Bowl season is heating up with more games featuring better better teams preparing to take the field in the coming days.
While the College Football Playoff will garner the most attention, there’s plenty of other great bowl games to enjoy in the mean time, and for gamblers, there’s plenty of money left to be made. While our bowl picks got off to a bit of a rough start,we picked up some wins yesterday and will be looking to keep the momentum going all the way through New Year’s Day.
Below you can find our best bets for every remaining bowl game on the schedule.
All lines courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
Independence Bowl: Southern Mississippi (+14.5) vs. Florida State
The pick: Florida State -14.5
The logic: It’s been a rough year for the Seminoles, but the team was able to keep its streak of bowl appearances alive thanks to a late run of wins and a bit of slightly questionable maths. Still, I think this is a spot for them to run through Southern Mississippi and show start working towards getting back into the top ten next year.
When to watch: December 27, 1:30 p.m. on ESPN
Pinstripe Bowl: Iowa (-2.5) vs. Boston College
The pick: Iowa -2.5
The logic: No team in the Big Ten strikes fear into the hearts of contenders then Iowa. They have a tendency to play up to their opponents in big games, and also are home to the best new tradition in college football. It’s an easy team to root for.
When to watch: December 27, 5:15 p.m. on ESPN
Foster Farms Bowl: Arizona (-3) vs. Purdue
The pick: Purdue +3
The logic: Purdue has been one of my favourite teams to watch in college football this season, with a sparky offence and better-than-expected defence capable of getting a stop when the moment calls. Arizona’s fearsome rushing attack is nothing to scoff at, but Purdue has come so far from a team that Vegas set at 2.5 wins at the start of the season – they will come out looking to cap the season with a win.
When to watch: December 27, 8:30 p.m. on FOX
Texas Bowl: Texas (+3) vs. Missouri
The pick: Texas +3
The logic: Texas, getting points, in the Texas Bowl. Don’t overthink it.
When to watch: December 27, 9:00 p.m. on ESPN
Military Bowl: Virginia (+1.5) vs. Navy
The pick: Virginia +1.5
The logic: Navy has one of the strongest teams they have had in recent memory, but Virginia should be stronger at most positions in this game, and has a vertical threat that could potentially torch the Midshipmen. Still, the Armed Forces teams always show up for these bowl games, so I would tread lightly.
When to watch: December 28, 1:30 p.m. on ESPN
Camping World Bowl: Virginia Tech (+4.5) vs. Oklahoma State
The pick: Virginia Tech +4.5
The logic: Oklahoma State is currently getting close to 80% of bets on this game. When the public zigs, we zag. Go Hokies.
When to watch: December 28, 5:15 p.m. on ESPN
Alamo Bowl: Stanford (+3) vs. TCU
The pick: Stanford +3
The logic: Two teams that lost their conference championship game meet in the Alamo Bowl this year, and it should make for a great game, but it’s admittedly a difficult one to bet on. I was going to give the home-field edge to TCU, but then I saw this story on low ticket sales and decided to give Stanford the edge.
When to watch: December 28, 9:00 p.m. on ESPN
Holiday Bowl: Washington State (+1.5) vs. Michigan State
The pick: Michigan State -1.5
The logic: Washington State has been a bit too unpredictable for my gambling tastes in recent weeks, and I trust Michigan State more to put together and execute a successful game plan in this one.
When to watch: December 28, 9:00 p.m. on FS1
Belk Bowl: Wake Forest (-3) vs. Texas A&M
The pick: Texas A&M +3
The logic: Earlier in the college football season, I was a fan without a home after checking out “College Gameday” in Times Square. A group of Aggie fans took me in and invited me to their bar, where we cheered Texas A&M on to an overtime victory. It was one of the highlights of my sports-viewing season, and I feel it would be bad karma to bet against them now.
When to watch: December 29, 1:00 p.m. on ESPN
Sun Bowl: NC State (-6.5) vs. Arizona State
The pick: NC State -6.5
The logic: I know he’s not coaching yet, but this is a bet against Herm Edwards.
When to watch: December 29, 3:00 p.m. on CBS
Music City Bowl: Kentucky (+8) vs. Northwestern
The pick: Northwestern -8
The logic: Northwestern has won seven straight after starting the season 2-3, while Kentucky finished the season with two straight drubbings at the hands of Georgia and Louisville. I just think Northwestern will be more excited to be there.
