College Football Bowl Picks: News, Odds and Picks from Dec. 16-22
by Doug Upstone Scores & Statson
There is every reason to believe we should some very competitive games as of Dec. 15th, seven of the nine matchups had spreads of four points or less.
We start the week in Florida with the Boca Raton Bowl where the favorite is 3-1 ATS and the SU winner is 4-0 ATS. The next night is the Frisco Bowl in Fort Worth, TX and that bowl battle has the same against the spread stats.
The Gasparilla Bowl is one of two bowls that have an actual home team. That will be South Florida, but they are the underdog and team's catching points are 3-7 ATS in Tampa.
Two MAC teams in action on Friday and Toledo is the conference's largest favorite in the Bahamas Bowl and Western Michigan is the biggest underdog in the Potato Bowl. The MAC is 4-0 ATS in the Bahamas and 1-4 ATS in Boise.
Finally, on Saturday the 22nd, Birmingham Bowl faves are on a 5-1 ATS move. The rest of the day is underdog heavy, as Armed Forces Bowl underdogs are 5-1 ATS of late, Dollar General Bowl pooches are 6-3-2 ATS recently and Hawai'i dogs are 9-5-1 ATS since 2002.
Here are the previews and all odds are courtesy of Intertops.
Betting odds: UAB -2.5, Northern Illinois +2.5, Total: 43
College Football Free Pick: This is one of just three bowls featuring conference champions. UAB's remarkable recovery continues after giving up on football and the Blazers are stronger on both offense and defense over Northern Illinois. The UNDER should also be strongly considered.
Betting odds: Ohio U. -3, San Diego State +3, Total: 54
College Football Free Pick: The strength of Ohio U. is it's running game, which averages 261 yards per game. San Diego State is 4th nationally in stopping the run. The Aztecs also offer value having a 3-9 ATS record, as they were 0-8 ATS as favorite and have covered their last three as underdogs. Take the points.
Betting odds: Marshall -2.5, South Florida +2.5, Total: 55
College Football Free Pick: South Florida is the home team and is still the underdog. Having lost their last five games, playing at home is not likely to fire up the Bulls. Marshall recruits Florida heavily, thus, Thundering Herd players should be ready. Marshall coach Doc Holliday is 5-0 SU and ATS as bowler.
Betting odds: Toledo -6, Florida International +6, Total: 68.5
College Football Free Pick: These team's met in a 2010 bowl in Detroit. Toledo's defense was an issue all year (30 PPG allowed) despite scoring 41 PPG. FIU missed out on a chance to play for C-USA title with a final game setback. Still, the Golden Panthers are 9-3 ATS this year and coach Butch Davis is 6-2 ATS as a bowler.
College Football Free Pick: Not much to like about either team honestly, as both are capable of covering the spread. While getting double-digit points is certainly inviting, BYU's offense clicked late (35.7 PPG) and Western Michigan's defense is porous. Give the points and hope Cougars defense shows up.
Betting odds: Memphis -3.5, Wake Forest +3.5, Total: 75
College Football Free Pick: The money is coming to underdog Wake Forest, who had to win two of three games to get in a bowl. Taking the points is a fair decision, but the best bet is the total, even at this price. Both offenses can score and neither defense can defend. Reaching 80 points will happen.
College Football Free Pick: This is speed vs. execution matchup. Houston has speed on offense and on the perimeter, but Army was 8th in total defense and only surrendered 18 PPG. This game will come down to turnovers the Cougars will commit them and the Black Knights will not. Take Army.
College Football Free Pick: Buffalo's defense really let them down to end the season and it's why they are not MAC champions. While the Buffalo's offense is really impressive, MAC team's entered this week 1-11 (4-7-1 ATS) in recent bowl battles. Troy's inconsistent offense is a concern, but we'll side with the Trojans.
College Football Free Pick: Louisiana Tech closed the season 1-3 SU and ATS and only Miss. State made it to a bowl game. Hawai'i has a strong passing game and the Bulldogs have struggled to move the ball mostly all season. With this game not on Christmas Eve or Day, more Hawai'i fans cheer their team to a win.