Bowl Blowout Bonanza 2nd Edition
It’s here again folks! It’s the Bowl Blowout Bonanza Part 2! Unfortunately, the college football regular season has come and gone but we’ve got 40 more money making opportunities before the National Championship! You’ve found your one stop shop for all your money making needs this holiday season, just don’t tell your bookie where you got your information. He might try and shut me down.
In the Bowl Blowout Bonanza, I’m giving you a winner for EVERY. DAMN. BOWL! All lines are as of December 15, 2015 at 10:30am central from Bovada. In the rare case the game was off the board at Bovada I used the most popular line I could find. Also; all times are central because that’s where I live, and why would I want to confuse myself any more than I have to?
Just a heads up these games were not randomly pulled out of my ass; I’ve done extensive research on these and I feel confident in giving you money making picks this season. With bowl season comes the season for making money by fading the public! In general, the public is very bad at betting on bowl games; especially when they take favorites at a 70% or more clip. So we’ll be fading them a lot. Just trust me on this, I did the research (in a white lab coat might I add).
You’ll notice that I’m leaving the sponsors out of the names of these games. If they would like to sponsor me then I’ll gladly add them! Without further adieu let’s get to it!
· New Mexico Bowl: New Mexico (+10) v. Arizona, December 19th 1pm:
According to Vegas Power Rankings; New Mexico is the worst team in a bowl this year. Those same rankings have Arizona 24 spots higher. I’m saying each spot is worth at least half a point right? That would give the Wildcats a 12 point edge in my very scientific calculations; therefore I’ll take Arizona -10.
· Las Vegas Bowl; BYU (+3) v. Utah, December 19th 2:30pm:
The Holy War resumes! Even though Utah wanted no part of it, they’ll get BYU in what will be Bronco Mendenhall’s last game. I usually tend to fade coaches that are leaving but in this instance I’m not sure. Bronco has meant the world to BYU and they’ll want to send him out victorious one last time. There’s no denying that Utah is the better football team, but a lot of times in bowls that doesn’t really matter. I’ll take the team who actually wants to be there and the points; give me BYU +3.
· Camellia Bowl; Ohio (+7.5) v. Appalachian State, December 19th 4:30pm:
I’m not going to sit here and blow smoke up your ass; I don’t know very much about either of these teams. I also don’t think traveling to Montgomery for a bowl should be a reward for your season. After doing some research though I’ve found that a lot of projections and sharps that like Appalachian State. When in doubt, trust the smart people! Give me Appalachian State -7.5.
· Cure Bowl; Georgia State (+3) v. San Jose State, December 19th 6pm:
Surprisingly the public is all over Georgia State here at 75%; they must know something I don’t. By that I mean they absolutely do not, because the public usually doesn’t know shit. I’ll roll with another favorite here based on the public’s love for Georgia State; San Jose State -3 is the play.
· New Orleans Bowl; Arkansas State (+2) v. Louisiana Tech, December 19th 8pm:
I was a bit surprised to see Arkansas State as the underdog here, and even more surprised to see the public on them at a 68% rate. When in doubt take the underdog and fade the public (hint: this won't be the only time we use this strategy) ! Arkansas State +2
· Miami Beach Bowl; South Florida (+3) v. Western Kentucky, December 21st 1:30pm:
Now this is a bowl game destination! Can you imagine going from Bowling Green, Kentucky to Miami? We’re less than a week before kickoff and Western Kentucky still hasn’t left for Miami. They’re going to need at least 5 days to get all the partying out of their system before playing a college football game. Another interesting note in this one, USF head coach Willie Taggart used to coach at Western Kentucky. After fading USF for most of the season and getting embarrassed I just can’t do it anymore. I like the team from Florida to get the win in Miami. South Florida +3.
· Potato Bowl; Akron (+7) v. Utah State:
Spoiler Alert: the public loves a favorite, especially during bowl season. This shines true here once again, as Utah State is closing in on 70% of the bets received. The simulations I look at are split on this one, but some of the sharps are leaning towards Akron. I’ll gladly take the points here; give me Akron +7 to keep it within the number.
