost always take my chances with SEC team over a Group of Five-level team.

Especially if that SEC team is getting points.

Yeah, I’m still smarting from going hard on San Diego State and its amazing defense in the 2017 Armed Forces Bowl – and then Army won.

Yeah, I’m still smarting from going hard on Houston in what should’ve been an easy in in the 2018 Armed Forces Bowl – and then Army won 70-14.

Yeah, I’m still smarting from going hard on West Virginia against the spread in the 2020 Liberty Bowl – and Army lost, but only by three.

Army is 4-1 in its last five bowl games from 2010 on, but there’s a strange part to that. None of the four bowl wins were against Power Five programs, and Army didn’t actually beat West Virginia last year.

In fact, Army hasn’t beaten a Power Five program since the win over Duke in 2017. Before that you have to go back to a 2012 win over Boston College.

I’m fully aware – and love – what Army does, and I know bowls go against what we all believe in our core to be true, but you’re getting points here. You’re not even asking the Power Five team to win big.

4. Hawaii vs Memphis
3. Miami University vs North Texas
2. San Diego State vs UTSA
1. Kent State vs Wyoming
CFN Experts Picks: Bowls Dec 17-27

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 4 Hawaii vs Memphis

Hawaii vs Memphis: Hawaii Bowl Prediction, Game Preview

Hawaii vs Memphis: EasyPost Hawaii Bowl prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might or might not win.

Hawaii vs Memphis: EasyPost Hawaii Bowl prediction, game preview, how to watch 


Hawaii vs Memphis: EasyPost Hawaii Bowl How To Watch

Date: Friday, December 24
Game Time: 8:00 pm ET
Venue: ESPN, Live stream on ESPN+
How To Watch: Clarence TC Ching Complex, Honolulu, HI
Records: Hawaii (6-7), Memphis (6-6)

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Hawaii vs Memphis EasyPost Hawaii Bowl Preview

Hawaii caught a wee bit of a break – it was originally supposed to need seven wins to go bowling – with an added bowl in Texas to allow two more teams to get extra games. Now it gets to play on Christmas Eve.

The Rainbow Warriors were crashing through the back half of the season, but the passing game stepped up over the final two dates to get to six wins. They always bring the effort, they’re great at forcing takeaways, and there’s enough of a downfield passing attack to bother a Memphis defense that had big problems at times in the secondary.

Memphis started strong, but it wasn’t quite able to find any sort of a groove over the last few months of the season with a stalled ground game and a spotty defense that couldn’t get off the field.

However, the offense didn’t have a major problem with turnovers – a key against Hawaii – and there’s enough explosives from the passing game to keep up any pace.

The big play passing attack was able to crank up close to 300 yards per game, and it’s going to press from the start against a Hawaii defense that allowed almost 290 per outing.

Why Hawaii, Memphis Will Win
Prediction, What’s Going To Happen, History
EasyPost Hawaii Bowl Top Players To Know

NEXT: Why Hawaii Will Win, Why Memphis Will Win, EasyPost Hawaii Bowl Prediction

Memphis vs Tulane Prediction, Game Preview

Memphis vs Tulane prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win this Saturday.

Memphis vs Tulane prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, November 27


Memphis vs Tulane How To Watch

Date: Saturday, November 27
Game Time: 7:30 ET
Venue: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN
How To Watch: ESPNU
Record: Memphis (5-6), Tulane (2-9)
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Memphis vs Tulane Game Preview


Why Tulane Will Win

It’s been a lost season, but a win over Memphis to play the role of spoiler will have to do for something positive.

A two-game winning streak to close things out wouldn’t hurt after rocking USF 45-14.

It’s been a rough run, but there have been a whole slew of positives with a good pass rush, a whole slew of decent battles, and now it’s time to turn it all loose against a very, very shaky Tiger team.

Memphis has lost three of its last four, the running game is missing, and the offense as a whole has only hit 350 yards once in the last four games. Tulane has to control the tempo and the clock with its own ground game, and …

College Football Expert Picks, CFN Week 13

Why Memphis Will Win

Tulane just can’t score.

