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Kielar's Bowl Picks Against the Spread

Bowl season is upon us, with the first games kicking off this weekend. While the lower-tier bowls and even some of the higher-tier bowls aren't as exciting anymore, the gambling degenerates of the world (me) will be paying attention. ESPN still does their Captial One Bowl Mania, which now has three options for making picks - straight, against the spread, and confidence. Starting with the Myrtle Beach on Saturday morning, I will pick all 43 bowl games against the spread. Let's dive right into it. All times are Eastern time.


Slate of Upcoming Bowl Games:


The Ones for the True Degenerates


Here, we have the lowest of low-tier bowl games, which only the true degenerates will care about, or for the biggest draft psychos and college football fans out there. This is where we have the most out-of-the-box names and sponsors, such as the Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl on Saturday between App State and Miami (OH) and the Famous Toastery Bowl between Old Dominion and Western Kentucky on Monday. Most of these games have very close lines, so anyone's guess who will come out on top, with oddsmakers as much in the dark as us bettors.


Saturday, December 16

  • Myrtle Beach Bowl @ 11:00 a.m.: Ohio (-1.5) vs. Georgia Southern

  • Cricket Celebration Bowl @ 12:00 p.m.: Florida A&M (-3.5) vs. Howard

  • Carriers New Orleans Bowl @ 2:15 p.m.: Louisiana vs. Jacksonville State (+1.5)

  • Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl @ 3:30 p.m.: Appalachian State (-4.5) vs. Miami (OH)

  • Isleta New Mexico Bowl @ 5:45 p.m.: Fresno State vs. New Mexico State (-2.5)

  • Starco Brands LA Bowl @ 7:30 p.m.: Boise State vs. UCLA (-2.5)

  • Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl @ 9:15 p.m.: Texas Tech (-2.5) vs. Cal


Monday, December 18

  • Famous Toastery Bowl @ 2:30 p.m.: Old Dominion vs. Western Kentucky (-3.5)


Tuesday, December 19

  • Scooter's Coffee Frisco Bowl @ 9:00 p.m.: Marshall (+8.5) vs. UTSA


Thursday, December 21

  • RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl @ 8:00 p.m.: Syracuse vs. South Florida (+4.5)


Friday, December 22

  • Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl @ 6:30 p.m.: UCF vs. Georgia Tech (+4.5)


Saturday, December 23

  • Camellia Bowl @ 12:00 p.m.: Northern Illinois (+1.5) vs. Arkansas State

  • 76 Birmingham Bowl @ 12:00 p.m.: Duke (+4.5) vs. Troy

  • Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl @ 3:30 p.m.: Air Force vs. James Madison (-4.5)

  • Famous Idaho Potato Bowl @ 3:30 p.m.: Utah State (+3.5) vs. Georgia State

  • 68 Ventures Bowl @ 7:00 p.m.: Eastern Michigan (+13.5) vs. South Alabama

  • SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl @ 7:30 p.m.: Northwestern vs. Utah (-9.5)

  • EasyPost Hawaii Bowl @ 10:30 p.m.: San Jose State vs. Coastal Carolina (+7.5)


Post-Christmas Spending


Now we get into the meat of the bowl schedule, where games get more interesting. With this block of games comes a couple of top-25 teams in action, looking to end their seasons on the up and up. That includes ACC runner-up 15th-ranked Louisville facing off against Caleb Williams-less USC in the Holiday Bowl on December 27 and 12th-ranked Oklahoma (post-Dillon Gabriel transfer to Oregon) against 14th-ranked, up-and-coming Arizona on December 28. With your Christmas shopping done, take some of the cash gifts you received and spread it around some of these games.


Tuesday, December 26

  • Quick Lane Bowl @ 2:00 p.m.: Minnesota (-5.5) vs. Bowling Green

  • SERVPRO First Responder Bowl @ 5:30 p.m.: Rice vs. Texas State (-6.5)

  • Guaranteed Rate Bowl @ 9:00 p.m.: UNLV vs. Kansas (-12.5)


Wednesday, December 27

  • Military Bowl @ 2:00 p.m.: Tulane (-4.5) vs. Virginia Tech

  • Duke's Mayo Bowl @ 5:30 p.m.: West Virginia vs. North Carolina (+3.5)

  • DIRECTV Holiday Bowl @ 8:00 p.m.: USC vs. Louisville (-6.5)

  • TaxACT Texas Bowl @ 9:00 p.m.: Oklahoma State (+4.5) vs. Texas A&M

Thursday, December 28

  • Wasabi Fenway Bowl @ 11:00 a.m.: Boston College vs. SMU (-9.5)

  • Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl @ 2:15 p.m.: Miami (FL) (-4.5) vs. Rutgers

  • Pop-Tarts Bowl @ 5:45 p.m.: Kansas State vs. NC State (+4.5)

  • Valero Alamo Bowl @ 9:15 p.m.: Oklahoma (+1.5) vs. Arizona


Friday, December 29

  • TaxSlayer Gator Bowl @ 12:00 p.m.: Kentucky vs. Clemson (-7.5)

  • Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl @ 2:00 p.m.: Notre Dame vs. Oregon State (+10.5)

  • AutoZone Liberty Bowl @ 3:30 p.m.: Iowa State vs. Memphis (+6.5)


Non-New Year's Six Bowls 12/30 and 1/1


While most eyes will be on the New Year's Six bowls, which includes the CFP, there are four other bowls going on at the same time that have some intriguing matchups. A few ranked teams are at play here, with the offensive powerhouse 17th-ranked Iowa facing off against Tennessee in the Citrus Bowl. By the way, for legal purposes, calling the Hawkeyes an offensive powerhouse was a joke. Although Heisman winner Jayden Daniels is not likely to play against Wisconsin in the ReliaQuest Bowl, the Tigers are still getting 10.5 points, which is warranted. This LSU team is just that much better on both sides of the ball than the Badgers, with or without the Heisman winner.


  • TransPerfect Music City Bowl, Saturday 12/30 @ 2:00 p.m.: Maryland vs. Auburn (-2.5)

  • Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl, Saturday 12/30 @ 4:30 p.m.: Wyoming vs. Toledo (-2.5)

  • ReliaQuest Bowl, Monday 1/1 @ 12:00 p.m.: LSU (-10.5) vs. Wisconsin

  • Cheez-It Citrus Bowl, Monday 1/1 @ 1:00 p.m.: Tennessee (-7.5) vs. Iowa


Non-CFP New Year's Six


Goodyear Cotton Bowl, Friday 12/29 @ 8:00 p.m.: Ohio State vs. Missouri (+6.5)

I don't see Ohio State being all too motivated for this game after once again losing to Michigan and falling out of the CFP. That, with the uncertainty of whether or not Marvin Harrison Jr. will declare for the NFL Draft and Kyle McCord entering the transfer portal, makes this not matter all that much for the Buckeyes. Missouri will be much more motivated to end the season on a high note, and they don't have many opt-outs or transfers. Final: Missouri 28, Ohio State 25


Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Saturday 12/30 @ 12:00 p.m.: Penn State vs. Ole Miss (+3.5)

This is an interesting matchup (first in history), and the result ultimately depends on how many opt-outs Penn State ends up having on the defensive side. Stud edge rusher Chop Robinson has already declared for the draft and opted out of the Peach Bowl, but the Nittany Lion defense is filled with studs. The Penn State defense is arguably the most dominant in the country and will make a big stop late in the game to hold on, with the offense doing just enough to win.

Final: Penn State 31, Ole Miss 28


Capital One Orange Bowl, Saturday 12/30 @ 4:00 p.m.: Florida State vs. Georgia (-13.5)

Deserving of being in the College Football Playoff or not, Florida State is going to get waxed by the Bulldogs. Their offense was sleepwalking in the ACC Championship against Louisville, and, honestly, should have lost. Final: Georgia 45, Florida State 30


Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, Monday 1/1 @ 1:00 p.m.: Oregon vs. Liberty (+14.5)

This game might not be that close, but it'll be closer than this line. Bo Nix decided he would play in the contest, making it a struggle for Liberty. Nix shows everybody why he was deserving of the Heisman in this one as he strikes the pose on the Flames. Final: Oregon 38, Liberty 24


College Football Playoff

CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl, Monday 1/1 @ 5:00 p.m.: Michigan vs. Alabama (+1.5)


Who would have thought that a team who benched their quarterback, Jalen Milroe, earlier in the season would now be headed back to another College Football Playoff? Well, the Crimson Tide are back, ladies and gents (I mean, did they ever leave) and have been on fire. Milroe will give the Wolverines plenty to deal with, and it's really difficult to see their defense being able to outlast the onslaught from him and the Alabama offense. It's honestly a bit surprising that the Crimson Tide enter as underdogs (albeit slim) given their reputation and coming in hot, despite Michigan being ranked No. 1. Final: Alabama 27, Michigan 24


CFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl, Monday 1/1 @ 8:45 p.m.: Washington (+4.5) vs. Texas


This will be a tightly contested game that can turn into a shootout between Washington's Michael Penix Jr., a Heisman finalist, and Texas' Quinn Ewers. What will make or break the Longhorns is their secondary and whether or not they can limit the big plays by Penix and Washington. In what is peak Texas fashion, the Longhorns hold a lead late but ultimately choke it away as the Washington offense drives down the field late and heads to the National Championship on January 8. Final: Washington 41, Texas 37


Main Image From Getty Images




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