Guaranteed Rate Bowl 2021: Odds, Daily Fantasy Tips for WVU vs. Minnesota

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 27, 2021

Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck sings with his players after his team played Nebraska at an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

The Guaranteed Rate Bowl is expected to be one of the slowest offensive grinds of the FBS bowl season. 

The West Virginia Mountaineers and Minnesota Golden Gophers both give up less than 25 points per game, and they have average quarterbacks leading their respective offenses. 

West Virginia comes into Phoenix at a disadvantage since leading rusher Leddie Brown opted out of the contest. 

The removal of a 1,000-yard rusher from the matchup could make it even more of a grind, especially if Minnesota controls the pace. 

Minnesota averages more rushing yards than passing yards per contest on offense, and it only gives up 100.2 yards per contest on the ground. 

We could be in for a low-scoring affair if the Golden Gophers shut down the Mountaineers' replacement options for Brown. 


Guaranteed Rate Bowl Info

Date: Tuesday, December 28

Start Time: 10:15 p.m. ET 


Live Stream: ESPN app and ESPN.com.


Game Odds

Spread: Minnesota (-5) 

Over/Under: 45

Money Line: Minnesota (-200; bet $200 to win $100); West Virginia (+170; bet $100 to win $170) 


Daily Fantasy Tips

Call on Minnesota's Ground Game

Minnesota has no problem winning a low-scoring game.

The Golden Gophers finished their regular season by defeating the Wisconsin Badgers, 23-13, as it conceded 233 total yards. 

Minnesota averages 27 more yards on the ground than it does through the air. The Golden Gophers should look to get an efficient ground game going on Tuesday to establish their control. 

Ky Thomas, Mar'Keise Irving and Trey Potts all earned over 100 carries after Mohamed Ibrahim, the team's star running back, suffered a season-ending injury early in the season. 

The running back trio can be interchanged to wear down the West Virginia defense that allows 350 total yards per game. The Mountaineers give up 66 more yards per contest than Minnesota. 

P.J. Fleck's team will call on quarterback Tanner Morgan to make a few big throws, but the passing attack is not too dangerous. Minnesota does not have a player with over 500 receiving yards. 

Rostering one or more of Minnesota's running backs is the best daily fantasy football strategy for the Big Ten side because of the low passing totals. 


Lean on Jarret Doege From West Virginia Roster

West Virginia needs quarterback Jarret Doege to turn in a massive performance to come away with a win.

Doege received support from Leddie Brown all season, but now he is the top playmaker with the running back not playing on Tuesday. 

The former Texas Tech quarterback threw for three touchdowns in his last two regular-season games, so you would think he comes into the postseason with some confidence. 

Doege's overall numbers are not great. He only had 19 touchdown passes, and he was picked off on 11 occasions. 

The senior was decent in the Mountaineers' two ranked victories. He had 370 yards and three touchdowns against the Iowa State Cyclones as well as 193 yards and a pair of scoring throws vs. the Virginia Tech Hokies. 

Doege is capable of beating an eight-win team, but he needs to avoid mistakes and stay upright in the pocket. He suffered 15 sacks in the last four games. 

Look for Winston Wright Jr. and Bryce Ford-Wheaton to be Doege's top targets, but like Minnesota, the overall receiving stats are not great. West Virginia does not have a single wideout with more than 700 yards. 

West Virginia's passing attack would be more of a contrarian play in DFS lineups with so many other high-powered offenses on Tuesday's five-game slate, but the move could work since WVU needs to rely on Doege more with Brown out. 


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