College football bowl season is finally here!
Over the next few weeks the best teams in college football will meet for one final game before heading back to the weight room and recruiting circuit to get ready for next year.
But for now, we have more great football to look forward to! During the regular season we picked seven games a weekend against the spread as our best bets, and went a comfortably profitable 54-43-1 in that span.
With bowl season here, we’re taking our increased bankroll and letting it ride so we can enter 2018 with even more money to lose on the new sporting year.
Below you’ll find our picks against the spread for every bowl game between now and Christmas. After the holiday, we’ll check back in and offer some more picks to get you the rest of the way.
All lines courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
New Orleans Bowl: Troy (-7) vs. North Texas
The pick: North Texas +7
The logic: Troy was one of the most notable Group of 5 schools in the country this season after their upset win on the road over LSU. That said, I think they will be overvalued in this spot simply because casual gamblers know them – “Oh yeah! That’s that random team that beat LSU!” – while they won’t know North Texas, who have been just as impressive.
When to watch: 1 p.m. Saturday, December 16 on ESPN
AutoNation Cure Bowl: Western Kentucky (-6.5) vs. Georgia State
The pick: Western Kentucky -6.5
The logic: Western Kentucky has won three straight bowl games and thus has a group of seniors who have never lost a postseason game. Let’s trust them to finish out their college careers strong.
When to watch: 2:30 p.m. Saturday, December 16 on CBS Sports
Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State (+7) vs. Oregon
The pick: Oregon -7
The logic: Oregon has scored an average of 33 points a game this season despite being held to single-digit efforts twice. The Boise State Broncos on the other hand have not had the same dominant offence that once made them the top powerhouse in the Group of 5.
I think Oregon gets to 40 points this game, and I don’t think the Broncos can keep pace. Boise already played its biggest game of the season when they won their rematch with Fresno State to take the MWAC championship. Plus, this way you get to root for whatever wild jerseys the Ducks decide to wear.
When to watch: 3:30 p.m. Saturday, December 16 on ABC
New Mexico Bowl: Marshall (+5) vs. Colorado State
The pick: Marshall +5
The logic: Marshall has won their past five bowl games, the longest active streak in college football. Trust the trend.
When to watch: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, December 16 on ESPN
Camellia Bowl: Middle Tennessee (+4) vs. Arkansas State
The pick: Middle Tennessee +4
The logic: The past two years Middle Tennessee has played bowl games in Hawaii and the Bahamas – no doubt fun destinations for the players to take an expenses paid trip, but difficult for the MTSU faithful to get to and show their support.
This year, in Montgomery, Alabama, fans of the Blue Raiders will likely be out in droves.
When to watch: 8 p.m. Saturday, December 16 on ESPN
Boca Raton Bowl: Akron (+22.5) vs. Florida Atlantic
The pick: Florida Atlantic -22.5
The logic: In Lane Kiffin I trust!
When to watch: 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 19 on ESPN
Frisco Bowl: Louisiana Tech (+5) vs. SMU
The pick: SMU -5
The logic: The only play I remember from either of these teams this season is this never-ending fumble from LA Tech that left the Bulldogs with third-and-goal and 93 yards to go to the end zone.
So I’m betting against that.
When to watch: 8 p.m. Wednesday, December 20 on ESPN
Gasparilla Bowl: Temple (-7.5) vs. Florida International
The pick: Temple -7.5
The logic: First and foremost, I feel obliged to pick my alma mater. But more importantly from a gambling perspective, the Owls have now made their third straight bowl game after never making it to the postseason in consecutive years in school history.
Unfortunately, Temple is 0-2 the past two years in their bowl games, meaning there are seniors on this team who were snubbed from a bowl game their freshman year, and then lost twice in the final game of the season. They needed to win three of their final four games to get bowl eligible this year, including a big upset win over Navy.
They’re going to want this win.
When to watch: 8 p.m. Thursday, December 21 on ESPN
Bahamas Bowl: UAB (+7.5) vs. Ohio
The pick: UAB +7.5
The logic: UAB is one of the best feel-good stories of the college football season. In their first season back after the program was cut from the school for budgetary reasons, the team qualifies for their just their second bowl game in history. It’s the type of storybook underdog you’re going to want to support.
When to watch: 12:30 p.m. Friday, December 22 on ESPN
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Central Michigan (PK) vs. Wyoming
The pick: Central Michigan PK
The logic: Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen is a draft prospect that had to miss the final few games of Wyoming’s season due to injury. While he might be medically ready to go for the Cowboys’ season finale, it’s hard to imagine him playing and risking his future. Get ready for some MACtion!
When to watch: 4 p.m. Friday, December 22 on ESPN
Birmingham Bowl: Texas Tech (+2.5) vs. South Florida
The pick: Texas Tech +2.5
The logic: South Florida wanted to secure the Group of 5 spot in a New Year’s Six bowl game this year. They came close, but stumbled against Houston and then fell a touchdown short against UCF in their regular season finale. They played in this game last year, and I don’t see them getting up for it again when they had such higher hopes for the season.
Meanwhile, in Texas Tech you get a Power 5 school as an underdog. Take the points.
When to watch: 12 p.m. Saturday, December 23 on ESPN
Armed Forces Bowl: San Diego State (-6) vs. Army
The pick: San Diego State -6
The logic: Army’s biggest game of the season was beating Navy last weekend. While they’re a solid squad, San Diego State is better, and they have faced plenty of run-heavy offenses over the season that will make preparing for Army’s option-offence less of an issue.
When to watch: 3:30 p.m. Saturday, December 23 on ESPN
Dollar General Bowl: Appalachian State (+8) vs. Toledo
The pick: Toledo -8
The logic: Toledo scores a ton of points – they put up 30 against the Miami Hurricanes and their turnover chain early in the season, and have totals of 66, 37, and 45 over their past three games. Root for points!
When to watch: 7 p.m. Saturday, December 23 on ESPN
Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State (+2.5) vs. Houston
The pick: Fresno State +2.5
The logic: Fresno State has four losses, but two of those came on the road to Alabama and Washington extremely early in the year. They’re a better team that their record indicates and for my money they should be favoured, making them and points quite an appealing wager.
When to watch: 8:30 p.m. Sunday, December 24 on ESPN
Regular season: 54-43-1
Bowl season: 0-0
Now check out our best bets for Week 15 of the NFL season
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