College Football Bowl Analysis

2019 College Football Bowl Central

Record (24-16-1 60% ATS)

Bowl Game: Bahamas Bowl - Buffalo @ Charlotte (+6.5)

Selection: Buffalo (-6.5)

Score: Buffalo 31 - Charlotte 9

Result: W

Notes: I like this, matchup wise for Buffalo. Buffalo's strength is their running game. Sophomore stud Jaret Patterson ran for 1,626 yards and 17 touchdowns. Truly an exceptional season. Fellow back Kevin Mark's, while not nearly as dynamic was also solid with 1,008 yards. We go against a Charlotte team that has been awful against the run all year ranking 97th in NCAA allowing over 190 yards a game. I think this game sets up well for Buffalo and I favored them by 8. Buffalo laying 6.5 is the play.

Bowl Game: Frisco Bowl - Utah State @ Kent State (+7)

Selection: Kent State (+7)

Score: Kent State 51 - Utah State 41

Result: W

Bowl Game: Celebration Bowl - North Carolina A&T @ Alcorn State (PK)

Selection: North Carolina A&T (PK)

Score: North Carolina A&T 64 - Alcorn State 44

Result: W

Bowl Game: New Mexico Bowl - Central Michigan @ San Diego State (-3.5)

Selection: San Diego State -3.5)

Score: Central Michigan 11 - San Diego State 48

Result: W

Notes: San Diego State doesn't pose much of a threat offensively but Central Michigan will run into one of the better defensive units in the nation on Saturday. The Aztecs rank second in the nation in rushing defense, surrendering just 72.3 yards per game on the ground in 2019. The Chippewas struggled to move the ball in the MAC Championship Game versus Miami of Ohio, as the Redhawks held CMU's potent rushing attack to just 99 yards. I like to lean on the better defensive units in bowl games and San Diego State held six opponents to a season low in yards this year. Without its running game to lean on, I see the Chips falling in what should be a tight game throughout. SELECTION: San Diego State -3.5

Bowl Game: Cure Bowl - Liberty @ Georgia Southern (-5)

Selection: Liberty (+5)

Score: Liberty 23 - Georgia Southern 16

Result: W

Notes: I love what HC Hugh Freeze has done here. This team was not even on the map and Freeze has made them incredibly relevant. Liberty beat a decent Buffalo team by double digits, almost won at BYU and stayed tight with Virginia until the fourth quarter. I'm not overrating this team, but I have been impressed with QB Stephen Calvert who has thrown 26 touchdowns and only five interceptions. Georgia Southern runs the triple option, but this hasn't been a vintage Georgia Southern team like we have seen in the past. Not only do I like Liberty with the points, I call for an outright upset. Liberty +5 is the play

Bowl Game: Boca Raton Bowl - SMU @ Florida Atlantic (+3)

Selection: Florida Atlantic (+3)

Score: SMU 28 - Florida Atlantic 52

Result: W

Notes: With Lane Kiffin bolting to Ole Miss, defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer will coach Florida Atlantic in what essentially will be a home game for the Owls. I see them playing well for Spencer, who helped FAU finish third in Conference-USA when it came to scoring defense at 22.3 points allowed per game. SMU's offense ranked No. 9 nationally and set multiple school records while averaging 43 points and 495.3 yards per game. But the Mustangs struggled defensively this season and the Owls can match what SMU brings to the table offensively. FAU is riding a six-game winning streak, which includes a 49-6 romp of UAB in the Conference USA championship game. Redshirt sophomore Chris Robison threw for 3,396 yards and 26 touchdowns this season and in a game that has shootout potential, I'll gladly to take the team with the better defense that is also catching points. SELECTION: Florida Atlantic +3

Bowl Game: Camelia Bowl - Florida International @ Arkansas State (-2.5)

Selection: Florida International (+2.5)

Score: FIU 26 - Arkansas State 34

Result: L

Notes: Arkansas State has not fared well in bowl games under head coach Blake Anderson. While this will be the sixth straight time that the Red Wolves reached a bowl game under Anderson, they're just 1-4 in their previous five bowling opportunities. Arkansas State does have the better offense in this matchup, but FIU allowed the sixth-fewest passing yards in the nation this year at 178.5. While the Panthers lack explosiveness on offense, they are led by an experienced signal-caller in James Morgan, who will face the No. 127-ranked defense this weekend Alabama. Arkansas State surrendered 482 yards per game to opponents this season and are dealing with multiple injuries along their defensive line. I envision FIU's pass defense giving Arkansas State some issues and the Red Wolves' defense wilting in the end. SELECTION: Florida International +2.5

