2021 Bowls - Dapper Dan Picks 94 views



SEASON YTD: 77-57 (+18.72 UNITS)


SD State/UTSA Under 49 (-105)

Army ML (-200

UCF +7 (-105)

SD State/UTSA Under 49 (-105) Risking 1.05 units to win 1 units

SD State is built as an under team and was a bit surprised to see they were 6-7 on the season in totals, as the bookies have been setting them extremely low but I like the number we’re getting here, especially when you consider UTSA's #1 offensive weapon, Sincere McCormick, with almost 1500 rushing yards on the season will be sitting out for the draft. Even if they had McCormick, this defense is a hell of a lot better than anything UTSA has faced all season and their SOS ranks out to a horrible 120th in the league. According to PFF, SD State ranks 17th overall in defense, 18th in the pass rush, 16th in coverage and 56th against the run. They should be able to generate pressure against UTSA that has struggled at pass blocking according to PFF ranking 96th. On offense, SD State has had a QB carousel with none standing out and relying heavily on their run game, defense, and special teams. The run defense is the biggest strength of this UTSA team that ranks 20th according to PFF. Both defensive lines have STRONG advantages in almost every line yard category, and by an average of 28 ranks across all categories. With SD State’s offensive FEI #’s in the bottom 5% of almost every category - UTSA’s defense outranks them by an average of 53 ranks across all categories. UTSA’s offense has not even close to have played a defensive team with FEI numbers like SD State who ranks 13th overall, 7th in defensive efficiency, 7th in defensive points per drive, 6th in available yards percentage, 8th in defensive points per play and 3rd in defensive touchdown rate. UTSA’s offense has been great at generating long scrimmage plays but this SD State isn’t a team to give up many long scrimmage plays ranking 14th in the nation at 30+ plays allowed. UTSA’s defense has been bad at giving up long scrimmage plays but this SD State offense isn’t a team to generate many long scrimmage plays ranking 95th in the nation. Both defense’s have strong advantages on 3rd down conv % allowed and both teams have horrible kickers with UTSA’s only converting 77% and SD State’s an even worse 60%. I expect this game to stay well below the total tonight.

Army ML (-200) Risking 2 units to win 1 units

Army should smash here, just being safe with the ML but I think they run away with this one. If you’ve watched Missouri football this year you would have seen lots of linebackers out place, shooting the wrong gaps and that's just what this Army triple option offense thrives on. Missouri hasn’t played a true triple option team like Army in quite some time and I expect there to be all sorts of missed gaps and blown coverages the few times Army does throw. Although bad in call categories, Missouri’s defense is especially bad against the run, ranking 97th according to PFF. Their defensive line is ranking in the bottom 20% of most line categories and Army should run at will, especially in short yardage situations where they rank 4th in power ranking and 8th in stuff ranking, a huge mismatch on paper for Missouri who ranks 92nd in power ranking, and 75th in stuff ranking. Army’s defensive line also surprisingly has strong advantages by an average of 26 ranks across all categories as Missouri’s offensive line has been below average and Army’s defensive line ranks 25th in defensive line yards. Army’s defense plays aggressive towards the run and if they can hold Missouri in obvious throwing situations than they could start to generate some pressure. Even without it Missouri’s offense can do just enough to stifle production on their own. Take Army

UCF +7 (-105) Risking 1.05 units to win 1 units

I’ll take this many points with the better defense and motivated team. Florida is under-going major program changes with the firing of Dan Mullen and starting QB, Emory Jones entering the transfer portal but still suiting up for this one. Their biggest strength has been their defensive line who will be without senior leading TFLer Zachary Carter. According to PFF, the wrong team is favored as UCF has advantages on both sides of the ball - their defense outranks UF’s offense by an average of 28 ranks across all categories and at every positional matchup except pass blocking. UCF’s offense also outranks UF’s defense that ranks 76th overall, 105th in coverage, and 60th against the run. UCF’s offensive line outranks UF’s defensive line by an average of 46 ranks across all line yards categories with the biggest advantage being on standard downs where UCF ranks 19th in line yards - a particular point of struggle for UF defensive line that ranks 83rd on standard downs. UCF has strong advantages in opportunity rate, power ranking and stuff ranking and should be able to run at will. FEI shows both defenses have a slight upper hand over the offenses. I’m a huge Malzahn fan and I think this is a great spot getting this many points against an SEC team.


