Happy Thursday, folks.
Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and happy holidays. The bowl games roll on, and there are a ton of games to predict over the next several days.
Last week was a pretty good one for me. I went 10-6 and was a missed two-point conversion away from 11-5. Still, I’ll take it. After going 5-3 the first week, that puts me at 15-9 as the home stretch begins.
And now, on with this week’s picks...
BOSTON COLLEGE (+13) vs. SMU
I have no logical reason for picking the Eagles here. They legitimately stink. However, in Fenway Pahk (misspelling was purposeful), I have a weird feeling they hang with the American champs. The Ponies win, but the Eagles keep it close enough to cover this number.
MIAMI (+1.5) vs. Rutgers
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A DRAFTKINGS LINE. At least not at the time of posting this article. The game has been taken off the DK board and some other books too, as the number has shifted dramatically from Miami to Rutgers as the favorite. The line I’ve included is a line I’ve seen a few places elsewhere. As this is a Miami Hurricanes website, I’m using it here for the purpose of being able to discuss this game.
This is a game with both teams seeing plenty of opt outs, but the Canes seeing more. Jacurri Brown will start at QB for the Canes, two bedrocks on the offensive line are out in Javion Cohen and Matt Lee, and impact players galore through the defense are gone-zo. There’s no logical reason for me to pick Miami here other than going with my heart and believing Miami generally has the more talented roster. I’m ignoring my brain and gut that say take Rutgers.
Pop Tarts Bowl
It’s simple for me. KSU has no Will Howard. Wolfpack played well late in the year and keep it rolling here.
ARIZONA (-2) vs. Oklahoma
Not really sure what to make of OU without Dillon Gabriel, so I’ll go with Arizona, who’s been a revelation this year under Jedd Fisch.
CLEMSON (-4.5) vs. Kentucky
This is a tale of two teams headed in opposite directions. The Tigers win a cat fight with a smothering defensive performance.
The decisions by D.J. Uiagalelei and Sam Hartman to opt out really makes this a tough game to pick. With two unknowns at QB, I’ll take the team getting almost a touchdown.
MEMPHIS (+10.5) vs. Iowa State
I feel like Iowa State finds a way, but I don’t see them blowing out the Tigers in their own backyard. A fun, competitive game in Memphis on Friday.
OHIO STATE (-3.5) vs. Missouri
IF (and that’s a big if) Ohio State cares enough to give a full effort, this team has far too much talent to lose to a team like Missouri. And that’s without QB Kyle McCord. Doesn’t matter. I don’t care that Mizzou has had some nice wins and is having a good year. The disparity in talent level between these two teams is pretty significant.
PENN STATE (-4.5) vs. Ole Miss
I think the Rebels keep this close, but I think Penn State will be able to control this game on the ground. A grind it out, 7-to-10-point win for the Nittany Lions.
Music City Bowl
AUBURN (-6.5) vs. Maryland
I’d have taken Maryland here with Taulia Tagovailoa, but he opted out. As such, I don’t trust the Terps trying to break in a new QB here. Tigers by a touchdown-plus.
GEORGIA (-19) vs. Florida State
I can’t believe this line is this high. I also can’t believe I’m taking it. However, the list of players for FSU who have opted out of this game is astounding and quite pathetic, honestly. With so much to prove, you’d have thought they might have wanted to stick around to help their snubbed program make a point. As it is now, the Bulldogs blow the Noles off the field.
WYOMING (-3.5) vs. Toledo
I honestly don’t know what to make of this one, but I liked what I saw earlier this year from the Cowboys against Texas Tech and App State, so I’ll take them here.
LSU (-10) vs. Wisconsin
This is a talent and coaching decision here. I have no idea what to expect as far as LSU’s offense without Jayden Daniels. However, Wisconsin has been flat out rotten at times this year. Tigers big.
OREGON (-17) vs. Liberty
Bo Nix IS playing for his team in a non-playoff bowl game, something he should be commended for at this point. Which speaks to the terribly sad state of affairs of the sport of college football nowadays. As such, the Ducks roll up the Flames.
TENNESSEE (-6) vs. Iowa
Joe Milton opted out yesterday and highly-touted (and talented) Nico Iamaleava is making his first start for the Vols. I could probably start for Tennessee and make the Vols look like a more competent offense than whatever slop Iowa has putting forth this year. In other words, Vols minus six on Monday.
ALABAMA (+1.5) vs. Michigan
Yep. Here comes that patented “Alabama sneaks in and goes on a championship run” move by the Crimson Tide. It starts with the Wolverines on Monday afternoon. This is a very easy pick.
WASHINGTON (+4) vs. Texas
This feels like a hype/respect line from Vegas, which is odd for them to do. They usually put the points on the correct team. They whiffed here. Washington has proven time and again this year that they’re a very, very good team. They deserve to be the favored team in this matchup and will prove it on Monday night before a national audience.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.