Bowl Game: Las Vegas Bowl - Boise State @ Washington ()/U 50)

Selection: Under 50

Score: Boise State 7 - Washington 38

Result: W

Notes: Washington's 23rd ranked defense goes up against the Boise St. Bronco's who are ranked 14th offensively in the Country. Boise's 24th ranked defense should dish fits to a Washington offense that struggled down the stretch realizing a 3-4 mark ATS. Washington's HC Chris Peterson coaches his final contest for Washington after having lead the Bronco's to national prominence as their HC prior to taking this UW job. This will be a tight closely contested football game Under 50

Bowl Game: New Orleans Bowl - Appalachian State @ UAB (+17)

Selection: UAB (+17)

Score: Appalachian State 31 - UAB 17

Result: W

Notes: UAB was routed 49-6 by Florida Atlantic in the Conference USA championship game on December 7 but this is too many points. How motivated is Appalachian State after losing head coach Eli Drinkwitz to Missouri after just one year? If the Mountaineers don't lose to Georgia Southern on October 31, they're likely playing in a bigger bowl. Instead, they'll head to New Orleans on the first weekend of bowl season. That's a lackluster draw for a team that cracked the top-25. The key in this matchup is UAB's run defense versus Darrynton Evans, who rushed for 1,323 yards and 17 touchdowns. Zac Thomas will be another headache for the Blazers come Saturday, but UAB should be up for the challenge. They ranked in the top 12 nationally in fewest yards surrendered per carry and boast a pair of linebackers in Kristopher Moll and Jordan Smith that have combined for 19 sacks and eight forced fumbles. Sometimes bowl games are about predicting motivation, which can be tough, but profitable. While UAB played a much weaker schedule than App State and has the inferior roster, I just don't see how the Mountaineers get up for this one. SELECTION: UAB +17

Bowl Game: Gasparilla Bowl - UCF @ Marshall (+17.5)

Selection: Marshall (+17.5)

Score: UCF 48 - Marshall 25

Result: L

Notes: UCF is living off last years coat tails. Are they a good team? Absolutely they are. Dillon Gabriel is solid and this is a good team. But they are far from great. They have three losses and outside of the Florida Atlantic and Temple games, they have struggled to put together many great performances. Doc Holliday does a good job at Marshall. At 8-4 they're not a great team, but I think they're good enough to come within the number. My model made this 14.5. Marshall +17.5 is the play.

Bowl Game: Hawaii Bowl - Hawaii @ BYU (-2.5)

Selection: Hawaii (+2.5)

Score: BYU 34 - Hawaii 38

Result: W

Notes: Rainbow 1-4 bowl record can't sit well with Coach Rolovich while the BYU Cougars enter the game a sputtering offense but return starting QC Zach Wilson who has been out for weeks and will add some punch to the BYU attack. Hawaii's offense will be too much for the Cougars as the Rainbow's earn a victory and snap their recent bowl skid. Hawaii +2.5

Bowl Game: Independence Bowl - Louisiana Tech @ Miami (-6)

Selection: Miami (-6)

Score: Louisiana Tech 14 - Miami 0

Result: L

Notes: As of this writing, over 65% of betting tickets are on underdog Louisiana Tech and it's easy to understand why the majority of bettors are taking the points. Miami stumbled in its final two regular season games, losing to in-state and non-power 5 program Florida International 30-24, then dropping a 27-17 decision to ACC rival Duke, which entered that matchup with only two conference victories. From inconsistent play at quarterback, to poor offensive line play to an ineffective rushing attack that ranked dead last in the ACC at 116.5 yards per game, Miami struggled offensively all season. With Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year J'Mar Smith enjoying a career year for the Bulldogs (who were second in the conference while scoring 34 points a game) and a defense that ranked third in the nation in stopping opponents inside the red zone, again, it's no surprise that many bettors are looking at Louisiana Tech as a live dog on Thursday night. That said, I'm taking the contrarian viewpoint and laying the points with Miami. Usually motivation is a concern in these non-New Year's Day matchups between Power 5 and Group of 5 opponents. But with the way the Hurricanes finished the regular season, Manny Diaz knows he needs to create some momentum heading into the offseason. His first season as head coach at Miami didn't exactly go as planned, although his defense was mostly stout. The ‘Canes ranked 13th nationally in yards allowed (307.6), fourth in tackles for loss per game (8.6), sixth in sacks per contest (3.58) and second to Ohio State (13.07%) in sack percentage (11.11%). I see Miami creating a lot of havoc defensively on Thursday. As for the Hurricanes' quarterback woes, it'll be interesting to see if Diaz chooses Jarren Williams or N'Kosi Perry (as of this writing, Diaz has yet to declare a starter). I suspect it'll be Williams, who struggled in the final two games but did break a school record with six passing touchdowns in a dominating 52-27 performance against Louisville on November 9. The talent is there with Williams, consistency has not. Perhaps having to earn playing time over the past month will provide enough motivation for Williams to lock in on Thursday night. INDEPENDENCE BOWL SELECTION: MIAMI HURRICANES -6

