2016 Bowl Blowout Bonanza Part Two!
Welcome back to part two of the 2016 Bowl Blowout Bonanza! In case you’re not keeping score at home; part one of the Bowl Blowout Bonanza was all about kicking ass, taking names and cashing checks! As of writing I’m 6-2 on the bowl season with Colorado State (-13) still to go tonight. Don’t worry, I have every intention of keeping that up for the rest of the bowl games!
The bowl games as a whole have kind of sucked so far, but that’s to be expected for games between teams like Central Michigan and Tulsa. As a whole favorites are 7-2 straight up but just 4-5 against the number. Most surprising though is that 8 of the 9 bowl games have stayed under the total so far. I’m not sure if that’s something to watch for this bowl season or just an early anomaly. We'll definitely keep our eye out though.
Alright, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover this week so let’s go ahead and get to the games. I’ve got 15 more for you here and as always, we’ll be picking all the games on the Deep Fried Bets Podcast (Go listen now and subscribe if you're not already)!
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl: Eastern Michigan (+4) vs. Old Dominion
Friday December 23rd 11am
Its official folks, we can end the contest now. On paper this is the shittiest bowl game of all time, right? I mean seriously a game between Old Dominion and Eastern Michigan? Being played at 11am on a Friday? In the Bahamas? Yeah call your bookie up and get some odds on this being the lowest rated bowl game of all time, because it’s got potential to do it. Unless they’re handing out free Popeyes when you walk in the door, I can’t suggest attending this game either. On the field I think it’s fair to say I don’t know much about either of these teams. I bet on Eastern Michigan a few times this year, but that’s just because they went 1-11 last year and were catching some serious points at times this year. From all the numbers I’ve seen Old Dominion seems to be the better squad. I’ll take a leap of faith and say they’re at least a touchdown better here. The Pick: Old Dominion -4.
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Louisiana Tech (-7) v. Navy
Friday December 23rd 2:30pm
What a strange bowl game. I’m sure this is Trump’s favorite bowl game, the best bowl game! Remember when Navy was going to play in the Cotton Bowl? That was fun; they’ve lost two straight and their starting quarterback and running back since then. Meanwhile, Louisiana Tech lost to Western Kentucky in their conference championship game. I’ll be honest I don’t understand the public’s love for La Tech in this spot (close to 70%). I know Navy lost to Army not that long ago, but Army has legit been forming task forces and what not figuring out how to beat Navy. Something I don’t think Louisiana Tech has done. Navy has had success against non-option teams with bad defenses and Lousiana Tech fits that mold. I love the underdog here to potentially get the outright win. The pick: Navy +7.
Dollar General Bowl: Ohio (+4) vs. Troy
Friday December 23rd 7pm
Holy shit, how in the hell can Dollar General afford to sponsor a bowl game? Have you ever been in a Dollar General? It’s the worst place in the world. My mom buys cleaning supplies from that place and I’ve been there with her once or twice and oh my god, I’d rather pay double for anything than ever step foot in that store again! I’m assuming that watching the Dollar General bowl will have the same effect on the body as visiting a Dollar General. Nonetheless, there’s a pick to be made and money to be won and we will be doing those things! This game is being played in Mobile, but again please don’t read too much into the home state advantage for Troy here. Ohio has a pretty good defense to combat Troy’s offense, but I value the Trojans just a little bit more here. I would feel more comfortable if the line was closer to 3, but I’m going to lay the points here hoping that Troy can get the job done by at least a touchdown. Plus, we’ll reward the Trojans a bit for making us some money throughout the regular season. The pick: Troy (-4). Ps: Ohio has gone under in every game this year except for the opener, and Troy’s offense isn’t as high powered as it once was. The under may be a good play here as well.
Hawai’i Bowl: Hawai’i (+4.5) vs. Middle Tennessee State
Saturday December 24th 7pm
This is weird, a bowl game with no sponsor. I guess Sheraton was too cheap to pony up the big bucks to sponsor this bad boy this year. Not everyone had as good of a financial year as Dollar General did apparently. This game is being played on Christmas Eve and either you’ll care nothing about this game, or care everything about this game. Depending on how you feel about spending quality time with your family. Here we have yet another team playing a shitty bowl game in their home state. Yet again, no one will be at this bowl game. For the record, Hawai’i (the state) is overrated. Granted, I went when I was 13 with my grandmother and her other elderly friends but still, chalk me up as unimpressed. Now on to the game itself in the overrated paradise: Two things went in to me making this pick. One, the Rainbow Warriors spend all of their time in Hawai’i so they won’t be distracted by the supposed paradise. Two, the public is on Middle Tennessee State at an 87% clip. As I’ve said before fading the public isn’t everything but it usually works pretty well in spots like this. The pick: Hawai’i +4.5.
