There are 21 College Bowl Games taking place from Saturday, Dec. 23, to Friday, Dec. 29. Check out a quick preview of each game!
2017-2018 College Bowl Week 2 Preview
Saturday, Dec. 23
Birmingham Bowl – Texas Tech +2.5 vs 24 South Florida -2.5
South Florida’s offense can’t be stopped. Texas Tech’s defense allows over 30 points on average per game. This is a gimme.
Best Pick: South Florida -2.5
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl – San Diego State -6.5 vs Army +6.5
I’m not in love with the San Diego State Aztecs. But, Army isn’t nearly as formidable as their 9 and 3 overall record indicates. SDSU was ranked in the Top 20 at one point during the season. They should easily cover this spread.
Pick: San Diego State -6.5
Dollar General Bowl – Appalachian State +7.5 vs Toledo -7.5
App State went 8 and 4 this season while Toledo went 11 and 2. Toledo is one of the better teams in the MAC Division. I don’t see App State having much shot versus a decent squad like Toledo.
Pick: Toledo -7.5
Sunday, Dec. 24
Hawai’i Bowl – Fresno State +2.5 vs Houston -2.5
Fresno State allows less than 18 points per game on average. The Bulldogs dominated 25 Boise State at home during the regular season. In the rematch for the MWC Championship, Fresno State only lost by 3 points to Boise over the Broncos’ blue field. That makes Fresno the play in the Hawai’i Bowl.
Pick: Fresno State +2.5
Tuesday, Dec. 26
Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl – Utah -7 vs West Virginia +7
I’m all over West Virginia. I’m not sure how good any team in the Pac 12 was this season. My gut tells me West Virginia beats Utah straight up.
Best Pick: West Virginia +7
Quick Lane Bowl – Duke -5 vs Northern Illinois +5
There were moments this season where Duke looked like one of the better teams in the ACC. However, that might be because the good teams in the ACC this season really weren’t that good. I mean, Louisville, Florida State, and even Miami all bombed when it was all said and done.
Northern Illinois is the pick.
Pick: Northern Illinois
Cactus Bowl – Kansas State -2 vs UCLA +2
The Wildcats and Bruins battle in another bowl game. It feels like this is an every year occurrence. I’ll side with K-State because UCLA has no reason to win this game after the Bruins already hired Chip Kelly to be their coach.
Pick: Kansas State -2
Wednesday, Dec. 27
Walk On’s Independence Bowl – Southern Miss +16.5 vs Florida State -16.5
Florida State played well to end the regular season. However, their head coach is leaving for Texas A&M. FSU is giving up way too many points in this bowl game. Southern Miss isn’t 16.5 points worse than the Seminoles.
Pick: Southern Miss +16.5
New Era Pinstripe Bowl – Iowa -2.5 vs Boston College +2.5
Iowa played in the Big Ten. Boston College played in the ACC. Which conference was worse? I have no idea. I’ll go ahead and back the Eagles. They’re getting points in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Pick: Boston College +2.5
Foster Farms Bowl – Arizona -3.5 vs Purdue +3.5
Arizona’s got no business not beating Purdue by at least 10 points. The Wildcats don’t have much of a defense. The offense is pretty good. I’m laying the points.
Pick: Arizona -3.5
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl – Texas +2.5 vs Missouri -2.5
Texas battles Missouri in the Texas Bowl. If new head coach Todd Herman really is all that and a bag of chips, the Longhorns have no business not beating Mizzou by at least 10 points. If he isn’t, Mizzou could beat Texas straight up.
I’m going with Herman is all that and a bag of chips.
Pick: Texas +2.5
Thursday, Dec. 28
Military Bowl – Virginia +1 vs Navy -1
Virginia and Navy are almost the exact same team. Navy played their Super Bowl against Army a couple of weeks ago. Virginia is happy to finally get back to the postseason. I believe Virginia plays well in the Military Bowl. I’ll go with the Cavaliers.