Bowl Game: Quick Lane Bowl - Pittsburgh @ Eastern MIchigan (+11.5)

Selection: Eastern Michigan (+11.5)

Score: Pitt 34 - Eastern Michigan 30

Result: W

Notes: Pitt has won zero games this year by 11 or more. Zero! So asking a team that averages only 20 points a game to win by 12 is no easy task. EMU is far from any great shake, but they do have solid QB play from Mike Glass who is completing 68% of his passes. We also get home field advantage as the game is in Detroit. May not be a huge edge, but something nonetheless. Pitt also played poorly down the stretch getting blown out by Virginia Tech and losing outright as a big favorite over Boston College. EMU +11.5 is the play.

Bowl Game: Military Bowl - North Carolina @ Temple (+5)

Selection: Temple (+5)

Score: North Carolina 55 - Temple 13

Result: L

Notes: Led by quarterback Sam Howell, the Tar Heels are explosive offensively but this is too many points to lay with an improved, yet inexperienced UNC squad. Temple ranked fifth nationally in red zone defense, allowing opponents to score just 67.57% in the red area this season. The Owls are also averaging 3.25 sacks per game, which is tied for 10th nationally and rank 47th in total defense. Temple is a perfect 10-0 against the spread when listed as an underdog of seven or less points and given how many close games UNC has played this year, the value is with the Owls.

Bowl Game: Pinstripe Bowl - Michigan State @ Wake Forest (+4)

Selection: Wake Forest (+4)

Score: Michigan State 27 - Wake Forest 21

Result: L

Notes: Michigan State has been terribly disappointing all year. Awful on offense and even the defense has been not as good as expected. This team lost five straight games down the stretch, only winning the last two because they played doormats Maryland and Rutgers. On the other hand we have an eight win Wake Forest team, who outside of the Clemson game where they really stepped up in class, have had quite a nice season. I think this game is at least a coin flip and getting four points offers tremendous value on the dog. Deamon Deacons +4 is the play.

Bowl Game: Texas Bowl - Oklahoma State @ Texas A&M (-5.5)

Selection: Texas A&M (-5.5)

Score: Oklahoma State 21 - Texas A&M 24

Result: L

Notes: The Aggies will have their hands full with OSU running back Chuba Hubbard, who led the nation in rushing this season and went over 100 yards in 11 of his 12 games. That said, with quarterback Spencer Sanders and receiver Tylan Wallace out with injuries, A&M should be able to stack the box and limit OSU's scoring. The Aggies finished their regular season with a 7-5 record but those five losses were to LSU, Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and Auburn. Despite facing three of the top offenses in the nation, the Aggies still held opponents to 78 yards per game below their season average. Motivation could be an issue here, but A&M has the better defense and a dual threat under center in Kellen Mond. BOWL SELECTION: Texas A&M Aggies -5.5

Bowl Game: Holiday Bowl - USC @ Iowa (-2)

Selection: USC (+2)

Score: USC 24 - Iowa 49

Result: L

Notes: Love USC QB Kedon Slovis. I expect him to be a Heisman trophy front runner next season. I don't understand this line at all. Iowa has struggled all year to score points. They are facing a top notch offense with elite WR play lead by Michael Pittman. I know USC will score their points. I have serious doubts if Iowa can. Iowa will struggle to match up with the speed that USC has. We get added bonus of the game being played in San Diego. Outside of the Oregon game, USC has been pretty solid all year and I trust their ability to score points in a game like this far more then I do Iowa. Trojans +2 is the play.

