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)
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
East Carolina (+190 S/U) vs. Louisiana Lafayette (New Orleans Bowl, December 22, 11:00 CST)
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
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.