Bowl Adds:

Air Force +1.5 (-105)

UCLA +2 (-105)

Minnesota -5 (-105)

Iowa State +1.5 (-107) 1.5x

Oklahoma -5 (-105)

Air Force +1.5 (-105) Risking 1.05 units to win 1 units

Love this pick as my spreadsheet LIGHTS up in MOST categories in favor of Air Force. The only reason it’s not a 2 unit pick, is the discrepancy in SOS as Air Force’s is quite substantially weaker than Louisville's but none-the-less we’ll fire away for 1 unit. Let’s start with PFF, which shows advantages for Air Force who ranks 24th in the run, and 2nd in run-blocking, a huge mismatch against Louisville's 111th ranked run defense. The offensive/defensive line yards show the same mismatch, as Air Force’’s offensive line, who ranks in the top 15% of most categories should run all day against Louisville's defensive line that ranks in bottom 15% of most categories and have allowed 4.6 yards per carry on the season ranking #90th. They are outranked by an average of 51 ranks across all categories with especially large mismatches on passing downs as Air Force ranks 16th and Louisville's defensive line has been horrible in those situations ranking 120th. The opportunity rate and stuff ranking mismatch show the Air Force should be able to get 3-4 yards anytime they want. Air Force’s defensive line also outranks Louisville's offensive line by an average of 5 ranks across all categories. Air Force’s defensive line has been stout, ranking #10 in yards per carry allowed, 6th in sack %, and their secondary even ranks 6th in completion % allowed. FEI shows HUGE advantages to Air Force as well with Air Force outranking Louisville by an average of 60 ranks in FEI categories on offense and on defense Air Force outranks them by an average of 9 ranks. Air Force is the much more disciplined team as they rank #9th in penalties per play where Louisville ranks #81st. Air Force are also the much more sound tacklers ranking 6th in tackling opposed to Louisville's 67th. I love getting a “pick-em” with this many number advantages to the smaller school.

UCLA +2 (-105) Risking 1.05 units to win 1 units

This should be a fun matchup in PAC 12 vs ACC. DTR really looked good towards the end of the season when he was getting healthy and has been hitting the deep ball in stride with his receivers lately, really opening up this Chip Kelly offense. His abilities combined with Charbonnet’s make this offense one of the better ones in the country. Granted NC State’s numbers are much better this season, especially on defense Sagarin shows UCLA had a much more difficult road as NC State ranks 64th in SOS scales. NC State has yet to see an offense this explosive so I think they will struggle against a UCLA offensive line that ranks 8th in line yards, 12th in opportunity rank and 10th in stuff rankings. FEI numbers agree and have UCLA’s offense as a Top 15 in almost every efficiency category. Although the ACC was 2-0 against PAC 12 opponents last year, for the past decade PAC 12 has methodically beat-down the ACC going 21-3 since the 2010’s. I think this is another one where the PAC 12 is being undervalued.

Minnesota -5 (-105) Risking 1.05 units to win 1 units

I like how Minnesota matches up against this West Virginia team as they are well rounded on both sides of the ball. WVU prefers to throw and Minnesota’s secondary is it’s biggest strength as it ranks 35th in PFF in coverage, 22nd in opponent yards per pass, 7th in completion % allowed, and 26th in defensive passing efficiency defense. Although their run-defense ranks 68th in PFF, they have only allowed opponents to run for 3.5 yards per carry on the season (ranking 14th). West Virginia will be without their lead back, Leddie Brown who accounted for 1065 rushing yards, and 217 receiving yards. Minnesota is a run first team and WVU has allowed opponents to rush for 4.1 yards per carry against them in the season (ranking 59th). The biggest mismatches in this game on paper though are in the FEI efficiency numbers. On defense, Minnesota’s FEI numbers are in the Top 15 of almost every category, leaving them with a huge 57 rank average differential across all categories as WVU offense is below average and ranks 73rd in OFEI, 73rd in ODE, 7rd in OPD, 71st in OAY, and 83rd in OPP. On Offense Minnesota still out ranks WVU in every category except for 2, and by an average of 22 ranks across all categories. PJ Fleck also just sniped Kirk Ciarrocca to be their offensive coordinator next season, who was an offensive analyst for West Virginia this season so you know he’s going to be shelling out some secrets, although he won’t be coaching in this bowl game. With starting QB Tanner Morgan set to return for a sixth season next year, this Minnesota team will look to go out with a bang after a below average season and a bad loss to Bowling Green early on.