Bowl Game: Cheez-It Bowl - Air Force @ Washington State

Selection: Washington State (+2.5)

Score: Air Force 31 - Washington State 21

Result: L

Bowl Game: Camping World Bowl - Notre Dame @ Iowa State (+3.5)

Selection: Notre Dame (-3.5)

Score: Notre Dame 33 - Iowa State 9

Result: W

Notes: Ever since they were drubbed 45-14 by Michigan in Ann Arbor, the Fighting Irish have been a different team. They survived against Virginia Tech 21-20 as a 17.5-point home favorite, then covered the spread in their final four games. Iowa State's defense will keep the Cyclones in the game, but the offense could struggle against a Notre Dame defense that hasn't surrendered more than 400 yards since late October. And while ISU is stout defensely, ND has an experienced quarterback in Ian Book and plenty of weapons to cover this small number. BOWL SELECTION: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -3.5

Bowl Game: Cotton Bowl - Penn State @ Memphis (+6.5)

Selection: Penn State (-6.5)

Score: Penn State 53 - Memphis 39

Result: W

Notes: Memphis has had a fantastic season. Two quality wins over Cincinnati, SMU, and Navy, but losing coach Mike Norvell I think will hurt them in this spot. More importantly they are moving up in class here. Penn State gets far better athletes and recruits than Memphis does and I expect it to show here. Plus Penn State gets back starting quarterback Sean Clifford. Penn State played well all season with some really nice wins and their only losses were the heartbreaker at Minnesota and a close battle at Ohio State. I say Nittany Lions win this one by double digits. Penn State -6.5 is the play.

Bowl Game: Peach Bowl - LSU @ Oklahoma (+13.5)

Selection: LSU (-13.5)

Score: LSU 63 - Oklahoma 28

Result: W

Notes: LSU is the best team in the nation and Joe Burrow is the best player in the nation. No doubt in my mind. They may not punt once in this game. With dynamic WR Ja'marr Chase and Justin Jefferson, this team will move the ball at will vs an average at best Oklahoma defense. I do think the potential loss of star RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a big one, but more so if LSU advances and he is forced to miss. Jalen Hurts of OU will do his best to keep this one close and WR Ceede Lamb is terrific. I actually think Oklahoma will score 24+ in this one. But I think LSU scores over 50 here. I see this one as a big mismatch. See you in the finals LSU. Tigers -13.5 is the play.

Bowl Game: Fiesta Bowl - Ohio State @ Clemson (-2)

Selection: Clemson (-2)

Score: Ohio State 23 - Clemson 29

Result: W

Notes: Somehow, the defending champs have seemingly flown under the radar this season. Many downplayed Clemson's accomplishments because of a soft ACC schedule and wrote the Tigers off after they nearly lost the UNC back in late September. That said, weak schedule or not, Clemson was dominant in its last eight games while going 8-0 straight up and 7-1 against the spread. Ohio State, meanwhile, received a lot of attention this season and rightfully so. Led by Justin Field, D.K. Dobbins and Chase Young, the Buckeyes played a much more difficult schedule than the Tigers and were equally dominant in all three phases. That said, most teams in the Big Ten didn't have the athletes to keep pace with Fields and Co., but Clemson does. The Tigers also have one of the best defensive coordinators in the nation in Brent Venables, who should create plenty of looks to fluster Fields and will use versatile linebacker Isaiah Simmons in a variety of ways. Clemson ranks 10th nationally in tackles for loss and is tied for 22nd in sacks with 2.85 per game. This Tigers defense creates a lot of havoc and again, the unit has the athletes at all three levels to take away a lot of the space that the Buckeyes thrive on offensively. Meanwhile, QB Trevor Lawrence proved in last season's national title game that the moment will not be too big for him and RB Travis Etienne is a homerun threat every time he touches the ball. This matchup is incredibly even, but the Tigers' experience should shine through in the end. Plus, if OSU falls behind like it did versus Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game, the Tigers are unlikely to wilt in the second half like the Badgers did in Indy. BOWL SELECTION: Clemson Tigers -2

Bowl Game: First Responder Bowl - Western Kentucky @ Western Michigan (+3)

Selection: Western Kentucky (-3)

