Post Christmas College Football Bowl Game Betting Cheat Sheet

New Year’s Week College Football Bowl Game Betting Cheat Sheet

Christmas may be over, but the holiday season keeps giving. This week we have the marquee college football bowl games and here is my betting cheat sheet for the best of them. I decided to stay away from the two semifinal games just because they look extremely competitive. For example, Alabama should be able to cover a -9.5 point spread against Michigan State, but the Spartans are finally healthy. In the other game, Oklahoma shouldn’t be a -4 point favorite over Clemson. Or, should they? It’s best to stick with the bowl games where there’s some insight.

College Football Bowl Game ATS Picks

What: Birmingham Bowl
Who: Auburn Tigers (6-6) at Memphis Tigers (9-3)
When: Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Kickoff: 12:00 PM ET 
Where: Birmingham, AL
Stadium: Legion Field (AL)
Spread: Auburn -2.5
Moneyline: Auburn -150 vs Memphis +125
Game Total: 64
Watch: ESPN
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: Auburn vs Memphis

Analysis: This game comes down to Auburn’s ability to stop the pass and Memphis’s ability to pass. Memphis averages 324.2 passing yards per game via the pass. QB Paxton Lynch should be one of the first two quarterbacks off the board in next April’s NFL Draft. Auburn allowed 232.2 passing yards per game on average. The Tigers allowed the Idaho Vandals to throw for 356 passing yards in its second to last game of the season. What is Lynch and Memphis going to do to Auburn’s passing defense?

Pick: Memphis

What: Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl
Who: No. 18 Houston Caugars (12-1) at No. 9 Florida State Seminoles (10-2)
When: Thursday, December 31, 2015
Kickoff: 12:00 PM ET 
Where: Atlanta, GA
Stadium: Georgia Dome
Spread: Florida State -7
Moneyline: Houston +242 vs Florida State -280
Game Total: 53
Watch: ESPN
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: Houston vs Florida State

Analysis: Houston has been ultra-impressive on offense this season. The problem for the Cougars is that when their offense faces a very good defense, like it does in the Peach Bowl, it tends to have trouble moving the football. Houston’s lone loss was to the defensive talented Connecticut Huskies. Florida State allows 327.7 total yards and 15.8 points per game. The Seminoles allowed Clemson to score 23 points, North Carolina State to score 17 and Florida to score only 2 during the regular season.

Pick: Florida State

What: Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
Who: No. 14 Michigan Wolverines (9-3) at No. 19 Florida Gators (10-3)
When: Friday, January 1, 2016
Kickoff: 1:00 PM ET 
Where: Orlando, FL
Stadium: Florida Citrus Bowl
Spread: Michigan -4
Moneyline: Michigan -188 vs Florida +155
Game Total: 41
Watch: ABC
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: Michigan vs Florida

Analysis: Florida is a decent team. Let’s just not kid ourselves about their offense. Florida got shut down by Florida State on Nov. 28 when scoring only 2 points. Alabama pretty much shut down Florida’s offense on Dec. 5 when holding the Gators to 15 points. Michigan’s defense can have problems when facing a very good offense, but the Gators don’t have a good offense. Expect the Wolverines D to rediscover its best form on Jan. 1.

Pick: Michigan

College Football Bowl Game Total Over/Under Picks

What: Battlefrog Fiesta Bowl
Who: No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-2) at No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1)
When: Friday, January 1, 2016
Kickoff: 1:00 PM ET 
Where: Glendale, AZ
Stadium: University of Phoenix Stadium
Spread: Ohio State -6.5
Moneyline: Notre Dame +200 vs Ohio State -260
Game Total: 57.5
Watch: ESPN
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: Notre Dame vs Ohio State

Analysis: Ohio State’s defense ended the regular season ranked second in college football in points allowed per game. Opponents averaged 14 points per game against the Buckeyes’ defense. But, Ohio State didn’t play a team with as good of an offense as Notre Dame’s. The Irish averaged 471.9 yards and 34.8 points per matchup. Since Ohio State averaged 35 points per game, expect this one to go over.

Pick: Over

What: Rose Bowl Game Pres. By Northwestern Mutual
Who: No. 6 Stanford Cardinal (11-2) at No. 5 Iowa Hawkeyes (12-1)
When: Friday, January 1, 2016
Kickoff: 5:00 PM ET 
Where: Pasadena, CA
Stadium: Rose Bowl
Spread: Stanford -7
Moneyline: Stanford -275 vs Iowa +215
Game Total: 53
Watch: ESPN
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: Stanford vs Iowa

Analysis: The total is high at 53. Stanford has a scintillating offense, but it faces one of the better defenses in college football in the Rose Bowl. Iowa allowed 334.2 total yards and 18.5 points per game. The Hawkeyes figure to play the same type of game, keeping the ball in their possession while trying to control the clock, like they did against Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship. The Hawkeyes lost that battle 13 to 16.  

Pick: Under

What: Allstate Sugar Bowl
Who: No. 16 Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-2) at No. 12 Ole Miss Rebels (9-3)
When: Friday, January 1, 2016
Kickoff: 8:30 PM ET 
Where: New Orleans, LA
Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Spread: Ole Miss -7
Moneyline: Oklahoma State +240 vs Ole Miss -280
Game Total: 67
Watch: ESPN
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: Oklahoma State vs Ole Miss

Analysis: Neither one of these teams plays good enough defense to keep 70 points off the board. Oklahoma State allowed Oklahoma to score 58 in its last game. It allowed Baylor to score 45 in its second to last game. The Rebels gave up 53 to Arkansas three games ago and 27 to Mississippi State in its last game. Expect both teams to score at least 35 if not closer to 40 in this.

Pick: Over

College Football Bowl Game Straight Up Moneyline Picks

Valero Alamo Bowl
What: No. 15 Oregon Ducks (9-3) at No. 11 TCU Horned Frogs (10-2)
When: Saturday, January 2, 2016
Kickoff: 6:45 PM ET 
Where: San Antonio, TX
Stadium: Alamodome
Spread: Ducks -1
Moneyline: Oregon +100 vs TCU -120
Game Total: 78
Watch: ESPN
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: Oregon vs TCU

Analysis: TCU will be healthy. That should allow the Horned Frogs to get the ball moving against an Oregon defense that hasn’t been all that great in every game this season. But, TCU’s defense has no shot of keeping Oregon and QB Vernon Adams from getting close to their averages of 548.3 total yards and 43.2 points per game. The Ducks’ offense hasn’t scored less than 38 points, and the 38 points was in a 38 to 36 win over Stanford, in Oregon’s last 4 games.

Pick: Oregon

What: Cactus Bowl
Who:West Virginia Mountaineers (7-5) at Arizona State Sun Devils (6-6)
When: Saturday, January 2, 2016
Kickoff: 10:15 PM ET 
Where: Phoenix, AZ
Stadium: Chase Field
Spread: West Virginia -1
Moneyline: West Virginia -120 vs Arizona State +100
Game Total: 66
Watch: ESPN
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: West Virginia vs Arizona State

Analysis: Since the Cactus Bowl will be played at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, Arizona State could be expected to have an ended its season. The Sun Devils won 2 out of their last 3 games. In their last game, ASU’s defense allowed California to score 48 points in a 46 to 48 loss. West Virginia gave up no more than 26 points in any of its last 5 games. The 26 points was to Texas Tech, a team with a much better offense than what ASU has.

Pick: West Virginia