Iowa State +1.5 (-107) Risking 1.6 units to win 1.5 units

This will be a great defensive battle to watch as both teams' strengths are their defenses. Not only does Iowa State have strong advantages in PFF but they’ve also had a much tougher schedule (since Clemson is ACC) and Sagarin SOS ranks agree as Iowa State ranks 23rd in SOS and Clemson ranks 56th. Although by the numbers, Clemson has the better defense, PFF shows much bigger advantages on Iowa State’s defensive side of the ball as Clemson’s offense has been mostly unproductive this season. Iowa State’s defense outranks Clemson’s offense by an average of 40 ranks across all positional matchups and Clemson’s defense only outranks Iowa State’s offense by an average of 17 ranks. Clemson’s offense ranks 116th in completion % and 118th in yards per pass. DJ Uiagalelei ranks 110th in PFF in overall QB ratings, a huge difference from Brock Purdy who ranks 36th overall. Brock Purdy has started now for 4 years and is as experienced as they come. Clemson has relied on their running game to open up their offense but this Iowa State defense is very stout and ranked 36th in opponent yards per rush allowed. Clemson has a ton of injuries on both sides of the ball, including to it’s two top receiving targets to an already thin position for them without any stand-out players. I expect Iowa State to pull off the big upset in what has been a let-down season for both teams.This is my biggest play of the bowl season so far at 1.5x units.

Oklahoma -5 (-105) Risking 1.05 units to win 1 units

Both coaches have departed these two teams for the Bowl game but I have a big advantage to Oklahoma for the iterm selection as they have brought back Bob Stoops to coach in this bowl game where Oregon has simply promoted their unheard of WR coach, McClendon. The numbers show HUGE advantages to Oklahoma on BOTH sides of the ball as well. On offense, Oregon has struggled, ranking 81st overall, 95th in passing, 100th in receiving, and 43rd in rushing. Oklahoma’s defense, although hasn’t been great, have excelled in the run game, ranking 32nd, and in pass-rushing where they rank 5th overall, and significantly out-rank Oregon who ranks 83rd in pass blocking. On defense, Oregon’s PFF numbers are piss-poor as well as they rank 74th overall, 101st in coverage and 61st against the run. Oklahoma prefers to pass and are one of the best in the nation ranking 6th in passing and 24th in receiving. They should put up huge numbers against this secondary. We also have a strong tackling advantage and special teams as Oregon ranks 124th in tackling and 128th in special teams where Oklahoma is middle-of-the-pack in both categories. You can really judge a defense by how they perform on 3rd down and the red zone, two categories where Oregon’s defense really struggles ranking #117th in 3rd down conv% allowed and 106th in RZ scoring % allowed. Oregon’s offense heavily relies on it’s run game which is the biggest strength of this OU defense who ranks 32nd against the run according to PFF. I think Oklahoma run’s away with this one.


Dapper Dan Picks:

Bowls to Date: 5-2 (+2.35 units)

Season YTD: 82-59 (+21.07 units) (58%)

Good luck all. May have one or two more plays but this is the bulk of the card. Load up on Arkansas and Kentucky. SEC!

Bowl Adds:

Arkansas ML (-113) 2x

Kentucky ML (-145) 1.5x

Pittsburgh +3 (-105)

Wisconsin ML (-220)

Wake Forest -15 (-105)

Cinn/Bama Under 57.5 (-108)

Michigan +7.5 (-105)

Ok State/ND Under 45.5 (-109)

Utah +4.5 (-105)

Mississippi ML (-120)