Oh sure, it ripped up a bad USF team with 45 points, but before that it hadn’t scored more than 13 points in a game for three straight losses, and it hadn’t hit the 30 mark since Week 2 of the season.

The Memphis offense might not be able to run all that well, but this is the chance to get it all going. Tulane can get behind the line, but it also gets gashed in chunks if a team can commit to the ground attack.

Memphis far better home run hitting capabilities.

NFL Expert Picks, CFN Week 12

What’s Going To Happen

Memphis will finally get that win needed to go bowling.

It’s going to be a fight, and it’s not going to be able to breathe easily until the final drive and the final stop, but it’ll get the win with the defense holding up through the second half after struggling early on.

Tulane will bring the production, but it won’t be sustainable.

College Football Schedule: Week 13 Predictions, Lines

Memphis vs Tulane Prediction, Lines

Memphis 30, Tulane 23
Line: Memphis -6, o/u: 58
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5

Get a 2nd opinion on the Tulane vs Memphis game from our friends at Winners and Whiners. Click here for their in-depth analysis and predictions on the side,total, 1st half, and exotics.

Must See Rating: 3

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1: “Why don’t we have Thanksgiving food the rest of the year?”

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Houston vs Memphis Prediction, Game Preview

Houston vs Memphis prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win this Saturday.

Houston vs Memphis prediction, game preview, how to watch: Friday, November 19


Houston vs Memphis How To Watch

Date: Friday, November 19
Game Time: 9:00 ET
Venue: TDECU Stadium, Houston, TX
How To Watch: ESPN2
Record: Houston (9-1), Memphis (5-5)
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Houston vs Memphis Game Preview


Why Memphis Will Win

The Tigers will be well motivated – they need this to go bowling.

There’s still a home game against a horrible Tulane team to get it done, but it’s more than that. In a weird, inconsistent year with losses to mediocre Tulsa and East Carolina teams and wins over Mississippi State and SMU, beating Houston on a Friday night with everyone watching would be a big deal.

The offense has been hit-or-miss, but it’s got a good enough passing game to push a Houston defense that’s statistically great, but hasn’t faced a whole slew of high-powered attacks.

Give credit for holding down Texas Tech in the opener, but it was a loss. The D got lit up by the SMU passing game for over 300 yards – the only time this year that happened – and gave up 289 yards to USF, and …

College Football Expert Picks, CFN Week 12

Why Houston Will Win

Houston won.

Just as the defense can up with two of its worst games of the year, the offense stepped it up with over 1,000 yards combined against the Mustangs and Bulls.

And yes, the defense really is playing that well. It’s been part of the buildup under head coach Dana Holgorsen, and now he has a killer.

The offense is still fun. It controls the clock, it has good balance, and it can be tough, but it’s the other side that’s taking over with a ton of sacks, a ton of takeaways, and a whole lot of big production against the run.

NFL Expert Picks: CFN Week 11

What’s Going To Happen

Very, very quietly, Houston has snuck up on everyone.

The league might be all about Cincinnati, Cincinnati, and Cincinnati, but Houston can make its way into the American Athletic Conference Championship with a win here and a shot at – assuming the Bearcats beat SMU this weekend – taking down the media darling and get into a New Year’s Six bowl.

First, it has to hold up in a home shootout in what should be a fun game with lots of big plays early on. The Cougar defense will settle in and take over in the second half.

College Football Schedule: Week 12 Predictions, Lines

Houston vs Memphis Prediction, Lines

Houston 40, Memphis 30
Line: Houston -8.5, o/u: 60
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3

Must See Rating: 3.5

5: Tummyache Soak
1: Adele 30

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East Carolina vs Memphis Prediction, Game Preview

East Carolina vs Memphis prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win this Saturday.

East Carolina vs Memphis prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, November 13


East Carolina vs Memphis How To Watch

Date: Saturday, November 13
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN
How To Watch: ESPN+
Record: East Carolina (5-4), Memphis (5-4)
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East Carolina vs Memphis Game Preview


Why East Carolina Will Win

The offense has taken care of business against the dregs of the American Athletic Conference, and now it’s time to step up another level and get bowl eligible.

