b]2008 New Year's Eve Bowl GamesThere are five college football bowl games on tap today and it's important for bettors to remember they don't have to bet all of them. Being selective and picking your spots is one of the keys to a successful sports betting career. Of course, this is a case of "do as I say, not as I do," as I typically wager on more games than I should, but will make ridiculously small plays on games without an opinion.
Armed Forces Bowl
The day starts off with the Armed Forces Bowl, which is a rematch of a September game between Air Force and Houston. Air Force won the first meeting 31-28, as Houston rallied late to erase a 31-7 deficit, but were unable to catch up. Houston did have a 534-380 advantage in yards.
The contrast in teams couldn't be more apparent as Houston's Case Keenum threw for 43 touchdowns this season, while Air Force quarterbacks threw for nine. On the other side, Air Force has five players who rushed for more than 300 yards, while Houston has one, but he's a good one in Bryce Beall, who ran for 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season.
In theory, seeing an option team twice in the same season should be an advantage for the defense, but not so sure in this case, as Air Force will add a few wrinkles.
Don't expect to see Houston get down big in this one and if the Cougars display the same intensity they did in the fourth quarter of the first meeting the entire game today, expect to see them put plenty of points on the board.
1.5* Houston -4
4* Over 65
The Sun Bowl between Pittsburgh and Oregon State is an interesting match-up, as the teams are somewhat similar in their approach. Both starting quarterbacks threw for 2,300 yards and both both teams feature a big-time running back, although OSU's J. Rogers is listed as doubtful.
Both teams are capable of playing solid defense, but are also capable of throwing in a stinker, as well.
Have to believe the defenses show up today, however, and the coaches are a bit more conservative than usual. If either team can get any sort of ground game going, like this one to stay under the number.
2.5* Under 51
Music City BowlVanderbuilt hasn't been to a bowl game in more than 25 years and it will be interesting to see how the Commodores perform in their back yard. They face a stiff test in a Boston College team that allows just 274 yards per game. Offense isn't a strong point for Vanderbuilt, so scoring may be a problem.
The Eagles offense will run into a solid defense, as well, as the Commodores allowed just one team (Florida) to score more than 24 points against them all season.
It might be too obvious, but the under seems like the way to go in this game.
3.5* Under 41
Minnesota limps into this game on a four-game losing streak and were thumped 55-0 by Iowa in its final regular season game.
But once again, we're faced with what could be an unmotivated squad with Kansas, which hasn't been the same offensive machine as a year ago. Todd Reesing threw for 28 touchdowns this season, as the Jayhawks were a more-balanced team, scoring 22 times on the ground.
The line has dropped to Kansas -8, despite the Jayhawks receiving the bulk of the betting action. Tough game to call, so we'll go with a minimum play on the reverse line movement.
1* Minnesota +8
Chick-Fil-A BowlI'm sure the fine folks of Atlanta were in for a shock when they found out the Peach Bowl had been renamed the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Nothing against the fast food chain, but it isn't quite the same.
Ultimately, this game will come down to how well LSU can stop the Jackets' running game, as Tech throws for less than 100 yards per game. Rushing defense has been the strength of the Tigers' defense, although they haven't seen an attack like Georgia Tech will bring.
Given the extra time LSU had to get ready for the game, believe they can slow down Georgia Tech enough to keep the game close.
*2.5 LSU +4