Tulsa at Mississippi State 12/31/20: College Football free preview, analysis, prediction, odds and pick against the spread.
2020-12-31 12:00:00 EDT
The Mississippi State Bulldogs face off with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane Thursday, December 31st in the Armed Forces Bowl in college football Bowl Season action from Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Coming into this Armed Forces Bowl matchup, Tulsa is 6-2 so far. The Hurricane had a six-game win streak snapped by Cincinnati in their last appearance. As for Mississippi State, they’re 3-7 this year. The Bulldogs had a three-game losing streak going before beating Missouri in their last game. Check back all season long for free college football picks at Sports Chat Place.
Tulsa has had a good run this season, outside of two tough losses to good teams. The Hurricane fell to Oklahoma State 16-7 in their opener, but then rattled off wins over UCF, South Florida, East Carolina, SMU, Tulane and Navy. On December 19 Tulsa fell again in a tight game, 27-24 to Cincinnati.
In the loss to the Bearcats, Tulsa QB Zach Smith posted 166 yards with one TD and two interceptions. Sam Crawford led the receivers on three catches for 79 yards, and Corey Taylor led the rush with 22 carries for 130 yards and a score.
Over on the Mississippi State side, it’s been a rough season against some difficult opposition. The Bulldogs opened with losses to LSU, Arkansas, Kentucky, Texas A&M and Alabama before beating Vanderbilt. After that it was three more losses to Georgia, Mississippi and Auburn before a 51-32 win over Missouri on December 19.
In the win over the Tigers, Mississippi State’s Will Rogers managed 295 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Jo’quavious Marks added 12 carries for 70 yards and a TD, and Jaden Waley had 129 yards and a TD on five catches.
The Hurricane are 6-0 ATS in their last six games in December and 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. Tulsa is 5-1 ATS in the last six neutral-site games and 6-1 ATS in their last seven bowl games.
Meanwhile, Mississippi State is 4-1 ATS in their last five Thursday games and 2-5 ATS in their last seven after a straight-up win. The Bulldogs are 1-4 ATS in their last five neutral-site games and 2-7 ATS in their last nine after an ATS win.
PICK: I’m going to stick with Tulsa. Mississippi State’s record looks pretty bad on paper, but they’ve had to play some of the toughest teams in the country this year (and they were competitive in a few of those games). That said, Tulsa has done a pretty solid job against all comers this year, with their two losses coming by just 12 combined points. If Tulsa’s defense can keep things manageable here, I think the Hurricane have enough offensive weapons to get into a cover. I imagine this will be close most of the way, though.