5 Best College Football Bowl predictions against the Spread December 21-24

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5 best predictions for this the early bowls. What are the best bets and picks for the bowl games from December 21st through the 24th?  

5 Best College Football Bowl Predictions December 21,-24

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Bowls Dec 20-27 | Dec 28-Jan 2, NY6, CFP
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Results So far: 76-66-1
Bowl Season 2-3

My goal was reached 3-for-5 in round one of the 5 Best Bowl Predictions Against The Spread.

I roped two doubles off of fat beach balls down the middle of the plate – the over on the Celebration Bowl and the under on whatever the hell that Fenway Bowl between Louisville and Cincinnati was – and I hit a rocket shot for a hard out with UAB and Miami University coming two yards away from the over.

However, I’m shaken by looking at a called strike three right down the middle of the plate thinking Florida would give Oregon State a game in the Las Vegas, and one of my sure things of the bowl season – Boise State destroying North Texas in the Frisco – was an embarrassing strikeout with a pulled muscle at the end.

I apologize for not pumping up one of the easiest calls of the bunch – Marshall over UConn by 10.5 in the Myrtle Beach – so I’ll try to make up for it with this round of seven bowls to choose from between December 21st and December 24th.

But, I only need one for the picks.

Happy Holidays everyone. Seriously. Everyone deserves to relax, eat a lot, and watch mediocre football over the next few days.

I’m tired of joking around. I’m getting these five right starting with …

Click on any game to view the preview

5. Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Air Force vs Baylor

Thursday, December 22, at 7:30 p.m. ESPN 
ATS Line 
Baylor -4
Pick Air Force

I’m not going to get into the why on this from a technical game analysis standpoint. Let’s make it simple.

Bowl games are a great way to showcase Air Force’s head coach Troy Calhoun.

Calhoun was 2-4 in his long tenure, but he and the program went 4-1 since then, winning three consecutive games, including two against PowerFivers Louisville and Washington State.

Air Force doesn’t have anyone of note taking off or transferring, and the losses for Baylor are relatively minimal. The Bears did make a few changes to their coaching staff by firing Ron Roberts, their defensive coordinator. Air Force may not consider this a positive for them, but there is one main reason.

Baylor head coach Dave Aranda appears to be handling the defensive coaching duties, and that’s why I’m not going overboard here. He’s way too good.

On the flip side, there’s a lot of fixing to do for a defense that was miserable at coming up with third down stops and didn’t generate enough pressure up front. There’s that, and Baylor needs to control the clock and the tempo – no one controls the clock and the tempo against Air Force.

All this, and the Air Force should be fairly healthy. This team was able to work when they had all the necessary parts. It failed when it got damaged.

Again, I’m not 1000% in love with this – Air Force came up with a whole lot of wins against a whole lot of bad teams – but I’m in deep like. So let’s try this …

NEXT: College Football Pick against the Spread No. 4: R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

4. R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: South Alabama vs WKU

Wednesday, December 21, 9:00, ESPN
ATS Line 
South Alabama -4.5
Pick South Alabama

This is known as massaging the bowl pick. If this was mid-October I wouldn’t be touching this.

WKU has too much offense, it has the ability to go off and hang a huge number on the board if it gets going, and …

It’s not like it beat anyone.

Middle Tennessee and UAB are the only real bowl teams it took down – I’m only half including five-win Rice that got a bowl bid thanks to past teams that went to class. It was defeated by Troy, from the Sun Belt, but then it was swept by North Texas.

All that, and it’s missing a TON of players.

QB Austin Reed was gone – supposedly to Louisville – until he wasn’t, and now he’s back and all is right with the world. However, the defense that couldn’t afford to lose a lot has to replace a slew of parts to the transfer portal, the receiving corps took a hit, and on the flip side, a rock-solid South Alabama team’s losses were minimal.

South Alabama was also defeated in two other games. In a match it came, UCLA beat South Alabama 32 to 31 This close to pulling off if it hadn’t screwed it up, and 10-6 in a weeknight brawl with a terrific Sun Belt champion Troy team that won its bowl game.

So far, the Sun Belt has a record of 3-0 in these bowl games. The winning combination will include the rest of the team and the almost-all-full Jaguars. Giving away 4.5 isn’t enough to be scared off.

NEXT: College Football Pick against The Spread No. 3: RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl

3. RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl: Liberty vs Toledo

Tuesday, December 20, 2013, 3:30 PM, ESPN
ATS Line 
Toledo -3.5
Pick Liberty

You remember how I picked Air Force because it’s solid at doing the bowl thing? Yeah … good times.