St. Petersburg Bowl: Miami (OH) (+14) vs. Mississippi State
Monday December 26th 10am
Whoah, talk about an early kick. This one kicks off at 10am local time for the hashtag school #HailState! 11am local time isn’t much better for this one. Everyone will already be off work on Monday so why not wake up and have yourself a few mimosas (I recommend a lot) and watch the good ole St. Petersburg Bowl! That’s the only way you’re going to get through this one. Mississippi State is one of two 5-7 schools to get in a bowl this year; all of those teams walked away with victories last year. I think State will do the same this year, but I’m not sure it will be by the required 14 points. One pro tip for this game I’ll recommend: take the first half under. As for the actual line I’ll take the more talented team to show up in the second half and cruise to victory. This probably isn’t the smartest play considering the public is all over State but sometimes you’ve got to bite the bullet and lay the points. The pick: Mississippi State (-14)
Quick Lane Bowl: Maryland (-1) vs. Boston College
Saturday December 26th 1:30pm
Remember those mimosas I was talking about for the previous game? Yeah, get rid of those it’s time to move to hard liquor if you plan on making it through this game. I know we’ve already dubbed Old Dominion versus Eastern Washington as the worst bowl game matchup of all time, so it’s time for another worst. This is the worst Power 5 program matchup in the history of bowl games. Both teams are somehow 6-6 with neither beating a team that’s worth a damn all year. This game will be absolutely awful (an unfortunate trend I’m starting to notice with a lot of these bowl games), and if you do have any more family Christmases to attend this would be the perfect time for that. I’m not even going to try and analyze this game for you. Both teams are terrible, I’ll take the team I think is slightly less awful. The pick: Maryland -1.
Camping World Independence Bowl: Monday December 26th 4pm
NC State (-4) vs. Vanderbilt
SHREVEPORT BABY! Vanderbilt has to be the first SEC team in the history of ever to be happy to go to Shreveport. NC State has no idea what they’re in for, which gives the Commodores every advantage in the world. NC State had to beat rival North Carolina to secure a bowl bid, while Vandy had to do the same against their biggest rival Tennessee. HAHAHA another reminder that Vandy kicked the shit out of Tennessee and took their Champions of Life title! I think Vandy will have the best unit on the field in this one with their defense. They’ll be able to slow down NC State and I think this one could be a low scoring affair. I think any game like that benefits the Commodores, so I’m going with the SEC underdog here. The pick: Vanderbilt (+4).
Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl: Army (-10) vs. North Texas
Tuesday December 27th 11am
I see ya Zaxby’s! The premier chicken destination of the South is stepping up to host a bowl game in Dallas, makes sense (yes I did call Zaxby’s the premier chicken destination of the South; which means I’m saying it’s better than Chic-Fil-A, that’s because it is. We need to calm down with our Chic-Fil-A love). So yeah, Army is a 10 point favorite against a D1 college football team. I guess beating someone for the first time in 14 years will get you that honor. Here we have the other 5-7 bowl team this year in North Texas. Oh yeah, lets not forget that North Texas has already beaten Army once this year, at Army! Army got their big win against Navy and I doubt they’ll play this game with the same emotion they showed in that Navy game. Army may win this time around, but it won’t be by 10 points. The pick: North Texas (+10).
Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman: Temple (-11.5) vs. Wake Forrest
Tuesday December 27th 2:30pm
Well well well, what do we have here? This one is tricky because I don’t know if Temple already knows Wake’s entire game plan or not. That asshole really threw a wrench in the whole betting market didn’t he? I’m pretty sure I lost money on Wake Forrest at some point this year, I’m calling Las Vegas to see if they will give me my money back. On the other side of the field we have a Temple team with an interim coaching staff. I usually try and fade interim staffs but the opposition usually isn’t involved in a gigantic play giving away scandal. My guess is the Wake players have to be pretty pissed off at how everything went down and will be ready to play come game time. Temple just lost one of the best coaches they’ve ever had so I’m expecting a bit of a letdown on their end. The pick: Wake Forrest +11.5 (this one will probably get closer to 14 by kickoff so I’m going to wait).
