- The East-West Shrine Bowl will be played Saturday, Jan. 18th, at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay (3:00 PM ET)
- A showcase for NFL prospects, the game will feature many players you’ll see playing in the league next year
- Losers of four in a row, the East is getting a full field goal in the Shrine Bowl point spread
The 2020 East-West Shrine Bowl takes place Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay (Jan. 18th, 3:00 PM ET) with high-profile QBs Kelly Bryant (Missouri) and Tyler Huntley (Utah) headlining the rosters.
The odds for the game favor the West, which has won four straight, by a field goal. But the East looks poised to break its drought due to some impressive talent on its side.
2020 East-West Shrine Bowl Odds
|NCAA East||+3 (-120)||+135||Over 37 (-115)|
|NCAA West||-3 (EVEN)||-155||Under 37 (-105)|
Odds taken January 17th from Bovada.
While finding value in the early 2021 national championship odds is an easier exercise than handicapping a de facto all-star game, I think there is value betting on the NCAA East, largely because of three players that can swing the game in their favor.
Pair of NCAA East Quarterbacks Aiming to Impress
Princeton QB Kevin Davidson’s stats don’t jump off the page but his measurables sure do. The 6’4, 225-pound quarterback threw for 2,569 yards and 20 touchdowns this year. He won’t be included amongst the top prospects at the position, but he is one of the more intriguing arms in this game. He’s big and has a strong arm and, considering he went to Princeton, you can assume he’s a smart quarterback more than capable of handling an NFL playbook.
Look for Davidson to use this game as an opportunity to show scouts that, with the proper coaching, he could provide value on an NFL roster.
— NFL Draft (@NFLDraft) January 15, 2020
Florida International QB James Morgan is another player to watch. The Chicago Bears are one NFL team many expect to draft a quarterback due to the inconsistent play from Mitch Trubisky. The team met with Morgan at the Shrine Bowl practice and clearly have interest in his big arm and big-play ability.
Morgan stands 6’4 and weighs 213 pounds, which gives him check marks in both of those boxes. He threw for only 14 touchdowns in 2019 but the interest from a prominent NFL team goes to show they think there’s something to unlock here.
He’ll get snaps in this game and I think it’s more than likely he uses them to make the most of his opportunity.
Virginia WR Joe Reed Looking to Vault Up Draft Boards
Joe Reed is listed as a wide receiver but for what it’s worth he should simply be listed as a kick returner. Reed is elite on special teams and will likely contribute on Sundays as a rookie with his game-breaking ability in the return game. He had five career return TDs at Virginia and finished 1st, 2nd, 1st and 3rd in ACC kick-return average during his four years with the Cavaliers.
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) January 17, 2020
Most players in this game are trying to prove a point, specifically, that they are capable of being an NFL player. There’s no doubt Reed can contribute on special teams and something tells me he won’t be taking any knees or waving for any fair catches in this one.
East Moneyline a Worthy Investment
As long as NCAA East can stop Western Michigan RB LeVante Bellamy, I think they’ll be in great shape to win this game outright. It’s low scoring every year (hence the 37-point total), so it won’t take much from the trio of capable NFL players I listed above.
Expect Davidson, Morgan and Reed to make the difference and snap the NCAA West streak at four games.
Pick: NCAA East Moneyline (+135)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.