While they may have faced vastly different quality of competition this season, both Old Dominion and Tulsa finished the year strong heading into the 2021 Myrtle Beach Bowl betting matchup. The Monarchs (6-6) though the last thing they’d be doing in late December is playing football following their 1-6 start to the season, but a five game win streak has them in the 2nd bowl game in school history.
The Golden Hurricane (6-6) are playing in their second straight bowl game under coach Philip Montgomery after losing the Armed Forces Bowl 28-26 last year against Mississippi State as +1 point underdogs. This will be the 4th time Montgomery has led Tulsa to a bowl appearance in his 8 years at the helm of the program, so that experience makes it no surprise that the Golden Hurricane are -8.5 favorites here.
Old Dominion Largely an Unknown
Some people might not even know Old Dominion had a football team as a predominant basketball school, but they’ll get center stage to prove their mettle in 2021 Myrtle Beach Bowl betting. Blame the competition all you want playing in Conference USA, but ODU’s five game win streak to close out the regular season is impressive – especially after it would have been so easy to fold after a 1-6 start.
ODU’s horrible start to the year can even be taken with a grain of salt considering they were two TD underdogs in losses to Wake Forest (42-10), Liberty (45-17), Buffalo (35-34), Marshall (20-13 OT), and Western Kentucky (43-20) – all except Buffalo who were bowl teams.
That rough start prepared ODU for the C-USA haul, and they’ve responded with 30+ points in three of their final four regular season games. One of the biggest problems the Monarchs have had this year is finding consistency at QB with DJ Mack, Jr. and Hayden Wolff splitting time, but it’s likely Wolff that will get a bulk of the reps vs. Tulsa after winding down the regular season with 328 yards and 3 TDs in a win over Charlotte.
Experience Could Give Tulsa the Edge
It’s not the national championship by any means, but Old Dominion playing in their first bowl game since a loss in the Bahamas Bowl in 2017 has to bring some excitement and nerves to the team. For Tulsa, it’s just another game as the team is bowl savvy after playing Mississippi State in last year’s Armed Forces Bowl and coach Montgomery is playing an extra game for the 4th time in his tenure.
Both teams are 6-6, but the quality of competition for the Golden Hurricane has been much more intense. Tulsa has really ran the gauntlet in suffering losses to #9 Oklahoma State (28-23), #6 Ohio State (41-20), #20 Houston (45-10), #4 Cincinnati (28-20) while also getting wins against #24 SMU (34-31) as well a a pretty solid Memphis squad (35-29)
Tulsa had the 68th hardest strength of schedule this season (which still seems low) while Old Dominion was 111th. QB David Brin’s numbers (58.7% completion, 18 TD / 16 INT) may be convoluted from playing so many good teams and RB Shamari Brooks (922 yards, 6 TDs) may have had better stats in an easier schedule.
2021 Myrtle Beach Bowl Betting Free Pick
Old Dominion went on a nice run to finish out the year, but it’s time for Cinderella to give up the shoe. Tulsa is battle tested against some of the best teams in the country and is used to the operations of how a bowl game works. The Golden Hurricane run away with this one.
Old Dominion 19 – Tulsa 44
Free Pick: Tulsa -8.5