Spartans & Tigers Offer Underdog Value In Our New Years Eve NCAAF Picks

David Lawrence

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 6:54 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015 6:54 PM GMT

The bowl season, when it gets to New Year’s Eve on Thursday, roars into action with the two biggest games of the week and the whole bowl season itself. Check our top bowl picks inside.

Peach Bowl: Houston Cougars vs. Florida State Seminoles 
This is a game in which the nation will get an appetizer before the two main courses in the playoff. Houston has to love the fact that head coach Tom Herman stayed on and did not chase the open positions at Georgia or South Carolina. He will be at Houston in 2016, and that should give the Cougars a lot of confidence heading into this one. Houston has a speedy quarterback, Greg Ward, who could be a problem for Florida State’s defense. The Seminoles must contain Ward and prevent him from being able to run for big yardage. They have to keep Ward in the pocket. Florida State’s advantage is along both the offensive and defensive lines. It has bigger and stronger players who can overwhelm Houston’s linemen in a power game, setting up running plays on offense with tailback Dalvin Cook, who had been a Heisman contender before fading later in the season. This game comes down to whether you believe Houston’s speed on offense can land the first strike against Florida State’s defense. The opinion in this case is that Florida State will win the battle up front and punch Houston in the mouth. Take the Seminoles minus the points for your college football picks.

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College Football Pick: Florida State -6.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Orange Bowl: Oklahoma Sooners vs. Clemson Tigers 
The key point to make here is that when Oklahoma lost to Clemson in last season’s bowl game, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson was hurt and did not play. A lot of people are saying that Oklahoma will have revenge on its mind after getting blown up by Clemson in that 2014 bowl game, but Watson wants his chance at the Sooners. Since Oklahoma played backup quarterbacks in each of its last three games of the regular season (Baylor, TCU, and then Oklahoma State), the Sooners will probably be caught off guard by a top quarterback who knows what he’s doing. This is a very good reason to take Clemson, especially since the Tigers are getting slightly more than a field goal. This game really should be a pick-‘em. Oklahoma does not deserve this much respect, even though it might win.

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College Football Pick:  Clemson +4
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle 

 

Cotton Bowl: Michigan State Spartans vs. Alabama Crimson Tide 
This is a game in which the main thing to note is that the layoff of almost four weeks before the bowl game should make Michigan State healthier at a number of positions, especially quarterback. Connor Cook, if he is healthy enough to make NFL-level throws (he can make just about all of them), will easily become the best quarterback Alabama will have faced this season. Cook was physically limited in his last game on December 5, so there are questions about him which have fed into the 10-point spread for Alabama. The feeling here is that Cook will be ready, and he will be able to do what he needs to do. Michigan State should definitely cover the college football odds if Cook is reasonably healthy.

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Pick: Michigan State +10 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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