College Football Bowl Picks: News, Odds and Picks from Dec. 26-29
by Doug Upstone Scores & Statson
The bowl season picks up in earnest this week and should be quite a week based on the odds. Think about this, every game outside of the national semi-finals has a spread of under a touchdown. The two games were supposed to care the most have spreads of more than a dozen!
Here are the previews and all odds are courtesy of Intertops.
Betting odds: Boise State -2, Boston College +2, Total: 55
College Football Free Pick: Off three straight losses, mostly due to their own sloppiness, look for Boston College to be prepared to play. In addition, the Eagles are stronger on the O-Line and have speed and quickness edge. B.C. wins outright.
College Football Free Pick: This is coach Paul Johnson's last game at Georgia Tech and hard not to imagine his players won't play hard for him. Even with weeks to prepare, Minnesota cannot mimic the speed of which the Yellow Jackets option is played. The Golden Gophers fall by 10.
College Football Free Pick: This bowl features two solid defenses and a pair of crummy offenses. Of course, the teams want to win, but look for both teams to go against tendencies on offense, which will add points, lending to OVER play. As far as the side, we'll back TCU's Gary Patterson in his 17th bowl. vs. Cal's Justin Wilcox in his first.
College Football Free Pick: The line has been coming down on the Independence Bowl and probably for good reason. Duke's David Cutcliffe is 8-2 ATS as bowl coach and motivation will be ample for the Blue Devils after two ugly drubbings to end the regular season.
College Football Free Pick: This a rather rare rematch of two teams, having met in a bowl battle last year. But the Pinstripe is not the Orange Bowl and each club suffered through poor quarterback play and way too many turnovers. No easy choice here, but we'll side with Miami even in the cold out for revenge from last year.
College Football Free Pick: With 6-6 records and having to win to get into the bowl season, each team should be excited to play and finish with a winning campaign. Statistically, the teams are very similar, which would make a lean towards taking the points. There is a neutral field system that is 34-8 UNDER which applies here.
College Football Free Pick: Auburn going from the Fiesta Bowl to Music City does not lend itself to a peak Tigers effort. However, Auburn has a big speed edge and can take advantage of a weak Purdue pass defense. The Boilermakers keep it close but fail to cover late.
Betting odds: Syracuse -1, West Virginia +1 Total: 67.5
College Football Free Pick: West Virginia failed to win the Big 12 and now will be without starting QB Will Grier who is moving on to the NFL. This is Syracuse's first bowl game in five years and could win 10 games for the first time since 2001. Add in Dana Holgorsen is 0-5 ATS as a bowler and the Orange sold all their tickets for this Orlando bowl and it's the 'Cuse who cover.
Betting odds: Washington State -3.5, Iowa State +3.5, Total: 54
College Football Free Pick: Iowa State is not going to be intimidated by Washington State passing offense playing in the Big 12. The Cougars might not be sharp from the outset looking to overcome the disappointment of not playing for the Rose Bowl. With Mike Leach 3-8 ATS as bowl favorite, take the Cyclones and consider the UNDER with two good defensive clubs.
College Football Free Pick: Each of these teams arrives in Tucson on a 4-1 SU run and playing well. Where the outcome is likely to be decided is turnovers. Nevada has committed two or more miscues in nine of their 12 games, while Arkansas State has only turned the pigskin over more than once two times all year. The Red Wolves by 7.
College Football Free Pick: If Michigan comes into this game as some people think after horrific whipping by Ohio State, they will not cover against Florida. But if the Wolverines play like they did the first 11 games this season, they have the offense and defense to handle Florida by 10 or more. Let's go with the latter.
Betting odds: South Carolina -5, Virginia +5, Total: 53.5
College Football Free Pick: The side and total look to correct as any bowl we have seen thus far. In looking for an edge, the South Carolina offense is more consistent than Virginia's. Given the choice between the Over and Under, a slight edge to the latter with a solid system in bowl games at 27-10.
College Football Free Pick: Really thought about taking Notre Dame here, but question if their offensive line will hold up for 60 minutes against Clemson's deep defensive line. If the Fighting Irish generates turnovers they would a shot, otherwise, the Tigers by 15.
College Football Free Pick: It seems a foregone conclusion that Alabama will score touchdowns at will and if they stop Oklahoma three times on downs, that should be enough to cover. Totals bettors have taken the number down to 77, are they right? Nope, Tide rolls and so does the OVER.