A Gamblers Guide to Bowl Season

BMore Wired Baltimore Orioles logo

I’ve recently been reflecting on the evolution of the meaningless college football bowl games starting from what it was when I was too young to know what point spreads were, until now. These days I cannot help but think to myself that the times have changed.

They used to call it “Bowl Week.”

The one week in the year, usually the week (and day) of Christmas, where many middle-aged fathers could recoup the money they spent on Christmas presents for their kids all while watching their kids give  the credit for bringing those presents to some dude named Santa Claus. It was easy to go on a 12-3 heater in the matter of a week, with only the BCS Bowls left to go.

Now it’s called “Bowl Season.” Literally an entire agonizing month of college football games, spaced nicely around the NFL’s schedule (There are literally no bowl games on Christmas or New Years Day) and catering to anything that might accidentally drop a five dollar bill out of its pocket. It’s easy to go 6-10 over the course of a month of bowl games, with just the College Football Championship game left remaining.

There was a time when the Fiesta Bowl was hosted by Tostitos.

“The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl”

When you say it out loud and in your head, it just makes sense.  Anyone ever been to a fiesta where there hasn’t been Tostitos? Don’t think I have.

Now its loosely titled the Playstation Fiesta Bowl.  I wouldn’t consider playing on a Playstation a true fiesta, but if I did, I most likely wouldn’t be watching the Fiesta Bowl anyway.

There used to be the All-American Bowl, Aloha Bowl, International Bowl, and the Houston Bowl.  Pretty simple names. Sounds nice and easy.

Now its the Tax Slayer Bowl, Outback Bowl, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Dollar General Bowl, or the Foster Farms Bowl.

We could probably start a GoFundMe to have a bowl named the BMore Wired Bowl.  Brilliant idea by the way.

With all of that nonsense being said, please allow me to give you an early and late Christmas present in the form of some stone-cold locks this coming bowl week.

The Celebration Bowl – North Carolina Central vs Grambling (-14.5) – 12/17 – 12pm – Georgia Dome

The Celebration Bowl is the first game to kick off Bowl Season and I know absolutely nothing about either one of these teams other than the fact that both of their marching bands have been and will always continue to ooze out swag.  I’m going with Grambling, simply because I trust Vegas when they say they’ll win by more than two touchdowns.  You’re a sick degenerate if you take this one.  Lets start off 1-0.

The Las Vegas Bowl – Houston (-3.5) vs San Diego State – 12/17 – 3:30pm – Las Vegas, Nevada

Finally, a game where I know something about one of the teams.  Here’s what we know: like all spineless college football coaches, the Houston coach bailed on his team with one game left so he can start hitting the recruiting trail for the University of Texas.  I know that they named Todd Orlando, the usual defensive coordinator, to interim head coach.  I know that they hired their Offensive Coordinator, Major Applewhite (sick name) to be the head coach also.  I honestly don’t know who’s coaching this game though.  I think it’s Orlando.  San Diego State has burned me the three times I bet against them and I don’t know who’s coaching.  I feel about 70% on San Diego State getting the cover as long as the hook stays true.

The Miami Beach Bowl – Central Michigan vs Tulsa (-12.5) – 12/19 – 2:30pm – Marlins Park – Miami, FL

So theres a bowl game in the middle of the day on a Monday and it’s played in a Major League baseball stadium in the middle of Miami? Okay then.  I guess I’ll take Tulsa.

The Boca Raton Bowl – Memphis vs Western Kentucky (-5) – 12/20 – 7pm – Boca Raton, Florida

I watched Memphis play earlier this season and I was highly impressed.  Their QB can sling it.  I’ll take Memphis to win outright.  The O/U is 79.5 so it might be a fun one to watch.

The Poinsettia Bowl – BYU (-9) vs Wyoming – 12/21 – 9pm – San Diego, California

Wyoming is better than that spread. Period. 

St Petersburg Bowl – Mississippi State (-13) vs Miami OH – 12/26 – 11am – Tropicana Field – St. Petersburg, Florida

The first game featuring an SEC team this bowl season.  Mississippi State should cruise to victory in this one.  

Quick Lane Bowl – Maryland (-1) vs Boston College – 12/26 – 2:30pm – Ford Field – Detroit, Michigan

Gonna go local here and say Maryland wins this one.  I also like over 43.5. Neither one of these teams is deserving of being in a bowl game by the way.

Independence Bowl – Vanderbilt vs NC State (-4) – 12/26 – 6pm – Shreveport, Louisiana

I really like Vanderbilt right now.  They’re coming off of a huge win vs Tennessee to secure this bowl game and are peaking at the right time.  NC State peaked too soon.  Vandy covers.

Alamo Bowl – Colorado -3.5 vs Oklahoma State – 12/29 – 9pm – Alamodome – San Antonio, Texas

Both teams are coming off of losses in games where they could have proven themselves as the conference’s best team. Both of these teams crapped the bed so badly in those games.  I think QB play is the difference here and I like the Colorado QB a lot.  Buffs cover

The Orange Bowl – Michigan (-7) vs Florida State – 12/30 – 8pm – Miami, Florida

Jim Harbaugh cannot wait to prove a point in this one. The Wolverines have had plenty of time to stew over that heartbreaker to Ohio State and I think Coach has them ready for this one.  Michigan by three touchdowns.

The Peach Bowl – College Football Playoff Game – Washington vs Alabama (-14.5) – 12/31 – 3pm – Georgia Dome – Atlanta, Georgia

This will be the kickoff of the CFP and I have to think Bama wins this game.  The Huskies are coming off of a game where they impressed me heavily against a good Colorado team.  Alabama has been smashing everyone in sight.  I’m surprised this line hasn’t really moved since it opened.  That says something about Washington.  I’m reluctantly taking the Huskies to cover, but Alabama will win.

The PLAYSTATION Fiesta Bowl – College Football Playoff Game – Ohio State (-3.5) vs Clemson – 12/31 – 7pm – Glendale, Arizona

This should be the game of the year. Clemson has too many offensive playmakers for Ohio State to cover.  The half point saves us.  Clemson it is

The Rose Bowl – USC (-6.5) vs Penn State – 1/2 – 5pm – Pasadena, California

Props to PSU for getting this far, but USC is currently the only team that I think could beat Alabama right now.  They’re on absolute fire.  USC by at least a touchdown.

The Cotton Bowl – Western Michigan vs Wisconsin (-7.5) – 1/2 – 1pm – JerryLand – Arlington, Texas

PJ Fleck and his gang of Broncos somehow rowed their boat all the way to a “New Years Six” bowl game.  After a pretty sub-par performance in their conference title game, paired with a tough loss to PSU, the Badgers should beat down the Broncos.  It may be ugly.  Wisconsin in a blowout.

Thats all folks! If theres a game I left out that you want my feelings on or if you want to thank me later, shoot me a tweet @realahofferbert


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