· Boca Raton Bowl; Toledo (+1.5) v. Temple, December 22nd 6pm:
This game has about 80% of the public on Temple, yet the line has actually shifted towards Toledo. You know what that means? The people who have real money and actually know what they’re doing are siding with Toledo. I’m going with those people, Toledo +1.5.
· Poinsettia Bowl; Northern Illinois (+8) v. Boise State, December 23rd 3:30pm:
Northern Illinois comes in at number 65 on the Vegas Power Rankings; while Boise is all the way up at 44. Going off my entirely legitimate and 100% tried and tested formula of a half point per ranking we’ll see that Boise is approximately 10.5 points better than the Huskies. The public might have caught on to my method because they like Boise here. They’ll get this one though and so will you if you roll with Boise State -8 against an injury plagued Northern Illinois team.
· GoDaddy Bowl; Georgia Southern (+7.5) v. Bowling Green, December 23rd 7pm:
Another Alabama bowl game and another less than desirable spot in Mobile. Georgia Southern doesn’t have to travel far; but can we really expect a lot of their fans to make the trip, regardless of how short it is? Bowling Green will have an interim coach after their covering machine of a head coach Dino Babers left for Syracuse. Georgia Southern’s head coach is also leaving, but for Tulane. I’m not sure if Georgia Southern’s coach is coaching or not. I’ll take the team that almost beat Georgia and the points here; let’s roll with Georgia Southern +7.5.
· Bahamas Bowl; Middle Tennessee (+3) v. Western Michigan, December 24th 11am:
I still can’t get over this game last year; so much like the Belk Bowl I suggest you avoid it at all costs. Central Michigan was down 5 touchdowns going into the fourth. They scored on the above play to make it a one point game, went for two and didn’t get it. I believe the spread was like 3. Either way, all time bad beat. Do not bet on this game, but since I said I’d give you a pick for every game I’ll give you Middle Tennessee +3.
· Hawaii Bowl; San Diego State (+1.5) v. Cincinnati, December 24th 7pm:
The Hawaii Bowl! Or as known in my house; a great excuse to not have to pay attention to your family. All you have to do is bet on this game then tell your family you have money on the game and they’ll be sure to leave you alone to watch your precious football. It’s a Christmas Tradition unlike any other at my house. On to the game; this looks to be a decent matchup on paper, but the sharps have a big lean on the Aztecs. So you’re telling me I can back the sharps and fade the public (60%)? Deal; give me San Diego State +1.5.
· St. Petersburg Bowl; UConn (+4.5) v. Marshall, December 26th 10am:
Damn, I hope you’re ready for a marathon because we’ve got 6 games the day after Christmas. We get started at 10am with decent matchup in St. Pete. UConn has improved a lot this year and impressed a lot of people by making it to a bowl. I haven’t seen any real strong leans either way on this one, but after checking some projections I’m taking Marshall -4.5 to get the job done.
· Sun Bowl; Miami (+3) v. Washington State, December 26th 1pm:
This game will be all about the quarterbacks as Brad Kaaya and Luke Falk square off. Miami will get one final game of interim coach Larry Scott before the Mark Richt era begins. The numbers have no strong lean on this one but HOLY SHIT the public is taking Washington State 80% of the time. Give me Miami +3 all day long, as I felt comfortable taking them before I saw that public number.
· Heart of Dallas Bowl; Southern Miss (+8.5) v. Washington; December 26th 1:20pm:
Mmmmm Zaxby’s (that’s who sponsors this bowl), if you’re not gorging on leftovers I actually recommend eating some Zaxby’s during this game for some inception style bowl game viewing. Washington is getting points here because they are a much stronger brand than Southern Miss. I’m not sure the Golden Eagles aren’t the better team here, as they went 10-3 against the spread this year. They also didn’t lose two in a row at any point this year, and they lost their last game. Judging off my awesome Power Rankings discrepancy scores; Washington is only 5 spots higher than Southern Miss, so only 2.5 points better. I love the Alma Mata of Brett Favre to keep this one competitive and possibly get the outright win; go ahead and lock in Southern Miss +8.5 before it’s too late.
