Since the last time these teams have played a lot of things may have changed. To start, they have had at least 3 weeks to get healthy. That WR with a tight hammy is feeling better, that QB with a bruised rib isn't as sore. The time off is great for healing. What you need to keep in mind, is that hot teams can cool off during this period. Great example of that is the Oregon/TCU Alamo Bowl. The Ducks won 6 straight to close out the regular season, while TCU had to deal with players breaking down. The line is currently a Pick 'em. Had this game been played Dec 1st, the line would be closer to Oregon -7. In a game like this I would be more interested to see how the teams played after a bye week than their last game of the season.
The next important aspect of handicapping a bowl game is knowing the difference between business vs pleasure teams. Teams with high hopes from power 5 conferences who under performed all year and find themselves in 2nd and 3rd tier bowl games often lack motivation. Match up LSU and Texas Tech and you have a trap set if you take LSU -7.5. Look at small schools that had solid year and are getting points. Arkansas State and New Mexico come to mind. You can bet (pun intended) that those teams are preparing for their games like its a super bowl. For the majority of these players, especially on the smaller programs, this will be the last meaningful football game they ever play. That extra motivation can be enough to stay within a number.
Coaching plays a huge part in Bowl season for 2 reasons. The first being that several teams have lost their coaches and coordinators. Which teams will rally around their interim coach? I look for Bowling Green to respond with a great effort and cap off a successful season with a win. The other thing to consider is coaches who game plan well. Pretty Boy is certainly putting more hours in that Les Miles for this bowl.
Appalachian State -7 vs Ohio - Love App State here. They shocked the world a few years ago by beating Michigan, and were a perennial FCS powerhouse. When they decided to make the jump to the FBS, they had to forego the playoff system their final season in the FCS. Now they get their first ever bowl game. Aside from the playoff teams, I don't think there is a team more hungry for a bowl win. App state can run the ball and Ohio struggled against the ground game all year. Look for a convincing win to the tune of 38-17
New Mexico +7.5 vs Arizona - a few things in play here. One is Rich Rod already being discussed for other jobs, top that off with his ATS record in bowl games in less than ideal. I don't see Arizona getting up for this game, and especially one that is being played on New Mexico's homefield. Anu Solomon is a fraud, and the wildcat Defense is pedestrian. Business vs Pleasure is a big part of this game. Grab the 7.5, and look at a team total of over 28.5
Arkansas State/Louisiana Tech OVER 67 - when the schedule came out this was my favorite game on there. We played both of these teams several times this season. Truth be told I think Ark State is undervalued because they don't play on TV alot. In my opinion this total should be around 73/74. Kenneth Dixon from LA Tech will be playing on Sundays and you can expect 2 TD's from him. I'm wavering a little on picking a side in this game, but the over is the play here.
WKU Team Total OVER 33.5 - a lot of storylines in this game. Willie Taggart spent years turning around WKU both as a player and coach and is now in South Florida with a similar task, but with a much deeper talent pool. Brandon Doughty's last game before being pushed into the Canadian Football league. If he wants to be a 6th round pick, he needs to prove he can play on a Monday at 2pm! In all seriousness this game is more about him then it is about the Hilltoppers. Getting a guy like Brandon drafted, even late, gives this program a feather in the cap.
As the NFL season winds down the key to picking winners is to figure out who packed it in and who didn't, it's a mind game that can have you second guessing yourself like crazy. My advice is go with your gut and don't over think it. I'm starting out in New Jersey with an over play on Panthers v Giants. Although Red Nose, Eli, and O'Diva have cost me big time this year I'm looking for Cam to put up a lot of points on a out and out bad NY defense. The Panthers have the newest Shutdown diva err corner whose name I don't even know, I just see him being dramatic after every ball thrown near him. He probably has two tackles all season but that's football in 2015. With all that said O'Diva will get his, Cam will get his, and the 46 point total should not be a problem. Let's just hope Red Nose doesn't have to make any 4th down decisions and fuck everything up.
Last week it may have been construed that Johnny V is of the opinion that Ben Roethlisberger is a great QB. Mr. V has never stated that fact to me at any time. I was just applying his theory to my opinion of Mr. Roethlisberger. This blog in no way meant to put words in Mr. V's mouth. This blog wishes to apologize to Mr. V and the entire Cleveland/Youngstown area (with the exception of a certain shamta salesman) and thank them for their support. I hope this clears up any misunderstanding that last weeks blog may have caused. With that said I'm going Seahawks to easily cover the 16.5 vs. the Browns.
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