Season: 55-47-1 ATS (54%)
Bowl Season: 5-5-1 ATS
Double Extra Lock: 10-4 ATS (71%)
Whenever I need some extra motivation to take down Las Vegas and their vaunted college football bowl spreads, I turn to inspirational videos by none other than Stu Feiner. If he can't get me determined to break the bookie's bank, then nobody can.
Now I'm locked, loaded, and ready to go.
Monday Dec. 29 8:00 pm ET ESPN
Missouri (-12.5) over Northwestern: Since starting 5-0, Missouri has only outscored their opponents by an average of 5 points/game and outgained their opponents by +13 yards/game. The good news here, however, is that Northwestern has defeated only 2 bowl teams all season and have neither an offense (#51) nor a defense (#62) that stands out. Missouri should be able to score at will and with the competition they have played this season, their 16+ million dollar coach should be able to handle whatever gimmicks NW throws at them with talent alone.
Tuesday Dec. 30 4:30 pm ET ESPN
Maryland (+3) over Nevada: If the Maryland team that beat Cal, Clemson, Wake Forest, NC State, and North Carolina shows up, they win. If the Maryland team that lost to Middle Tenn. State and was shut out by Virginia shows up, they lose. Nevada Qb Colin Kaepernick, who was the WAC #3 passer and #2 rusher, will give interim Maryland def-coordinator Seamonson a tough homework assigment. All-ACC RB Da'rel Scott will be the difference for the Terps and rest assured Coach Fridge isn't letting the 'underdog' label here go unnoticed.
Tuesday Dec. 30 8:00 pm ET NFL Network
Western Michigan (+3) over Rice: 7 times this year Rice gave up 35 or more points which should get WMU Qb Tim Hiller (34 Tds/8 Ints with 3,527 yards) excited. Rice's one-dimensional pass happy offense ranks 10th in the NCAA, but then again, when you have the 114th ranked scoring defense, scoring a lot of points kind of becomes the meaning of the game. WMU has more talent and despite the Rice Owls getting to play in their hometown, don't expect there to be much of a advantage here as they averaged less than 20,000/game this season.
Tuesday Dec. 30 8:00 pm ET ESPN
Oklahoma State (-3) over Oregon: Both teams rank in the top eight nationally in rushing, scoring and total offense. In fact, the these two teams have combined to score more than 54 points a combined 10 games this season. OSU Qb Zac Robinson, averaging 10+ yards per pass ATTEMPT, and RB Kendall Hunter (1,582 yards rushing this season) will be the difference here in this very evenly matched game.
Wednesday Dec. 31 2:00 pm ET CBS
Pittsburgh (+3) over Oregon State: Dave Wannstedt and the Panthers roll into this one covering 4 of their last 5 games with the only loss ATS at Cincinnati. OSU true freshman Jacquizz Rodgers - #2 rusher in the Pac-10 - is likely not going to play because Coach Riley won't let him due to a late season injury. On the other hand, Pitt RB LeSean McCoy is healthy and is one of the top 5 running backs in the NCAA.
Wednesday Dec. 31 3:30 pm ET ESPN
Boston College (-3.5) over Vanderbilt: At 6-6, this is Vanderbilt's first bowl trip since 1984. Boston College ranks 6th in defense and 95th in offense while Vanderbilt ranks 29th in defense and 117th in offense. Vanderbilt's offense is too atrocious to overlook here and after losing 6 of their last 7 games, I don't expect their hometown crowd to give them enough of a boost against a more physical team.
Wednesday Dec. 31 5:30 pm ET NFL Network
Kansas (-7.5) over Minnesota: Minnesota was exposed for who they really are at the end of the season by losing 4 straight including a 55-0 drubbing by Iowa. Minnesota averaged just over 200 yard/game during that stretch and their defense wasn't much better as they finished 74th in total defense despite playing in the Big 10. Kansas did have their struggles this year, but Todd Reesing did get his numbers at 302 yards/game passing and anytime you have a player like All-Big 12 safety Darrell Stuckey on your team, I'll bet on you.
LSU (+4.5) over Georgia Tech: Paul Johnson did everything he was asked and more in his first season at GT even with the option offense minus the option players he desires. What you can't take away from LSU is their NFL talent. After battling through their ups and downs this season, I fully expect Les Miles to get his underdog defending National Champions ready to play this one in the Georgia Dome where they have oddly played many more games in recent years than the Jackets. Even without newly named defensive coordinator John Chavis (former Phil Fulmer D.C.) ready to take over until next season at LSU, expect the defense play as if they have something to prove.
Double Extra Lock
Wednesday Dec. 31 12:00 pm ET ESPN
Houston (-3.5) over Air Force: Houston brings the #1 offense in the NCAA at 575 yards/game to this Ft. Worth, TX setting. QB Case Keenum was the C-USA offensive player of the year with 416 yards/game and has thrown the ball to 9 different players for TDs this season. AF's #71 ranked offense scored over 24 points just once in their last 5 games and their two Qbs threw a combined 9 Tds/6 Ints all season. Air Force was put in a bad situation here as they must win in a shootout against a team that will score points at will.