Score: Western Kentucky 23 - Western Michigan 20

Result: PUSH

Notes: C-USA teams are just 2-4 this bowl season but the conference should get a victory on Monday with Western Kentucky. Western Michigan finished second in the MAC in scoring while averaging 34.2 points per game, which also ranked 25th nationally. That said, the Hilltoppers had the best scoring defense in Conference USA, holding opponents to just over 20 points per game, which ranked 21st in the nation. In that regard, this is a true strength on strength matchup. That said, where things get dicey for WMU is on defense. The Broncos allowed 27 points per game this season and are coming off a disappointing 17-14 loss to Northern Illinois as a 10-point favorite, a game that kept them out of the MAC Championship. While the Hilltoppers are 7-2 against the spread over their last nine games, the Broncos are just 2-8 against the number in their last 10 games as an underdog. BOWL SELECTION: WESTERN KENTUCKY -3

Bowl Game: Music City Bowl - Mississippi State @ Louisville (+4)

Selection: Mississippi State (-4)

Score: Mississippi State 28 - Louisville 38

Result: L

Bowl Game: Red Box Bowl - California @ Illinois (+6.5)

Selection: Illinois +6.5

Score: California 35 - Illinois 20

Result: L

Notes: Cal averaged only 20 points per game this season and finished 2-4 against the spread as a favorite. Why oddsmakers installed the Bears as 6.5-point favorites against an Illini team that is viewing this bowl as a major milestone for a rebuilding program is behind me, but I'm happy to take the points. Granted, Cal did rank fourth in the Pac-12 at 22.1 points allowed per game, so Illinois could have issues moving the ball themselves. Still, I'll take my chances with an Illini team that found a way to upset Wisconsin as a 28.5-point underdog earlier this season and also covered seven of its final nine games this season. BOWL SELECTION: ILLINOIS +6.5

Bowl Game: Orange Bowl - Florida @ Virginia (+14.5)

Selection: Virginia (+14.5)

Score: Florida 36 - Virginia 28

Result: W

Notes: This is all about Bryce Perkins to me. I think Perkins is one of the most underrated and unsung stars in college football this year. Truly a dynamic player. I actually have huge respect for this Florida team. Kyle Trask has been sensational for them. Losses to LSU and Georgia are very acceptable. It just comes down to the fact that I think this line should be closer to 12. And I can see it very easily even being a game where Florida is up 21 and Perkins gets the back door cover at the end to lose by 14. I fully expect Florida to win this game, but I think Virginia can keep it within the number. Virginia +14.5 is the play.

Bowl Game: Alamo Bowl - Utah @ Texas (+7)

Selection: Utah (-7)

Score: Utah 10 - Texas 38

Result: L

Notes: Motivation could be a concern for the Utes, who blew an opportunity to earn a postseason berth with their ugly loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 title game. That said, Kyle Whittingham usually has his teams ready to play, especially in bowls where Utah is 11-2 under the head coach (that includes a 2004 Fiesta Bowl victory when he was the co-head coach alongside Urban Meyer). While the Utes will be without key defenders in cornerback Jaylon Johnson, who will skip tonight's game in preparation for the NFL draft, and safety Julian Blackmon, who is out with a knee injury, Utah should still out-pace the Longhorns, who struggled defensively this season. This will be the final game for dual-threat quarterback Tyler Huntley, who was the conference's leader in passing efficiency at 181.85. He and Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year Zack Moss should move the ball at will against a Texas defense that allowed 446.2 yards per game this season, which ranked 101st nationally. If you're concerned about fading Tom Herman with his Longhorns listed as an underdog, know that Texas is 0-5 straight up as an underdog this season and is 2-3 against the spread in those games. Utah should roll. BOWL SELECTION: UTAH UTES -7

Bowl Game: Belk Bowl - Virginia Tech @ Kentucky (+2.5)

Selection: Kentucky (+2.5)

Score: Virginia Tech 30 - Kentucky 37

Result: W

Notes: The Hokies are going to want to send long time defensive coordinator Bud Foster off on a winning note despite the fact that this ball club is laced with underclassmen. Kentucky rolls into Charlotte with starting QB Bowden playing his best football of the season. Bowden began the season as a wide out yet scored 4TD's in a 284 yard rushing effort their last outing against Louisville. Kentucky +2.5

Bowl Game: Sun Bowl - Florida State @ Arizona State (-4)

Selection: Arizona Sate (-4)