Arkansas ML (-113) Risking 2.26 units to win 2 units

My biggest bet of the bowl season, I love me this SEC team despite the SEC going 0-4 to date this bowl season. This is a run-first Arkansas team that averages 4.8 yards per carry and runs the ball 62.25% of the time. Against the better running teams they’ve faced, Penn State’s defense has struggled and rank 81st in run defense according to PFF. Penn State’s defense will also be without 4 of it’s 5 top leading tacklers as starting DT, Derrick Tangelo DE, Arnold Ebiketie, S, Jaquan Brisker, LB Ellis Brooks and LB Brandon Smith will all be sitting this one out. It’ll be a field full of backups against one of the better quarterbacks in the league - have you seen KJJefferson stats on the season? They are hella impressive with 21 TDs, only 3 INTs, completing 66% for an average of 9.4 yards per pass - add to that another 550 yards on the ground where he averaged 4.4 per carry and DAMN, this is a true dual threat unlike Clifford leading the other squad. Penn State’s offense has struggled to run the ball all season behind their weak offensive line that ranks in the bottom 5% of almost every category! Leaving a huge mismatch against an above average Arkansas defensive line that outranks this Penn State offensive line by an average of 52 ranks across all categories. FEI shows a bigger advantage to Arkansas’s defense in this matchup as well - outranking this poor Penn State offense by an average of 39 ranks. Penn State’s depleted defense won’t play as well as their numbers show they’re in the Top 10 of most FEI categories, but that won’t be true of this defense on the field this week due to the opt outs. Penn State’s team has had a hard road, ranking 14th in Sagarin's SOS scale, but Arkansas’s has been tougher - ranking 8th overall. SEC wins BIG over the BIG 10 in this one

Kentucky ML (-145) Risking 2.17 units to win 1.5 units

Ahh, my other favorite bet this weekend - another SEC team! This one lights up in most categories I track with big advantages to Kentucky in FEI, and OFF/DEF lines. I was a bit surprised to see how well Kentucky's offensive numbers hold up as they rank (in PFF) 4th in overall offense, 20th in passing, 22nd in receiving, 18th in rushing, 10th in run blocking and 12th in pass blocking. They really don’t have a weakness and are well above average and they will need to bust out all the stops against this Iowa defense that is one of the best in the nation as well. Kentucky has one of the best offensive lines in the nation, ranking 4th in line yards, 2nd in opportunity rate, 36th in power ranking and 7th in stuff ranking. Iowa’s defensive line has dropped a bit as of late just outside the Top 25 in most categories, leaving an average mismatch of 45 ranks across all categories. Iowa’s defensive line especially struggles in short yardage as they rank 91st in power ranking and 88th in stuff rankings. Kentucky’s defensive line also has a strong advantage too as Iowa’s offensive line is one of the worst in the country ranking in the bottom 5% of almost every category - Kentucky’s defensive line outranks them by an average of 48 ranks across all categories. Kentucky’s defense has been exploited by good throwing teams but this is by no means a good throwing Iowa team. According to FEI, Kentucky’s defense outranks Iowa’s offense by an average of 50 ranks across all categories. A much bigger mismatch than Kentucky’s offense to Iowa’s defense (only 16 ranks). Let’s take this other SEC team and hope the fortunate trend of them losing early on in the bowls ends this Saturday.

Pittsburgh +3 (-105) Risking 1.05 units to win 1 units

This is one of those matchup I actually was leaning Michigan State pretty heavily before running the numbers - and then the numbers came out overwhelmingly in favor of Pitt that I had to swap to the other team. Pickett is out but the rest of the mis-matches on the field are too big to overlook. Nick Patti has had 3 years of experience learning this playbook and has had about 60 pass attempts where he’s looked good against soft competition. This Michigan State secondary isn’t particularly strong as they rank 85th in coverage PFF. They rank #112th in completing % allowed, 70th in ypp allowed and 84th in defensive passing efficiency. Pitt’s defensive line has a strong advantage and outranks this Michigan State offensive line by an average of 42 ranks across all categories - Pitt’s defensive line is in the Top 10 of almost every category. Pitt’s offensive line has a strong advantage as they are Top 20 material in most categories and Michigan State is average by most metrics leaving a differential of 27 ranks across all categories in favor of Pitt. Mismatches in the trenches on both sides of the ball: check. FEI shows the same thing with Michigan State's defense really struggling in first down drive rate and busted drive rate. We have a strong tackling advantage as Pitt is ranked 42nd and these spartans a pathetic 104th. Also in special teams Michigan State ranks a lowly 125th where Pitt ranks 38th. We’ll take the points in this matchup where the general public is most likely hammering Michigan State due to the big news of Pickett sitting out - and were also getting 7.5 points better than the opener as Pitt was originally -4.5.

