Mark Richt may have spoiled New Years Eve, but let’s leave than in 2010. Happy New Year!
Bowl Results so far, ATS
- TOP PICKS 4-2
- ALSO SUGGESTED 6-6
- COIN FLIPS 4-0
PLAY 2 UNITS
Texas Tech -9 vs Northwestern TickeCity Bowl, 12:00pm EST
We’ve hardly been impressed with Tuberville’s inaugural season in Lubbock, but this is a really bad matchup for Northwestern. The Wildcats, without Dan Persa, are one of the worst teams in the Big Ten, and even with Persa they can lose to anyone (Purdue is bad). Tech should be able to move the ball without much resistance against a defense that gives up 415 yards per game. With freshman Evan Watkins under center, the ‘Cats are in no position to hang in a shootout, even against an awful Tech defense. All it takes is 2-3 drives not resulting in points for the Wildcats to fall behind by 10 or 14, and that’s too much pressure. As a Big Ten guy, I hate the fact that Northwestern is representing us in a January 1st bowl game, as this one if sure to be a notch in the belt of Big Ten haters everywhere.
Wisconsin ML (+120) vs TCU Rose Bowl – 4:30pm EST
This is the game America can’t wait to see, and we’re siding with the good guys. There isn’t a hotter team in the country than the Badgers, and while this might appear to be a pick due to favoritism (it partially is…so what?), this game is a classic “won in the trenches” sort of battle. It’ll be very interesting to see Wisconsin’s O-line versus TCU’s front seven, and we actually think TCU will hold their own for a while. But the underrated Wisconsin defense is sure to make Andy Dalton’s life hell. Ranked 20th in the nation, Wisconsin’s defense will ensure that the Frogs have a hard time moving the ball. This one could be close until the end, but midway through the second half TCU’s defense will start to tire, and the Badgers offense should break through with the score they need to take the lead and win the game.
Michigan State +10 vs Alabama Capitol One Bowl, 1:00pm EST
We’re licking our chops for this matchup too, and speaking of favoritism, Mark D’antonio has the Spartans in their biggest post-season game in a long time, maybe ever. In spite of an 11-1 record and a win over America’s Team (Wisconsin), Sparty continues to receive no respect. This is an opportunity for a program-defining win, against the defending national champions. On the Alabama side, this is a disappointment after two straight BCS bowls. Could there be a bigger difference in intangibles? While this is an overwhelming advantage for Michigan State, the difference on the field isn’t as big as you might think. Both teams play very similar – defense first, run the ball on offense to open up the pass. Cousins could absolutely outplay McElroy and if that’s the case, MSU pulling out the victory isn’t out of the question.
PLAY 1 UNIT
Oklahoma -17 vs UConn Fiesta Bowl, 8:30pm EST
It’s not often a good idea to lay this many points in a bowl game, but taking the points and Huskies would be like sitting on a bomb-filled bus praying that the explosives don’t go off. It’s not a position we want to be in. Oklahoma is two tiers higher in talent that UConn, and if both teams play to their full potential Oklahoma wins this by 3-4 TDs. However, we know all to well that the Sooners have a tendency to play down to their competition away from Norman and it’s happened once this season against a Big East team (Cincinnati). The Sooners have been on fire and had to come out of nowhere for the BCS berth, so we side with them not laying a stink bomb. But we’re not making this one a big play.
Michigan ML (+170) vs Mississippi State Gator Bowl, 1:30pm EST
Well, we needed to call a money line upset, and don’t ask us why, but we like Rich Rod to shock the world. We’re well aware of the Michigan’s defensive struggles in the Big Ten, but almost all of their losses came against power-running teams (Iowa, Wisconsin, Penn State, Illinois). Is it possible that they’re better equipped to handle a spread-running attack such as Dan Mullen’s? If they defense can hold its own, the Michigan offense and Denard Robinson always have a chance to get loose. The time off surely helped his legs, if we can get a September-esque performance from Robinson this could be a fruitful play.
Florida -7 vs Penn State Outback Bowl, 1:00pm EST
We’re not sure what to make of this game. Laying points with the Gators against anyone with a pulse has been a terrible mistake this season, and we refuse to get burned once again. But the Gators are stocked with talent, and with two weeks to prepare, they could get their heads right in time for this. We love what Matt McGloin and Penn State did the second half of the year, but the best team the Lions beat might have been Temple (probably Michigan but still). The bottom line is, we can’t get behind any single bet here without feeling idiotic if it went the wrong way, so we’re staying off.