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American vs National Collegiate Bowl Odds Open With Extremely Low Total of 34.0

The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
The National team has opened as -125 favorites over the American team in the 2020 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Photo by Ted Eytan (Wikipedia).
  • The 2020 Collegiate Bowl takes place on Saturday, Jan. 18th, at 4:00 PM ET
  • The National team has opened as -125 favorites with the total set at a very low 34 points
  • What is the best bet for the 2020 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl?

The National team has opened as -120 favorites over the American team in the 2020 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on Saturday, Jan. 18 (7:00 PM ET).

The Collegiate Bowl gives potential mid to late-round NFL Draft picks an opportunity to showcase their skills. Most players in the game are not coming from powerhouse schools favored in the 2021 National Championship odds

The total has opened at an extremely low 34 points, but there’s plenty of offensive talent on both these rosters. What is the best bet for the matchup?

American vs National Collegiate Bowl Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total at Bovada
NCAA American +1.5 (-110) +105 O 34.0 (-110)
NCAA National -1.5 (-110) -125 U 34.0 (-110)

Odds taken Jan. 17.

Brian Lewerke Headlines American Roster

The American team is going to be led by a very potent quarterback in this matchup. Michigan State’s Brian Lewerke is expected to be the starting QB after a strong year with the Spartans in which he threw for over 3,000 passing yards and 17 TDs.

Lewerke has momentum entering this game after a terrific final stretch for MSU in which he completed over 70 percent of his passes in each of his final three games. He’ll also benefit from having one of his favorite receiver targets from this season, Darrell Stewart, on the American team.

Oregon State’s talented QB Jacob Luton was expected to quarterback the National team in this matchup, but he’s been dealing with knee tenderness and is now expected to miss the game. San Diego’s Reid Sinnett and UT-Chattanooga’s Nick Tiano are expected to take snaps for the National squad.

Over/Under is Extremely Low

Oddsmakers have set a very low total of 34 for this year’s Collegiate Bowl. This is likely due to some recent low-scoring Collegiate Bowls in which dominant defensive performances have overshadowed offensive talent. The American team won 10-7 in 2019 and the National team won 23-0 in 2018.

There’s some potential defensive standouts this year in Mississippi State DE Chauncey Rivers (National) and Troy DB Will Sunderland (American), among others, but there’s also plenty of talent on offense. Arkansas State WR Omar Bayless led the FBS in receiving yards this year and will be suiting up for the American team, while Washington’s Aaron Fuller is one of several talented receivers taking to the field for the National squad.

The last two Collegiate Bowls may have been low-scoring, but the two teams had combined for at least 34 points in all but one of the first six matchups beginning in 2012. With oddsmakers setting the total very low this year and there being lots of experience on offense, there’s value on the over.

Two Experienced Coaches

Both the American and National teams will be well-coached for this matchup. Marvin Lewis will be coaching the National team and has 16 years experience coaching Cincinnati in the NFL.

Hue Jackson, who will be coaching the American team, didn’t coach last season but had previously been in the NFL every year since 2001. His experience as offensive coordinator for the Redskins, Falcons, Raiders and Bengals will help him get the most out of this talented offense.

The National team had won the first seven collegiate bowls, but having Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano as head coach last season helped the American team end their losing streak. Jackson’s time with Cleveland was a disaster, but considering he’ll have two of his assistants from the Browns for this game, it could set up for a nice redemption-like storyline.

Betting Advice

These are typically hard to predict with players often aiming to impress scouts rather than trying to earn a team victory.

I still see value with the underdog and the “over” here. NCAA American QB Lewerke has a very strong arm and gets to throw to one of the leading receivers in the nation, while the National team has enough talent at wide receiver to put up points.

Pick: NCAA American (+105), Over 34.0 (-110)

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