Pick: Virginia +1
Camping World Bowl – 22 Virginia Tech +4 vs 17 Oklahoma State -4
Every team, possibly even College Football Playoff ranked #1 Clemson, has been overrated in 2017. Oklahoma State should absolutely dominate Virginia Tech in the Camping World Bowl. No doubt VA Tech’s going to score some points. But, Oklahoma State should be able to score double the points.
Pick: Oklahoma State -4
Valero Alamo Bowl – 16 Stanford +2.5 vs 13 TCU -2.5
The biggest issue I have with the Horned Frogs in this game is how their offense is going to fair against Stanford’s defense. Make no mistake, the Horned Frogs’ D is great. But, Stanford’s defense is better suited to stopping TCU’s offense than TCU’s defense is suited to stopping Stanford’s offense. I think the Cardinal wins this game straight up.
Pick: Stanford +2.5
San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl – 21 Washington State -2.5 vs 19 Michigan State +2.5
On the surface, this game appears super competitive. But, a closer look reveals that Washington State has a couple of huge advantages. First, QB Luke Falk could have his way with Michigan State’s defense. Second, all Washington State must do to get to this game is fly down the Pacific Coast. Michigan State must travel. I’m with the Cougars.
Pick: Washington State -2.5
Friday, Dec. 29
Belk Bowl – Wake Forest -3 vs Texas A&M +3
To me, this is one of the more intriguing games this bowl season. The Texas A&M Aggies should be fired up that Jimbo Fisher is heading to College Station. Fisher coached the Florida State Seminoles to a national championship a few years ago. But, all of Texas A&M’s trends say that they lost against the spread.
The Aggies are a horrible 0 and 11 against the spread in their last 11 bowl games. Wake Forest is 4 and 0 ATS in their last 4 bowl games.
As much excitement as Jimbo figures to bring to the organization, most of that excitement won’t occur until next season. I’ll go with Wake to cover the spread.
Pick: Wake Forest -3
Hyundai Sun Bowl – NC State -6.5 vs Arizona State +6.5
NC State is a much better team than Arizona State is. I firmly believe that. Arizona State pulled off the upset over Washington while NC State lost to Clemson and Notre Dame. But, Washington was overrated this season. That’s why I’m laying the points in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.
Pick: NC State -6.5
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl – Kentucky +7 vs 20 Northwestern -7
Kentucky isn’t a great team. Neither is Northwestern. Sometimes, picking winners against the spread in bowl games is so difficult that I end up backing the team that’s closest to the venue. The Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl takes place at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN. That means Kentucky’s the pick.
Pick: Kentucky +7
Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl – New Mexico State +4 vs Utah State -4
Anybody who tells you they know which team is better in this year’s Arizona Bowl has no clue what they’re talking about. Neither the New Mexico State Aggies, nor the Utah State Aggies is the better team. New Mexico State is 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games. They’re also getting 4 points.
Pick: New Mexico State +4
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic – 7 USC +7.5 vs 5 Ohio State -7.5
The best game in 2017 College Football Week 2 is the Cotton Bowl Classic. 7 ranked USC battles 5 ranked Ohio State. It’s also the one bowl game that’s truly thrown me for a loop. Oh, don’t get me wrong. As soon as the Cotton Bowl match up was announced, I knew exactly who I was going to back against the spread.
Maybe, I’m crazy, but I thought I’d have to lay points. I don’t. I don’t see Ohio State beating USC straight up in the Cotton Bowl this Friday. I don’t see it at all. The Buckeyes played a much easier schedule than USC did. The Buckeyes also went 2-4 against the spread in their final 6 games.
The real reason I like USC, though, is because Ohio State hasn’t faced a defensive line quite as talented as USC’s this season. USC’s offense shouldn’t have any trouble moving the ball against Ohio State’s defense, either.
I think the Trojans roll.
Pick: USC +7.5