Chalk Talk College Football Betting Tips 12-24-08

Dec 24, 2008 6:40 PM

by Kevin Stott |

‘Twas the night before Christmas and through the Net

Not a gambler was thinking of making a bet

And then he read Chalk Talk and took my bad pick

Now he’s cursing up Troy State and feeling so sick.

It was that kind of Pepto-Bismol-inducing week in Chalkville, but I warned of the utter insignificance of betting the bowls in this space last Wednesday. For me, it’s like trying to make ice cream out of coal – it can be done but…

A 1-4 start is tough sledding, but it’s onward and upward from here on because these games are on the board, are on the parlay cards, are on my mind and are on television dammit! Why betting the bowl games is as part of American holiday culture as mistletoe, fruitcakes and Rudolph and Frosty have become. And wasn’t it Shakespeare who said, "I bet therefore I am"?

So make of this what you will and only the BEST BET$ selections are honestly worth a straight bet.

Wednesday, Dec. 24

HAWAII BOWL @ Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Notre Dame (-1½, 48) vs. Hawaii (ESPN, 5 pm PT): Five of the L6 here went over and with Hawaii and ND slinging the ball in goods weather – Honolulu don’t do wind chill brau – 50 points seems very probable. ND (7-6) has lost nine straight bowl games but should be able to hang loose with the Warriors (6-6). But if Hawaii plays like it did in its last game with Cincinnati, with QB Greg Alexander coming of age, and uses the energy from the rowdy home crowd here, the Fighting Irish may feel like they are on the wrong island. HAWAII MONEY LINE +, OVER 48 (BE$T BET$).

Friday, Dec. 26

MOTOR CITY @ Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan

Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan (-6½, 62½) (espn2 4:30pm PT): The site favors CM (8-4) who with QB Dan LeFevour will matriculate the ball up the field in the climate-controlled confines of Ford Field. Players of the under will dislike it when the Chippewas have the ball but can take solace in the fact the game’s gone under 7 of the last 10.

FAU ((6-6) is about as good as its record and coming from the Sun Belt (0-1 in bowls, Troy St.) is nothing to brag about. That, combined with the crowd advantage, CM’s familiarity with Ford Field – reflected in its 2-0 ATS mark here the L2 – make the MAC team the one to side with here. CENTRAL MICHIGAN -6½.

Saturday, Dec. 27

MEINEKE CAR CARE [email protected] Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC

West Virginia vs. North Carolina (Pick, 44) (ESPN, 10 am PT): The Mountaineers (8-4) are led by QB Pat White while NC (8-4) has a couple of really talented guys in receivers Hakeem Nicks and Brandon Tate. For me, this one is just too tough to call. PASS.

CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL @ Citrus Bowl Stadium, Orlando, Florida

Wisconsin at Florida State (-4½, 51½) (ESPN, 5 pm): Trend-wise the ACC has won 5 straight here and the under has hit 3 straight. So do you want an FSU-Under parlay? Me neither. PASS.

EMERALD BOWL, AT&T Park, San Francisco, California

Miami vs. Cal (-7½, 50) (ESPN, 5 pm PT): The Bears (8-4) will feel more at home in this one than the Canes (7-5). The dog is 4-2 L6 here and the over is 4-1. The key here will be Cal’s Jahvid Best – a player so talented his name is worth bold-facing. Best alone makes this a BE$T BET$ selection… CAL -7½ (BE$T BET$), OVER 50.

Sunday, Dec. 28

INDEPENDENCE BOWL, Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana

Northern Illinois (-1½, 48) vs. Louisiana Tech (ESPN, 5 pm PT): What if they had a bowl game and I didn’t give a rat’s ass? Well they do and I don’t… PASS. (Just eat more cheese Ralph).

Monday, Dec. 29 @ Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama

North Carolina State vs. Rutgers (-6½, 52) (ESPN, 12 pm): It was a tale of two seasons for the Scarlet Knights (7-5), who have rewarded their backers handsomely in November and December. QB Mike Teel looked great last game and WR Kenny Britt may play on Sundays so Rutgers should be able to score some here against Wolf Pack (6-6) team also happy to just be bowling. Embrace the mediocrity. OVER 52.

ALAMO BOWL @ Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas

Northwestern at Missouri (-14, 66) (ESPN, 5 pm): The Tigers (9-3) are laying more lumber (-14) than any other bowl participant and will find a game opponent in the Wildcats (9-3) in this Battle of the Midwest Journalism Schools. This one will be fun to watch with two wishbone-spread offenses and QBs who love to improvise. This game’s boldface-worthy stud? Mizzou’s Jeremy Maclin, who alone is worth about a (Big-) 12 points. MISSOURI.

Tuesday, Dec. 30

HUMANITARIAN BOWL at Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho

Nevada vs. Maryland (Pick, 57) (ESPN, 1:30): A game on the Smurf Turf and no Boise State? May take a quarter or two to get used to … Ticket sales for this one reportedly have been about as strong as the demand for the Wankel engine in the Seventies. The Wolf Pack’s (7-5) presence will mean a fast pace but with the total fairly high (57) and not knowing how motivated the Terrapins (7-5) will make this one to avoid. PASS.

TEXAS BOWL @ Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas

Western Michigan at Rice (-3, 72) (NFL Network, 5 pm): At last! ESPN’s 15-game streak of showing 2008 bowls will be broken by the NFL Network which serves up this point-fest. The Owls look like the side laying just a FG. RICE -3.

HOLIDAY BOWL @ QualComm Stadium, San Diego, California

Oregon vs. Oklahoma State (-3½, 76) (ESPN, 5 pm): The favorite here is 8-2 ATS L10 here and the Big 12 has gone 6-1 SU here. The Ducks (9-3) are no Daffy or Donald, and have depth on offense while the Cowboys (9-3) have one of the nation’s top receivers in Dez Bryant, another guy who demands boldface status. Teasing Oregon +10 ½ seems safe but you have now have to find a parlay-mate…Cal +½ and Mizzou -7 seems like a nice little starter kit. As for a side or total here (maybe over), no real feel. PASS.




NEXT WEEK: Will just handicap selected bowl games from Wednesday, December 31 until Tuesday, January 6. Until then, keep your powder dry and try not to order any pajamas for your sweetie with a lavender-scented sachet as you may just have to utter the phrase "lavender-scented sachet" in the future. Godspeed.