Bowl season is the best time of year for college football fans. There are games on basically around the clock everyday for weeks straight. I’ve bet every bowl game so far, either on the spread or on the total. After the first 16 games I have a record of 10-6 and I am up +3.40 units. Today is a glorious slate of games that proposes lots of opportunity to grow your bankroll.
TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl
The Pick: Houston +2 vs. Auburn
Football is a funny game. So much of the time it can simply come down to who wants it more. Who is willing to go the extra mile for their team. When I look at this game, I can’t help but think that Houston is going to want this game so much more than Auburn. They Iron Bowl versus Alabama was Auburn’s Super Bowl. I expect the Tigers to come out flat in this one. Houston is going to have something to prove against a SEC school. Auburn will be without seven players, mostly due to opt-outs. Auburn has dropped their last four games, they are checked out. Take Houston +2.
Interesting fact: Houston leads the nation in third down defense.
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl
The Pick: Air Force/Louisville under 55
I am a big fan of the under is this game. I don’t really love either side ATS in this one, but I do think it stays under the total. Air Force is a triple option team, meaning they will kill a lot of clocks when they have the ball. Louisville hasn’t been great against the run this year (72nd in the Nation against the run), I think you’ll see Air Force go on some long drives killing the clock. Based on time of possession, take this game to go under the total.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl
The Pick: Mississippi State -10 vs. Texas Tech
Swallow the points here, take Mississippi State. Texas Tech will be without Erik Ezukanma, one of the best receivers in the Big 12. They have several other key players on both sides of the ball on the injury list, and it is unclear whether or not we will see them take the field this afternoon. Also, after this game five of Texas Techs coaches will depart for new coaching jobs in college football. Consider the human element in this game, these coaches will not be all in and they probably haven’t prepared to the extent they normally would. Take Mississippi State with confidence.
San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl
The Picks: NC State -2 vs. UCLA & Over 60
I all over NC State in this game. Devin Leary, NC State QB, has flown under the radar all season long. He has thrown for over 3,400 yards, 35 touchdowns, and just 5 interceptions. He will have no problem rolling through a weak UCLA defense that struggled mightily against the pass; The Bruins rank 111th in the country against the pass. Dorian Thompson-Robinson has been great for UCLA this season, but expect NC State’s top notch passing defense to give him problems tonight. Since October 30th, NC State has more interceptions than touchdowns allowed. That is an outrageous stat. I do think UCLA’s offense will get points on the board, but it won’t be enough to beat out the NC State Wolfpack. Take NC State in a shootout.
Guaranteed Rate Bowl
The Pick: WVU/Minnesota under 45
This is a low total, but I am playing the under. West Virginia is going to look to get out and throw the ball around the field. That is going to be difficult for them because Minnesota has been tremendous at defending against the pass all season long. They rank 11th in the country against the pass, thanks to a lockdown secondary and a ferocious defensive line. On the other side of the ball, Minnesota is going to look to run the ball often. This won’t be easy either because West Virginia has shown that they have the bodies inside to defend against the run. West Virginia has also been solid on third downs with their backs against the wall, which I think will pay dividends tonight. I think both defenses will prevent big plays, which means scoring drives should be long and kill the clock. Take the under.