Hope everyone had a holly jolly Christmas and got everything they wanted. I want a better record against these bowl games as I’m a sad 6-8 right now, but there are better days ahead, like today. Let’s get to it.
Houston/Auburn, Houston ML +105
Houston is strong on both sides of the ball, they won 11 consecutive games leading up to their loss to #4 Cincinnati. Their offense has scored 40+ on 7 separate occasions and 30+ in 10 of the 13 games. Clayton Tune, their quarterback throws efficiently and limits turnovers. While running back, Alton McCaskill carries the ball for nearly 5 yards a carry. Auburn on the other hand I think lacks motivation for this game, which I think is the factor I’ve been ignoring when picking some of these bowl games. They haven’t been the same since they lost Bo Nix at the end of the season and I don’t see them attempting to slay the Cougars to make it all better.
Louisville/Air Force, Air Force ML -110
This is a similar situation as Army. They run the triple option and Louisville doesn’t stop the run very well. I think whoever scores first is probably going to win this game, it will be very hard for Air Force to come back if they go down, but with a few defensive stops AF can get the job done. Air Force is 5th in the FBS in yards allowed. Louisville has Malik Cunningham who is quite good and will cause some trouble but overall, I think AF is a better team with a better strategy that teams can’t really prepare for until you see it.
Mississippi State/Texas Tech, Texas Tech +10
That’s too many points for bowl season, fool me once. Since Tech switched coaches mid-season, they’ve hung 42 on Iowa State and gave Baylor a scare in their final game which says a lot to me. Not many defenses have been able to slow them down. Their own defense is the menace usually. While Mississippi State is the better team all around and could very well win outright (-380, if that’s your cup of tea). 10 point is a lot of points for an offense that produces at this rate of 30 PPG and 408 YPG.
UCLA/NC State, O60
I want to dodge this game; the line is at 1.5 and 60 is a lot of points but I said I would bet every game I had the opportunity to and here I am. I was going to say UCLA because I love this UCLA team and not only has their running attack been fantastic all year, but their QB Thompson-Robinson has really come into himself as a solid dual-threat QB compared to earlier in the season. Their pass defense however is awful, and NC State’s QB probably has something to say about that racking up at least 4 passing TD’s in 4 of their last 5 games. 3 players that caught for over 500 yards and a balanced rushing attack. It will be very hard for UCLA to slow them down. So I’m taking the over on points. 34-28 TBA
West Virginia/Minnesota, Minnesota -5
This one should be an easy one if Minnesota comes in motivated. Minnesota has a underrated dominating defense that ranks 11th against the pass and 8th against the run. As well, as the West Virginia offense is its weak spot, Jarrett Doege throws too many interceptions for me to be convinced, and their rushing attack can’t carry them through the struggle they will have in the pass game. As for the Golden Gophers, their rushing offense is very good tallying nearly 200 yards a game on the ground and a heavy armed Tanner Morgan at QB when needed. Did I mention WV’s leading rusher opted out?