· Pinstripe Bowl; Duke (+2) v. Indiana, December 26th 2:30pm:
Indiana, I applaud you as you were a favorite money maker of mine in 2015. However, I don’t know if I’m ready to back you in the bowl season. I don’t think coaching is the end all be all in bowl season but I do like David Cutcliffe a lot in this matchup. OH MY GOD; don’t look now but the public is backing Indiana at an 82% rate. Here’s a rule to live by during bowl season; if you see a favorite getting over 75% of the bets, take the underdog 100% of the time. It’s like wearing Sex Panther but way better. Duke +2.
· Independence Bowl; Tulsa (+13.5) v. Virginia Tech, December 26th 4:45pm:
If there’s one thing I can guarantee this bowl season it’s that this will be an emotional game, as Frank Beamer will lead Virginia Tech for the very last time. I can almost damn near guarantee you that he’ll get the win on his way out, I’m just not ready to say if it will be by 14 or more. 13.5 points in a bowl game is absolutely huge, and as a matter of fact it’s the biggest this season. Call me crazy but I think I’m actually laying the points here. The projections I’ve looked at like Tech to slightly cover and damnit so do I; send that man off in STYLE! Virginia Tech -13.5
· Foster Farms Bowl; Nebraska (+7) v. UCLA, December 26th 8:15pm:
Mike Riley seems to have this whole bowl game thing figured out as he’s 6-2 as a head coach in said bowl games. And to think all of those were at Oregon State! I’ll be interested to see how the 5-7 teams do in bowl games this year as it’s the first year they’re eligible. A lot of people seem to think they’ll be out to prove something after having to deal with weeks of people telling them they shouldn’t be in a bowl (which they shouldn’t). I think UCLA is too talented for Nebraska in this spot. Josh Rosen will be the best player on the field as a Freshman and I think he’ll try and get his name out there for some early 2016 Heisman hype. I’ll lay the points and take UCLA -7 in this one.
· Military Bowl; Pitt (+3.5) v. Navy, December 28th 1pm:
Although it hasn’t been the most successful for me in the past few years; I have a rule to never back option teams in bowl games. It’s very tough to switch up your defense from week to week to prepare for a spread option team, but not so much when you have 3+ weeks to prepare. I know it’s Keenan Reynolds last game as a Midshipman, and it could be their head coaches too. He at least interviewed with BYU which could cause some distractions. I’m sticking with my rule in the end and backing Pitt +3.5.
· Quick Lane Bowl; Central Michigan (+5.5) v. Minnesota, December 28th 4pm:
I know there are several bad games (inevitable when you have 40 bowls) but man not too many have I given a bigger who cares than this one. The projections seem to really like the Golden Gophers in this one and who am I to argue? Give me Minnesota -5.5 in a game I will most definitely not watch.
· Armed Forces Bowl; Air Force (+7) v. Cal, December 29th 1pm:
Cal was my favorite O/U win total for the season as I got them at over 5.5 wins. They got there but it wasn’t before they made me nervous. After starting out 5-0 the Golden Bears lost 4 straight before finally picking up that sixth win (and adding another for good measure in the final regular season game). I think Jared Goff is a future star, but I like Air Force a lot in this game. I’ve seen several people who think this game should be around a pick em. With that being the case I’m taking the team getting seven points in a matchup that many perceive as neutral; let’s roll with Air Force +7.
· Russell Athletic Bowl; North Carolina (+3.5) v. Baylor, December 29th 4:30pm:
Finally! A good looking bowl game! Here we have a classic strength versus strength matchup when Baylor’s offense matches up against North Carolina’s defense. This game is currently off the board in several places due to Baylor’s quarterback situation. The public is on Baylor at about a 2/3rd’s margin and the projections like the Bears as well. I’m going to side with defense when the layoff is this long; plus, that Baylor QB situation actually scares me. Give me North Carolina +3 to get the win.
