The college football regular season is over, and bowl season is now upon us. This is one of the greatest months of college sports, and there will be games every week with plenty on the line.
Every bowl game has to be treated as its own event. There is no simple pattern to follow. Some teams will be looking to send out seniors with a bang, while other teams will be happy to end the year. Some stars are already preparing for the NFL Draft, and others are in the transfer portal.
With all of the uncertainty, some betting lines are going to be wild at the best sportsbooks. That gives you a chance to find great value this bowl season, and we have some ideas for the opening week.
Duluth Trading Cure Bowl
UTSA Roadrunners vs. Troy Trojans
Friday, December 16, 2022 – 03:00 PM EST at Exploria Stadium
Both Troy and UTSA end the year as ranked teams, which was not a realistic expectation at the start of the year. However, this game will have two teams with a combined four losses. UTSA has proven to be a legitimate team with many wins against bowl teams, and Troy has a great scoring defense.
Troy is favored in this game, but can the Trojans stop the potent UTSA offense? Well, it will come down to UTSA QB Frank Harris.
While Harris has been a superstar all season, I think the Trojans can slow him down. Not only will this be a victory, but the Trojans will cover the spread at the NCAAF odds.
NCAAF Pick: Troy -1.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Wasabi Fenway Bowl
Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Louisville Cardinals
Saturday, December 17, 2022 – 11:00 AM EST at Fenway Park
If you want drama, make sure you turn in to this game. At first glance, you would not think much of this matchup. Cincinnati had a setback after losing Desmond Ridder and other stars from last year’s playoff team, but these teams should have no beef.
However, Cincinnati’s head coach left to take another job. Who will be replacing him? Scott Satterfield, former coach of the Louisville Cardinals. This is a rare occasion where one team stole the coach from the other team.
Still, the Cardinals believe they have upgraded at head coach. At the very least, the team will be playing for revenge. That emotional factor can’t be denied, and I have Louisville covering the spread.
NCAAF Pick: Louisville -1 (-110) at FanDuel
SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl
Florida Gators vs. Oregon State Beavers
Saturday, December 17, 2022 – 02:30 PM EST at Allegiant Stadium
Florida’s season was somewhat disappointing, but they have a chance to look to the future with a bowl game. The reason that they would be looking to the future is that many of the players are either in the transfer portal or leaving early for the draft.
While Napier said that many players in the portal will still play, it’s hard to imagine they will be fully invested in a Gators win. Without Anthony Richardson, I don’t see the Gators truly competing.
Oregon State had a better season, and they have more to play for in this one. I like the Beavers in Vegas, and perhaps some of their momentum won’t have to stay there and can instead be carried into next year.
Even with a lofty spread, let’s go with the Beavers for our NCAAF picks.
NCAAF Pick: Oregon State -10.5 (-106) at FanDuel
New Mexico Bowl
SMU Mustangs vs. BYU Cougars
Saturday, December 17, 2022 – 07:30 PM EST at University Stadium
Tanner Mordecai has emerged as a true NFL Draft prospect, and the Mustangs have benefitted from his rise to stardom. Mordecai was a great high school recruit, but he left Oklahoma after not earning the starter job.
He will be playing in his final game, and this will be his first chance to compete in a bowl game due to COVID restrictions. SMU will be looking for its first bowl win in a decade, and I think they get it.
Also, the BYU QB is not fully healthy. He could play, but he has been banged up so far in the postseason. Without the guarantee of a healthy Hall, I don’t see the Cougars covering this spread.
NCAAF Pick: SMU -4.5 (-110) at FanDuel
North Texas Mean Green vs. Boise State Broncos
Saturday, December 17, 2022 – 09:15 PM EST at Toyota Stadium
The line opened at 9, and it has moved since. This is mostly because of transfers and other postseason notes, but I still like North Texas to cover this spread. It will be closer than most think, and there is plenty to play for in the Frisco Bowl.
I’ve gone heavy with the favorites, but give me one underdog to at least cover the spread if not win outright.
NCAAF Pick: North Texas +10.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook