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Beating Vegas: Bowl Season, Part Three

Here it is folks, the last installment of Beating Vegas, until next season.  We had one tremendous year here at Beating Vegas, and we hope you were entertained along the way as you were pocketing money from our College Football locks, week after week.  Here goes the rest of the College Bowl game picks against the spread. . .

Liberty Bowl: TCU vs Georgia

This game is set as a “pick” and for good reason.  Both of these squads show little to no separation in the their points scored to points allowed ratios and both have a tendency to not show up what-so-ever at times.  Both were projected to make strides and both disappointed thoroughly.

The Pick: The Under at 48.5

Sun Bowl: UNC +3 vs Stanford

Stanford’s star running back Christian McCaffrey is sitting this one out to prepare for the upcoming NFL draft, while UNC’s star QB Mitch Trubisky is playing this game to prove he can be a first round talent in the upcoming draft.  And while Trubisky would have to look ridiculously bad to not get drafted at-least in the second round (due to a generally weak QB class. . .) it’s wide-out Ryan Switzer who Stanford should be concerned with.  Switzer has notched over 1,000 receiving yards and is nine catches shy of 100 for the year.  Stanford’s pass defense has looked okay this year, but against the two best passing offenses they faced all year (Washington and Washington State), the Cardinal lost both in blow out fashion.   Stanford’s best weapon is gone, it’s been a season to forget and they are going up against a strong aerial attack in UNC, with players looking to prove they deserve high draft consideration in a few months.   Take the points and the motivation.

The Pick: UNC +3

Arizona Bowl: South Alabama +13 vs Air Force

Air Force is a favorite here at “Beating Vegas.”  Their running game is amazing and that’s all they usually need to keep teams in check or be great as double digit underdogs.  This year they go up against South Alabama, who brings a rush defense that allows 4.9 yards a carry, and a pass defense that allows only 15 completions a game.  Going against an Air Force team that rushes at 5 yards a carry and completes only 5 passes a game, this South Alabama team will be able to sell out and blitz most of the day and keep the wide outs of Air Force in single coverage.  It will be an uneventful game for the most part, but South Alabama will be playing hard and will keep it close.

The Pick: South Alabama +13

Orange Bowl: Florida State +6.5 vs Michigan

In what is usually hostile territory for Florida State, playing in Miami may be a home-field advantage for the Seminoles, who’s fans will certainly find their way within the state to get tickets to the Orange Bowl.  Florida State had a disappointing season and even then, they put up 35 points a game and won 9 games in the competitive ACC.  The Seminoles have won six of their last seven games and were able to put up 45 and 31 points against tough defenses like Boston College and Florida, respectively.  Michigan’s calling card all year has been their defense, which allowed 12.5 points per game and were well above average in rush and pass defenses.  Michigan’s offense has been actually better than advertised, but it could be a product of the defense putting the offense in great position. . . Michigan doesn’t have the fire-power on offense though to get passed the athleticism of the Florida State defense, and Florida State does not have the strength up front to go four quarters against Michigan. . .

The Pick: the Under at 52.5

Citrus Bowl: LSU -3 vs Louisville

This actually might be one of the better bowl match-ups and this one is all about the key word in bowl season: “motivation.”  NGSC’s own Kyle Nash will be in Orlando, Florida on New Year’s Eve covering the event (follow him on twitter @TheSOTG).  It’s there where Mr. Nash, will see first hand, Heisman trophy winner Lamar Jackson take on an LSU defense that holds opponents to 3.4 yards a carry and less than 55% completion percentage.  Louisville was able to handle Boston College and Wake Forest defenses with no problem, then lost in back to back games against Houston and rival Kentucky.  Pound for pound Bobby Petrino is a better coach than Ed Ogeron, but Petrino is the type that will look passed an opponent and not care much about this bowl game, considering where his team was position earlier this year.  LSU is a handful, and even with running back Leonard Fournette sitting this one out, Derrius Guice has been their guy – rushing for 8 yards a carry, rushing for over 1200 yards and totaling 14 touchdowns.  LSU’s attack is pretty one dimensional, but they come to play every week, where Louisville has proven this season to not – even in games that matter like the one against Houston. . .

The Pick: LSU -3

Taxslayer Bowl: Kentucky +3 vs Georgia Tech

Can’t understand why anyone would be motivated to play in the Taxslayer Bowl, but Kentucky’s win over Louisville to end the season may have them on an incredible high coming into this one.  Georgia Tech runs at 5.5 yards a carry and Kentucky’s defense allows 5.1 – this would tell the story that Georgia Tech should plod along all day against the Wildcats and they should. But the same could be said the other way around as well. . . There is just nothing for Georgia Tech in this game, they’d rather be preparing for next semester’s classes than play in this bowl game.

The Pick: Kentucky +3

Outback Bowl: Iowa +3 vs Florida

The over/under in this game is set at 40.5 which should tell you the kind of chances both of these offenses have at scoring against each other.  Florida has the better athletes and the speed to tear the corners off of Iowa.  All Florida needs is two big plays to win this, and Iowa won’t get any.

The Pick: Florida -3

Cotton Bowl: Western Michigan +7.5 vs Wisconsin

The thing to look for in this game is that if Wisconsin falls behind early, they DO NOT have the offense to keep up with Western Michigan.  Western Michigan went undefeated this year and went completely snubbed by the poll-voters.  Going undefeated and beating a team that many love for their tenacity in Wisconsin will go a long way for this program.  Wisconsin showed against Penn State in the Big 10 championship game how suspect they looked against the deep pass, and Western Michigan has a quarterback in Zach Terrell who is one of the best in the nation (70.8 completion percentage, 32 touchdowns, 3 interceptions and throws for 260 yards a game).

The Pick: Western Michigan +7.5

Rose Bowl: USC -6.5 vs Penn State

Interesting match up here as Penn State stands at #5 in the rankings, literally on the outside, looking in at the College Football Playoff and USC was arguably the second best team in college football once they made a change at the quarterback position.  Last time these two played each other in the Rose Bowl was in 2009 and Penn State lost 38-24.  That score doesn’t even put into perspective how USC really controlled the game from start to finish.  USC is a stout team from front to back, and with quarterback Sam Donald, the expectations for them next season should be the College Football Playoff.  For Penn State, it’s been a fun and inspiring season of a program pulling themselves out of the darkness and back into the college football world as a legit tradition again.  There is something stirring in Penn State’s future, but for now, lets not get ahead of ourselves.

The Pick: USC -6.5

Sugar Bowl: Auburn +3 vs Oklahoma

Nothing says “Sugar Bowl” like an Auburn verse Oklahoma match-up.  No, that is not sarcasm, that is the truth.  Because it is the “Sugar Bowl” the players from these two regions know the history and tradition behind it.  Oklahoma is where most of the money will go and the over/under at 63.5 tells you that Vegas expects this one to be close and high scoring.  This is the type of game to just stay away from at all costs.  Sometimes the smartest play is no play at all and here I’m waving the white flag.

The Pick: stay away

Playoff Semi-Final: Ohio State -3 vs Clemson

Both of these teams have been highly disappointing this season.  Which is weird to say because they are both in the college football playoff.  But for Urban Meyers Buckeyes, they can say all they want about what kind of leader J.T. Barrett is at quarterback, but the truth is, his decision making has been a hindrance at times.  The same can be said for Heisman candidate Deshaun Watson and his Clemson Tigers, who would’ve had a perfect season if not for a one point loss against Pitt. Whoever wins this game is going to get destroyed by Alabama when it’s all said and done so ultimately this game doesn’t matter – but for these two coaches, Urban Meyer of Ohio State and Dabo Sweeney of Clemson – one is looking to add to his already legendary status, while another is trying to get back into a Championship position which he let slip away last year.   This game is a legit flip-of-the-coin and for that reason, go with the Tigers.

The Pick: Clemson +3

Playoff Semi-Final: Alabama -14 vs Washington

Chris Peterson of Washington has been one of the most influential and consistent coaches of the last decade.  For all of those years at Boise State being snubbed by the BCS to get a shot in the Championship Game or by a loss that derailed the Boise State Broncos’ season – he has made it, with the Washington Huskies.  He has made it, that is, with a shot at the title.  Unfortunately for him, he is playing against one of Nick Saban’s best teams in Alabama.   14 points seems like a lot for a Washington team that puts up 44.5 points per game, but this Bama team allows 11 and puts up 40 of their own on average. . . I said for the last month the only team in college football that can go head to head with Alabama is USC, and the Trojans ended up beating Washington 26-13.  The Washington offensive line will be dominated.

