By Chad Cooper
We are getting hot and heavy in bowl season and beginning Thursday, Dec. 26, we will have multiple college football games per day all leading up to the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, Jan. 13, in New Orleans.
Record ATS: 128-106
Thursday, Dec. 26
La Tech v. Miami-FL (-6.5, 50)
Scoop: The Independence Bowl played in Shreveport, Louisiana, which is not too far from the campus of Louisiana Tech. LT should be back to full strength with their QB back from suspension and how motivated are the Canes? Hell, they lost 2 games this season which they were 2-score favorites.
Pick: La Tech +6.5
Pitt (-12, 49) v. Eastern Michigan
Scoop: Pitt a big favorite playing in Detroit, which is 30 minutes to EMU’s campus. Pitt didn’t win any game this season by more than 10 points. All the trends point to EMU so let’s fly with the Eagles.
Pick: EMU +12
Friday, Dec. 27
Temple v. North Carolina (-4.5, 53)
Scoop: Temple was embarrassed in their bowl game last year vs. Duke and have a chance to make amends against Carolina, who went 6-6 in an average ACC. UNC played in 9 1-possession games this year and I think this will be tight too, but going with the better coach.
Pick: UNC -4.5
Michigan St (-4, 50) v. Wake Forest
Scoop: Don’t know what the hell has happened to the Mich St program but they have been lack-luster. Wake has won three straight bowl games and will jump on the Demons here in what could be a boring-ass Pinstripe Bowl in New York.
Pick: Wake +4
Oklahoma St v. Texas A&M (-6.5, 54)
Scoop: Former Big 12 opponents in the Texas Bowl in Houston. Tons of Aggies in town, which is another reason to bet against them. The underdog in the last 3 Texas Bowls have not only covered, but won.
Pick: OK St +6.5
USC v. Iowa (-2, 52)
Scoop: Going to go with the over here. I like Iowa, but don’t know if they can contain those trendy USC receivers. But USC has constant drama, so I just talked myself into Iowa -2 as well.
Pick: Over 52, Iowa -2
Washington St v. Air Force (-3, 68)
Scoop: Wazzu’s defense stinks, but they can score. Contrasting offensive styles should lead to an entertaining game.
Pick: Over 68
Saturday, Dec. 28
Iowa St v. Notre Dame (-3.5, 54.5)
Scoop: Iowa St has played a tougher schedule and didn’t the Irish fire their OC after the season? Under Brian Kelly, ND is 0-4 ATS as a bowl favorite.
Pick: ISU +3.5
Penn St. (-7, 60.5) v. Memphis
Scoop: Interesting game here. Memphis lost their head coach to Florida St and will get tested by a salty PSU defense. On the other side, PSU lost their OC to Old Dominion. Just think PSU is too strong in this spot and have a nice trend of a 7+ point favorite (7-1 ATS).
Pick: PSU -7
LSU (-13.5, 76) v. Oklahoma
Scoop: CFP Semifinal to be plated in Atlanta in the Peach Bowl. OU has suspended two of their defensive studs while LSU has racked up every postseason college award. So everyone is on the LSU side, not me. Oklahoma won’t win, but Hurts should find a way to cover.
Pick: OU +13.5
Clemson (-2, 63) v. Ohio St
Scoop: CFP Semifinal #2. Man, what a fun game this will be. Clemson has been crushing teams and have succeeded in the “underdog role.” Despite being a 2-pt favorite, they still field disrespected. Going the over here.
Pick: Over 63
Monday, Dec. 30
Western Michigan v. Western Kentucky (-3.5, 54.5)
Scoop: I love the MAC, and Western Michigan has a fantastic offense and WKU isn’t bad on defense, but Conference USA is struggled early this bowl season.
Pick: WMU +3.5
Louisville v. Mississippi St (-4, 64)
Scoop: Both teams love to run the football, so let’s hope the clock continues to run before they hit 64 total points.
Pick: Under 64
Illinois v. Cal (-7, 43)
Scoop: Talk about a shit bowl… So, I’ll have two plays for this crapper.
Pick: Illinois +7, Under 43
Florida (-14, 54.5) v. Virginia
Scoop: Underdogs are 12-4 ATS in the last 16 Orange Bowls. Virginia defense hasn’t been good as they have allowed tons of points in their last 5 games so let’s keep that trend going. Just hope Florida isn’t shy about scoring.
Pick: Over 54.5
Tuesday, Dec. 31
Kentucky v. Virginia Tech (-2.5, 47)
Scoop: UK loves to run the football. Won’t watch this game, but will bet it. SEC is God, right?
Pick: UK +2.5
Florida St v. Arizona St. (-4.5, 54)
Scoop: Cluster bowl. 4 big offensive players from both teams sitting out for the NFL. Arizona St doesn’t have an OC or DC.
Pick: FSU +4.5
Kansas St. v. Navy (-2.5, 51)
Scoop: KSU has had a month to prepare for the triple option offense. My concern is Navy is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 bowl games. Buck the trend.
Pick: KSU +2.5
Georgia St. v. Wyoming (-7, 48)
Scoop: GSU has a gimpy QB and Wyoming plays hard-nose defense. Giddy up Cowboys.
Pick: Wyoming -7
Texas v. Utah (-7, 55)
Scoop: Utah goes from playing for the 4th spot in the CFP into the Alamo Bowl against Texas in San Antonio. So how motivated will the Utes be? Texas has fired their OC & DC, but think somehow they keep it close. Plus if Texas doesn’t cover, it gives me something to bitch about.
Pick: Texas +7
Wednesday, Jan. 1
Michigan v. Alabama (-7, 58)
Scoop: Alabama is playing in something other than the CFP… Michigan has a chance to make amends that they can win a big game.
Pick: Michigan +7, Over 58
Minnesota v. Auburn (-7.5, 53)
Scoop: Fantastic bowl game here. Underdogs in the Citrus Bowl have done well. Time for Minnesota to show the world how good they are.
Pick: Minny +7.5
Wisconsin (-3, 51) v. Oregon
Scoop: Evenly matched teams in the Rose Bowl. Oregon was really physical on defense this season and will need that again here. Actually think they can win this game outright. Quack quack.
Pick: Ducks +3
Baylor v. Georgia (-6.5, 42)
Scoop: Georgia embarrassed last year in the Sugar Bowl by Texas, so expect better. But Baylor is no joke. They should have beaten Oklahoma, twice.
Pick: Bears +6.5
Thursday, Jan. 2
Boston College v. Cincinnati (-7, 55)
Scoop: BC fired their coach, but Cincy has been yucky in bowl games. Let’s play the Under.
Pick: Under 55
Tennessee (-1.5, 52) v. Indiana
Scoop: Talk about a turnaround. Tennessee started the season 1-4 then won their last 5 games.
Pick: Vols -1.5
Friday, Jan. 3
Ohio U (-7, 58) v. Nevada
Scoop: Yay! We get to go to a bowl game…Oh, wait, it’s the Potato Bowl on the blue turf in Boise. Again, I am a HUUUUGE MAC homer. Don’t like the high spread here, but going with Ohio.
Pick: Ohio -7
Saturday, Jan. 4
Tulane (-7, 56) v. Southern Miss
Scoop: TooLame end the season with 4 consecutive losses. So Miss had 1 impressive win, over UAB who upset App St. Let’s play over.
Pick: Over 56
Monday, Jan. 6
Miami-OH v. UL Lafayette (-14, 55)
Scoop: UL can score some points, but Miami-Oh has often been a UD this season, but have found ways to cover.
Pick: MO +14