Myrtle Beach Bowl Odds & Picks 12/20/21

by | Dec 13, 2021 | cfb

Old Dominion Monarchs (6-6 SU, 9-3 ATS) vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS)

When: Monday, December 20, 2:30 p.m.

Where: Brooks Stadium, Conway, S.C.

TV: ESPN

Point Spread: ODU +9.5/TLSA -9.5 (MyBookie - Deposit $100 and get $100 FREE when you use bonus code PREDICT100)

Total: O/U 52.5

Outlook

The Monarchs get an early look at the home of one of their future conference rivals, as this game is played at the home of Coastal Carolina, whom Old Dominion will soon join in the Sun Belt. They come in riding a five game winning streak just to get to this game, as they swept through Louisiana Tech, Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee and Charlotte to go from 1-6 to bowl eligible, mostly off the strength of a solid run defense.

They’ll need that defense to be at its best to slow down Shamari Brooks, who has been the main man in the Tulsa backfield. The Golden Hurricane average 187 yards per game on the ground, a number that could be difficult to reach with the Monarchs’ commitment to stopping the ground game. But the Old Dominion pass defense has been rather suspect for much of the season, and even though those numbers are a bit skewed from having to face Bailey Zappe and Western Kentucky, the Monarchs still aren’t good at defending in the air. If Tulsa can attack the secondary, it could be a long day for Old Dominion.

How the Public is Betting the Old Dominion/Tulsa Game

The public is showing virtually no faith in the Monarchs in this situation, despite a 9-3 ATS mark on the year. Tulsa has taken 60 percent of all tickets in this game, and the spread has jumped from -7 to -9.5. The total has gone up a bit as well, rising from 51 to 52.5.

Injury Concerns

Old Dominion:
Old Dominion reports no injuries.

Tulsa:
Wide receiver Sam Crawford Jr. (undisclosed) and offensive lineman Chris Paul (knee) are questionable. Safety Kendarin Ray (foot), wide receiver Keylon Stokes (undisclosed) and wide receiver Josh Stewart (undisclosed) are out.

When Old Dominion Has the Ball

The key for the Monarchs is going to be how well Blake Watson is able to attack against the Tulsa front seven. Watson has been the bell cow for the Monarchs, gaining 1,035 yards on the ground and rushing for seven scores on 201 carries for the year. With Hayden Wolff not being a running threat at all (he’s only carried the ball 13 times for negative 85 yards on the year, any runs from the Monarchs are going to come from the backs, meaning Watson or Elijah Davis, who is also a solid option when he touches the ball.

The passing attack is decent but not great, as the Monarchs really only use two options when throwing the ball. If it’s a deeper route, it’s likely going to Ali Jennings, who has 56 catches for 992 yards on the season. If it’s a shorter one, the likely pass catcher is tight end Zack Kuntz, who leads the Monarchs in receptions with 71. The most important thing for the Old Dominion passing game, however, is not turning the ball over. The Monarchs have 13 interceptions this season between their two quarterbacks, and giving Tulsa a short field would be disastrous for the Old Dominion defense.

When Tulsa Has the Ball

A weak pass defense means that Davis Brin should be able to attack from start to finish. Whether that’s a good thing for the Golden Hurricane remains to be seen, as turning the ball over has been a real problem for the Tulsa quarterback. Brin has thrown for 16 touchdowns, but also has 16 interceptions on the year, which has really caused problems for Tulsa in games against better disciplined teams.

The Golden Hurricane have done a much better job taking care of the ball in covering in their past four games, a stretch that includes going to Cincinnati and playing the Bearcats to within one score before succumbing by a 28-20 margin. Having a healthy Keylon Stokes would have helped the passing game, but Josh Johnson and JuanCarlos Santana have been more than adequate, combining for 119 catches and 1,584 yards on the year. However, losing No. 3 man Sam Crawford could really hurt, as Old Dominion’s job would be much easier if it can focus on only two passing options instead of having to deal with three proven threats.

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Betting Trends

Both teams have been in desperation mode for the past month, making both excellent bets if you were willing to take the plunge. Old Dominion has covered in six of its past seven games, with the lone exception coming when it ran into Western Kentucky and its nation-leading passing attack. Tulsa has won three straight and covered four straight, and the Golden Hurricane have earned covers as both 20-point favorites and 20-point dogs.

The 20-point favorite cover is a rare exception for Tulsa, however, owing almost entirely to the fact that Temple is just awful. That game was the only one of Tulsa’s past seven contests that was decided by more than one score, as Tulsa has won by three, seven, one and six and lost by eight and three points since Oct. 1.

Weather Report

Hopefully, this game will be over with before the showers arrive. Temperatures will start at 67 degrees with winds blowing at 10 miles per hour, but showers are in the forecast for later in the evening, so the sooner these teams end this game, the better.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread

Old Dominion’s passing defense gives me pause, but Tulsa’s tendency to play and win tight games is something that cannot be ignored. The Golden Hurricane have played to the level of their competition all year long, with the exception of the rout of Temple and a blowout loss to Houston. I expect that’s going to happen again here.

If the spread were where it started, I wouldn’t touch this line. But the public has pushed Tulsa too far, and now is the time to make the leap. Give me Old Dominion plus the points in a game I think is decided by one score. Question: Did you know that you don’t have to lay -110 odds on games anymore? Even worse, some books are charging -115 or -120! Get rid of all those crappy bookies out of your sports betting arsenal and sign up at a sportsbook where you only have to lay -105 odds! It’ll save you TONS of money! Find out in this article about betting on games at reduced odds.