Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Georgia State vs Utah State

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Georgia State vs Utah State

Who wins this very evenly matched bowl game between 6-6 teams in Boise?

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Georgia State vs Utah State
Boise, ID
12/23/2023 – 3:30 PM EST

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This is basically a pick-em, and it’s likely to be a very entertaining, and close game. And don’t tell me that I have a propensity for the obvious as the lines came out that way. This is legitimately a fun game considering a lackluster bowl dip this past week in my opinion.

It’s going to be colder than usual for Atlanta players, and the Utah State team is used to it, but I wouldn’t say this is a shock like the Miami Dolphins Playing the Buffalo Bills in a 100 year storm in January cold. It’s likely to be in the mid 30’s. So cold, but not cold enough to catch hypothermia. The fact that Idaho is relatively close to Logan, means you’re going to have to give whatever homefield advantage there might be to a neutral venue to the Aggies.

The (likely) starting QB will be entering BUDS (the Navy Seal Litmus test), which means he’s likely to be tough as nails, and locked in on what it takes to be better than the rest. At this point, I doubt he’s going to have a crisis of confidence, especially considering he’s playing his last college game. Unlike Tony Ferguson’s training with David Goggins (a former SEAL team operator) for his fight against Paddy Pimblett, this probably gives an edge subtly to Utah State.

William’s got legs too, and he’ll need them, as BUDS requires a ton of running. Like: run til you vomit, with 75 lbs on your back, and without sleep for 22 hours. I think he’s a gamemaker here because he’s probably been preparing for high leverage situations for years now, and here it is.

Levi WIlliams (and other potential passers for USU) probably stand a good chance against the poorly rated pass coverage of Georgia State. We’re not sure that Levi Williams will get the start yet, so maybe wait til you see who suits up as the first choice, if you like him at the helm.

OK, enough about Levi Williams. The loss of Carroll by this Georgia State team means that the opposite loss of the Safety Devin Dye probably cancels the other out.

 

The pick here is probably a pretty strong -1 (up to about -2.5) Utah State. But I cannot stress how evenly matched these teams are. I think this is a legitimate case where shot calling and on field weather conditions favor Utah. Given that this is one of the more balanced bowl games this year, I think an argument could be made on a ton of variables. But, I feel pretty confident that Utah State wins here if it stays cold, and I’d probably roll the dice either way, given that there will be a stronger roster behind them on the day going into the weekend. It’s going to get cold enough to piss off the offense from Georgia State in the evening, so deep into this game, I see Utah being able to capitalize on all the points I made above.

Namely:

  • A big name kid with bold ambitions to be an elite warrior, and who is probably dialed in on the mind games and the leadership quotients – this is his Uncle Rico moment to shine – put him in coach!
  • Finger numbing cold
  • Georgia State is missing one of the top rushers in the nation, and while it hurts to lose Devin Dye (Aggies), the rest of the defense is pretty legit too
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Some things to think about:

A prop play on Talique WIlliams for surplus yardage, or for an anytime TD might make some sense. You’ll have to shop for that, or look for a fantasy play and not a straight bet, as those game markets have been few and far between in bowl season 2023. This game is a bigger/better matchup than a lot of games previously played this campaign, so it’s possible there are a lot of options here.

You might even entertain QB Darren Grainger picking up a bit of rushing yardage – so look for an attractive offer on that. You might even get a decent chance at a Grainger rushing TD play with decent odds for the Panthers to capitalize on some changes to the offense thanks to the transfer portal and injuries for the Aggies. He’s a formidable rushing QB, and it’s likely the vig will be steep for some of those plays, but monitor it if you can find a decent line by shopping for it. The opportunity will dry up near gametime, so don’t leave it too late if you like props.

Georgia State lost a lot of offensive potential to the portal which may make the numbers climb – as we speak it’s already moving to -2/-2.5. Shop it to ensure you can lock it. I like the Aggies to about -4. Otherwise I’d probably take the Moneyline, which as we speak is at -143 at several books, but I think you can shop it down to about -125ish if you try really hard. I don’t love that the ML has climbed on the juice so much in the past day. Something in the gut just says they get the job done, even if Georgia State plays well on offense, so I don’t hate it as much as if I was not feeling their capabilities.

I very slightly lean the over on total points, but I’m reserving til the last minute to make a play on this number. It feels super trap-y right now. Especially considering we haven’t heard 100% that Utah State is starting certain key players.

I think it’s pretty clear that the set up for this game on Georgia State’s end, is what might happen next year. And given the types of games that Utah has played this season against well matched opposition, I like the Aggies here straight. I’d play the ML too.

Utah State has had a pretty wild season of close games – they handled SDSU through 2 OT’s, New Mexico was a crazy one, and a win over Utah by 1. And yet, none of their wins came against a team that felt like a real contender. So, there is that.

All that said, my pick for the Boise based Idaho Potato Bowl is this:

-1 Utah State, with a slight lean to the over for points, and I like the prop plays laid out above if the numbers jive. In full transparency, I have a unit on this number (-1). But I am also a closet Utah State fan, so take it for what it’s worth. Because of when this is posted, the number may not be the same as what I bet on. To reiterate: I like Utah State at up to about -4, if WIlliams starts. I would still take them at -2.5 which is what the line is at right now on several books.

This is an Article Written by BW

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