Hello all and welcome to the second edition of Tyler’s Bowl Bonanza. Firstly, I ranked each bowl game from worst to first to let you know which ones you should be watching and then followed up with my bets for up until Christmas Eve.
Part two includes games from Dec. 26th to the 28th, which includes the College Football Playoff! Follow along as I continue on betting each and every bowl game in this bowl season!
Over the course of the last three season I’ve made a total of 297 bets on college football for a record of 168-120-9. That hits at 58.3% for a grand total of +38.58 units which hopefully shows I’m a decent sharp at least in the college football realm. If that sentence was overwhelming to try and understand, read up on my how to bet on college football column before diving further. So, without further ado lets get into part two!
Walk On’s Independence Bowl
Miami(FL) vs. Louisiana Tech Thursday, Dec. 26, 3:00 P.M.
My bet: Miami (-6)
At 9-3 Louisiana Tech comes into this game with a much better record than the 6-6 Hurricanes. However, they’ve benefited from the easiest schedule among bowl teams. That gives me pause when you consider the defense that the Bulldogs will be facing. Miami is 13th in total defense, and 6th in sacks. That shows a mismatch when you consider LA Tech allows more sacks per game than Rutgers. The Miami offense is bad, but I still think the extra time and the play makers will find a way to get this done in a much needed bowl game win for Manny Diaz and The U.
Quick Lane Bowl
Pitt vs. Eastern Michigan Thursday, Dec. 26, 7:00 P.M.
My bet: Under 49
If were talking about sacks, you have to talk about this Pitt team. They’ve got one of the nastiest defensive lines in the country and currently rank No. 2 in team sacks. Pitt should have no problem stopping this EMU offense that doesn’t necessarily set the world on fire. I think this mismatch is enough for me to lay the points, but 11 in favor of Pitt is a lot to try and cover. That makes me look toward the under. Pitt should stifle this EMU offense and will look to keep the ball on the ground against a bad EMU rush defense. That combo should allow points to be at a premium, and keep this total under the mark of 49.
North Carolina vs. Temple Friday, Dec. 27, 11:00 A.M.
My bet: Temple (+5.5)
Temple head coach Rod Carey is 0-6 ATS in bowl appearances during his career but that doesn’t give me enough pause to take the dog in this match up. All season I’ve played Temple in an underdog spot, and they’ve thrived in it. I’ve bet them as a dog four times this year, and cashed on each one. To add to that, Temple is 21-9 ATS in their last thirty games as an underdog. That for me is enough to back them despite Rod Carey’s less than impressive bowl record against an experienced UNC coach in Mack Brown.
New Era Pinstripe
Bowl Wake Forest vs. Michigan State Friday, Dec. 27, 2:20 P.M.
My bet: Michigan State (-3.5)
You know those movies where the guy or gal continues to go back to their toxic relationship? That’s me with this Michigan State team. They continue to hurt me and they continue to bring me back for more. I’ve bet on or against this Spartan teams five teams over the course of the season and came out a loser in four of them. Still though, I am sticking to them in this game. Wake Forest has been nice this season but the lose of Sage Surratt at receiver really hurts. In addition, I think this MSU defense is still as strong as we thought, and Brian Lewerke might let it all hang out in his final game at MSU. This one has the feeling its going to get weird.
Academy Sports & Outdoors Texas Bowl
Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M Friday, Dec. 27, 5:45 P.M.
My bet: Texas A&M (-6.5)
If this game was going to played back in October this would have been a different story, but I don’t know where this Oklahoma State team is right now. When the Cowboys had their three headed monster on offense, things were really clicking. However, they lost Tylan Wallace who was the nation’s leading receiver before going down, and have now lost Spencer Sanders at QB. That should allow A&M to put all its defensive resources against stopping tailback Chuba Hubbard. I think this has a chance to be a breakout game for A&M who largely played chalk all season, winning against who they should beat and losing to teams they should lose to so I’d take A&M if you can get it at 6.5 like I did.
SDCCU Holiday Bowl
USC vs. Iowa Friday, Dec. 27, 7:00 P.M.
