College Football 2014-15 Bowl Game Picks Against The Spread


Bowl season has arrived. Players will be toasted by towns and, in some cases, take home some sweet swag. We made money during the regular season  with a 42-33-1 record against the spread. By popular demand, here are picks for every bowl game. 

December 20

New Orleans Bowl [Louisiana-Lafayette (+1) vs. Nevada] Mark Hudspeth’s Ragin’ Cajuns have gone 9-4 each of his his first three seasons, winning three-straight New Orleans Bowls. They enter this game 8-4. We have to root for the symmetry.

New Mexico Bowl [UTEP (+10) vs. Utah State] Utah State is superior. They will want to rewrite a sour ending. Still, we’ll eschew spotting a team double-digits amidst the bowl uncertainty.

Las Vegas Bowl [Utah (-2.5) vs. Colorado State] Colorado State comes out to battle after losing coach Jim McElwain to Florida. But, Utah has a great defensive front and Kyle Whittingham has a standout 7-1 record in bowl games.

Idaho Potato Bowl [Western Michigan (-1) vs. Air Force] America’s next big-time head coach P.J. Fleck signed a six-year extension, making him the highest paid coach in the MAC. His team reciprocates the enthusiasm.

Camellia Bowl [South Alabama (-2.5) vs. Bowling Green] The Jaguars are more jacked up in a de facto home game.

December 22

Miami Beach Bowl [Memphis (-1.5) vs. BYU] Memphis is the better team and will be more excited to be there. That’s a potent combo in bowl play.

December 23

Boca Raton Bowl [Marshall (-10) vs. Northern Illinois] For all the prescription medication and fiber pills… Marshall’s 67-66 overtime loss cost them a perfect 13-0 season. They still have an axe to grind.

Poinsettia Bowl [San Diego State (-2.5) vs. Navy] Double home game. San Diego State has a good run defense and will be prepared for the option after manhandling Air Force.

December 24

Bahamas Bowl [Central Michigan (+3) vs. Western Kentucky] Letdown spot for Western Kentucky after a dramatic win. The Chippewas closed with a rivalry loss. They rebound with a performance commensurate with their bowl announcement.

Hawaii Bowl [Fresno State (+2) vs. Rice] Fresno State has a losing record, because they played USC, Utah, Nebraska, and Boise State twice.

December 26

Quick Lane Bowl [Rutgers (+3) vs. North Carolina] Christmas in Detroit! The Tar Heels ranked 121st in passing yards/attempt allowed. Rutgers throws all over them in the dome.

St. Petersburg Bowl [N.C. State (+2) vs. UCF] Blake Bortles is not walking through that door.

Heart of Dallas Bowl [Louisiana Tech (-6) vs. Illinois] Letdown spot for Illinois after the late rally to reach a bowl game and save Tim Beckman’s job. Also, the Bulldogs are just better.

December 27

Holiday Bowl [Nebraska (+6.5) vs. USC] It’s an “Us Against The World” game for Nebraska after Bo Pelini’s firing. Don’t trust USC to play or coach effectively for four quarters.

Sun Bowl [Duke (+7.5) vs. Arizona State] Disappointment about where the Sun Devils ended up after poor finish lowers the octane significantly.

Independence Bowl [South Carolina (+3.5) vs. Miami] Two 6-6 teams. One played in a better conference and has a much better coach. Over/under on “Duck Commander” cracks from Spurrier is set at 1.5.

Pinstripe Bowl [Penn State (+2.5) vs. Boston College] The Nittany Lions will travel better than Boston College dudes and dudettes. They regroup. Their defense is legit.

Military Bowl [Virginia Tech (+3) vs. Cincinnati] Cincinnati rode a soft schedule. Virginia Tech rides its great defense to a win here.

December 29

Liberty Bowl [Texas A&M (+3.5) vs. West Virginia] Take the points in a shootout. Take the young, talented Texas A&M team capitalizing on bowl practices.

Russell Athletic Bowl [Oklahoma (-3) vs. Clemson] Yes, Big Game Bob. But, Oklahoma has more to prove. Clemson is in a letdown spot and is missing their starting quarterback.

Texas Bowl [Arkansas (-6) vs. Texas] The Longhorns will give up yards on the ground, which is a problem against Bert.

December 30

Music City Bowl [LSU(-7) vs. Notre Dame] Notre Dame quit on this season. Up and coming LSU should benefit from bowl practices. It’s possible one or both coaches could be out the door by kickoff.

Belk Bowl [Louisville (+6.5) vs. Georgia] Georgia will be far less excited to be there. Petrino vs. Mark Richt. Mark Richt in a big game outside Athens.

Foster Farms Bowl [Maryland (+14) vs. Stanford] Not sure how enthused Stanford will be about playing a de facto home game. That’s too many points for an iffy offense.

December 31

Peach Bowl [Ole Miss (+3) vs. TCU] The Horned Frogs are still wondering why they’re not playing in the playoff. Fade hard. Take the points and the SEC team in SEC country.

Fiesta Bowl [Boise State (+3) vs. Arizona] The Broncos rose as the season progressed. Arizona’s bubble burst in the Pac 12 title game.

Orange Bowl [Georgia Tech (+7) vs. Mississippi State] The last time Mississippi State was in a bowl game of this caliber, they faced Georgetown. This is a major accomplishment for that program. But, in the playoff era, it will feel like a consolation prize.

January 1

Cotton Bowl [Michigan State (+2.5) vs. Baylor] Same situation as TCU. Hard to see the Bears rousing themselves. The Spartans have a point to prove. Plenty of time for Mark Dantonio to find a trifling faux pas to get offended about.

Outback Bowl [Auburn (-6.5) vs. Wisconsin] Auburn can refocus. Wisconsin is being coached by Barry Alvarez and still has no quarterback.

Citrus Bowl [Minnesota (+5) vs. Missouri] Minnesota is tough and well coached. This is also the biggest postseason game for the Gophers since the 1962 Rose Bowl. We all know Missouri can’t handle B1G teams.

Sugar Bowl [Ohio State (+9.5) vs. Alabama] The Tide have been vincible this season against good opponents. Ohio State fits that category. Bama should win, but that spread is too many points.

Rose Bowl [Oregon (-9.5) vs. Florida State] Florida State starts slow and has not played effective defense. That’s suicidal against the Ducks.

January 2

Armed Forces Bowl [Pittsburgh (-3) vs. Houston] Neither team has a head coach. On paper, Pitt should be the better team.

TaxSlayer Bowl [Tennessee (-3.5) vs. Iowa] One school is really happy to be there. The other is coached by Kirk Ferentz.

Alamo Bowl [Kansas State (+2) vs. UCLA] Why is UCLA favored here? Kansas State is one of the best coached teams in the country. UCLA has to rebound after the face paint ferocity wore off against Stanford.

Cactus Bowl [Washington (-5.5 ) vs. Oklahoma State] The Cowboys won their Super Bowl by picking off Oklahoma. Chris Petersen has time to prepare.

January 3/4

Birmingham Bowl [East Carolina (+7) vs. Florida] Beating Florida is a big deal for East Carolina. Florida will just want to get this game over with.

GoDaddy Bowl [Arkansas State (+4) vs. Toledo] Where all appears equal, take the points.