Score: Florida State 14 - Arizona State 20

Result: W

Notes: Florida State needed two wins in its final three games just to qualify for a bowl under interim coach Odell Haggins, who took over for the fired Willie Taggart. While the Seminoles face an offseason of change under new head coach Mike Norvell, the Sun Devils are on the rise under Herm Edwards. ASU beat three ranked teams this season, which included Michigan State (10-7) and Cal (24-17) on the road, as well as Oregon in Tempe (31-28) when the Ducks were still fighting for a spot in the college football playoff. The Sun Devils won't have All-Pac-12 first-teamers in wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and running back Eno Benjamin, but they will have the services of freshman phenom Jayden Daniels. The signal-caller smashed the school freshman record of 2,273 passing yards while also throwing for 17 touchdowns, 11 of which went for at least 25 yards. FSU will also be without Cam Akers, who rushed for 1,144 yards and 14 touchdowns. The bigger loss on either side is Akers, who accounted for most of FSU's offensive production. Motivation could also be an issue for the Seminoles, while Edwards views today's game as another stepping stone for a rebuilding ASU program.

Bowl Game: Liberty Bowl - Navy @ Kansas State (+2.5)

Selection: Navy (-2.5)

Score: Navy 20 - Kansas State 17

Result: W

Notes: While Navy is stepping up in class facing Kansas State, that hasn't been an issue for the Midshipmen in previous bowl games. They're a perfect 5-0 against the spread in their last five bowl games, which includes a 4-0 ATS record the last four times they've been favored in a bowl. These two teams are similar in that they both love to run the ball, but that also favors Navy. After surrendering 191.5 rushing yards per game a year ago when they finished 90th nationally, the Midshipmen allowed just 110.8 rushing yards per game this season to rank 17th. While the Wildcats have a legitimate threat in junior quarterback Skylar Thompson, the Midshipmen boast Malcolm Perry, who rushed for 21 touchdowns and became the fourth FBS signal-caller to eclipse 300 yards rushing in Navy's win over Army. This one is likely to come down to the wire but it's often unwise to bet against the Midshipmen in bowl games. BOWL SELECTION: NAVY MIDSHIPMEN -2.5

Bowl Game: Arizona Bowl - Georgia State @ Wyoming (-7)

Selection: Wyoming (-7)

Score: Georgia State 17 - Wyoming 38

Result: W

Bowl Game: Outback Bowl - Minnesota @ Auburn (-7)

Selection: Auburn (-7)

Score: Minnesota 31 - Auburn 24

Result: L

Notes: Auburn is really really good. Tough losses at Florida, LSU and a tight one to Georgia doesn't take away from how good this team is. They also beat elite teams such as Oregon and Alabama. QB Bo Nix, who I believe held auburn back for a large part of this season finally showed some nice improvements over the last four games of the season. Minnesota has been a spectacular story behind head coach PJ Fleck. QB Tanner Morgan has been terrific. But when Minnesota stepped up in class, they suffered losses at Iowa and at home against Wisconsin. I think Auburn is even better than Wisconsin. I fully a expect Auburn to win this one by double digits. Auburn -7 is the play. Also like this game a lot in teasers.

Bowl Game: Citrus Bowl - Michigan @ Alabama (-7)

Selection: Alabama (-7)

Score: Michigan 16 - Alabama 35

Result: W

Notes: I am a Michigan Alum and have really enjoyed seeing how this team improved over the entirety of the season. After the Wisconsin blow out loss, I wasn't optimistic, but this team really showed grit and character and is a legit top 15 team at this point. But we talk about going up in class. They did vs Ohio State and couldn't handle it. Defensive coordinator Dom Brown likes to play man defense with guys who aren't necessarily equipped to do it against elite athletes. Well Alabama is stocked with them. Leudy, Ruggs, Smith, and Waddle. Enough said. QB Mac Jones has done a great job stepping in as a replace for all world QB Tua. This is one of the worst Alabama defenses in the Saban era and I expect Michigan will score at least 21 points on them, but I think matchup wise this is a nightmare for the wolverines when they are on defense. Roll Tide -7 is the play.

Bowl Game: Rose Bowl - Oregon @ Wisconsin (-3)

Selection: Oregon (+3)

Score: Oregon 28 - Wisconsin 27

Result: W

Notes: What a matchup. I will say outside of the Clemson Ohio state game, this is the next best matchup to me. Both teams are physically tough. Great offensive lines. Jonathan Taylor and CJ Verdell are top backs, especially Taylor. Oregon has had a really nice year. A loss to Auburn where they clearly outplayed them and then an unexplainable loss to ASU. Wisconsin had an even more unexplainable loss to Illinois, before losing twice to mighty Ohio State. In a game like this with two even teams, I lean to the team who has the edge at QB instead of the edge at running back. I make this line a pickem and I am taking three. Ducks +3 is the play.

