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Saturday Bowl Picks

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Five Bowl games highlight Saturday's betting card and with these contests starting at 11:45 EST and ending with a game at 10:15 EST, bettors will be glued to their couches all afternoon. Here are two games that have caught my eye though.

Armed Forces Bowl: Air Force (-2) vs. Rice (+2); Total set at 61.5

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This is the first game on the card and the early start might catch a few bettors off guard. But this start time won't be a shock for an Air Force team that is used to getting up in the wee hours of the morning for their training. Another advantage the Falcons have in this contest is their triple-option attack that can be devastating to opponents if they are unfamiliar with it. Air Force may have struggled down the stretch but the three losses in their last four all came on the road. Defensively they didn't play well in any of those contests and part of that is due to a lack of depth and being worn down by the end. The month off has given them time to recover and to try to finish with their sixth consecutive winning season.

Despite having the month to prepare, Rice's defense will struggle with this triple option attack all afternoon. They rank 96th in the nation in yards allowed per game and give up nearly 200 yards per contest on the ground (192.8). They did not face a dominating rushing team like this all season and the time off likely came at the worst time for them. Rice had won their final four games to become Bowl eligible but all that momentum is gone now. The Owls have only played in two Bowl games since 1961 (2006, 2008) and after an extended time away from post-season play, this team will be just happy to be here.

Lay the points with Air Force.

Alamo Bowl: Texas (+3) vs. Oregon State (-3); Total set at 57.5

This Pac-12/Big 12 showdown does give Texas a bit of a home field advantage being played in San Antonio, but Oregon State has been in town for a while now and has not minded taking on the traditional powerhouses all year. The Beavers have been ranked ever since they started the season 6-0 SU and beat the likes of UCLA, Wisconsin and BYU during that run.

However, the bigger news about this came surrounds Texas sending home two players, QB Case McCoy and LB Jordan Hicks for violating team rules. It is unclear which rules these two are being punished for but there is word out there that the two might have been involved in a potential rape case. If these allegations are true they are very serious and will likely rattle this entire team 24 hours before their game.

McCoy has been used at QB in a tandem type scenario all year and his absence means the pressure falls squarely on David Ash's shoulders. He gets to face a swarming defense that will be all over him in this one and he has struggled vs. similar teams like K-State, TCU and Oklahoma.

Oregon State hasn't been to a Bowl game since 2009 and is hungry to finish with a 10-win season for the first time since 2006. They have gone through the rigors of a tough Pac-12 schedule and thrived while Texas as stumbled numerous times in a Big 12 that isn't what it once was.

Lay the points with Oregon State.

  
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