Wisconsin ML (-220) Risking 2.2 units to win 2 units

Lots of reasons to like this Whisky team in this Bowl matchup under Chryst who is 5-1 in bowl games at Whisky. They’re usually in close games so we take the ML instead of the points as this Arizona State team is a bit of a Jekel and Hyde and we never know who’s going to show up. But considering all their opt outs - top two RB’s, top two CBs, best LB Darien Butler. No one on Whisky is opting out as it’s ingrained in the football program to not do so - my kinda guys. I actually had to look twice at Wisconsin’s PFF stats of offense but there was no error in transferring numbers - they are ranked 28th overall on offense and it’s led by their run blocking that ranks 3rd in the nation. Although Arizona State has been holding opponents to 3.7 yards per carry on the season (ranked 32nd) - their PFF run defense numbers aren’t so glamorous - and they rank 65 in the nation. Wisconsin’s biggest weakness on offense - pass blocking, ranking 98th - won’t be exploited well by an Arizona State defensive line that has struggled in the pass rush - ranking 82nd in the nation. Arizona State’s offense depends on it’s run game with it’s 10th ranked run offense and 17th rank run blocking offensive line but that’s the biggest strength of this Wisconsin defense who rank 4th in run defense. Their receivers rank 112th in the nation which is also hurting Jayden Daneils stock who ranks 66th in passing. He only has 10 passing TD’s on the season despite starting every game, and also 9 INTs to go along with - I’m sure we’ll snag a few this game and Whisky pulls off BIG WIN.

Wake Forest -15 (-105) Risking 1.05 units to win 1 units

Wake Forest was going to upset Texas AM so they decided to not play and blame COVID (10 days before game time what strains you guys got over there in Texas!) Wake Forest’s offense outranks Rutgers defense by an average of 80 ranks across all positional matchup categories. Wake Forest's defense outranks Rutgers offense by an average of 31.75 ranks across all positional matchup categories. FEI shows the same mismatch with Wake Forest offense outranking the defense by 38 ranks and Wake Forest’s defense outranking Rutgers offense by 23 ranks across all categories. We had Rutgers big against a shitty Maryland squad a month ago and damn did Rutgers look bad and got beat down by 24 points (although it shoulda been a larger deficit). You expect us to believe Rutgers will keep this one closer than two TDs? Wake Forest by A LOT.

Cinn/Bama Under 57.5 (-108) Risking 1.08 units to win 1 units

These are two defensive power houses and your putting a high number like 57 out here? What am I missing? I’ll stick with the numbies - Cincinnati is the 2nd best defense in the league thanks to Fickell who has proven to be one of the best in the business on the defensive side of the ball. His defense currently ranks 2nd overall in PFF, 4th in pass rushing, 3rd in coverage, 8th in run defense and 8th in tackling. We expect some pressure on Bryce Young as Alabama’s offensive line ranks 61st in pass blocking. Alabama’s defense is almost as good, ranking 7th overall, 23rd in coverage, 1st in run defense and 2nd in tackling. Both defenses have strong PFF advantages over all positional categories despite Alabama’s top rated offense. Both defensive lines also outrank their opposite offensive lines by an average of almost 20 ranks across all categories. FEI shows this Cincinnati defense is the real deal as it ranks in Top 10 of every category and will be a true test for this Alabama offense that is in the Top 10 themselves of every category. We also have two good special teams units going against each other with Cincinnati ranking 8th and Alabama ranking 33rd. I think this game we’ll be a much closer game than the experts predict so take the points too if you’re an action junkie but I think this game stays under.