The Pick: Alabama -14

Bonus: Alabama at the moment is -350 to win it all, while the field is +250.   You should know where I’m “rolling” with this one. . .

 

Good Luck and Wager Wisely — once again thank you for coming to Beating Vegas week after week.  See you guys next season!

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

Beating Vegas: Championship Weekend

The numbers have been checked for this year and Beating Vegas has a sixty-percent winning percentage for the college football regular season.  Those are pretty impressive numbers considering this is a free service for those who visit the NGSCSports.Com website. . .  Much like rivalry week (where we went 2-1), the weekend of conference championships can be tricky as well.  This week we gathered up the information to give you an edge in the conference championship games.  Oh, what is that Big 12, you still don’t have a conference championship game?  Yeah, we know. . . losers.

Florida +24 vs Alabama (at the Georgia Dome)

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You gotta know where I’m going here, right?  Although we are all sure that if Bama somehow lost to the Gators in the SEC Championship game they’d still be in the College Football Playoff – we know this is a rivalry and Saban wants to enforce his will.  Statistically, one could make the argument that Florida’s defense is better than Alabama’s – but look at Florida’s losses this year:  Florida State and Arkansas forced some serious rush attacks against Florida who lost those games 31-13 and 31-10 respectively; and their loss against Tennessee saw them give up 35 points in the second half.  .  .Sure they won a 16-10 thriller against LSU, but the difference between LSU and those other teams is that there is absolutely zero threat of a pass play coming out of that offensive system. . . Auburn was able to cover the spread last week against Bama because they have the one thing Bama struggles to have an answer for : a mobile quarterback – that won’t be an issue this week.  In the SEC, Florida’s offense is fourth from last; they struggle to pass and although some think they run the ball exceptionally well, they are pretty much just “good” at it.  There is no need to get into specifics with Bama’s stats because they execute everything on both sides of the ball above average.   Bama is 8-3 against the spread this year and didn’t cover the number last week against Auburn when the line moved up to 20.5 so expect a cover here as the Crimson Tide continue their dominant 2016.

The Pick: Alabama -24

San Diego State -6  at Wyoming

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Nobody is more surprised than Wyoming that they are in the WAC championship game, but the truth is their offense has been a force to be reckoned with all season long.  Their running back Brian Hill has totaled 1674 yards this season at a clip of 5.5 yards a carry.  Wyoming’s quarterback Josh Allen has found a favorite target in senior wide-out Tanner Gentry who has 11 touchdowns this year coupled with 1132 receiving yards.  With an offense that puts up 38 points a game, wins should be coming easy, but that’s not the case when your defense gives up 35.5 points per contest. . . San Diego State’s strength on offense is their rushing attack that racks up 6.1 yards a carry; it also happens to be their strength on defense which only allows 3.3 yards a carry.  Wyoming held another good rushing team, UNLV in check earlier this season.  Last time these two teams played, San Diego State gave up two 30 yard touchdown plays against Wyoming – this isn’t something that happens to a defense which usually only yields 200 passing yards against them a game.  Expect San Diego State to control this game at the line of scrimmage (especially after calculating what we, at Beating Vegas call the “clash average” which was overwhelming pointing the favor of the Aztecs at 7 yards per carry- Wyoming is just happy to be here.

The Pick: San Diego State -6

 

Penn State +3 vs Wisconsin (at Lucas Oil Field in Indiana)

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There is an old rule that most intelligent gamblers go by: never bet on or against your favorite team.  I’ll be transparent here and let you all know : I am a Penn State fan and have been, for the better part of 20 years now, and as a fan – it’s great to see where this program is at (and heading) after the disgrace that became this university. . . With that being said, this year’s Big Ten title game is a “classic” black and blue styled game.  Both teams are playing this game for the sake of Big 10 champion and not much else afterwards as it seems the college playoff committee has decided that Ohio State is in the playoff regardless, and these two are on the outside looking in.  Both teams run the ball well, both teams stop the run well – but for Wisconsin who allow an amazing 3.3 yards a rush – they are going up against the Big 10 Conference offensive player of the year in Penn State’s running back Saquon Barkley.  Barkley has run for over 1200 yards and has come up with 17 total touchdowns on the season.  Barkley struggled early in the season against two good rushing defenses though in Minnesota  and Michigan (averaging 3.2 and 3.9 yards in those games, respectively).   Wisconsin has the edge on defense, but when your offense can only muster about 13 points a game anyway, the wins come ugly.  NOT saying Wisconsin will win this contest – but what Beating Vegas is telling you is to watch this be a low scoring affair.

