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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The 15 "Best Bets" for the Bowl Season

As followers of this blog are aware, I took a $15,750 bath in the regular season betting straight up on TD or more underdogs.  Well I intend to recover in the Bowl Season.  I looked through the 35 bowl games for ATS, straight up, and over/under bets and picked my Top 15 best bets.  For each I will bet $1,000 in JR Ewing bucks, surely I'll cut into my debt.  Good thing the oil business if floating my gambling problem!

All ATS and Over/Under are -110 (with a $1,100 bet).

San Diego State (+125 S/U) vs. Brigham Young (Poinsettia Bowl, December 20, 7:00 CST)
This is a virtual home game for San Diego State.  After stumbling out of the game, this team has won 7 straight games.  BYU has been up and down, think they might be caught in a dog fight here and come up on the bottom.

East Carolina (+190 S/U) vs. Louisiana Lafayette (New Orleans Bowl, December 22, 11:00 CST)
People are excited about taking the Ragin' Cajuns in what is essentially a home game.  But East Carolina is probably the better team.  Another case in which it might be a pick'em but you're giving me a good money line.  I just don't think the Sun Belt is as close to Conference USA as people think.

Southern Methodist (+350 S/U) vs. Fresno State (Hawaii Bowl, December 24, 7:00 CST)The Ponies were a hot team by the end of the year (excepting a curious Rice loss).  Figures that Garrett Gilbert (experience in BCS Championship game for Texas) would round into form under QB coach guru June Jones.  This is an improving team, so was their opponent, but I see a shootout and in my analysis, Conference USA is underrated.

Southern Methodist (+12pts ATS) vs. Fresno State (Hawaii Bowl, December 24, 7:00 CST)
This is a straight hedge (and the only one on the card here).  If it's close, I'll break close to even, if SMU wins, it's double time.

Cincinnati (-7.5 ATS) vs. Duke (Belk Bowl, December 27, 5:00 CST)
I'm not sure I even know what a Belk is, but I know Duke can't hang with Cincinnati.  The middle-top of the Big East was better than people probably think.  Duke was in the weakest ACC division and scuffled at the end (4 straight losses, 5 out of 6).  Cincinnati wins by more than a TD, it's just going to happen that way.

Baylor (Pick'em ATS) vs. UCLA (Holiday Bowl, December 27, 8:00 CST)
Baylor was the hottest team in the Big 12 at the end of the year (4-1, close loss to OU, beat OSU, KSU, and Texas Tech).  UCLA is good but will be challenged by Baylor's offense.  The Holiday is almost always a shootout, advantage Baylor here.

Air Force (-1pts ATS) vs. Rice (Armed Forces Bowl, December 29, 11:00 CST)
Rice is a 6-6 CUSA team, Air Force can be tough to stop.  I'm just figuring that there is no way Rice can go and win a bowl game.  It's near pick'em, Air Force should be confident and control.

West Virginia (-4pts ATS) vs. Syracuse (Pinstripe Bowl, December 29, 2:15 CST)
You'll see a theme on the picks for the bottom half of the Big 12, this was a deep conference and the #7, #8, and #9 teams got good advantages vs. the other conference middle to bottom dwellars.  West Virginia will be familiar with this opponent from the Big East and the trip to Yankee Stadium won't be such a home field as other Big 12 teams.  The Mountaineers can score a lot of points.

Texas vs. Oregon State (57 points O/U, under) (Alamo Bowl, December 29, 5:45 CST)
Texas defense struggled mostly against big time throwing passers (Landry Jones, Geno Smith, Nick Florence) and Oregon State doesn't have one of those.  Texas offense can't score against air.  Oregon State's defense really only struggled against up tempo offenses (Oregon, Arizona).  Combine that with offenses usually struggling in Bowl season b/c of rhythm and you get this result!

Texas Christian (-2.5pts ATS) vs. Michigan State (Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, December 29, 9:15 CST)
I've got the Big 10 down and the Big 12 bottom half (see above) up.  2.5 is pretty tight, my worry here is that the score should be really low with both offenses scuffling and both defenses top notch.  TCU is resilient and Michigan State is likely disappointed in the entire 2012 outcome and this bowl was not what they were thinking in August.

