Posts Tagged ‘Cotton Bowl’

Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma Predictions & Analysis: 2013 Cotton Bowl 1/4

January 4th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma Predictions & Analysis: 2013 Cotton Bowl 1/4
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The 2013 Cotton Bowl picks are going to be difficult to make, as the Texas A&M Aggies and Oklahoma Sooners are set to do battle with one another in a Big XII vs. SEC battle. Check out our Cotton Bowl predictions and the keys to the game for Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma.

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2013 Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M Aggies vs. Oklahoma Sooners
2013 Cotton Bowl Location: Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas, TX
2013 Cotton Bowl Date/Time: Friday, January 4th, 8:00 p.m. (ET)
2013 Cotton Bowl Television Coverage: FOX

Key #1: Johnny Football has to play like a senior
This is a tremendously and painfully obvious statement to make in this game. QB Johnny Manziel was remarkable this year, and he had to be the Heisman Trophy winner as a result. You don’t just throw for 3,419 yards, rush for 1,181 yards, and account for 43 total touchdowns in the SEC West without winning the Heisman, especially when your team goes 10-2 and is the only team to beat the Alabama Crimson Tide this year. Remember too, that it isn’t just about what Manziel does with his arm or his legs that makes a difference. He also has to be a heady player that makes the right decisions with the ball. Head Coach Kevin Sumlin puts a lot of stock into his quarterback making plays at the line, making the right audible, making the right throw, and knowing when to keep it and when to hand it off on the option. Remember that RB Ben Malena, RB Christine Michael, and RB Trey Williams combined this year for 1,504 rushing yards and 23 TDs to add to what Manziel was able to do. But if Manziel doesn’t bring his best game to the table in this, his 13th game of his career, the Sooners are going to probably get the better of him.

Cotton Bowl Odds at Diamond Sportsbook
Texas A&M Aggies -3.5
Oklahoma Sooners +3.5
Over/Under 72
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Key #2: Oklahoma can’t let this game get up to a frantic pace
Oklahoma did win all of its shootouts this year, and the two games it lost were kept to a snail’s pace against the Kansas State Wildcats and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but it can’t let this one get into a shootout. QB Landry Jones made too many mistakes with the football this year (10 picks) for him to have to ultimately put the ball in the air 60 or 70 times against the Aggies. Yes, Texas A&M’s defense didn’t have a single player log more than two picks for the entire season, but we just don’t trust that Jones can avoid making the big turnover to give A&M the huge advantage when push comes to shove. Remember that the Baylor Bears, West Virginia Mountaineers, and Oklahoma State Cowboys all pushed the Sooners down the stretch in big time Big XII games, and this is essentially just another game just like these, knowing that these two teams shared the Big XII together through last season.

Key #3: The Aggies have to man up in the red zone on defense
Texas A&M had a great red zone team this year, scoring on 85.5% of its trips inside the opposition’s 20 yard line. It became a heck of a lot easier to do just that with Manziel on the field. However, the Aggies are really going to have a problem in this one stopping the Sooners when they’re inside the 20. Oklahoma ranked 11th in the country, scoring on 89.1% of all of its red zone trips this year. A lot of that was thanks to the play of QB Blake Bell, who rushed for 11 TDs this year. Some of that was due to RB Damien Williams as well, and QB Landry Jones was generally lethal when he got inside the 20 and always has been over the course of his whole career. That’s why this is going to be such a tough draw for an A&M defense that hasn’t always been at its best. If this is the team that lined up toe-to-toe with Alabama and came up with the stop on the goal line that changed the course of the entire season across the whole country, the Aggies can win this game. If not though, this could be a long one for the men from College Station.

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Cotton Bowl Odds: Arkansas vs. Kansas State Predictions 1/6/12

January 2nd, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Cotton Bowl Odds: Arkansas vs. Kansas State Predictions 1/6/12
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A day off in the bowl betting bonanza on January 5th won’t stop us from enjoying another fantastic game on the college football bowl schedule on the 6th. The Kansas State Wildcats and Arkansas Razorbacks were both good enough to be BCS quality teams this year, and they are going to face off in the 2012 Cotton Bowl.

Cotton Bowl: Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Kansas State Wildcats
Cotton Bowl Location: Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX
Cotton Bowl Date/Time: Friday, January 6th, 8:00 p.m. (ET)
Cotton Bowl Television Coverage: FOX

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Key #1: Collin Klein has to have the biggest heart on the field
Say what you want about Klein. We know that he isn’t a great passer. We know that he stands very little chance of completing even 60 percent of his passes in any game that he plays. We know that he looks to run first and then throw the ball. We know that, for a mobile quarterback, he has a miserable yards per carry average right around 4.0. However, with all that being said, you can’t measure a kid’s heart, and that’s exactly what Klein has. This is a man that carries the ball over 24 times per game out of the quarterback spot, and he isn’t doing a heck of a lot of sliding or running out of bounds. There’s a reason that he led the team in scoring with 26 TDs on the campaign and why he came up with 1,099 rushing yards. Klein has the ability to do some real damage, and though his offense’s numbers aren’t all that impressive in totality this year, he just finds ways to keep putting points on the board, a trait that has to show to beat the Hogs.

Cotton Bowl Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Arkansas Razorbacks -7.5
Kansas State Wildcats +7.5
Over/Under 62.5
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Key #2: The Razorbacks cannot let their special teams beat them
The Hogs were only beaten twice this year, once by the Alabama Crimson Tide and once by the LSU Tigers. Both games were on the road, and they were against the two best teams in the country. There was no shame in either defeat, but both games shared a common bond: Bad punt coverage. Against Alabama, WR Marquis Maze had 125 punt return yards, including an 83 yarder that came all the way back for a touchdown. That took a 17-7 game and made it 24-7. The Hogs were beaten 38-14. Against the Bayou Bengals, DB Tyrann Mathieu had two massive punt returns and totaled 115 yards on two runbacks. One went for 92 yards and a TD. From that point on, LSU outscored Arkansas 34-3.

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Key #3: Tyler Wilson has to shred a very suspect secondary
In fairness to the Wildcats, they had to play a schedule this year that included taking on Robert Griffin III, Seth Doege, Landry Jones, Brandon Weeden, and Ryan Tannehill. If we had to play those five guys, who will combine for over 20,000 passing yards when the bowl season is said and done with, we would have a secondary with some suspect numbers as well. However, Wilson is another one of these quarterbacks that could inch near 4,000 yards when the season is said and done with. He has 3,422 yards and is averaging a rock solid 8.4 yards per pass attempt this year, and he has a great set of receivers that can really spread the field all over the place. Wilson also did a nice job taking care of the pigskin on the campaign, throwing just six picks against 22 TDs. KSU’s secondary can be had; just look at the 505 yards and five TDs that Jones came up with when the Oklahoma Sooners came to Manhattan. Wilson just has to take advantage of it if the Razorbacks are going to have a shot at beating the Cotton Bowl odds.

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