The Pirates have been almost perfectly balanced with more than 200 yards rushing and passing, and now they get a Memphis defense that gives up just over 400 yards per game and has a big, big problem coming up with big plays and takeaways.

East Carolina might not be known for its defense, but it’s managing to step up on third downs while getting stronger as the year goes on. It hasn’t allowed more than 400 yards in any of its last four games, and that’s with a battle with Houston in the mix.

College Football Expert Picks, CFN Week 11

Why Memphis Will Win

Can the Memphis passing game take over?

Yeah, the East Carolina secondary has been terrific over last four games – it hasn’t allowed more than 200 yards in any of them with four picks. Now it gets the Tiger O.

Memphis hasn’t been great, but it’s managed to pull up out of out of the nosedive with well over 400 passing yards in two of the last four games – it should be able to bomb its way out of jams in this.

East Carolina’s offense isn’t moving the chains on third downs, the offensive front is having problems keeping defenses out of the backfield, and …

NFL Expert Picks: CFN Week 10

What’s Going To Happen

This has been a strange year for both teams.

Memphis is grinding its way through, and East Carolina is starting to rely more and more on the defense and less on getting into shootouts.

The Pirates are more steady than sensational throwing the ball, but it’s running too well, controls the clock better, and does more to get into the backfield.

They’re about to get bowl eligible for the first time since 2014.

College Football Schedule: Week 11 Predictions, Lines

East Carolina vs Memphis Prediction, Lines

East Carolina 27, Memphis 24
Line: East Carolina -5.5, o/u: 59.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2

Must See Rating: 3

5: House of Gucci
1: Yellowstone

 

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SMU vs Memphis Prediction, Game Preview

SMU vs Memphis prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win this Saturday.

SMU vs Memphis prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, November 6


SMU vs Memphis How To Watch

Date: Saturday, November 6
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN
How To Watch: ESPNU
Record: SMU (7-1), Memphis (4-4)
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SMU vs Memphis Game Preview


Why SMU Will Win

The Mustangs finally lost, but it took a kick-six by Houston in the final moments to do it.

The SMU passing game is still great – it’s the best in the American Athletic Conference – the offense is still putting up huge numbers, and it all starts with an offensive line that’s going a great job at keeping defenses out of the backfield.

Memphis doesn’t have enough of a pass rush to worry about, but more than that, the lack of pressure isn’t forcing mistakes. The Tigers don’t take the ball away.

College Football Expert Picks, CFN Week 10

Why Memphis Will Win

Memphis has the offense to keep up.

It might have stalled against UCF, but it’s got enough balance – at least at times – to try the running game first. Great at moving the chains, the Tigers lead the league in third down conversions with a quick style that should be just right to fit into the flow of the game.

Overall, the SMU defense hasn’t been all that bad, but it just got bombed on by Houston, and it’s good for giving up at least 230 yards in this.

Again, the Tigers are going to have the O to make this fun, but …

NFL Expert Picks, CFN Week 9

What’s Going To Happen

Memphis doesn’t do enough to control the clock and the turnovers will be just enough to blink. The O has turned it over 12 times it the last five games, and it’s going to give it away twice in this and by at least -2 in turnover margin.

SMU won’t make this easy on itself on the road, but it’ll be yet another close game. Unlike the Houston game, it’ll be a close win.

College Football Schedule: Week 10 Predictions, Lines

SMU vs Memphis Prediction, Lines

SMU 38, Memphis 30
Line: SMU -4.5, o/u: 71
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3

Must See Rating: 3

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Memphis vs UCF Prediction, Game Preview

Memphis Tigers vs UCF Knights prediction, game preview, how to watch: Friday, October 22

Memphis vs UCF prediction, game preview, how to watch: Friday, October 22


Memphis vs UCF How To Watch

Date: Friday, October 22
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: Bounce House, Orlando, FL
How To Watch: ESPN2
Record: Memphis (4-3), UCF (3-3)
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Memphis vs UCF Game Preview


Why Memphis Will Win

This isn’t the UCF team we were all hoping for at this point in the season.

The collarbone injury to Dillon Gabriel has totally derailed the offense and the season that started out with everything cranking up like normal. But after he got hurt, the O went from putting up over 500 yards per game to not getting to 360 in any of the last three.

