Bowl Breakdown - Part II
December 22, 2013
By Mike Rose
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It's the most wonderful time of the year for college football betting fans, as there are 35 bowl games on tap to break down and find winners in. Today, we're taking a look at the second eight bowl games of the year, starting with the Military Bowl on December 27th through the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on December 28th.
Military Bowl - Marshall Thundering Herd vs. Maryland Terrapins
Friday, December 27th, 2:30 p.m. ET
Opening Line: Marshall -2.5
There aren't many bowl games where Conference USA teams are favored over Big Five conference teams (in fact, this is the only one). Marshall has a high-flying offense, but it doesn't have a great record against bowl teams this year, allowing 36.6 points per game in said games. Maryland has never lost a game to a mid-major conference team in a bowl game in its history.
Texas Bowl - Syracuse Orange vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers
Friday, December 27th, 6:00 p.m. ET
Opening Line: Minnesota -4
This is a game sharps will love, especially if Minnesota QB Philip Nelson is out with an undisclosed injury. The Gophers covered their last six of the season, but they only scored a grand total of 10 points in their last two games combined. Syracuse has a 12-2 ATS record in bowl games since 1988, and it had to scratch and claw just to get to a bowl this year.
Fight Hunger Bowl - BYU Cougars vs. Washington Huskies
Friday, December 27th, 9:30 p.m. ET
Opening Line: Washington -3
Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall and the Cougs are 4-0 SU and ATS in their last four bowl games, and though this is one of the tougher games on their docket this year, they are sure to be up for the challenge. Washington has to get used to life without Head Coach Steve Sarkisian, and interim coaches are just 7-11 in their last 18 bowl games. They're just 5-10 when they know that they are lame ducks and aren't getting the head coaching gigs at the end of those games.
Pinstripe Bowl - Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Saturday, December 28th, 12:00 p.m. ET
Opening Line: Notre Dame -14
The Fighting Irish are one of the biggest favorites of the bowl season, and they're the only two-TD favorite before January 1st. They have some of the most impressive wins of the season, but their wins by two touchdowns are few and far between. Rutgers stunk it up all year, and it was 0-5 against bowl teams on the season. To make matters worse, the Scarlet Knights lost the worst bowl game of last season by far, that horridly offensive played game against Virginia Tech in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Belk Bowl - Cincinnati Bearcats vs. North Carolina Tar Heels
Saturday, December 28th, 3:20 p.m. ET
Opening Line: North Carolina -3
The Bearcats have to wonder what they did wrong here. They have now played three straight games essentially "on the road" in the bowl season. However, they beat Duke in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte last year and beat Vandy in the Liberty Bowl the year before, so this one is winnable as well. The Tar Heels weren't eligible for a bowl game last year thanks to the NCAA, so they'll be hungry in this one for sure.
Russell Athletic Bowl - Miami Hurricanes vs. Louisville Cardinals
Saturday, December 28th, 6:45 p.m. ET
Opening Line: Louisville -3
Louisville and Miami are both underrated teams, and that makes this one of the best bowl games of the year. The Cardinals have won and covered three of their last four bowl games, including besting Florida as big dogs last year in the Orange Bowl. The Hurricanes haven't won a bowl game since 2006, and they haven't been eligible for a bowl game since 2010.
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl - Michigan Wolverines vs. Kansas State Wildcats
Saturday, December 28th, 10:15 p.m. ET
Opening Line: Kansas State -3.5
The Wildcats are 0-5 SU and ATS in their last five bowl games, but the Wolverines have had a history of really struggling badly in minor bowl games as well. This feels a lot like when Head Coach Rich Rodriguez was fired after a bad season when the team was whacked by Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl. If the same thing happens here in Tempe, don't be shocked if Head Coach Brady Hoke gets fired.