The Pick: The Under at 47

Four Game Teaser of the Week:  Clemson -1;  Redskins +14.5;  Alabama -12;  San Diego State/Wyoming over at 51

 

Good Luck and Wager Wisely!

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

Beating Vegas: Entry Three

Every week during the football season, “The Heartthrob” G.W. Gras will be giving out his college and professional football “best bets” against the spread.  The wise guys in Vegas live comfortably – it’s time we all get on their level.

Judging Last Week: Looks like your boy “The Heartthrob” underestimated the speed and athleticism of Michigan, as Jim Harbaugh made me feel downright foolish for believing BYU would cover the spread. . .  The Jets entered the game against the Eagles with Chris Ivory and Eric Decker on the bench – this is a team that cannot afford to lose what they have on offense, at any cost.  The pick of Ohio University was an easy one at +10.  It looks like Vegas caught wind of my pick and by kickoff the spread dropped to +7. . .

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Louisville (+4.5) at N.C. State

Louisville enters this game with a 1-3 record including a season opening loss at the now disappointing Auburn Tigers as well as back to back three point losses at home.  Coach Bobby Petrino is one of the best in college football, but this may be a “down” year for Louisville in terms of talent.   The N.C. State Wolfpack can be a “sneaky” team in the ACC Conference this year and Louisville is their first real test of the season.   While Louisville is 1-3, they have actually played real competition this year while N.C. State has been facing some lowly opponents.  While this rhetoric usually means something favoring the team facing better competition, the truth is, N.C. State is slated for a 9 or 10 win season and this game against Louisville brings them half way there.   Running backs Matthew Dayes and Shadrach Thorton are both averaging at least six yards a carry while quarterback Jacoby Brisset’s completion percentage is  a decimal point below eighty.  Louisville is a shade below mediocre defensively which is perfect for a team like N.C. State who doesn’t get greedy on offense, but more or less takes what opposing defenses are giving them.  Expect the final score to be somewhere along the lines of 27-20 or 23-17. . .

The Pick:  N.C. State -4.5

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Texas Longhorns (+15) at TCU Horned Frogs

Although the line is at fifteen, the number we are concerned about for all entertainment purposes is the over/under which is set at 71.   The Big 12 is the spot for high flying offenses and terrible defenses.  Remember, once upon a time, coach Gary Patterson, coached TCU and they were one of the best defensive teams in the nation?  This was a team putting out NFL talent from the defensive side of the ball but once this team moved to the Big 12, he converted to the Church of Offense.  TCU gives up 28 points per game and Texas gives up 35 per contest.  While TCU was expected to be able to rack up points against anybody this year, Texas’ offense has been surprisingly effective the last two weeks.  They lost by one point (at home) to a pretty potent Cal offense and last week put up 27 against an Oklahoma State team many thought would put them away early.   TCU may actually cover this spread and win with a final score of 55-27 when it’s all said and done.

The Pick:  The “over” at 71

Army (+24) at Penn State

With all due respect to our military forces, the Black Knights of Army are just a pitiful football team.  Any team that loses to Fordham and then UConn in back to back weeks, should ask to leave Division I football.  . . Not that Penn State has looked fantastic in their 3-1 start this season but this is the kind of game that Penn State should have wrapped up by the end of the first half.   Expect Penn State to open it up early with the running attack of Akeel Lynch and  Saquon Barkley  – which will open things up for Hackenberg.  Christian Hackenberg has been mostly disappointing since last season, but take into consideration what is around him.  If UConn’s quarterback Bryant Shirreffs was able to throw for 270 yards on 19 of 25 passing, Hackenberg should easily be able to use this game to inflate his stat for the season.  Army doesn’t have the speed or size to contend with Penn State, who is actually one of the tougher teams Army will face this year.   In true Penn State fashion, they’ll make you worry but they should have complete control of this game and win 38-7.

The Pick: Penn State -24

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Detroit Lions (+10) at Seattle Seahawks

Here’s a situation where you don’t want to over-think things.  Seattle is at home against a Detroit Lions team that is sloppy on offense and has taken a step down, defensively.   If Russell Wilson is able to display talents that are above adequate, then this should be an easy victory for Seattle.  Seattle has the secondary to take care of Calvin Johnson because they have the physical presence of Kam Chancellor back in the swing of things and Matthew Stafford’s offensive line will have no answer for the blitz packages that Seattle has to offer.  Throw in the crowd noise, under the Monday Night Football lights in Seattle and the fact that the Lions ground game has not taken off – this one could be over quickly.   Bottom line – Seattle will win the battle in the trenches and because of that will the field position battle, making things easier for their vanilla offense to take shots against this Detroit defense.

