Christmas Week College Football Bowling Season Upset Picks

Christmas Week College Football Bowling Season Upset Picks

Its Christmas Week and we have plenty of juicy College Football Bowl games for you to feast on. My top upset plays this week starts with the St. Petersburg Bowl between Connecticut and Marshall on Dec. 29. Both teams will be playing for pride in that matchup. An upset appears to be brewing on Tuesday, Dec. 29 when No. 11 North Carolina battles No. 19 Baylor. Neither team is in the bowl, the Russell Athletic Bowl, that they wanted to play in this season. The biggest upset that I see in the next few days also takes place on Tuesday when California battles Air Force. Remember that all teams are moneyline picks.

A Closer Look At My College Football ? Week ? Season Upset Picks

What: St. Petersburg Bowl
Who: Conneticut Huskies (6-6) at Marshall Thundering Herd (9-3)
When: Saturday December 26, 2015
Kickoff: 11:00 AM ET 
Where: Saint Petersburg, FL
Stadium: Tropicana Field
Spread: Marshall -5
Moneyline: Connecticut +160 vs Marshall -200
Game Total: 43
Watch: ESPN
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: UConn vs Marshall

Analysis: The line in the St. Petersburg Bowl has floated all the way to Marshall -5. Marshall’s claim to fame this season has been a powerful defense. But the Thundering Herd lost 2 out of their final 3 games due to their defense not playing as well in the second half of the season as it did in the first. The Herd D gave up 27 points to Middle Tennessee State in a 24 to 27 loss on Nov. 7. In their final regular season game of the season, Marshall lost 49 to 29 to Western Kentucky.

Connecticut doesn’t have much of an offense, but what it does have is a slightly better defense. The Huskies defense held Houston to 17 points, Eastern Carolina to 13 and Missouri to only 9 during the regular season. Give the Huskies a shot in this at big moneyline odds.    

Pick: Connecticut

What: Russell Athletic Bowl
Who: No. 10 North Carolina Tar Heels (11-2) at No. 17 Baylor Bears (9-3)
When: Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Kickoff: 5:30 PM ET 
Where: Orlando, FL
Stadium: Florida Citrus Bowl
Spread: North Carolina -1.5
Watch: ESPN
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: North Carolina vs Baylor

Analysis: North Carolina may not even be an upset pick before kick-off next Tuesday in the Russell Athletic Bowl. These two powerhouse teams could be on even terms by then. If a moneyline was set today, North Carolina would be a +110 dog. They shouldn’t be. North Carolina is one of the likeliest winners during the entire Bowl Season. The Tar Heels are only a few key plays away from being undefeated. Plus, North Carolina’s terrific starting QB, Marquise Williams, is healthy.

Baylor is down to either Chris Johnson or Zack Bennema this season since Seth Russell and Jarrett Stidham both got hurt. North Carolina’s defense should have no trouble keeping control of Johnson or Bennema. Star WR Corey Coleman, the Biletnikoff Award winner, will have hernia surgery, and leading rusher Shock Linwood is recovering from foot surgery. Neither will play in the Russell Athletic Bowl against North Carolina on Dec. 29.

Pick: North Carolina

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
What: California Golden Bears (7-5) at Air Force Falcons (8-5)
When: Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Kickoff: 2:00 PM ET 
Where: Fort Worth, TX
Stadium: Amon G. Carter Stadium
Spread: Cal -7
Moneyline: California -278 vs Air Force +240
Game Total: 65.5
Watch: ESPN
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: California vs Air Force

Analysis: It’s hard to understand why California is favored in this matchup. What’s really difficult to understand is why the line, California -7, hasn’t moved since the odds makers set it. California was hot early on in the season. The Golden Bears won their first 5 games of the season. But the Bears then imploded. California went 2 and 5 both straight up and against the spread. The California defense, which yields 203.5 rushing yards per game on average, is going to have a difficult time stopping Air Force’s rushing offense, which goes for 322.1 rushing yards on average per game.  

Pick: Air Force