5 best predictions for this the early bowls. What are the best bets and picks for the bowl games from December 16th through the 19th?
Five Best College Football Bowl Predictions December 16-19
So far, the results: 74-63-1
Bowl games require a different skill set to figure out the best picks against both the spread and slightly off-centre totals.
Especially this year, it’s like trying to figure out NFL preseason games. Who’s playing, who’s going to try, who has the most interest?
Every time you think you have a game close to a regular season showdown there is always something wrong.
But there’s a flip side to that. Figure out where the public is leaning based on what happened during the regular season, and combine that with the always-massive overreaction to even the slightest bit of injury or opt-out news, and there’s a chance to clean up.
I’m not going to lie, though. This bowl season will be tough. Never, ever, parlay. This goes triple for these games.
That doesn’t mean I can’t have a 3-for-5 day at the plate for the first ten bowls of the season.
Everyone, Merry Bowling
Because this first one is probably rolling by the time you get to this, go ahead and apply all of this to the second half lines in …
To view a preview of each game, click on the link.
Friday, December 16th, 11:30 AM, ESPN
POINT TOTAL 45
Here’s where this might get tricky – Miami University is missing way too many offensive players off a team that didn’t exactly light it up during the regular season.
There are two ways to view all the injuries, transfers, and opt-outs in these games. Either it’s going to be a disaster without no offensive continuity, or coaches are just going to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.
Or, the other team may be about to be destroyed.
Miami might not have a strong enough O line or passing game, and UAB doesn’t have its new head coach Trent Dilfer quite yet. The Blazers are still relatively intact and they love Bryant Vincent enough that they will play hard for him.
If this UAB offense gets rolling, it’s more than capable of handling at least 30 of the 45 points on the total by itself even against a good RedHawk D. It’s going to be up to Miami University’s offense – held together by duct tape and a few prayers – to help just a little bit.
This can be done in 30 to 15 minutes. In the first seven Bahamas Bowls, four went over 45, last year’s hit it, and one came close at 44, and one got to 40.
Now, if this doesn’t work and you think I’m even more of an idiot by the time you get to this piece, it’s bowl season. Shake it off – there are always more bowls on the way.
NEXT – College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 4: SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl
Saturday, December 17, 2012, 2:30 PM, ESPN
ATS LINE Oregon State -10
Poor, The poor Florida.
It’s just this Little Engine That Could SEC program that Might as well go enjoy the marginally-priced buffet and Vegas style entertainment on The Strip considering what the world thinks of its chances.
I’m sorry – I know Oregon State is great.
This is a rock-solid Beaver team that’s relatively okay in terms of lost players. And then there’s Florida. Poor, poor, poor Florida.
QB Anthony Richardson is going be a top 15 overall pick, other key parts of the offensive puzzle are missing, and the defense that was a bizarre disaster in so many ways – there isn’t a third down that Oregon State won’t convert against this bunch – won’t have Ventrell Miller at linebacker.
I can’t get there and pick the Gators outright – if you can, +300 is a tasty snack – but there are still enough good parts in place to run the ball reasonably well.
Jack Miller isn’t just some guy dragged out of his finals to step in at quarterback – he’s a talented passing prospect who might Richardson is a little more steady than you are in this.
Okay, Richardson is special and could’ve won this thing by himself, but you’re giving an SEC team ten points in an early bowl game. Oregon State wins, but …
NEXT: College Football Pick against The Spread No. 3: Cricket Celebration Bowl
Saturday, December 17, 12:00 AM, ABC
POINT TOTAL 55
I’m well aware that Coach Prime and – potentially – a slew of his players are already thinking about what’s next as they take over the world with what they’re about to do at Colorado. This point is also nestled between reality and the mountains, much like Boulder.
You think for one second that Jackson State – unfocused and all – is about to come into this without one serious attitude after flopping last year in a 31-10 Celebration Bowl loss to South Carolina State?
You can also play a little with the Eagles of North Carolina Central.
Who’s No. 1. in the FCS in third down converts? Jackson Sta … nope. NC Central
Who’s fifth in the nation in scoring offense, 14th in passing efficiency, and puts up 442 yards and 38 points per game? The team on the opposite side of the field should be the one to get the ball rolling.
Jackson State has the defense, though – No. 1 scoring D in the FCS – to keep the NC Central attack from going off, but you’re asking for 56 combined points between two teams that can light it up.
And then there’s the shot that Jackson State does this all by itself.
It’s not going to put up 56, but it has the ability to turn the lights out fast, and it’s not going to stop.
It will be an entertaining game from the opening to the halftime, with both players and playmakers making it one of the most memorable games of the season. Naturally, it must win.
NEXT: College Football Pick against the Spread No. 2 Wasabi Fenway Bowl
Saturday, December 17, 11:00 ESPN
POINT TOTAL 40
I don’t blame you one bit if you want nothing to do with this game. Evidently, neither side wants to play.
This bowl is in every way a disaster.
Coach Scott Satterfield is leaving for Cincinnati from Louisville, Jeff Brohm isn’t going to do anything yet for the Cardinals, and seemingly every really good Cincinnati player has bolted, is hurt, or both.
Louisville isn’t in quite the same shape, but it’s missing a whole lot of parts in the offensive backfield and the defense won’t have a few decent pieces.
But even with all of that and even with all the unknowns, I’d still be screaming to take the over on 40 points in a bowl game. It’s as easy as 24-17. There’s one problem with that.
Who has a freaking bowl game at Boston’s 17th December?
As I keep yelling at everyone when it comes to point totals this time of year … weather, weather, weather.
This all starts at 11 AM ET. That’s about when the delightful combination of snow and slushy rain should be finishing up its part of the festivities just in time for it all to freeze later in the day.
That, and it’s supposed to be really, really windy – like, gale warnings – for two teams that as is won’t be able to throw.
This is going be bowl performance art.
This starts the day, and three NFL games and five other bowls later, you’re going to stay up late and deal with …
NEXT: College Football Pick against The Spread No. 1 Frisco Bowl
Saturday, December 17, 2009, 9:15 PM, ESPN
LINE Boise State -10.5
PICK THE ATS Boise State
Sometimes you go with your first answer and don’t waiver.
It’s the bowl season. Could something totally stupid happen, like North Texas ripping it up in a relative home game with 46-year-old QB Austin Aune – he’s actually 29 – throwing for 350 yards in a 44-10 win? Yeah. You are invited to play bowl games.
But it’s not. This was it. From the moment I saw the lines, it was the game that I enjoyed the most. You might be wondering why.
It’s too frighteningly good of a matchup for Boise State.
First, North Texas is now without Seth Littrell as its head coach. He led the team to Conference USA Championship but was fired after it lost. Longtime coach Phil Bennett knows what he’s doing in the interim, but the change doesn’t help.
Boise State’s future is bright. While star running back George Holani will be out for a few weeks due to a shoulder injury, the rest of the great running game should be fine.
And that’s the issue. Boise State’s rested running game should come up with 200 yards rushing halfway through the pregame meal.
North Texas is terrible against the run, and ranks 124th in the country in total defense. Boise State isn’t.
The Broncos are sixth in total defense and 11th in scoring D, but it’ll give up a few big passing yards here and there. That’s okay, the O will make up for it with gashing runs as the game goes on.
You’ll worry a little bit going into halftime, but by about 1:00 AM ET when the wild day of football is done, all will be right with the world.