· Arizona Bowl; Nevada (+3) v. Colorado State, December 29th 6pm:
If we’ve learned anything from SVP’s new SportsCenter show it’s that Mike Bobo has never turned down any points. This is a favorable thing when playing in a bowl game that’s projected to be a shootout. These teams are 74th (Colorado St.) and 75th (Nevada) in the Vegas Power Rankings. Give me the team who has the coach that isn’t afraid to run up a score. Colorado State -3
· Texas Bowl; Texas Tech (+7) v. LSU, December 29th 8pm:
This may be the hardest game on the board to me. Everything I know and have seen this year tells me LSU is going to run all over them on their way to running up the score. However; a lot of sharps are really liking Texas Tech here. When checking the public here I was shocked to see that they were on Texas Tech at over a 70% clip. That confirms what I originally thought; I like the Tigers here and I like Leonard Fournette to possibly have his biggest rushing performance of the season. LSU -7
· Birmingham Bowl; Memphis (+2.5) v. Auburn, December 30th 11am:
HA! Really?! Auburn is a favorite in a football game against a team that beat Ole Miss? Paxton Lynch will use this game to showcase his talent for the NFL Scouts. He’ll view it as a chance to impress against two SEC teams, no matter how bad the second one is. I’d take Memphis in this if they were giving 2.5, but for some reason they’re getting it so you bet your ass I’m taking them. Memphis +2.5 in what could be my bowl season lock.
· Belk Bowl; NC State (+5.5) v. Mississippi State, December 30th 2:30pm:
Go read what I said about that Bahamas Bowl; the same nonsense applies here. The 2012 Belk Bowl between Duke and Cincinnati still haunts me. It’s bad enough that it’s on SVP’s bad beats segment every week. Again, don’t bet on this game but if you must take Mississippi State -5.5.
· Music City Bowl; Louisville (+2.5) v. Texas A&M, December 30th 7pm:
So what the hell’s happening with all these Texas A&M QB’s? First Kenny Trill has a big stretch, becomes a big name, then transfers. Now Kyle Allen has done the same. What makes us believe it won’t happen to Kyler Murray too? I didn’t see anything out of Murray that would make me want to transfer if I were Allen. Allen says he’s sticking around for the game so you know they’ll try and get him a little bit of playing time. The projections are on Louisville but I’m not. I’m taking the team with Myles Garrett against a terrible offensive line, give me Texas A&M -2.5.
· Holiday Bowl; Wisconsin (+3) v. USC, December 30th 9:30pm:
When we hop back to our handy dandy Vegas Power rankings we’ll see that Wisconsin is actually ranked ahead of USC here. Plus, the public is hammering USC. Sounds like a recipe for some free cash to me. Take Wisconsin +3 to get the win.
· Peach Bowl; Houston (+7) v. Florida State, December 31st 11am:
We’re finally to the New Years Six! Houston is our lone non-power five this season and deservedly so. I like what Houston’s done this year I just don’t know how they’ll fare in this spot. It will depend a lot on what Florida State team shows up. If they show up ready to ball and not upset they’re missing out on the playoffs then Houston could be in for a long afternoon(morning). I think Florida State travels a lot better than Houston in this spot and they’ll make it feel like close to a home game in Atlanta. I’ve seen some cappers that say this game should be a pick em but I’m not quite sold on that. I’m going with Florida State -7 in hopes that they come out playing their best football.
· Outback Bowl; Northwestern (+8) v. Tennessee, January 1st 11am:
WOO HOO 8-4 RAISES ALL AROUND! Seriously though, how do you get a $500,00 raise for going 8-4 at Tennessee? Does Butch get complacent against Northwestern? The Vegas Power Rankings have Tennessee 15 spots higher than Northwestern or 7.5 points better than in my new Scientific Method. Which doesn’t really help us much in a game with a spread of 8. I think Northwestern has the better defense so I’ll take the Wildcats to keep it within the number here. Northwestern +8
· Fiesta Bowl; Notre Dame (+6.5) v. Ohio State, January 1st 12pm:
Oh man this looks like a sexy matchup! Too bad neither team was good enough to make the playoffs! SUCK IT YOU OVERRATED SCRUBS! This is another one of those games that’s currently not listed at Bovada and I’m not really sure why. For the most part this one is floating around 6.5/7, so we’ll go with that. Ohio State is clearly the more talented team but I think they’ve already got several guys who have checked out. They could come out with the mentality that they’re going to prove the playoff committee wrong for leaving them out, but I don’t see it with this bunch. I like Notre Dame +6.5 in this one, as I believe they’ll show up as the team that wants to be there more.
