Betting every game this bowl season is a slog. But somebody's got to do it.
I already looked at the Dec. 16 bowls, so I'll look to the following week for a few more bowls featuring teams many have barely heard of entering this season. Here's my best college football bowl picks for the week of Dec. 19.
Akron vs. Florida Atlantic (-23)
Boca Raton Bowl - Dec. 19
Normally, I wouldn't touch a bowl game featuring a team favored by 23 points. Seriously, though, how did Akron sneak into a bowl game this season?
The Zips own the 117th-ranked offense and the 97th-ranked defense in FBS. There's not another team even close to those combined rankings left in college football. That's why bettors pounced on the Owls after oddsmakers set the opening line at 17 points.
It's one thing for the Owls to be playing at home. It's another to own such an advantage on both sides of the football. Florida Atlantic doesn't seem keen on taking the foot off the gas, so I feel comfortable giving up more than three touchdowns in a bowl game. -- Go Chalk with Florida Atlantic
Louisiana Tech vs. SMU (-5)
Frisco Bowl - Dec. 20
This should actually be a good game.
SMU employs an above-average offense, while Louisiana Tech is pretty solid on both sides of the football.
The Mustangs will play close to home, but they'll be without their head coach, while welcoming new head coach Sonny Dykes for the game. Unfortunately for SMU, Dykes isn't going to rejuvenate a defense that is the worst per play among bowl teams.
Louisiana Tech doesn't have the offense that SMU does, but the defense is far better. This game will be close, so I'll take the points. -- Go Against The Chalk with Louisiana Tech
Temple (-7) vs. Florida International
Gasparilla Bowl - Dec. 21
In the last month, Florida International's offense has gotten better. But it's defense has gone the opposite direction.
FIU can't stop anybody at the moment, while Temple will employ a far better unit on that side of the ball. However, can Temple score enough points to justify being a touchdown favorite?
I'm not so sure. Temple has a better defense, but Florida International will move the ball. And that should lead to some scoring opportunities for Florida International. I expect a few more points than others do, so I'll take the points. -- Go Against The Chalk with Florida International
UAB vs. Ohio (-7.5)
Bahamas Bowl - Dec. 22
Here's a major mismatch. I'm actually surprised that this game has a single-digit spread.
The Bobcats are a much better team overall. For the season, Ohio has averaged 6.3 yards per play on offense, compared to UAB's 5.3. On defense, Ohio is allowing 5.4 yards per play, slightly higher than UAB at 5.3.
UAB has a tough time stopping the run, which is about as bad as you can imagine against Ohio, which owns the 12th-best rushing attack in college football.
This game won't be close. Feel good about giving up more than a touchdown. -- Go Chalk with Ohio
Central Michigan vs. Wyoming (Even)
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl - Dec. 22
If you've followed me this season, you know I've been a Central Michigan believer this season. And I won't stop believing during bowl season.
Even if Josh Allen starts for the Cowboys, I'm still comfortable with the Chippewas. Shane Morris is more than capable of lifting Central Michigan to a win, even against a defense that is one of the better units statistically in college football.
The Chippewas are far better on offense, and the defenses aren't that far apart. Central Michigan finished the season hotter than Wyoming, so I'll go with the hot hand. -- Go for the win with Central Michigan
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. Check out more at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH