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Bowl Breakdown - Part IV

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Editor's Note: Don't miss out on Mike Rose's college football bowl selections on VegasInsider.com this season. Click to win!

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 some of the best bowl games of the year, continuing with the six games played on New Year's Day.

Heart of Dallas Bowl - UNLV Runnin' Rebels vs. North Texas Mean Green
Wednesday, January 1st, 12:00 p.m. ET
Opening Line: North Texas -6 ½

These two teams combined to win just six games last season, but they both made it to bowl games this year, which likely saved the job for both of their head coaches. Neither team has played in all that many bowl games in their histories, and the Mean Green are trying to win their first bowl game outside of the New Orleans Bowl in their history. Neither team has ever played in a New Year's Day bowl game, and neither could have ever imagined playing in one at the outset of the year either.

Gator Bowl - Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Wednesday, January 1st, 12:00 p.m. ET
Opening Line: Georgia -9

Last season at the Capital One Bowl, Georgia was favored by nine over Nebraska, and 364 days later, the script is eerily exactly the same. QB Aaron Murray and QB Taylor Martinez aren't here though, which makes the game a lot different than it was when these two shot it out in Orlando. Head Coach Bo Pelini could be coaching for his job in Lincoln, knowing that a bad loss would probably see him canned.

Capital One Bowl - Wisconsin Badgers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
Wednesday, January 1st, 1:00 p.m. ET
Opening Line: Wisconsin -1 ½

The Badgers aren't going to the Rose Bowl again this year, which is a big switch from what we are used to seeing. They had a great season and are almost shockingly favored over the Gamecocks, who were fortunate to go 10-2 this year. Remember that South Carolina probably should have lost to both UCF and Missouri, and an 8-4 team would look a heck of a lot worse than this 10-2 team looks at the moment. QB Connor Shaw only threw one interception all season long for a South Carolina team which has played awfully well of late in these Sunshine State bowl games on New Year's Day.

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Outback Bowl - Iowa Hawkeyes vs. LSU Tigers

Wednesday, January 1st, 1:00 p.m. ET
Opening Line: LSU -7

The Bayou Bengals are favored in this one over what probably amounted to be the fifth or sixth best team in the Big Ten this year, but they have a big problem to deal with. LSU is playing without QB Zach Mettenberger, who legitimately could be one of the top five quarterbacks taken in this year's NFL Draft. QB Anthony Jennings, who is clearly the future of the team, is going to be making his first start, and he has only thrown 10 collegiate passes. Nothing that the Hawkeyes did was all that pretty this year, but the win on the road against Nebraska was definitively the win which got them here to the Sunshine State for a bowl game.

Rose Bowl - Stanford Cardinal vs. Michigan State Spartans
Wednesday, January 1st, 5:00 p.m. ET
Opening Line: Stanford -6 ½

The Cardinal are back in the Rose Bowl for a second straight season after winning it last year, and they are looking forward to a second straight win in the Granddaddy of them All. Michigan State has shocked the world to reach this point though, and this team looks nothing like the club which struggled to get anything going against the likes of Western Michigan and South Florida at the outset of the campaign. These two teams have only played once in a bowl game in their history, and that was back in the Sun Bowl nearly two decades ago. This is the best bowl game outside of the National Championship Game for our money!

Fiesta Bowl - UCF Knights vs. Baylor Bears
Wednesday, January 1st, 8:30 p.m. ET
Opening Line: Baylor -16 ½

This is the first BCS bowl game for either of these teams in their history, and it is also the only bowl game with a point spread beyond 16 this year. The Bears easily had the best offense in the nation, but this is going to be one of their sterner tests of the year against one of the most underrated teams in the country in UCF. If the Knights look anywhere near as good as Louisville did against Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl, this could be the upset of the bowl season. If not, the Bears could romp to a 40-point win.

  
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