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I'm from Houston, a graduate of the University of Texas, a fan of the Houston Astros and Houston Texans. But this blog will be about the "greater sports", whatever that means.

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

J.R. Ewing College Football Picks: 2016-17 Bowl Upset Special

I like money.  Let me make you some.
After a romp in the regular season, we turn our attention to Bowl Season.  These games are difficult games to pick, because of the layoff, coach defections, and unpredictability in inspiration by the teams.  That's where I step in to give you the edge.

One final look at regular season performance, nothing short of solid and profitable:

Final Week: 3-2 (+80)
Season: 37-31-2 (+$290, 3.8% profit)

Note that the profit takes into account house take at $10 for every $100 wagered.

This is the first of two Bowl Predicts.  This game focuses on straight up upsets.  No point spreads, but rather games that I've pegged as underdogs winning.  Put $100 on each and if you snag two of five, you get a very nice profit.

December 27, 2016 (Noon EST) - Heart of Texas Bowl, Dallas, TX
North Texas (+320) vs. Army

These teams already played once and North Texas rolled.  People look at UNT and their scant five wins and dismiss them, however Army isn't world beaters.  They did beat Navy, although Navy had a very inexperienced QB and was beat up all over the field.  And how much did that take out of the team?  This game is in my home city of Dallas, at over 3 to 1, I'll see if North Texas can put together a solid effort.

December 29, 2016 (8:00 EST) - Belk Bowl, Charlotte, NC
Arkansas (+225) vs.Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech hasn't defeated a Bowl team since October (0-2 since).  Arkansas is a Jeckyl and Hyde team, but typically plays well in Bowls under Bret Bielema (2-0 and both were blowouts).  Couple that with historic strong play in bowl games for the SEC, and getting this money line seems like a nice play.

December 30, 2016 (8:00 EST) - Orange Bowl, Miami Gardens, FL
Florida State (+225) vs. Michigan

Michigan quietly lost two of their last three and never really played that well away from the Big House (roll over against Rutgers withstanding).  Meanwhile Florida State has won six of seven, the one loss a close one to ACC Champion Clemson.  FSU is at home and with a chip on their shoulder.  Michigan felt like they should have beat Ohio State and perhaps made the playoffs despite a loss.  Given the money line, taking the 'Noles.

December 31, 2016 (11:00 EST) - Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL
Louisville (+140) vs. LSU

There were times this year in which pundits noted that Louisville was the best betting matchup against invincible Alabama.  Then Louisville dropped their last two inexplicably to 17 point or more underdogs.  This is the game they rally; they're not that bad.  LSU had a roller coaster season shedding a head coach and playing without an effective Leonard Fournette (who is out of this game).  Lamar Jackson is the best player on the field and Louisville wins it (as a slight underdog).

January 2, 2017 (1:00 EST) - Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX
Western Michigan (+260) vs. Wisconsin

A few factors at play here, one is the Western Michigan is the team with something to prove.  Wisconsin is licking their wounds after a tough Big 10 title game and season of close losses to the top teams.  This game will have very few fans in attendance (relatively) as both teams have a ways to travel and outside of Southfork Ranch, Dallas isn't necessarily a tourist hot spot.  Combine all that with an early kickoff and Wisconsin could be lethargic.  Given the money line play, I like this play.

Coming up next, Top 5 point spread games!

- JR


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