Ok State/ND Under 45.5 (-109) Risking 1.09 units to win 1 units

No need to overthink this matchup - just look at the dominating defensive numbers on both sides of the ball. In PFF, Notre Dame’s defense ranks 9th overall, 5th in coverage, 18th against the run and 3rd in tackling. Okie State’s defense ranks 5th overall, 6th in coverage, 4th against the run, and 58th overall. Neither offense has faced such a tough defense and ND ranks 41st in SOS scales which I think even is a bit generous. Both defensive lines have strong advantages over their offensive counter-parts with ND’s d-line outranking by 26 ranks and Oke State’s d-line outranking by an average of 65 ranks! Notre Dame has really struggled at protecting their QB with a Sack Ranking of 106th which is an insane mismatch as Oklahoma State ranks 1st in sack ranking - according to FootballOutsiders (garbage time removed). The FEI scales show more of the same but surprisingly showed a bigger mismatch in favor of ND’s defense who outranks Okie State’s offense by an average of 43 ranks. Again we have two great special units teams boosting our chances of good field position play with ND ranking 9th and Okie State ranking 3rd. We take the low number and hope these potent defenses don’t score any defensive TDs.

Sorry peeps, no write ups for the below picks, been busy this week and too many things popped up today to finish these in time, wanted to post the bulk of my card so everyone could lock these in early when I did before the lines move.

Michigan +7.5 (-105)

Utah +4.5 (-105)

Mississippi ML (-120)



BOWLS TO DATE: 11-6 (+5.46 UNITS)

SEASON YTD: 88-63 (+24.18 UNITS) (58%)

Cheers to all. It’s been a greatly profitable season and I'm looking forward to next year already. I think we are finally onto something with our data analysis and will be doing extra work in the off-season to ensure profits next year. This year we had an “organizational breakthrough” that combined the skills picked up in a decade of work into a more simply designed spreadsheet layout that allowed for easier comparison of weekly matchups. This off-season, we will be digging into these same spreadsheets from this past year (the first year we’ve run like this) and comparing final scores and specific stats to the pregame matchup analysis. Hopefully we will find more “patterns” that point to a higher percentage of winning…..until next season… of “luck”……

Final Play of the Year:

Georgia ML (-138) Risking 2.07 units to win 1.5 units

Georgia’s a favorite after getting “blown out” in the SEC Championship game against Alabama? There are plenty of reasons why Georgia should win this re-match and based on the line, the bookies want Alabama money to come in - as you’d expect them to be a favorite but that’s not the case. In the first matchup, Georgia had longer drives, out possessing Alabama significantly by 9 minutes on the clock. Alabama had a couple big plays and capitalized on turnovers - including a pick 6 after Georgia sputtered out in the red-zone a few times and started forcing more throws. The most surprising thing in the first matchup was the fact that Georgia had 0 sacks, but they did have 8 hurries, and 5 broken up passes. Alabama’s offensive line is banged up with injuries to Dalcourt, Emil Ekiyor Jr., and Chris Owens and we’ll see who ends up taking the bulk of the snaps as they’re being very secretive about. In the SEC championship, left guard Javion Cohen allowed tons of pressure on his side, grading out to 20.7 in PFF in pass blocking. Alabama’s backs also struggled in pass blocking with the highest grade being 32.3 for their backs. This time Georgia should be able to get to Bryce Young and throw this offense out of sync, considering they are graded 6th overall in PFF in pass rushing and Alabama is currently ranked 66th in pass-blocking (if they were fully healthy). Alabama also struggled at run-blocking as they graded out to 61 in PFF in that matchup. The PFF numbers for the overall season show strong advantages to Georgia, as they outrank Alabama’s on both sides of the ball. On offense, Georgia outranks Bama’s defense by an average of 7 ranks across all categories - as Bama’s defense hasn’t been particularly good in the pass rush - ranking 41st, nor in coverage, ranking 25th overall. On defense, Georgia’s mismatch is larger on paper as they outrank Alabama’s offense by an average of 28 ranks across all categories as they rank 1st in overall defense, 6th in pass rush, 1st in coverage, 2nd in rush defense, and 1st in tackling. We also have a strong advantage in special teams as Georgia ranks 1st in the nation and Alabama ranks 42nd according to PFF. FEI shows the slightest of advantages to Georgia too with the bulldogs outranking Bama by an average of exactly 5.8 ranks on both sides of the ball (what are the odds). Bama also will be without Metchie who’s big play thread accounted for 97 yards and a TD in the first game. I almost wanted to take the under, considering both defensive lines have strong advantages too but decided against it and am just firing away on the ML as this will most likely be a close game and a great way to end the season but I think Georgia pulls off the win.


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