College Football Bowl Report No. 2This is our second article looking at the college football games. In College Football Bowl Report No. 1 we looked at the first six games of the bowl season. Here, we'll look at the games being played between Dec. 24 and Dec. 28.
The college football power ratings are up-to-date and Minnesota is the lone qualifier in this slate of games, as the ratings have the game a lot closer than most people.
Hawaii Bowl The Hawaii Bowl features Fresno State and June Jones' SMU Mustangs. While Jones is known for his willingness to throw the ball, the Mustangs didn't pass as much as often as his teams usually do, as Garrett Gilbert never really settled into the quarterback role. Still, the team will throw twice as often as they run.
Fresno was an impressive 11-1 ATS this year, but believe SMU will get the cover as 12.5-point underdogs.
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl A little bit of home cooking for Central Michigan in this game and it's no secret the Chippewas were chosen to help fill the stands. Neither team really expected to be playing in a bowl game and both probably feel they have nothing to lose, so I'd give the slightest of nods to the over 57.
Military Bowl It doesn't seem right to have Bowling Green and San Jose State squaring off in the Military Bowl. The Spartans are favored by seven points, which may be a bit too much against a Bowling Green squad that can play defense in the offensive-minded Mid-American Conference. Bowling Green allowed 15.8 points per game and I'll side with the underdog that is the better rushing team and better on defense.
Belk Bowl Cincinnati faces a Duke team that backed its way into a bowl berth, dropping its last four games, although the team they faced included Florida State, Clemson and Georgia Tech. Once again, we have a team whose participation in a bowl game is likely influenced by its location, as Duke is a good choice for a game played in Charlotte.
The Bearcats are the better team, but I'll give a lean to the underdog in this one.
Holiday Bowl A decent match-up between UCLA and Baylor, with UCLA getting a bit of an advantage playing fairly close to home. The Bruins are favored by one and the total is a hefty 80.5.
The Bruins could very well be the right side in this game, and there are plenty of handicappers on them, but I refuse to take a Pac-12 team as a favorite in a bowl game, even if it is just a single point. Personally, it's a game that I'd watch for entertainment purposes only, but since we're giving out something on each game, I'd have to lean to the Bears and their horrendous defense.
Independence Bowl I've been a fan of Louisiana-Monroe all season, but find it difficult to lay 7.5 points against Ohio. Monroe will have a huge home field advantage and it should be an entertaining game. I'll lean to the game going over the total of 60.
Russell Athletic Bowl Rutgers and Virginia Tech get together in what should be a decent game, especially for those who do like to see a little bit of defense. The Hokies are favored by 2.5 points and I'll give them a slight lean in this game.
Meineke Car Care Bowl Texas Tech is now favored by 13 over Minnesota, which could be too many with a defense as bad as the Red Raiders possess. Minnesota's offense is nothing to get excited about, but they may be able to stay within the number and I'd give them a slight lean.