I went 3-4 in championship week and the Army Navy game, which brought my record to 100-85. I also went 6-4 on my season win totals picks, which counted towards two games per pick, so my overall record now stands at 112-93. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and that means BOWL SZN! Can’t wait to bounce back after an awful bowl season last year.
Utah State Vs North Texas +8: I absolutely love this pick. The Mean Green have outgained every single opponent they’ve played which is a very impressive accomplishment. Mason Fine is a really solid quarterback and I think he will have some success against the Aggies. Utah State has also lost their head coach and motivation might be running low after such a nice middle stretch of the season, only to end with a five point win over Colorado State and a road loss to Boise State. I think North Texas has a higher motivation factor for this game and will be ready to go from the jump.
Georgia Southern -2.5 Vs Eastern Michigan: Everyone knows that the MAC has historically struggled with bowl games, and most MAC teams have seen the line go away from them. This one is no different. It opened as a PK but now the Eagles (Georgia Southern) are giving almost a field goal. I still don’t care though, Eastern Michigan has a below average offense that shouldn’t push the Georgia Southern defense too much. Eastern Michigan’s main strength is pass defense, but going against a triple option attack is the perfect counter to that. Combine these factors and I love the Eagles to win this one. (The joke is that both teams are nicknamed the Eagles)
Middle Tennessee +7 Vs App State: I think I’m going to be fading most of the teams that have lost their coach; after such a long season of playing for one guy and now having him gone, I struggle to see these teams having as sound of a game plan and practice schedule before the game. Middle Tennessee is losing star QB Brent Stockstill, and this will be his last game playing for his dad, and I’d imagine that they both want Brent to go out with a win. Getting a touchdown with added motivation seems like too much value to be giving up.
San Diego State Vs Ohio -3 and over 54: I guess Vegas oddsmakers haven’t realized how awesome this Ohio offense is, and maybe national college football fans haven’t either. As somebody who has watched pretty much every Ohio game, I can’t give their offense enough credit. Their running system in the pistol is awesome and it allows the Bobcats to have three legit running threats. Nathan Rourke was also the highest rated passer under pressure according to pro football focus. Ohio’s defense was terrible in out of conference play, and while they have improved massively, I think the Aztecs will have enough success for the total to go over.
Marshall -2.5 Vs USF: USF started off 7-0 and they were still ranked terribly according to most computer numbers. They’ve since come down to earth and have lost five games in a row to end the regular season at 7-5. I think this team has quit, and playing a bowl game in their own city is pretty humiliating. Motivation-wise I don’t think there is a better advantage all bowl season than with the Thundering Herd.
Houston Vs Army under 67.5: This line has gone down all the way to 60, but I’m posting this at 67.5 because that’s where it opened and was also where it sat when I went on my podcast (follow me on twitter @mikerothou to get notified every time the podcast gets uploaded) and despite the fact I wasn’t making official picks, I locked up this game as my only official pick because I couldn’t believe a game involving Army had a total above 65 and Houston lost their starting QB. This was my lock of the bowl season, and I still like the under at 60 right now.
Boston College Vs Boise State under 55.5: I think both of these teams’ offenses have been overvalued for most of this season. Boston College continued their momentum that they had from last season but that started to wear off once ACC play got into full swing. Boise State, despite having Brett Rypien, has been inconsistent and the Broncos haven’t had a total above 60 in their past five games.
Miami Vs Wisconsin +4: Both of these teams were very disappointing, so it’s fitting that they got one of the coldest bowl games. And in a cold weather game am I taking Miami or Wisconsin? I’ll take the Badgers every time in the cold, and getting over a field goal is great value.
West Virginia Vs Syracuse under 68: Without Will Grier I really think this West Virginia offense struggles. Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey also got knocked up against Notre Dame, and despite the fact that he’s fine now, I still have problems imagining this Orange offense will put up much more than 30 points.
Oklahoma Vs Alabama over 80: Alabama is going to score 5,000 points this game after what happened in the SEC title game, this is a one game Tua revenge tour for losing the Heisman, and Kyler Murray is too good for Bama to totally dominate their offense.
Cincinnati Vs Virginia Tech +5: Virginia Tech has played a tougher schedule, and their passing game has actually improved after their starting quarterback got hurt for the year. Cincinnati lost to the two best teams they played this season and I think that a 10-2 record is pretty generous for the Bearcats.
North Carolina State Vs Texas A&M -6: I love the Aggies in this game, the ACC is a total fraud of a conference and A&M has lost to the top two teams in the country and on the road to Mississippi State and Auburn, which makes for an impressive opening season for Jimbo Fisher. I also think the motivation factor for Jimbo is higher because Wolfpack fans should be happy with nine wins this season, but Jimbo will want to keep riding the momentum after their unreal 74-72 classic with LSU.
LSU Vs UCF over 55.5: I know the LSU defense can be intimidating to taking an over, but UCF has such a bad defense that I think this game opens up enough to go over this total. This line might be a little too high after LSU scored 72 points after six overtime periods, but I still think this game will be fast paced with enough offense from both sides.
Those are all my bowl picks, I hope I can end the season better than last year with a strong bowl season. It was a great ride and I can’t wait for the 2019-20 season!