My bet: Iowa (-2)
Personally I think this year’s Holiday Bowl is the one of the most evenly matched games of the season. Neither teams has any real distinct strength over one another, but both teams do things well in certain areas. At the end of the day this is a toss up to me, but I like the experience and defense for the Hawkeyes. Iowa lost three games this season, but each of them were by one score or less to three good teams in Michigan, Penn State, and Wisconsin. Kirk and Co. are experienced and have Nate Stanley looking to go out with a W. Given USC’s turmoil over the last few weeks, I think that plays into the Hawkeyes’ hands (Editor’s note: talons?) even more.
Air Force vs. Washington State Friday, Dec. 27, 9:15 PM
My bet: Washington State (+3)
I don’t know if there has ever been a bigger difference in style of play than this Cheez-It Bowl. Air Force’s triple option against Wazzu’s air raid should be fascinating to watch. Despite that, it’s been a game that has given me some trouble trying to figure out. If this were in a confidence bowl I would have it very low. I am going to take the Cougs simply because military academies are not a strong ATS play as favorites. As dogs their great, but as favorites they tend to come up short. I think Wazzu will have a tough time stopping the Falcons, but the total at 68 still seems pretty high. I’ll take the small dog with a key number of 3.
Camping World Bowl
Notre Dame vs. Iowa State Saturday, Dec 28, 11:00 A.M.
My bet: Notre Dame (-3.5)
Notre Dame’s ten win season may not be enough for Notre Dame fans but they’ve been a consistent model of success the last four years. This year’s team has to feel a little slighted by this bowl draw and should come out fired up. Iowa State comes in 7-5 but the record isn’t all that impressive when you look at their wins. Six of the seven games they won were against teams that didn’t make a bowl. The seventh? A 7-5 Texas team. Not necessarily a stacked group. The Irish have more talent at key positions, and should be able to do enough to get this done if they play the model of football that won them their ten games.
Goodyear Cotton Bowl
Penn State vs. Memphis Saturday, Dec 28, 11:00 A.M.
My bet: Memphis (+7.5)
Both teams come into this game fired up, so this should be a great appetizer before the college football playoff gets going. Penn State feels it should be in Pasadena (sorry suckers) and Memphis gets its chance to take on the Power Five team. I’ve been back and forth on this, but I think the 7.5 is a key number here. Memphis has been strong this season and passed the ball very well. Yes, head coach Mike Norvell has left for Florida State but I still think Memphis has enough to keep this close. They can move the ball through the air, and the Penn State offense doesn’t do enough to run away in games. I’ll take the Tigers with seven and a hook.
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
LSU vs. Oklahoma Saturday, Dec 28, 3:00 P.M.
My bet: Over 76
Look I hate playing overs, especially with this many points, but I just kind of see this one going high. Yes, the Oklahoma defense has looked better this year but this is an LSU offense that has been firing on all cylinders. They’ve only been held under 36 points once and that was against Auburn, a top-20 defense. I think Oklahoma will do enough to hang around in this game and been alive for a backdoor cover, but a 13.5 to 14 point spread is dicey for either side. I haven’t heard anyone say they like Oklahoma, bu there’s a reason why and it’s because this LSU team is just so so good. I think to be safe I’ll take the over in a game feature the nations top two offenses.
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
Ohio State vs. Clemson Saturday, Dec 28, 7:00 P.M.
My bet: Clemson (-2)
This Ohio State team might be the best we’ve ever seen. Chase Young, Justin Fields, J.K. Dobbins. Three superstars of the game. However, I just have this feeling that the Buckeyes are stepping in front of a buzzsaw that is Clemson. Both teams come in 13-0, but one has to feel much more disrespected than the other. Surely Clemson has played nobody, but the teams they have played have still been victim of three to four score beat-downs. Additionally, key members of this Tiger team have played in big games before...because they’re the defending. National. Champions. There’s a reason why they are the favorite, and I think they’ll find ways to hammer on Ohio State’s weaknesses in this game.