Georgia Tech (+300 S/U) vs. Southern California (Sun Bowl, December 31, 1:00 CST)
I'm not sure what shape Southern Cal is in, but they haven't seen an offense like this.  And USC just doesn't seem to have their act together.  To the point the coach is even on the hot seat (and defensive coordinator, coach's dad, is a lame duck).  With that sort of payoff for the win, I could see this one being a Yellow Jacket roll.

Clemson (+155 S/U) vs. Louisiana State (Chick Fil a Bowl, December 31, 7:30 CST)
Clemson is very talented, losing only to some quality competition.  LSU, to me at least, seemed to play down to opponents and not possess that much special.  Clemson is hungry for a big win, will remember the Orange Bowl debacle last year and being given a few points, should be hungry.  LSU is probably just figuring they can show up and win.

Northwestern (+110 S/U) vs. Mississippi State (Gator Bowl, January 1, 11:00 CST)
Whereas the middle/bottom of the Big 12 is strong, the middle/bottom of the SEC is a little soft.  Mississippi State in a New Years Day bowl game is a stretch (1-4 in their last 5 with an Arkansas win, getting pants by Ole Miss).  Northwestern is searching for their first bowl win in decades (nearly centuries) and are really hungry.  It's a near pick'em game, give Northwestern the intangibles here.

Nebraska vs. Georgia (60 points O/U, over) (Capital One Bowl, January 1, 12:00 CST)
Nebraska's defense couldn't stop some so-so Big 10 offenses, here comes loaded Georgia with weapons all over the place.  Nebraska is probably reeling from missing the BCS, and did I mention they've given up 63 and 70 this year?  The over is a good choice, Georgia will not let off the throttle.

Florida State (-12.5 ATS) vs. Northern Illinois (Orange Bowl, January 1, 7:30 CST)
The MAC had a great year, but they're overmatched here.  12.5 points is not that much, I mean 35-14 is closer than I expect it.  FSU is another team that is proud to be in the BCS and wants to show strong (the ACC has been awful, they should get on track).

Florida vs. Louisville (45.5 points O/U, under) (Sugar Bowl, January 2, 7:30 CST)
Florida's defense is just way too good to allow very many points.  I don't think their offense is going to go bonkers.  I see this as a methodical Gator victory by overpowering the Cardinals and clogging to a victory in the low 30's high 20's to under 10.

Kent State (+155 S/U) vs. Arkansas State (GoDaddy.com Bowl, January 6, 8:00 CST)
Kent State was a 2OT loss away from the BCS.  I don't think Arkansas State was that close.  The MAC has done well interconference.  I see it as a very close pick'em, but I'm getting a good money line here.  I'm taking the Golden Flashes.

So there you have it.  I don't need to win half, I need to win the S/U bets then hit more than 60% of the ATS and O/U bets and I'll be rolling in some holiday dough.


  1. -$1K after the SDSU loss, I'm the kiss of death.

  2. -$2K after East Carolina went down. If I were you, I'd rush to Vegas ASAP to be against the remainder of my 13 picks.

  3. And the Ponies (from Dallas, Texas, I might add) come through huge. I score both the +350 and -110 bets for straight up and ATS, pushing up to a profit of $2,500 through four games. About time!

  4. And I'm officially on a roll! I hit both ATS games yesterday )12/27), so now $4,500 in the black! A thing of beauty when Cincinnati returned the TD in the final minute, followed by an expected dismantling of UCLA by Baylor in what was a pick'em game.

  5. Saturday was just a "take it on the chin" kinda gambling affair. Was 0-4 for $4,400 lost, wiping out all profits to date. Missed the Alamo Bowl O/U by one point. Rice, Syracuse, and Michigan all defeated the spread (and won straight up). Just one of those days. A mere $100 in my pocket, 7 more props to go!

  6. Rose Bowl (ish) update, I'm back to killing it. The Gambling God's taketh away and they giveth back. Nailed Georgia Tech and Clemson S/U last night ($4,550), then Northwestern S/U and UGA/Nebraska "over" (both with ease) for another $2,100. So $6,650 plus the $100 I had in the bank, $6,750 up! Party at South Fork, only $3,200 left to gamble.

  7. So a split in the BCS games (+1000 for FSU, -1100 for missed under) keeps me at $6,650 total with one GoDaddy.com Bowl yet to play. And apparently I picked 17 props, didn't see that.