Memphis has to take advantage of the lack of a downfield UCF passing attack. The Tiger O hasn’t been perfect, but the passing game is still solid, the attack is efficient, and the big plays should be there that we’re used to seeing out of the other side.

UCF doesn’t have enough of a pass rush – it was great against East Carolina, and that’s it – to bother rising freshman QB Seth Henigan.

Week 8 CFN College Football Expert Picks

Why UCF Will Win

Grind … this … down.

No, the offense isn’t working because the passing game has gone bye-bye and the ground attack isn’t able to make up for it. However, there’s a way to pull this off.

Memphis can score quickly, but what it can’t do is keep its offense on the field.

It goes against the Gus Malzahn style and how UCF normally rolls, but ball control and long, sustained drives – if possible – are a must against a team that’s dead last in the nation in time of possession.

Memphis doesn’t force a ton of takeaways, it turns the ball over enough to matter, and it has the ball for about 25 minutes per game. UCF can’t let this game get bad early – it can’t come back. But if it can stay alive through the second half …

Week 8 College Football Schedule, Predictions, Game Previews

What’s Going To Happen

18-to-23-year-old college kids don’t really get into the whole expansion thing, especially since that mostly effects things a few years down the road.

This could be one of those exceptions.

Memphis knows what a New Year’s Six game look like. It’s been in the American Athletic Conference title mix, and now it got passed over by the Big 12 for Houston, Cincinnati, and … UCF.

But the Bounce House is about to come through.

UCF is 0-3 on the road and 3-0 at home. Granted, two of those wins were with Dillon Gabriel – and one was against Bethune-Cookman – but it was able to get all ugly against East Carolina in a 20-16 win a few weeks ago, and that’s what it’s about to do.

Memphis will come in with an attitude, but that will start to wear off into the second half. It managed to lose to inferior Temple and Tulsa teams on the road by being a -5 in turnover margin, and this will be when the inability to take the ball away – without one in the last three games and no picks since the opener – will be a problem.

CFN Week 7 NFL Expert Picks

Memphis vs UCF Prediction, Line

UCF 26, Memphis 24
Line: Memphis -2.5, o/u: 64
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1

Must See Rating: 3

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Navy vs Memphis Prediction, Game Preview

Navy vs Memphis prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, October 16

Navy vs Memphis prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, October 16


Navy vs Memphis How To Watch

Date: Thursday, October 14
Game Time: 7:30 ET
Venue: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN
How To Watch: ESPN
Record: Navy (1-4), Memphis (3-3)
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Navy vs Memphis Game Preview


Why Navy Will Win

Memphis is in a freefall … sort of.

It stunned Mississippi State, and then lost three straight close battles thanks to a defense that couldn’t slow down the UTSA and Tulsa running games and was hit for 479 yards by Temple.

Okay, freefall is a reach, but it’s catching a Navy team that’s playing better than it did earlier in the year. It’s still having problems taking over games and dominating the clock with its style of play, but it’s dealing with a defense that can’t get off the field.

Navy should have the ball for at least 35 minutes.

Week 7 CFN College Football Expert Picks

Why Memphis Will Win

Navy isn’t able to run well enough.

With absolutely no passing game, averaging fewer than four yards per carry and failing to roll for 250 rushing yards every time out is a problem. But it’s more than that.

All the parts have to work right. The Navy punting game isn’t helping the overall field position battle, the special teams as a whole are struggling, and the offense isn’t scoring enough when it gets its chances.

On the flip side, the Memphis offense is tearing it up with close to 1,100 yards over the last three weeks.

Week 7 College Football Schedule, Predictions, Game Previews

What’s Going To Happen

Memphis has to strike quickly, make Navy press, and then strike again before the ball control issues become a big problem.

Navy will get its rushing yards, and it’ll come up with two takeaways to keep this from getting out of hand, but the Tiger O will move however it wants to and one big special teams play – like on a punt return – will help seal it.