The Pick: Seattle -10

If You Must:  Take the Green Bay Packers -8.5 points going into San Fran.  The 49ers fan base has already had it, Colin Kapernick looks lost and the Packers are making it all look easy on the offensive side of the ball.

NFL Football Tease of the Week:  (three gamer) Green Bay Packers +1.5, Arizona Cardinals +3 and Seattle Seahawks PK.

Good Luck and Wager Wisely.

G.W. Gras

Twitter @GeeSteelio

College Bowl Game Predictions, Pt. 1

New Orleans Bowl – Nevada Wolfpack vs Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns:

This game has obviously everything you want.  Two teams with pretty cool nicknames that will score a lot.  The New Orleans Bowl is usually a game that goes “over” in total points, but this is a home-bowl-game for the Cajuns.  The pick here is the Cajuns -1.

New Mexico Bowl – Utep Miners vs Utah State Aggies:

Utah State is one of those teams that you kind of love them as underdogs but not much as favorites.  This isn’t a sexy game at all, but  a final score of 21-13 favoring the Aggies isn’t too far fetched considered their isn’t much offense to be seen from both sides.  The pick here is Utep +10.5.

Las Vegas Bowl – Utah Utes vs Colorado State Rams

Utah started losing steam late in the year and Colorado State was ‘under the radar’ for most of the season.   Both defenses cause turnovers but Colorado State’s offense is a little more versatile.  Utah might be in ‘let down mode’ for this game.  The pick here is Colorado State +3.5.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Western Michigan Broncos vs Air Force Falcons:

The Broncos defense is a little more opportunistic than the Falcons’ but the Falcons are pretty careful with the ball and focus on the ground game more than anything else.  The pick here is Western Michigan +1.5.

Camellia Bowl – South Alabama Jaguars vs Bowling Green Falcons

Both teams looked better in the first half of the season than the second half – but it doesn’t matter because it’s brought both teams here to the Camellia Bowl (sponsored by a company called Raycom Media. . .?)  For the Jags it’s their first bowl game ever, and for the Falcons it’s their first since early 2000.  There is something to like about quarterback James Knapke of the Falcons, that his stats don’t show, but he’s been in some battles this year and should come away with one of his better games against the Jaguars defense. The pick here is Bowling Green +3.

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Miami Beach Bowl – BYU Cougars vs Memphis Tigers 

This a game that matches up two teams that love to run the ball.  BYU might be the stronger of the two teams, but Memphis, at least to the naked eye, just seems faster – Memphis has one or two big plays in them that make the difference in this one.  The pick here is Memphis PK.

Boca Raton Bowl – Marshall Herd vs Northern Illinois Huskies

In the BCS way of thinking – Marshall Herd would’ve been a BCS buster type of team until they stumbled against Western Kentucky.   Northern Illinois was the talk of the “BCS buster” town last season and many thought they would fall off but they put together a nice season.  Marshall seemed to be running out of steam late in the year, Northern Illinois has been in this spot and is well coached.  The pick here is Northern Illinois +10.

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Poinsettia Bowl – Navy Midshipmen vs San Diego State Aztecs

This is one of those games where your heart tells you to go with Navy but this is one of those games where that one dimensional offense loses steam late. This is a home game for the Aztecs and in bowl games, if you have the chance to take a home team, take it.   The pick here is San Diego State +3.

Bahamas Bowl – Central Michigan Chippewas vs Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

The Chips enter the inaugural Bahamas Bowl with the NCAA’s 16th ranked defense going up against Western Kentucky’s quarterback Brandon Doughty who threw for over 4000 yards and 44 touchdowns this season.  The Chips and Hilltoppers both beat the champions of their respective conferences and are both coached up well for big games.  Western Kentucky upsetting Marshall 67-66 leaves a memory in a lot of folks’ minds meaning that’s where most of the money will lean.  The pick here is Central Michigan +4.

