We are off to a solid 60% start on the early bowl games with a 9-6 record. One reason I broke the games up into 2 parts was the concern that these teams would start bailing on games.
Based on the games scheduled to be played, here is the rest of the bowl season.
Quick Lane Bowl - Nevada vs. Western Michigan
Tough game to cap with Nevada missing key players and the line swinging from the Wolf Pack to the Broncos. Do you really trust the MAC?
Pick: Under 56.5
Birmingham Bowl - Auburn vs. Houston
Pick: Houston +2.5 - I get nervous backing SEC teams in these lesser bowls. They rarely care when they play in these.
First Responder Bowl - Air Force vs. Louisville
Pick: Air Force +1.5 - Take the fly guys whose offense is a nightmare to defend. Plus, I know I’m getting max effort.
Liberty Bowl - Miss State vs Texas Tech
Pick: Over 58.5 - This is the Texas Tech owes Mike Leach salary from 2009 bowl. Don’t think Leach has forgotten about getting stiffed millions by the Texas Tech administration. If he has a chance to score late, I think he will gleefully do it.
Holiday Bowl - UCLA vs. NC State
Pick: UCLA +1.5 - Chip Kelly and this program have not been to a bowl since he came to Westwood. Something tells me he will have his club focused versus a team traveling cross country.
Guarantee Rate Bowl - Minnesota vs. West Virginia
Pick: Under 45 - This game should be a defensive battle and taking the Under on a number like 45 is tough, but it tells you what the market thinks of these teams.
Pinstripe Bowl - Virginia Tech vs. Maryland
Pick: Under 55 - No clue who is going to realistically QB the Hokies, so take the Under.
Cheez-It Bowl - Iowa State vs. Clemson
Pick: Under 44 - Clemson’s defense is elite and the Cyclones are missing their best player in Hall. Plus, have you seen Clemson’s offense this year?
Alamo Bowl - Oklahoma vs. Oregon
Pick: Sooners -4.5 - I rarely back favorites, but I’m more confident in Bob Stoops rallying the Sooners than Oregon showing up in a big game.
Duke’s Mayo Bowl - UNC vs. South Carolina
Pick: Under 58.5 - Shane Beamer knows he doesn’t have the firepower to outscore the Heels. It is extremely hard to take an under in a North Carolina game since they play at a crazy tempo.
Music City Bowl - Purdue vs. Tennessee
Pick: Tennessee -4.5 - This is a legit bowl and the SEC usually shows up in these. Vols need momentum heading into 2022 and get it here in Nashville.
Peach Bowl - Pitt vs Michigan St.
Pick: Who knows? No Pickett for Pitt and no Walker for MSU. I’m going to pass since I have no idea who cares about being there and who will actually play.
Las Vegas Bowl - Wisconsin vs. Arizona State
Pick: Wisconsin -6 - The Bucky Badger fan base will drink Vegas nearly dry this week prepping for the game. Wisky just needs to line up and cram the ball down the Sun Devils’ throat. Don’t over think this one.
Gator Bowl - Rutgers vs. Wake Forest
Pick: I’m going to pass on this game since I don’t have a clue if these teams really care about this one.
Arizona Bowl - Boise State vs. Central Michigan
Pick: Boise -7. This is a pure fade of the MAC.
Cotton Bowl CFP Semi - Bama vs. Cincinnati
Pick: Under 58 - The Bearcats have a legit D and Bama is shorthanded on offense. Saban, if he gets a lead, will likely try and slow the pace.
Orange Bowl - Georgia vs. Michigan
Pick: Michigan team total Under 18.5 - I have said for 3 weeks that I believe Michigan will have trouble scoring versus this nasty UGA defense.
Outback Bowl - Arkansas vs. Penn State
Pick: Arkansas Pick ‘em - I trust Sam Pittman to bowl prep better than Hollywood James Franklin.
Citrus Bowl - Iowa vs. Kentucky
Pick: Under 44 - Only way I could play this game.
Fiesta Bowl - Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma State
Pick: Notre Dame -1 (Circa Sports in Vegas) - I referenced the book since a lot of operators have the Irish -2 to -2.5. These guys wanted Rees and Freeman to coach them, now they need to go out and play hard for them.
Rose Bowl - Ohio State vs. Utah
Pick: Under 66 - Kyle Whittingham is a smart coach. He knows he cannot go score for score with the Buckeyes. I think he relies on his ground game and special teams to control the ball and tempo.
Sugar Bowl - Ole Miss vs. Baylor
Pick: Ole Miss -1 - I think Lane Kiffin is the best play caller in the sport. This will be a fun chess match between him and Aranda.
Texas Bowl - LSU vs. Kansas State
Pick: Under 48 - Do these teams care about this game? I doubt it.