The college Bowl season is in full swing and if it is anything like the first four games this past Saturday we are in for some very exciting games, so let’s get started.
Little Caesars, Detroit
Pitt +4 vs. Bowling Green (51): The ACC Panthers are coming off a loss and entering as a dog in a bowl game. Teams from the ACC entering bowls off a loss are 17-4-1 ATS. Not bad. PITTSBURGH.
Poinsettia, San Diego
Utah St. +1 vs. NIU (58): Northern Illinois was surprised by Bowling Green in the MAC title game, which ruined its bid for an undefeated season. The Huskies can light up the tote and that is what we think will happen in the San Diego sunshine. OVER.
Marshall -2½ vs. Maryland (62): High scoring and high flying Thundering Herd won 7 of their last 8, including their last 5, going 4-1 ATS. They averaged 53.8 points a game in those last 5. MARSHALL.
Syracuse +4½ vs. Minn (47½): The Orange had to come up with thewin in their last game of the season and they did, beating a gallant Boston College 34-31. Syracuse won its last two bowl games, including last year, 38-14, against West Virginia when also getting 4 points. SYRACUSE.
Hunger, San Francisco
Washington -3 vs. BYU (60): Both teams can score and each crushed Idaho State. Both beat Boise State but the Huskies are in the Pac 12 and those last two wins stand out. Each should come out firing. WASHINGTON/OVER.
Rutgers +14 vs. Notre Dame (52): The Scarlet Knights had to win their last game to get this bowl bid. Their offense for the most part was nonexistent at the end of the season, but Rutgers is very happy to be in Yankee Stadium close to New Brunswick, N.J. The Irish had high hopes for the season but lost 2 of the last 3. Both were against much stronger teams and their schedule towers above the one Rutgers played during the regular season. NOTRE DAME/UNDER.
Cincinnati +2½ vs. UNC (56): Growing up in the 60’s teams were rewarded if they had a superior season and they went to bowls like the Peach, Sun, Cotton, Orange, Gator and Rose. Not any more. Don’t like a side in this game but do see a lot of scoring. OVER
Russell Athletic, Orlando
Miami, Fla. +3 vs. Louisville: One-loss Louisville has the best defense and superior QB (Teddy Bridgewater). Plus the Cardinals beat Florida last year in the Sugar Bowl. LOUISVILLE.
Buffalo Wild Wings, Tempe
Michigan +3½ vs. Kansas State (55): I would really like to have a bucket of those wild wings to watch this Arizona bowl. The Wolverines played their real bowl game when almost dashing out Ohio State’s season, losing 42-41. They have lost 4 of their last 5. The Wildcats won 5 of 6, most done with offense. OVER.
Middle Tenn +6½ vs. Navy 55½: Now who would win the Armed Forces Bowl, “come on man.” Also, the Middies played just two weeks ago when beating Army while the Blue Raiders have been off since Nov. 30. NAVY.
Music City, Nashville
Miss -3 vs. Ga. Tech (57½): Ole Miss lost its last two games scoring just 10 points in each but before that played well against Auburn when losing 30-22 as a 2½ point favorite. The Rebels have won the last three bowl games, while the “rambling Wreck” lost 3 of the last 4 appearances. OLE MISS/UNDER.
Alamo, San Antonio
Texas +14 vs. Oregon (68): I did my basic training in San Antonio back in 1966 and did visit the Alamo. Oregon got figured out late in the season after trouncing its first eight foes and should have lost to Oregon State in the last game. The up and down Longhorns will have the fans, and 2 TDs is hard to resist. The Longhorns beat Pac 12 Oregon State last year in this same bowl game. TEXAS.
Holiday, San Diego
Texas Tech +14 vs. Ariz St. (72): The Red Raiders have given up an average of 51.2 ppg in their last four games, losing each. The Sun Devils won their last seven, averaging 44 ppg, and won last year’s bowl game 62-28. ARIZONA ST
Tuesday, Dec. 31
BC +7 vs. Arizona (57½): The Wildcats lost 3 of their last 4 but somehow crushed Oregon in between. The Eagles from Chestnut Hill put together a nice season winning 4 of last 5. Boston College may want this game the most. BC.
Sun, El Paso
Va. Tech +7 vs. UCLA (48): We start to get to the meat of the bowls. The young fast Bruins won 4 of their last 5, including a convincing win over USC and a narrow loss to Arizona State. The Hokies lost 3 of their last 5, including defeats to Duke, Boston College and Maryland. Plus it’s a long travel. UCLA.
Miss St. -7 vs. Rice: C-USA rep Rice steps up in class here. SEC opponent Miss State played a much tougher schedule. MISS ST.
Duke +12½ vs. Texas A&M (74): The Blue Devils are just in heaven after a magical season going 10-2, winning their last eight regular season games including Navy, Virginia Tech and Miami. A&M lost their offense in their last two games scoring just 10 and 21. They were looking for much better than the Chick bowl. DUKE.
The rest of the bowl games will be in next week’s issue of GamingToday.
Browns +7 at Steelers: The hardest week to decipher games. I was going to pass this week but my cousin Bruce Saber back in Pittsburgh told me I’ve got to make a pick, and he gave it to me. Bruce told me the Steelers are on a high with their new offense and still have a shot at a wild card. He noted they beat the Browns in Cleveland, 27-11, back on Nov. 24 and the “dawg” in the series has dropped six straight games. STEELERS.
I just want to wish all of our loyal readers at GT a very Merry Christmas.
Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].