Hawaii Bowl – Fresno State Bulldogs vs Rice Owls 

The expectation for Rice was that with a lot of returning starters, they’d have at least an 8 or 9 win season. They ultimately finished with 7 wins  and now get a free trip to Hawaii for it.  Fresno had a disappointing season after losing high profile offensive players to the NFL draft.  Fresno can handle the atmosphere at Hawaii, but these kids from Rice will be more in awe of their surroundings then the actual game.  The pick here is Fresno State +2.5.

Heart of Dallas Bowl – Illinois Fighting Illini vs Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Louisiana Tech put on quite a display against Rice racking up 76 points but followed that up losing by three to the Marshall Herd the following week.  Tech will be missing three defensive starters in this game which will something to watch with this usually good Tech defense.  Illinois may be a “power conference” team, but they’ve limped all season long.  The pick here is Louisiana Tech -6.

Quick Lane Bowl – Rutgers Scarlet Knights  vs North Carolina Tar Heels

In Rutgers’ first season in the Big 10 it was clear they didn’t belong – where they should’ve played is the ACC – so playing against UNC should be more of an even game for Rutgers. Rutgers is a team that all season long, lost to good teams and won against bottom feeders.  UNC is neither bad nor good and are led by the dual threat quarterback Marquise Williams who ran for over 700 yards and threw for over 2800 yards.  With the drama that’s going on with the university, who knows when the next time we’ll see UNC in a bowl game – these players know that as well.  The pick here is UNC -3.

St. Petersburg Bowl – North Carolina State Wolfpack vs Central Florida Knights

For UCF this is a home game and although the trend here has been “take the home bowl team” this one is trickier.  Central Florida was expected to drop off a lot without Blake Bortles under center but they kept themselves relevant all year long.  N.C State is never really relevant as their is nothing that pops off the screen about them.  Central Florida lost to UConn, and I’m basing this prediction off that head scratching moment more than anything.  The pick here is NC State  +2.

Military Bowl – Virginia Tech Hookies vs Cincinnati Bearcats

The player to watch in this game is Gunner Kiel, the quarterback of the Bearcats.  If he plays well in this national stage, he might have “all eyes on him” next season to see if his game can project to the next level.  Virginia Tech has been hanging onto the fact that they beat Ohio State all year long but seriously they are just okay on defense and as usual, struggle to get points on the board.  Cincy does “just enough” in this game.  The pick here is Cincinnati -3.

Sun Bowl – Duke Blue Devils vs Arizona State Sun Devils

Pretty interesting match up of two teams that came in with higher expectations but ultimately find themselves in the Sun Bowl.  Arizona State late in the year had a slight (slight) chance of taking the Pac 12 conference, but ran flat to end the season.  Duke didn’t finish strong either, but this is more of a “let down” for Arizona State who is clearly the better squad.  Duke sees this more as a chance to prove itself as a legit football program against a strong Pac 12 team.  The pick here is Duke +7.5.

Independence Bowl – Miami Hurricanes vs South Carolina Gamecocks

Miami had their chances this year but couldn’t come through in big games.  The four point loss to Florida State resulted in them ending the season with a three game losing streak.  South Carolina showed that they lost a lot to graduation or the NFL draft as their only wins came against bad teams.   People are dumb and will watch reruns of ESPN documentaries about the Hurricane and feel that they’re back.  Vegas has the line right with this one.  The Pick here is South Carolina +4.

Pinstripe Bowl – Penn State Nittany Lions vs Boston College Eagles

The Bronx sets the back drop for the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium and both teams will have their fair share of fan support in New York.   Both teams are “grind it out teams” but Penn State entered this season thinking they’d be more balanced.  Quarterback Christian Hackenberg is supposed to be the kid with a nice future ahead of him, but 15 interceptions and bad decision making has made people think maybe the pressure has gotten to him.  Boston College has had close losses and nice wins against good teams – Penn State’s best try was a triple over-time loss to Ohio State.  The pick here is Boston College -3.

Holiday Bowl – Nebraska Cornhuskers vs USC Trojans

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It’s hard to compare the two considering the Cornhuskers come from more of a running offensive conference and the Trojans are coming out of a more pass-happy conference.  With that said, the Trojans might be coming back to prominence and expect to compete for the Pac 12 crown next season – they are going to approach this game as an insult and look to embarrass a Nebraska team, who has already shown disappointment in their team by firing their head coach.  The pick here is USC -6.5.

G.W. Gras

Twitter @GeeSteelio