That’s part of the reason why I’m picking Liberty. Toledo is terrible in bowls these days.

It was great for a time in the early 2010s but it quickly got worse with four consecutive losses to Group of Five teams. Toledo has played 19 bowls, but it has never beaten a Power Five programme. Boston College was more than half a century ahead.

Liberty is now 3-0 in bowls. Hugh Freeze was the winner of all three victories. who’s another reason why I’m picking Liberty. He’s gone.

The Flames had a whole lot of injuries over the second half in the year, but a team this good doesn’t get walloped at home by New Mexico State 49-14 if the 100% full focus is there.

Liberty loses a bunch to the transfer portal – along with its head coach – but not enough to get into a twist over.

This should look more like the Liberty team that defeated BYU and pushed Virginia Tech to a late loss. I’ll take this team and the points.

And now for the off-the-rails portion of the program, and it’s a two-parter.

NEXT: College Football Pick against The Spread No. 2 Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl

2. Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl: Houston vs Louisiana

Saturday, December 23rd, 3:00 PM, ESPN
ATS Line 
Houston -7
Pick Houston

I’m about to go on a journey here. It’s not going to be for everyone, but if you’ve got the grit, there might be something amazing on the other side.

You want to talk about the flakiest of the flaky – present company politely excluded – I give you the Houston Cougars both in bowl games and in the regular season.

Houston has been next-level weird in bowls over the last five years – I think Army just scored again in the 70-14 squeaker in the 2018 Armed Forces. It lost four straight, and then, from out of nowhere, it came up with a brilliant late drive to take down Auburn in last year’s Birmingham.

On this journey, I’m hitching my wagon to Cougar head coach Dana Holgorsen, who went 1-5 in bowls at West Virginia after his phenomenal 2011 season with an Orange Bowl win. If it wasn’t for QB Clayton Tune bailing the team out against AU, Holgorsen would be on a 1-7 bowl streak.

And then there’s this season. The Cougars couldn’t seem to find a win they didn’t try really, really hard to give away.

They lost to a Tulsa team that was mediocre just as they seemed to have gotten over the weirdness and started to play like they were supposed in an East Carolina 42-3 victory.

You’ve come this far and now you don’t have the stomach for it? I warned you.

Why am I so in love with Houston? I don’t buy into Louisiana at all.

That cost me with my Boise State pick – that was as much about not liking North Texas after a coaching change.

The Ragin’ Cajuns were able to rip through a solid Georgia Southern team, and they held their own against Troy. However, they were defeated 49-17 by Florida State after playing a Power Five opponent. Houston will be P5 next year in the Big 12, but it’s close enough.

There are also the missing pieces. Houston doesn’t have as many as it probably should considering the NFL talent on the roster. Louisiana’s missing pieces, though – especially DE Andre Jones and WR Michael Jefferson – really hurt, even though there aren’t many of them.

Oh, you think we’re done after all this meandering gibberish?

NEXT: College Football Pick against The Spread No. 1 MORE Radiance Technology Independence Bowl

1. Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl: Houston vs Louisiana

Saturday, December 23rd, 3:00 PM, ESPN
POINT TOTAL
56.5
PICK It’s Over

I’ll cut to the chase after rambling for too long on No. 2.

Houston may score 56.5 all by itself. It should at least take down some of it. Even when it’s bad it scores 30 points.

How many Houston Cougar games have gone beyond 56.5 points? Ten of the 12, and it scored 42 in one of the games that didn’t – 42-3 over East Carolina – and the other came against Tulane’s good defense in a 27-24 loss.

Louisiana’s defense hasn’t been bad. One really good offensive team it faced – Georgia Southern – was held to 17 points. However, 53 points were scored. Florida State was the other positive attack. It scored 49 points, with the total reaching 66.

And then there’s the Houston defense. You know the one that was on SMU’s losing side in the 77-63 loss to Houston.

Navy scored 20 on the Cougars – that’s probably all you need out of Louisiana. Rice scored 27. USF scored 27. Freaking Tempe lost the fight by a score of 43 to 36.

One final thing – the weather. I am constantly reminding people to always verify the weather before submitting a point total.

It will be cold in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Saturday. However, it will be relatively clear. It won’t be a problem.

Happy holidays.

Expert Picks
Bowls Dec 20-27 | NFL Week 16 

Story originally appeared on College Football News

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