College Football Betting Guide: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Tulane takes on Nevada for the bragging rights to be named Famous Idaho Potato Bowl champs. Where is the betting value?

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl may not have the highest offensive expectations -- the over/under on FanDuel Sportsbook is 55.5 points -- but the spread is tight at 2.5 points, favoring the 6-5 Tulane Green Wave over the 6-2 Nevada Wolf Pack.

Tulane enters having won four of their past five games, while the Wolf Pack have lost two of their past three.

Based on numberFire's power rankings, the Green Wave have a slight edge. They rank 54th in the nation with a nERD score of 2.73, meaning we'd expect them to beat an average opponent on a neutral field by 2.73 points. The Wolf Pack, though, are close behind at 1.87 to rank 60th in the power ratings.

The spread, then, is a little larger than the nERD ratings imply, but what does our algorithm have to say about the actual matchup?

Game Overview

Here's a snapshot of each team's pass and rush offense and defense ranks, based on adjusted passing yards per attempt and rushing yards per carry allowed.

Tulane Green Wave831042719
Nevada Wolf Pack30898834

The offenses do things differently: Tulane is 27th in yards per carry in the country and operate at the 111th-lowest pass-to-run ratio among 127 teams. Nevada is 30th in adjusted passing yards per attempt and are 3rd in pass-to-run ratio, and they'll be throwing against a defense that's just 104th in adjusted passing yards per attempt allowed. That bodes well.

Overall, Tulane averages 0.17 predicted points added per play offensively, via, and allow 0.15 defensively, for a net mark of 0.02. Nevada's offensive mark is 0.26 with a defensive predicted points added value of 0.13, a net of 0.13. The passing efficiency could be the difference here for the underdog Wolf Pack.

Algorithm-Based Bets

Our detailed game projections view the game tight overall. Remember, there's just a difference of 0.86 points in nERD, and the spread is only 2.5 points.

Our algorithm does, though, see Nevada +2.5 as a one-star bet out of five, a result that occurred in 53.7% of our simulated games.

The over, though, came through more often: 59.0% of the time. Our baseline prediction for the score is 30.26-27.49 in favor of Tulane (57.75 combined points). Tulane has averaged 35.4 points per game, and Nevada averaged 29.9, which combines for 65.3 points, and neither pass defense is particularly elite on a per-play basis.