I hope everyone had a good Christmas and you got some money in your stockings to make up for the two losing days we had. We were 1.5 points away from a split on the day yesterday. Jazz and Blazers finish as 213 and OKC blew multiple 10 point leads and cost us a win. College Bowl games are back today with a full slate so let’s get right into today’s picks!
Boise State (-2.5) - Both teams in this one are a bit disappointed with how their seasons have turned out. Boise State went 10-3 in the regular season but lost to Fresno State (in overtime) in their conference championship game. Boston College started the season 7-2 but finished their season with three straight losses and one of those losses was a terrible loss against a terrible 5-7 Florida State team. Boise State comes in with a top 25 rushing defense and they will be key in this matchup today against Boston College who relies heavily on their running game with one of the best running backs in the country AJ Dillon. 4 of the 5 losses that BC suffered this season came when AJ Dillon had 20 or fewer carries or didn’t play. If BC struggles to get the running game going against this Boise State front seven, it will be a long day for BC. Bose State likes to attack through the air and push the ball down the field. Boise QB Brett Rypien should be able to get the passing game going today against this Boston College defense who ranks 111th out of 130 in the country against the pass. Another thing to note about the Boise State offense is that they rank 3rd in the country on third down conversions at 52.7%. I’m expecting the Boise State defense to slow down the BC running game and that will make it tough for BC to keep up with this Boise State offense who is scoring more than 35 points a game this season.
Georgia Tech (-6) - Georgia Tech comes in with the #1 rushing offense in the country and they are averaging 325.5 rushing yards per game. They should be able to run all over this Minnesota defense who is ranked 72nd in College Football against the run and has STRUGGLED against some ground attacks this season. When I say struggled, I do mean STRUGGLED against the run in games against Illinois where they allowed 430 rushing yards and against Nebraska when they allowed 383 rushing yards. Their opponents were able to control those games and they lost those two games by a combined score of 49 points. I think this will be an advantage for Georgia Tech who will be able to control the game and keep their defense on the sideline as much as possible because they are allowing 28.9 points a game this season. Minnesota has been rotating two freshman at QB this season so it will be interesting to see if their inexperience comes into play in this one. Georgia Tech will be motivated to get a win in this one and send their Coach Paul Johnson off into retirement with a win in his final game and a cover against the spread.
Cal (-1) - Everyone better be eating their Cheez-its for the Chezz-it bowl tonight at 9 p.m. est. The teams in this game look to have their programs going opposite ways. TCU finished the 2017 season at 11-3 and expectations were high coming into this season but back to back losses early against Ohio State and Texas deflated their hopes and this team had to win their final two games to finish the season at 6-6 and become bowl eligible. Cal finished the season 7-5 and that is a step in the right direction with second year head coach Justin Wilcox after a 5-7 season in his first season. Coach Wilcox has already been rewarded with a 1 year contract extension so he will want nothing more than to get a win in this game tonight. Cal comes in with a Top 25 defense against the pass and in total points allowed. They will be tough on TCU Senior QB Grayson Muehlstein who will be making just his second career start tonight. This is one of those games where motivation of lack of it could really effect this game. TCU was expecting to be a Top 10 team this season and that hasn’t worked out for them. On the flip side, Cal will be fired up for this game being their first postseason game since 2015 and a win here will go a long way in developing a “winning culture” which will allow them to get their program back to what it was in the early 2000s where they were competing in bowl games every season. I’ve got Cal in this one.
Georgia Tech (0) / Cal/TCU Over (32.5) - You see the breakdown of the Georgia Tech game above but the biggest thing that sticks out to me is their #1 rushing offense against the Minnesota defense who were trounced by the Illinois and Nebraska rushing attacks getting outscored by 49 points in those two games. Cal / TCU features two defenses who have been good - Cal ranks 20th in points allowed per game and TCU ranks 53rd in points allowed per game. However, these defenses have been good but they are both allowing 21+ points per game. On the flip side of the ball, both of these offenses are averaging 22+ points per game. Teasing the over in this one from 38.5 to 32.5 seems like an ABSOLUTE LOCK.