It’s time to pick the winners against the spread for the SEC this bowl season. Of course, some say that there are too many bowls. I say, nonsense! Too many bowls at the holidays would be like eating too much or spending too much money. No one would ever do that.
LSU -7 vs. Texas Tech (The Texas Bowl Dec. 29)
LSU is a big favorite here for a reason. The Red Raiders defense is the worst thing to come out of Texas since bolo ties and giant belt buckles. Leonard Fournette should have a huge day, and the Tigers should get an easy win.
Auburn -3 vs. Memphis (The Birmingham Bowl Dec. 30)
It was exactly two years ago at this time that Gus Malzahn was preparing Auburn for a national championship game and Ylvis had a big hit with the song, What does the Fox Say? Neither of the one-hit wonders has been heard from since.
Mississippi State -6 vs. NC State (The Belk Bowl Dec. 30)
This week Mississippi State celebrated its arrival for the Belk Bowl by taking a few laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is appropriate considering the Bulldogs have spent most of the last two years just kind of going around in circles. However, MSU should be clearly motivated to make quarterback Dak Prescott a winner in his final game.
Louisville -4.5 vs. Texas A&M (The Music City Bowl Dec. 30)
Here’s how crazy things have gotten at Texas A&M: The Johnny Manziel era looks stable by comparison. For now, the Aggies quarterback situation is a mess. That’s a good enough reason to like Louisville in this one.
Alabama -10 vs. Michigan State (The Cotton Bowl Dec. 31)
For a long time, New Year’s Eve has been a night for many to get overdressed and over-served, which come to think of it doesn’t make it all that different from the typical Alabama football game. So counting down to midnight with the College Football Playoff on the TV screen may not feel as weird as some people think it will be. Luckily, the Crimson Tide should have a big enough lead that flipping the channel in time to see the ball drop shouldn’t be a problem.
Tennessee -8.5 vs. Northwestern (The Outback Bowl Jan. 1)
Tennessee may be preparing to play Northwestern, but the Vols fan’s real rival this week is the TV network Al Jazeera, which reported an allegation of PED use against former Tennessee great Peyton Manning. Of all the unanswered questions about Manning’s alleged PED use, the most significant one would seem to be this: Why do the drugs that Manning is accused of using only work during the regular season?
Florida +4.5 vs. Michigan (The Citrus Bowl Jan. 1)
Florida heads to Orlando for its bowl game, which is kind of appropriate since the Gators offense has looked like a Mickey Mouse Operation for much of the year. Of course, the Wolverines have had their difficulties scoring points too. The guess here is that Florida as an underdog is a good value.
Ole Miss -7 vs. Oklahoma State (The Sugar Bowl Jan. 1)
The last time Ole Miss played in the Sugar Bowl was the year The Beatles broke up. However, the supergroup that Rebels fans are worried about disbanding is coach Hugh Freeze’s heralded 2013 recruiting class. If this really is the end for them, then it’s quite a way to go out.
UGA -6.5 vs. Penn State (The TaxSlayer Bowl Jan. 2)
The last time UGA played Penn State was the end of the 1982 season and UGA was coached by the legendary Vince Dooley, who had been on the job for 18 years. This time UGA will be coached by Bryan McClendon, who’s been the coach for about 18 minutes. Nonetheless, expect a talented UGA roster to play well for a popular interim coach.
Kansas State +12.5 vs. Arkansas (The Liberty Bowl Jan. 2)
Here’s all you need to know about this game: No coach in college football is better against the spread than Kansas State coach Bill Snyder. He may look like your grandfather, but he brings down the house in Las Vegas like a card counter with an MIT degree.