The Penn State Nittany Lions (10-2) head to Texas this weekend to battle the Memphis Tigers (12-1) in the 2019 Cotton Bowl Classic. Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST on December 28th at AT&T Stadium and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN.
Taking a look at the full list of college bowl betting odds, Penn State is currently listed as a 7-point favorite. The total for the game is sitting at 59.5 points. You can also click here to check out our 2019-20 bowl predictions page.
Cotton Bowl Vegas Odds Preview: Penn State vs Memphis
Memphis only lost a single game during the regular season, finishing the year with a 12-1 record overall after edging out Cincinnati 29-24 in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game. The Tigers trailed 14-10 at the half but really turned it on down the stretch, outscoring the Bearcats 19-10 over the final two quarters of the game en route to a five point victory. QB Brady White certainly wasn’t at his best, going 18/40 for 253 passing yards and a touchdown while also getting picked off once as well. RB Antonio Gibson led the way on the ground, racking up 130 rushing yards and a touchdown on just eleven carries. As a whole, Memphis averaged over 40 points and 450 total yards of offense per game through their first 13 outings.
The Tigers were fairly average on the other side of the ball this year, giving up around 25 points and 375 total yards of offense per game. Memphis was especially impressive defending against the pass, holding their opponents to just over 200 yards through the air per outing.
Penn State won two out of their final three games down the stretch to finish the season with a 10-2 record overall. The Nittany Lions offense was pretty consistent through their first 12 games, averaging almost 35 points and racking up over 400 total yards of offense on a weekly basis. While the passing offense only generated an average of around 230 yards through the air per game, the ground attack racked up close to 175 rushing yards per game this year.
The Nittany Lions were exceptional defensively this year, limiting their opponents to under 15 points and 315 total yards of offense per game. Penn State completely shut down opposing offenses on the ground, surrendering under 100 rushing yards per game.
2019 Cotton Bowl Free Betting Pick & Predictions: Memphis +7
While I am also somewhat tempted by the OVER on 59.5 total points scored, my favorite play from the 2019 Cotton Bowl Classic is taking the seven points and rolling with the Tigers against the spread. Memphis was extremely impressive during the regular season, winning the AAC outright and losing just once the entire year. They also fared quite well against the spread, going 7-5-1 ATS through their first 13 games overall. Penn State also enjoyed a pretty impressive regular season, although they ended up going just .500 overall against the spread after a tough year playing at home.
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The Nittany Lions really hit a downswing against the spread over the past months of the regular season, going just 2-5 ATS over their last seven outings. They are also only 1-4 against the spread the last five times they were favored prior to kickoff. On the other side, Memphis has covered in the number in four out of their last six games away from Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium as well. I’ll take the free touchdown and side with the Tigers against the spread in what should be a very competitive 2019 Cotton Bowl Classic.