· Citrus Bowl; Florida (+4.5) v. Michigan, January 1st 12pm:
Both teams exceeded expectations under new coaches in their first year, and they did it primarily with defense. The over/under on this game hovers around 40.5 which is crazy for a bowl game. Low scoring games tend to favor the underdog, plus over 70% of the public is on Michigan. Therefore I’m taking Florida +4.5 to keep it close and possibly get the win.
· Rose Bowl; Iowa (+7) v. Stanford January 1st 4pm:
I bet you could have gotten some damn good odds for this as your preseason Rose Bowl matchup. Iowa barely missed out on a chance to be in the playoff, but I don’t think this is the squad to sulk about missing out. Vegas has Stanford at 7 and Iowa at 9 so we can’t really do anything with those rankings. Projections really like the Hawkeyes at 6.5 so I really like them with another half point as well. Let’s roll with Iowa +7 to keep it close and make this yet another memorable Rose Bowl.
· Sugar Bowl; Oklahoma State (+7) v. Ole Miss, January 1st 7:30pm:
So this game all depends on how fresh Ole Miss shitting the bed against TCU last year is in your mind. I still remember it, but I think this is a different Ole Miss team. No word yet on whether Hiderman (you know, like high Spiderman?) I meant Nkemdiche will play yet, but either way the line shouldn’t move more than half a point. Apparently the public still vividly remembers that game from last year because they’re taking Oklahoma State 70% of the time. The Cowboys have given up about 50 points a game over there last several games, so I’m going to go with the team that doesn’t do that. I’ll lay the points and take Ole Miss -7 here to actually show up and play some football.
· TaxSlayer Bowl; Penn State (+7) v. Georgia, January 2nd 11am:
This was going to be Richt’s sendoff, but since Miami snatched him up he’ll pass on his swan song. The Kirby Smart era hasn’t officially begun yet as he’ll stay at Alabama through the playoff run. Georgia is 23rd in Power Rankings while Penn State is 57th. According to my Bill Nye Approved Formula that’s a 34 spot difference or 17 points. That’s ten extra points for me, so I’ll take Georgia -7 in this one.
· Liberty Bowl; Kansas State (+11) v. Arkansas, January 2nd 2:20pm:
Yikes. In looking at our Vegas rankings we’ve got a 41 spot difference here (19 v. 60). Woof. I wanted to back Kansas State in this one, as I tend to like backing Bill Snyder coached teams but I can’t go against Bill Nye. Asshole Bert Bielema from Arkansas will do everything he can to run this one up, so I’ll roll with Arkansas -11 in this one.
· Alamo Bowl; Oregon (Pick) v. TCU, January 2nd 5:45pm:
I’ve been on a pretty nice little streak of backing Oregon and making money, but I don’t know if their defense can stop TCU if they’re healthy. With the O/U in this one being around 78 we’re expecting a lot of points. I trust TCU’s defense with a month to prepare more than I do Oregon’s here so I’m actually rolling with the public here and taking TCU (pick) to get the victory.
· Cactus Bowl; West Virginia (Pick) v. Arizona State 9:15pm:
Well well well, after 36 games with a favorite and an underdog we end the bowl season with two pick ems. Both of these teams had disappointing seasons in their eyes and Dana Holgerson almost lost his job at West Virginia because of it. These two seem to be pretty evenly matched but the metrics and cappers I’m seeing like the Mountaineers here. Good enough for me on this one, take West Virginia (pick) in this one and thank me later.
WOO HOO it’s over! As you’ll notice the two playoff games are not on this list. Don’t worry, we’ll have a special playoff write-up for them. Please spread the good word on this and check out the Deep Fried Podcast, where we’ll be picking all the bowl games and you’ll get even more perspectives.
Thank you all for tuning in and I applaud you for making it all the way through, you deserve a treat! So if you’ve made it this far give us a shout-out on @deepfriedbets on Twitter and I’ll enter you into a drawing for a koozie. Retweets and Facebook shares can only help your chances people!