2020 Potato Bowl Betting Odds

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2020 Potato Bowl - Ohio Bobcats vs Nevada Wolf Pack

Potato Bowl Betting

The 2019-20 college football betting bowl season is coming to a close. Only four games will remain on the docket, which includes the national championship game, by the time the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl kicks off on the first Friday of 2020 when the MAC rep Ohio Bobcats and Mountain West rep Nevada Wolf Pack square off against one another. Unlike most bowls, this one takes place on the frigid “Smurf Turf” the Boise State Broncos call home. Elements are almost always in play, and that’s something the kids from Nevada likely won’t enjoy which gives Frank Solich’s troops the upper hand coming from Athens, OH where the team has already partaken in a number of cold weather games. No wonder the betting markets favor them in this matchup. The Bobcats are currently 7.5-point favorites with the total set at 59.

2020 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at a Glance

Date: Friday, January 3, 2020

Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

Venue: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho


Matchup: Ohio Bobcats vs. Nevada Wolf Pack

Odds: Ohio -7.5, total 59

Potato Bowl Preview

A year removed from winning eight-games and playing the role of runner-up to the Buffalo Bulls before going on to rip San Diego State in the Frisco Bowl, the Bobcats took a step back in 2019. The program had rattled off nine-win campaigns the last two seasons, but the best it can do now is register a seventh win that would push the program over the breakeven point for the year. Pretty disappointing when you take into account Ohio had accrued six 9-win campaigns under the current coaching staff in the previous 14 seasons. Be that as it may, the Bobcats came an average of just 3.0 points per game away from closing the season out with eight straight wins after logging successive defeats to both Marshall and Louisiana at the end of September.

This year’s version of the Bobcats isn’t cut from the same cloth as its predecessors. Prior Ohio teams were led by lockdown defenses that allowed for the offense to stink it up and get away with it. That wasn’t the case in 2019 with Ohio running one of the more efficient offensive attacks in the country onto the gridiron every passing week. Ohio ranks No. 33 overall in logging 443.3 yards per game and scores just under 35 points per game (No. 20). Its offensive strength lies in the running game with it churning out better than 216 yards per game (No. 22) with running back O’Shaan Allison and QB Nathan Rourke leading the attack. They will however have their hands full with the strength of Nevada’s defense. On the other side of the ball, Ohio ranks No. 76 in total defense (401.7 YPG) and allows an average of 27 points per game (No. 63).

Looking to put an end to the Bobcats four-game cover streak in the bowl season will be a Wolf Pack outfit that went 7-5 overall and finished behind both San Diego State and Hawaii in the West Division standings of the MWC. This will be Nevada’s second straight bowl game appearance since Jay Norvell took over the program back in 2017. He logged his first postseason triumph last season when his kids tallied a 16-13 overtime win over Arkansas State in the Arizona Bowl last December. Save for embarrassingly falling to UNLV in overtime during Rivalry Week, the Wolf Pack really closed the season out strong in capturing three straight wins that included upsetting both the Aztecs and Fresno State as decided double-digit underdogs.

Both triumphs against the closing college football odds still only moved the squad to 5-6-1 ATS for the season. That said, Nevada has covered two straight as well as four of the last five times it participated in a bowl game dating back to 2011. If it’s to get the job done in this spot against the now offensive-minded Bobcats, Carson Strong, Toa Taua and the explosive 1-2 punch of Elijah Cooks and Romeo Doubs will have to pack their “A” game for Boise. Unfortunately, Doubs hurt his shoulder against the Bulldogs and was forced to miss the game against the Running’ Rebels. He’s currently listed as questionable for this matchup. If absent, he’ll be sorely missed considering the Wolf Pack’s defense figures to have its hands full with it serving up nearly 400 yards (No. 73) and over 32 points per game (No. 102).

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Game Results (Since 2000)

2018 BYU Western Michigan 49-18
2017 Wyoming Central Michigan 37-14
2016 Idaho Colorado State 61-50
2015 Akron Utah State 23-21
2014 Air Force Western Michigan 38-24
2013 San Diego State Buffalo 49-24
2012 Utah State Toledo 41-15
2011 Ohio Utah State 24-23
2010 Northern Illinois Fresno State 40-17
2009 Idaho Bowling Green 43-42
2008 Maryland Nevada 42-35
2007 Fresno State Georgia Tech 40-28
2006 Miami Nevada 21-20
2005 Boston College Boise State 27-21
2004 Fresno State Virginia 37-34 (OT)
2004 Georgia Tech Tulsa 52-10
2002 Boise State Iowa State 34-16
2001 Clemson Louisiana Tech 49-24
2000 Boise State UTEP 38-23

The first game was played in 1997 as the Humanitarian Bowl. The Cincinnati Bearcats of Conference USA, making their first bowl game appearance in 46 years, defeated Big West champion Utah State, 35-19.

Despite the cold weather in Idaho in late December, the game has produced some big offensive displays. None were bigger than the 2016 matchup between Idaho and Colorado State when the teams combined to break or tie 24 game records in Idaho’s 61-50 win. The Vandals and Rams rolled up 1,206 yards of offense and the 84 combined second half points were the most in college football bowl history.

The only overtime game came in 2004, when Fresno State defeated Virginia, 37-34.