When to watch: December 29, 4:30 p.m. on ESPN
Arizona Bowl: New Mexico State (+4) vs. Utah State
The pick: New Mexico State +4
The logic: New Mexico State hasn’t had a winning season since 2002, and hadn’t made a bowl game in over 50 years. Now, at 6-6, they’re back in a bowl taking on Utah State, who they beat for their last bowl victory back in 1960.
When to watch: December 29, 5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports
Cotton Bowl Classic: USC (+7.5) vs. Ohio State
The pick: Ohio State -7.5
The logic: J.T. Barrett has proven time and time again that he’s not one to roll over in a big moment, and I don’t think USC can pull off dramatic bowl wins over Big Ten champions two years in a row. Sam Darnold might be too worried about going to the Browns to stay focused under center facing the best defence they have played all season.
When to watch: December 29, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN
TaxSlayer Bowl: Louisville (-6.5) vs. Mississippi State
The pick: Mississippi State +6.5
The logic: Almost 80% of bets are on Louisville in this one, and it’s no surprise bettors are eager to back Lamar Jackson in the last game of his college career. But Mississippi State is a strong team on both sides of the ball, and the loss of starting quarterback Nick Fitzgerald should be less dramatic now that the team has had a few weeks to prepare. Louisville feels like a trap spot, so we’re backing the Bulldogs.
When to watch: December 30, 12:00 p.m. on ESPN
Liberty Bowl: Iowa State (+4) vs. Memphis
The pick: Memphis -4
The logic: Memphis wide receiver Anthony Miller is the most entertaining player I’ve watched in college football this season, and there is no way I’m going to bet against him in his final showcase before the draft.
When to watch: December 30, 12:30 p.m. on ABC
Fiesta Bowl: Washington (+2) vs. Penn State
The pick: Washington +2
The logic: Chris Petersen, architect of Boise State’s unbelievable upset win over Oklahoma all those years ago, has proven he’s not the man to bet against in the Fiesta Bowl.
When to watch: December 30, 4:00 p.m. on ESPN
Orange Bowl: Wisconsin (-6) vs. Miami
The pick: Miami +6
The logic: In a battle of big and slow against small and fast, give me the speedsters and let me see that beautiful turnover chain a few more times before 2017 comes to an end.
When to watch: December 30, 8:00 p.m. on ESPN
Outback Bowl: Michigan (-8) vs. South Carolina
The pick: Michigan -8
The logic: Harbaugh is not a guy to go against when he has time to prepare, and Michigan has to be looking to create some noise after a disappointing season in Big Ten play.
When to watch: January 1, 12:00 p.m. on ESPN2
Peach Bowl: UCF (+9.5) vs. Auburn
The pick: UCF +9.5
The logic: My brain tells me I should be taking Auburn here. They will feel spurned by their absence in the College Football Playoff despite the fact that they beat two of the teams that made the cut. Still my heart always sympathizes with a Group of 5 school that ran the table. Every year when this game comes up, one Group of 5 school is charged with proving to the world that they can play with the marquee teams in the country, and I want to see the Golden Knights pull off something special here.
When to watch: January 1, 12:30 p.m. on ESPN
Citrus Bowl: Notre Dame (+3.5) vs. LSU
The pick: LSU -3.5
The logic: With Auburn, Alabama, and Georgia all garnering so much national attention out of the SEC, LSU has somehow flown under the radar as one of the strongest teams in the country. They beat Auburn, and hung with the other powerhouses of the conference, making games much closer than they had any business being. With the national spotlight finally on them in a New Year’s Day bowl game, look for the Tigers to step up to the challenge.
When to watch: January 1, 1:00 p.m. on ABC
Rose Bowl Game: Georgia (-1.5) vs. Oklahoma
The pick: Oklahoma +1.5
The logic: I have loved Georgia and think they might be the most complete team in college football, and I have some very extreme doubts that the Sooner defence will be able to contain the Bulldogs. But Baker Mayfield is the best player in college football, and has done his best work when the lights were brightest. Tough guy to bet against.
When to watch: January 1, 5:00 p.m. on ESPN
Sugar Bowl: Alabama (-3) vs. Clemson
The pick: Clemson +3
The logic: Dabo knows what he’s doing when he’s playing Alabama, and while the Crimson Tide are strong every year, they lacked a significant win that made me step back and believe they were a degree better than every other team in college football. Maybe that win comes against Clemson, but for now, I’m sticking with the Tigers to make it two in a row against Saban and the Tide.
When to watch: January 1, 8:45 p.m. on ESPN
Bowl season: 7-10
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