Motel 6 Cactus Bowl: Boise State (-7.5) vs. Baylor
Tuesday December 27th 9:15pm
What is this the day of scandals? Three games in a row featuring some pretty scandalous teams. I bet Lifetime is dying to get their hands on a lineup this juicy! We’ll start this preview by looking at the public bets and noticing that Boise is currently getting over 70% of the tickets at this point. Although most of the public money has come in on Boise this has actually shifted in Baylor’s direction. Baylor was bad against the spread this year and folks assume they’ll continue that trend. I hate to do it but I think I’m backing the Bears here. This is one of those you have to throw what you think you know out the window and take the opportunity that Vegas is providing you. The pick: Baylor +7.5.
National Funding Holiday Bowl: Minnesota (+10.5) vs. Washington State
Tuesday December 27th 6pm
Hello there Minnesota, nice to see you actually plan on participating in this game now! Back to back scandal laden teams, I love it! Minnesota tried to out-do Wake’s scandal when they chose to boycott team activities because 10 of their teammates were suspended for some rapey actions; bold move by the current Minnesota players if you ask me. You would have to think the time away from the facilities would hurt Minnesota here, but who knows it could have kept them a bit fresher. I really don’t know what to make of Mike Leach in a bowl game as Washington State really faded down the stretch. The public is all over Wazzu here and I think that support will continue to grow the closer we get to kickoff. I’m rolling the dice here and taking Minnesota solely for fading the public purposes. The pick: Minnesota (+10.5).
New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Pittsburgh (-5.5) vs. Northwestern
Wednesday December 28th 1pm
What’s with all these early afternoon midweek games? Don’t most people have to work the week between Christmas and New Years? These fat cat bowl people know the world doesn’t just shut down to watch their shitty bowl games don’t they? Here we have yet another heavily sided public game; with Pitt getting about 75% of the tickets in this case. Pitt gets the benefit of the doubt from early bettors because they beat Penn State and Clemson this year. Northwestern didn’t beat anybody of note and the public noticed that. I’m not touching this one yet as I think it will move closer to 7, and when it does that is when I’ll grab Northwestern. If it doesn’t get to at least 6.5 where I can buy the extra half point I probably won’t touch it, but I don’t see that happening. The pick: Northwestern (+7)
Russell Athletic Bowl: West Virginia (+3) vs. Miami
Wednesday December 28th 4:30pm
Your annual reminder that Russell Athletic is still a thing; unless you watch a lot of Georgia Tech football that is. This game should actually be a pretty entertaining one to watch! You might be a bit thrown off by the fact that Miami is a 3 point favorite here but I think a lot of that is respect for Mark Richt and his bowl game record. West Virginia actually went 10-2 this year but beat absolutely no one worth a shit; they did however get housed by Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The public will be all over the underdog here and I’ll be happy to fade them and take a Miami team that was for the most part competitive all year long. This is actually one of my favorite plays of the bowl season. The pick: Miami (-3).
Foster Farms Bowl: Indiana (+7) vs. Utah
Wednesday December 28th 7:30pm
Yeah so this one is on at the same time as Texas A&M versus Kansas State. Care to guess which one will have the lower ratings? Hint it's not the Big 12 versus SEC matchup. Indiana starts this one with a new coach, although he's been in house the whole time. Apparently their old coach made their players play hurt, which has Rodger Goodell wondering why a coach lost his job for that. Utah had yet another solid season in the PAC12 and their head coach Kyle Wittingham is 9-1 in bowl games. All that combines to mean they'll be the heavily backed team at the window. I've backed Indiana a lot this year and I'm going to do it again here. It may be risky but I like the Hoosiers, this is gambling after all. The pick: Indiana (+7).
Advocare Texas Bowl: Texas A&M (-2.5) vs. Kansas State
Wednesday December 28th 8pm
Really Texas A&M is a favorite here? The same Texas A&M that shit the bed (like always) down the stretch? Bill Snyder never gets any respect, I guess Vegas doesn't adhere to the whole "respect your elders" thing. How rude of them. I just can't see A&M being excited to play in this game. They were number four in the initial playoff rankings and have now fallen out of the rankings completely. All the while KState keeps chugging along, quitely covering games and staying respectable. I love the Aggies in this spot as I think they'll be infinitely more motivated, and win the game outright. The pick: Kansas State (+2.5); take the money line.
Alright folks that doesn't it for part two of the Deep Fried Bets Bowl Blowout Bonanza! Check back next week as we'll have the rest of the bowl games ready to go as well as a nice little playoff preview! In the meantime checkout the Deep Fried Bets Podcast for a few other prespectives!