Well folks, we’re back. After going 23-22 last year and proving that betting on football is most certainly not a crapshoot, Matt and I are here to give you the content that you definitely do not need. It’s the Inside NU bowl betting special, year TWO. We’ll give your our picks for each bowl game, and if you’re smart, you will choose to fade us. Let’s do it.
In this edition, we have a little Friday football to get us through to the playoff. There are some genuinely appetizing matchups today, so let’s get to it.
The second slate of bowl games provided much more excitement than the first, with drama across the board. UCF’s demolition of Marshall wasn’t the best theater, but what came after that was pure bowl season.
In the Hawaii Bowl, the refs put forth one of the most weird performances I have ever seen, but Matt and I were both on the Rainbow Warriors so who’s mad? The highlight of the lot was a hard to interpret field goal that ended up playing a solid role in the outcome of the game. Did the ball go in? You make the call.
After that Christmas Eve treat, Miami and Louisiana Tech blessed us with a game that was an imitation of last year’s Cheez-It Bowl. The two teams traded punts and turnovers before the Bulldogs punched in a needless touchdown at the end of the contest to earn a 14-0 victory.
Closing out the slate was a thrilling 34-30 Quick Lane Bowl between Pitt and Eastern Michigan, but I don’t blame you if you didn’t watch. In the end, we got a great acting display from the referee. Yes, the referee.
Now let’s pick some more games.
- Military Bowl: North Carolina vs. Temple
Avery: The Tar Heels are probably the sexy pick here, but the bipolar nature of this Temple team actually makes me learn towards the Owls. Temple has the capacity to win on the line of scrimmage and 6.5 points is a lot for me to go with Mack Brown’s team. The Owls get the cover.
Matt: The Tar Heels are the way to go here. Temple Head Coach Rod Carey is cursed in bowl games, with an 0-6 record in them to date. Some sharps have bet the line down because they put stock in Temple’s potent pass rush defense. However, I put more faith in UNC’s talented mobile quarterback, freshman Sam Powell. Powell has maintained a 5:1 touchdown to interception ratio, and has thrown for over 300 yards in the two games he faced off against the most powerful pass rushes he’s faced this season so far.
- Pinstripe Bowl: Michigan State vs. Wake Forest
Avery: Another team that will be able to win in the trenches, Michigan State is decidedly the better team. The question is, will it have the will to compete in a mediocre bowl when it failed to deliver on expectations? I tend to trust teams that actually want to be playing in certain bowl games, but I’m going to trust the better squad to come through. MSU gets the cover and Dantonio keeps his job.
Matt: The Spartans have been really unpredictable this season, and the team has gone through long stretches where it didn’t score. While Brian Lewerke has been better lately, I don’t have tons of faith in this team. They’ve scored less than 20 points in five of their last seven games and is facing one of the ACC’s best passing offenses, no matter who is at quarterback. Take the Demon Deacons either against the spread or moneyline, whichever you want.
- Texas Bowl: Oklahoma State vs Texas A&M
Texas A&M -6.5
Avery: I actually believe the Cowboys come out of this with a win. They’ll be able to score all over the Aggies’ defense and I’m not sure A&M will be able to do the same. Mike Gundy will have his team ready to go and eager to prove itself as the ranked team against an unranked one. Even without its starting quarterback, the Cowboys come out victorious.
Matt: Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond is a true talent. The Aggies will win by a pretty decent margin, and cover the spread with no problems. While OK State running back Chuba Hubbard is a quality player, the A&M defense should be able too slow him down. The Cowboys are missing their starting quarterback and top wide receiver, however, and should have problems.
- Holiday Bowl: USC vs Iowa
Avery: With a father that went to UCLA, I’ve grown up being taught about the evil that is the University of Southern California. Fortunately, I have faith in the Hawkeyes to dominate the Trojans and send Nate Stanley off in style. They’re not going to score a ton of points, but USC won’t be able to score more than twice, affording Iowa an easy cover.
Matt: Don’t call this Big Ten bias but I’m on Io_a in this one. This game will be a fun one to watch, with Io_a’s 10th ranked pass defense facing off against the fifth ranked passing offense of USC. Ride the Big Ten. Ride the Hawkeyes and steady hand Nate Stanley.
- Cheez-It Bowl: Air Force vs WSU
Air Force -2.5
Avery: I LOVE the Air Force in this game. The Falcons have a spirited squad that has only lost to Navy and Boise State all year. They’ll dominate a Washington State defense that doesn’t have the discipline to defend an option offense and cruise to victory. To make it even better for everyone, Mike Leach loses. Hammer the Air Force.
Matt: Viva the Cheez-it Bowl!!!! The best bowl in all of college football is BACK for round two (just with different teams this year). Hopefully this time they can match the 14 total points in regulation of last year’s game. Somehow the most Big Ten of all bowl games didn’t even feature the Big Ten. Nevertheless, we move on to this year’s Cheez-It Bowl. I’m on Air Force in this year’s matchup. There will be lots of points, but Air Force’s defense should take on Northwestern’s bend-don’t-break attitude and escape with a Cheez-It Bowl win and cover.