Bowl Game: Sugar Bowl - Georgia @ Baylor (+4.5)

Selection: Baylor (+4.5)

Score: Georgia 26 - Baylor 14

Result: L

Notes: The spread for this game has dropped from 8 all the way down to 4.5. While the value has largely been sucked out of the line, I still like Baylor. Four offensive linemen will miss the game for Georgia, including Isaiah Wilson and Andrew Thomas, who are sitting out after declaring for April's NFL draft. Justin Shaffer is out with a neck injury while Ben Cleveland is academically ineligible to play in the Sugar Bowl. Meanwhile, potential first-rounder D'Andre Swift wants to play but the running back is questionable with a shoulder injury. The depleted Dawgs will face a Baylor defense that ranked 16th nationally in scoring defense (19.3 points per game). Granted, Georgia allowed just 12.5 points per game but this game reminds me of last year's Sugar Bowl when the Dawgs played poorly and never led in a 28-21 loss to Texas. BOWL SELECTION: BAYLOR BEARS +4.5

Bowl Game: Gator Bowl - Indiana @ Tennesee (-3.5)

Selection: Indiana (+3.5)

Score: Indiana 22 - Tennessee 23

Result: W

Notes: Tennessee marches into this contest having won five straight against elite SEC competition bu t without star WR Jennings. Indiana shows up not having beaten a team with a winning record this year? On paper a potential mismatch but a closer look shows that the Hoosiers are far more balanced squad. Team win for... Indiana +3. ***Please note: this line is now Indiana +3.5 and may go higher. patience

Bowl Game: Birmingham Bowl - Cincinnati @ Boston College (+7)

Selection: Cincinnati (-7)

Score: Cincinnati 38 - Boston College 6

Result: W

Bowl Game: Idaho Potato Bowl - Ohio @ Nevada (+7.5)

Selection: Nevada (+7.5)

Score: Ohio 30 - Nevada 21

Result: L

Bowl Game: Armed Forces Bowl - Tulane @ Southern Mississippi (+7)

Selection: Tulane (-7)

Score: Tulane 30 - Southern Mississippi 13

Result: W

Bowl Game: Lending Tree Bowl - Miami (OH) @ Louisiana (-14)

Selection: Louisiana

Score: Miami (OH) 17 - Louisiana 27

Result: L

Bowl Game: College Football National Championshio - LSU @ Clemson (+5.5)

Selection: Clemson (+5.5)

Score: LSU 42 - Clemson 25

Result: W

Notes: I wanted to take LSU here. But for the first time all year, LSU has gotten the proper respect they deserve from the line makers. I am going to play under 68 instead. I am the biggest fan of LSU offense. They are sensational in every way. But they are facing an elite Clemson defense that is also incredibly well coached by DC Brent Venables. In LSU's matchups vs top defenses like florida, georgia, and Auburn, they averaged "only" 34 a game. Clemson certainly is in that category. I think LSU wins this one but I dont think they score more then 35. Under 68 is the play .

Can Clemson slow down Joe Burrow and LSU's offense? That's the No. 1 question ahead of Monday night's national championship. The quick answer is, “no, nobody can,” but if Clemson accomplishes the feat, how does the game play out? Here's how: Travis Etinne and Trevor Lawrence use their legs to dominant time of possession and keep Burrow on the sidelines. Clemson DC Brent Venables will make adjustments on the fly, as he normally does, but let's be real: LSU is a juggernaut. Burrow completed over 70% of his passes and that was mostly against SEC competition. Clemson isn't going to shut down LSU's offense. What they can do, however, is steal enough possessions from LSU in efforts to keep the game close and have a chance to win in the fourth quarter. They have that capability, not just because of the dynamic Etinne, but also because of Lawrence's legs. Thanks to a weaker ACC schedule, Clemson didn't expose Lawrence as a runner throughout the regular season. Then in the semi-finals matchup with Ohio State, Clemson took advantage of the fact that the Buckeyes weren't accounting for Lawrence as a runner and the Tigers were able to mount a comeback. Tonight, LSU might know it's coming, but Lawrence can still hurt them on the ground. I see a lower-scoring game than people think, as well as a one possession, close finish.


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