Most All-Time Wins at Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

3 Boise State 1999, 2000, 2002
3 Idaho 1998, 2009, 2016
2 Fresno State 2004, 2007

Even though it hasn’t won a game here since 2002, Boise State is still tied for the all-time lead in victories. Idaho won its third Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in 2016 and is a perfect 3-0. However, the Vandals will likely never return after they dropped to the FCS following the 2017 season.

Boise State had an impressive run early in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl game’s history, winning three of four games from 1999 through 2002. The Broncos have the advantage of the home crowd when they play in this game, while most bowl games are usually played at neutral sites. Boise State and Utah State have each appeared in a record four games.

Some of the notable MVPs from past Famous Idaho Potato Bowls include Utah State wide receiver Steve Smith, Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, Boise State quarterback Jared Zabransky, Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Utah State running back Kerwynn Williams, Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis and Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen. Even though this game usually features smaller-conference teams, plenty of those former MVPs have gone on to successful careers in the NFL.

The Mountain West has gone 3-2 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, while the MAC is 3-6.

2019-20 College Bowl Games Betting Schedule

College Football Playoff
Dec 28 Peach Bowl Atlanta, GA / 4 PM No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma
Dec 28 Fiesta Bowl Glendale, AZ / 8 PM No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson
Jan 13 CFP National Championship New Orleans, LA / 8 PM Semifinal Winners
Selection Committee Bowl Games
Dec 28 Cotton Bowl Arlington, TX / Noon No. 10 Penn State vs. No. 17 Memphis
Dec 30 Orange Bowl Miami Gardens, FL / 8 PM No. 9 Florida vs. No. 24 Virginia
Jan 1 Rose Bowl Pasadena, CA / 5 PM No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 8 Wisconsin
Jan 1 Sugar Bowl New Orleans, LA / 8:45 PM No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 7 Baylor
Other Bowl Games
Dec 20 Bahamas Bowl Nassau, Bahamas / 2 PM Buffalo vs. Charlotte
Dec 20 Frisco Bowl Frisco, TX / 7:30 PM Kent State vs. Utah State
Dec 21 Celebration Bowl Atlanta, GA / 12:00 PM Alcorn State vs. North Carolina A&T
Dec 21 New Mexico Bowl Albuquerque, NM / 2 PM Central Michigan vs. San Diego State
Dec 21 Cure Bowl Orlando, FL / 2:30 PM Liberty vs. Georgia Southern
Dec 21 Boca Raton Bowl Boca Raton, FL / 3:30 PM FAU vs. SMU
Dec 21 Camelia Bowl Montgomery, AL / 5:30 PM Arkansas State vs. Florida International
Dec 21 Las Vegas Bowl Las Vegas, NV / 7:30 PM No. 19 Boise State vs. Washington
Dec 21 New Orleans Bowl New Orleans, LA / 9 PM No. 20 Appalachian State vs. UAB
Dec 23 Gasparilla Bowl Tampa, FL / 2:30 PM Marshall vs. UCF
Dec 24 Hawaii Bowl Honolulu, HI / 8 PM BYU vs. Hawai'i
Dec 26 Independence Bowl Shreveport, LA / 4 PM Louisiana Tech vs. Miami (Fla.)
Dec 26 Quick Lane Bowl Detroit, MI / 8 PM Eastern Michigan vs. Pittsburgh
Dec 27 Military Bowl Annapolis, MD / Noon North Carolina vs. Temple
Dec 27 Pinstripe Bowl The Bronx, NY / 3:20 PM Michigan State vs. Wake Forest
Dec 27 Texas Bowl Houston, TX / 6:45 PM No. 25 Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M
Dec 27 Holiday Bowl San Diego, CA / TBA No. 16 Iowa vs. No. 22 Southern California
Dec 27 Cheez-It Bowl Phoenix, AZ / 10:15 PM Air Force vs. Washington State
Dec 28 Camping World Bowl Orlando, FL / Noon No. 15 Notre Dame vs. Iowa State
Dec 30 First Responder Bowl University Park, TX / 12:30 PM Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan
Dec 30 Music City Bowl Nashville, TN / 4 PM Louisville vs. Mississippi State
Dec 30 Redbox Bowl Santa Clara, CA / TBA California vs. Illinois
Dec 31 Belk Bowl Charlotte, NC / Noon Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech
Dec 31 Sun Bowl El Paso, TX / 2 PM Arizona State vs. Florida State
Dec 31 Arizona Bowl Tucson, AZ / 4:30 PM Georgia State vs. Wyoming
Dec 31 Alamo Bowl San Antonio, TX / 7:30 PM No. 11 Utah vs. Texas
Dec 31 Liberty Bowl Mephis, TN / 3:45 PM Kansas State vs. Navy
Jan 1 Outback Bowl Tampa, FL / 1 PM No. 12 Auburn vs. No. 18 Minnesota
Jan 1 Citrus Bowl Orlando, FL / 1 PM No. 13 Alabama vs. No. 14 Michigan
Jan 2 Birmingham Bowl Birmingham, AL / 3 PM No. 21 Cincinnati vs. Boston College
Jan 2 Gator Bowl Jacksonville, FL / 7 PM Indiana vs. Tennessee
Jan 3 Idaho Potato Bowl Boise, ID / 3:30 PM Nevada vs. Ohio
Jan 4 Armed Forces Bowl Fort Worth, TX / 11:30 AM Southern Miss vs. Tulane
Jan 6 LendingTree Bowl Mobile, AL / 7:30 PM Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Miami (Ohio)

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