The Bowl season is upon us with some very interesting games, so let’s get right to the meat and hopefully we can recoup some of that cash we spent on ties, hams and turkeys. On second thought, hold the turkeys.
I was at the dentist this past week and told him no novocaine. I want to get used to the pain of the bad beats taken in these games in order to be ready.
Little Caesars at Detroit
C. Michigan +5½ vs. WKy (59): Really not interested in taking a shot on either one. Just don’t see much defense so will simply bet on lots of scoring, have a glass of red and try to recoup. OVER
Military at Washington, DC
BGreen +7 vs. San Jose St. (46): The Spartans had a great season and would love to finish it off with the win in a rare bowl appearance. State went 10-2 both SU and ATS, ending the season with six straight wins. The last two came over BYU and La Tech. SAN JOSE ST.
Belk at Charlotte, NC
Duke +7 vs. Cincy (60): The Blue Devils went 6-6 SU and ATS but lost their last four both SU and ATS. They are bowling for the first time in eons. In those last four games (Florida St., Clemson, Georgia Tech and Miami) they gave up an average of 49.5 points. The Bearcats went 9-3 SU and 8-4 ATS. The only common opponent, Virginia Tech, they beat 27-24. Tech beat Duke 41-20. CINCY/ OVER.
Holiday at San Diego
Baylor +1 vs. UCLA (80): Now this game will be worth staying up for. The answer will be who gets the ball last. I shake when betting beyond a number this high, but just can’t find a reason except snow and there will be none in San Diego. I’ll root for overtime. OVER.
Independence, Shreveport, La.
Ohio +7 vs. UL Monroe (60): GT’s good friend Syl Friedman assured us the right side in this game is Monroe, who is just tickled pink to be bowling and close to home. ULM has enough offense to overcome the Bobcats defense and is lying in wait. UL MONROE.
Citrus at Orlando
Rutgers +2 vs. Va Tech (41): The Scarlet Knights win with defense. In their last three games they scored 10, 6, and 17 points but did beat Cincy 10-3 in that span. The VT offense was not much better so it appears to be a low scoring game. Rutgers should have had the needed time to right the ship. RUTGERS.
Meinke Car Care at Houston
Minn +12½ vs. Texas Tech (57): Another great bowl matchup (just kidding). The Golden Gophers won their first four, then dropped six of eight both SU and ATS. And, they get rewarded with a trip to Houston! The Red Raiders were not much better, dropping four of their last five. They went 0-5 ATS in their last five and are almost a two TD favorite? They did play the better schedule but can’t lay; take the lumber. A Heinz 57 game. OVER.
Armed Forces at Ft. Worth, Texas
Air Force -1 vs. Rice (61): A game I really like. The Fly Boys lost all their weapons with the military budget cuts so no way they will be armed and dangerous. The Owls won their last four to get here and their last bowl was a win in 2008. RICE.
Fight Hunger at San Francisco
Navy +4½ vs. Ariz St. (58): The Midshipmen also were part of the cuts and I doubt they can sink anything but a row boat. The Sun Devils have way too much offense for the Navy to handle and finished the season with two big wins. ARIZ ST.
Pinstripe at Yankee Stadium
W. Virginia -4 vs. Syracuse (74): This game will be like the Babe taking batting practice just pounding the ball over the fence. The scoreboard may not be able to keep up with these two teams. WVU looked to be a power in the making but I think a hole in the wall defense caught up with them. The Orange had an outstanding season and finished it off going 3-0 both ATS and SU. Playing the game in the The Bronx is also a big plus. SYRACUSE/OVER.
Alamo at San Antonio
Oregon St. -2 vs. Texas (56½): I love San Antonio as I took my basic training there back in 1966 when going into the Air Force. I think I had a good time but can’t remember. Anyhow just can’t find the side to like so will go total. OVER.
Buffalo Wild Wings at Tempe, Ariz.
TCU -2½ vs. Mich St.: The Horned Frogs can come up with some big efforts as they beat Baylor, Texas Tech, West Virginia and Texas, and played Kansas State tough, losing 23-10. TCU.
Music City at Nashville, Tenn.
NC State +6½ vs. Vandy (52): The only ball I will see dropped this night is my dog Dino’s as he jumps into bed! The Commodores went 5-0 both ATS and SU to finish their season. They will show up. Who knows what Wolfpack team will? VANDY.
Sun at El Paso, Texas
Georgia Tech +10 vs. USC (63): The Yellow Jackets, or as we use to say the Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech, lost this game last year to Utah 30-27 as a -1½ point favorite. They were just 6 points from the Orange Bowl, losing in the ACC title game to Florida State, 21-15. The Trojans lost four of their last five. GA TECH.
Liberty at Memphis, Tenn.
Iowa St. PK vs. Tulsa (50): A rematch of their season opener when Tulsa visited Ames as a -2 point favorite and got decked 38-23. Don’t see any different result. IOWA ST.
Chick Fil A at Atlanta
Clemson +3½ vs. LSU (58½): Again, our friend Syl down in New Orleans has assured us the LSU Tigers defense will be much too much for the other Tigers to handle. LSU played a much tougher schedule and the one time Clemson played a team with a real defense South Carolina beat them 27-17. LSU beat Carolina 23-21 and could be undefeated losing two close games (Florida 14-6, Bama 21-17). LSU.
TUESDAY, JAN. 1, 2013
Cotton at Dallas
Purdue +17 vs. Okla St. (70): I will be wide awake bright eyed and bushytailed. No partying for this lad last night. The 6-6 Boilermakers got here by beating “powerhouses” Iowa 27-24, Illinois 20-17 and Indiana 56-35. That said the Cowboys may score 70. OVER.
Gator at Jacksonville, Fla.
Northwestern +2 vs. Miss St. (52): Another beautiful place to play a game, eat and sight see. The never give up Wildcats have lost four straight bowls, all as big dogs. They have the wrong favorite here. N’WESTERN (money line also).
Outback at Tampa, Fla.
Michigan +3½ vs. S.C. (47): Steve Spurrier will have his Gamecocks cocked and ready to fire a big shot, especially on defense. SOUTH CAROLINA.
Capital One at Orlando
Nebraska +10 vs. Georgia (57½): The Cornhuskers lost the Big Ten Championship game 70-31 to Wisconsin. That’s 101 points! The Huskers also lost to UCLA, crushed by Ohio State 63-38 (101 pts). The Bulldogs were one play from the BCS championship game. GEORGIA/OVER.
Rose at Pasadena, Calif.
Wisconsin +6½ vs. Stanford (46½): The Cardinal beat Oregon, had the Irish in big trouble and defeated a real tough UCLA team twice. That’s hard to do. The Badgers have had an up and down season but will come to play for the coaching staff. That said, it may not be good enough. STANFORD.
Orange at Miami
No. Illinois +13½ vs. FSU (58): The 12-1 Huskies who could be 13-0 (lost season opener to Iowa 18-17) look to be way overmatched, but will come to play hard. NIU has something to prove, but just don’t think it will be enough to stop the Seminoles’ big “D” from wearing them down. FLORIDA ST.
Have a safe, prosperous and happy 2013. I will have the rest of the bowl games in next week’s column, including the national championship between Notre Dame and Alabama.
Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Contact Richard at [email protected].