Northwestern fans, students and gambling degenerates alike, welcome back to a series that is fast becoming a staple of the holiday season here at Inside NU. Over the past two years, Matt and Avery have picked nearly every bowl game that has occurred. From glorious playoff semifinals to the most random of games, we have seen it all, and we’re excited to meet the site’s gambling quota for the year once again.
For the first time in our series’ history, Matt is making a big push to dominate me and establish himself as the premier college football gambler at Inside NU. But have no fear, there are still many games to be played and a comeback to be had. And what better way to get that going than our first taste of Big Ten bowl action.
Duke’s Mayo Bowl: Wisconsin (-10) vs. Wake Forest
Avery: This is a tough read. Wisconsin should be able to see success on both sides of the trenches, but Wake Forest is a very capable scoring team, and Wisconsin’s offense can get really ugly when it isn’t clicking. I’m going to trust this iteration of the Big Ten’s last remaining team in the 20th century to win, but I’ll go with the Demon Deacons to cover.
Matt: I’m on the Badgers here. Although I’ll say I find it hilarious that they are relegated to a bowl referred to as the “Mayo Bowl” (sorry to all the midwesterners if you take offense to this). This defense is elite and should have no problem limiting the Demon Deacons, and I’m counting on the Badgers being able to put up a solid offensive showing. Wisco covers.
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Tulsa (-2) vs. Mississippi State
Avery: Tulsa is a quality football team and Mississippi State is not a quality football team. This almost seems like a trap line, but I can’t fade my brain on this website. Tulsa romps in this contest.
Matt: I’m on the Golden Hurricane. Normally I default toward the Power Five team, but seeing how this Miss. St. team has been extremely poor and the Golden Hurricane have held their own against teams like Oklahoma St., I trust Tulsa.
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Oklahoma (-4) vs. Florida
Avery: Florida isn’t a great team, but neither are the Sooners. Offensively, the Gators have more firepower than Oklahoma, and its defense will be motivated and eager to prove its rough end to the season isn’t representative of the unit. Florida wins outright.
Matt: I have been riding the Fraud-Florida train for a while. I really don’t know what to believe about Oklahoma, but they’ve done well recently, and I’m counting on them to put up an immense amount of points on Florida here. Take Oklahoma.
Arizona Bowl: San Jose State (-10) vs. Ball State
Avery: I’ll be frank here, I haven’t seen much of Ball State this year, but what I’ve seen from the Spartans leads me to believe they are trending in the right direction in all three phases of the game. Despite this, Ball State has some impressive results, so I’ll opt to go with the points and take a Cardinals cover.
Matt: SJSU is dominant. Ball State has been defensively susceptible, and I’m somewhat nervous about the spread here, but I’m going to default to the better team and take the Spartans.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl: West Virginia (-7.5) vs. Army
Avery: Most simple pick of the series so far. I have no idea how Matt is picking against Army (maybe because it is possibly incapable of defending West Virginia’s attack, but who cares). Jeff Monken’s squad gets the win.
Matt: Army simply cannot keep pace with a West Virginia offense that averages over 400 yards per game. I think that WVU punches them in the mouth early, and the Golden Knights can’t keep up. I love Army football, so picking against them is a sad day for me, but at the end of the day you have to trust your gut, and my gut says West Virginia covers.