CFN Week 6 NFL Expert Picks

Navy vs Memphis Prediction, Line

Memphis 34, Navy 24
Line: Memphis -10.5, o/u: 56
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5

Must See Rating: 2

5: Caramel apple anything
1: Pumpkin spice anything

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Memphis vs Temple Prediction, Game Preview

Memphis vs Temple prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, October 2

Memphis vs Temple prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, October 2


Memphis vs Temple How To Watch

Date: Saturday, October 2
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
How To Watch: ESPNU
Record: Memphis (3-1), Temple (2-2)
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Memphis vs Temple Game Preview


Why Memphis Will Win

It’s been a wee bit of a rebuilding job, and the loss to UTSA hurts, but the offense has been good enough to push through.

The passing attack hit Arkansas State for 417 yards and put up 329 on UTSA. There aren’t a slew of mistakes, the downfield passing game has been there, and it might not take too much to get this done.

Temple’s offense worked against Akron and Wagner, but it stalled against Rutgers and Boston College. There’s nothing happening on the ground to take advantage of the leaky Tiger defensive front, but the real key will be …

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Why Temple Will Win

Temple’s pass defense leads the nation.

To be fair, it’s not like the Owls have faced a who’s who of air shows, but keeping Boston College to 59 yards and Wagner to 23 is good no matter what.

No, the Temple offense isn’t moving the chains, but the defense is great at coming up with third down stops, the line is getting into the backfield, and there are just enough positives to keep this close.

However …

Week 5 College Football Schedule, Predictions, Game Previews

What’s Going To Happen

Temple isn’t finding enough offense to take advantage of the good defensive performances against the decent defenses.

At home, the Owls will come up with another strong defensive game to keep this close, but Memphis will break through with one big play to be enough to get out alive.

Expect this to be one of Temple’s better all-around games this year, but it’ll come up just short.

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Memphis vs Temple Prediction, Line

Memphis 30, Temple 26
Line: Memphis -11, o/u: 59
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2

Must See Rating: 2.5

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Mississippi State vs Memphis Prediction, Game Preview

Mississippi State vs Memphis prediction and game preview. Mississippi State vs Memphis Broadcast Date: Saturday, September 18 Game Time: 4:00 ET Venue: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN Network: ESPN2 – Sign up and stream college football …

Mississippi State vs Memphis prediction and game preview.


Mississippi State vs Memphis Broadcast

Date: Saturday, September 18
Game Time: 4:00 ET
Venue: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN
Network: ESPN2
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Mississippi State (2-0) vs Memphis (2-0) Game Preview


Why Mississippi State Will Win

It hasn’t been anything pretty, but Mississippi State is 2-0.

Will Rogers is growing into the role of the Mike Leach quarterback, the offense isn’t screwing up like it did throughout last year, and more than anything else, the defense is showing up large.

NC State might just be the second-best team in the ACC, and the Bulldogs allowed just 335 yards of total offense and almost nothing on the ground in the 24-10 win last week.

But the offense …

Memphis has been ripped up through the air, giving up 582 yards and five scores last week in a wild shootout against Arkansas State. But …

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Why Memphis Will Win

The offense kept up.

The defense will be a work in progress for the Tigers, but QB Seth Henigan stepped up his game as the passing attack kept hitting big play after big play to go along with an offense that rolled at will.

For all of the good things Mississippi State has done to get to 2-0, it’s not moving the chains on third downs. This might be one of those games that goes to the team that doesn’t blink. Mississippi State’s O isn’t tuned up quite yet like it’s supposed to. But …

Week 3 College Football Schedule, Predictions, Game Previews

What’s Going To Happen

Really, the Memphis defense can’t stop the pass.

Louisiana Tech almost got Mississippi State in Week 1 – losing 35-34 – but last week the three takeaways were enough to overcome the other issues.

Memphis has just one turnover in the first two games, but the defense doesn’t generate a lick of a pass rush and is about to give up a whole lot of yards.

Good luck trying to figure out which Mississippi State team will show up, but the defense will be enough to survive.

Week 2 NFL Expert Picks

Mississippi State vs Memphis Prediction, Line

Mississippi State 37, Memphis 30
Line: Mississippi State -3.5, o/u: 64
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1

Must See Rating: 3.5

5: Steve is proud of you
1: Ordinary Joe

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