5 NCAAF bowl spreads you can't afford to miss

Profile Picture: Jeremy Jones

December 12th, 2019

It has been an exciting college football season, which has left us with maybe the most competitive College Football Playoff yet. However, outside of the CFP, we still have intriguing bowl matchups.

I have picked out my five favorite games this bowl season, given all the information we currently have. If you are looking for some extra cash this holiday season, you cannot afford to miss these five games!

5. Citrus Bowl: Alabama (-7) vs. Michigan, January 1, 1 p.m. ET, ABC

This is the first season Alabama will not be playing for a shot at the national title since 2014.  The Crimson Tide has not won a bowl game that did not involve championship implications since 2010.

Michigan is on a three-game bowl losing streak, but I love this spot for the Wolverines. Alabama will be without quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and I imagine a few other stars will eventually decide to sit out to prepare for the NFL Draft. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh will have something to prove, and this is a major letdown spot for Alabama. I even like Michigan to win.

Pick: Michigan +7

4. Arizona Bowl: Georgia State vs. Wyoming (-7), December 31, 4:30 p.m., CBSSN

This game is a classic example of strength versus weakness. Wyoming has a run-heavy offense that averages more than 208 rushing yards per game, while Georgia State has a terrible run defense that has allowed an average of 211 rushing yards per game. The Panthers also like to run the ball, but the Cowboys run defense is stellar (it allows an average of fewer than 100 rushing yards per game).

The trends also heavily favor Wyoming. Since 2017 Georgia State is 8-14 ATS as an underdog. Wyoming is 13-6 ATS as a favorite. I predict a blowout for Wyoming, where they completely dominate the time-of-possession battle.

Pick: Wyoming -7

3. Belk Bowl: Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech (-3), December 31, noon ET, ESPN

As a Kentucky fan this might seem like a homer pick, but it's really all about Lynn Bowden. He can do it all, and he was just awarded the Paul Hornung Award, which goes to the most versatile player in the NCAA. The fact that Bowden, a converted wide receiver, can play quarterback and average 8.2 yards per carry, even though he is not a passing threat and has to go against stacked boxes on defense is astounding.

The ACC had a down year, and I believe you will notice in its bowl games, especially when the conference plays teams from the SEC. I like the Wildcats to handle both sides of the line of scrimmage and completely dominate ball control. Bowden will end his career a winner for the Wildcats.

Pick: Kentucky +3

2. Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State vs. Washington (-3.5), December 21, 7:30 p.m., ABC

I cannot believe the better team is getting 3.5 points in this matchup. I understand this will be Chris Peterson's last game as head coach for Washington, and it is against his old program, which he built to national prominence. However, the players on the field determine the outcome.

Both teams have similar defensive stats and ranks, but offense is where Boise State excels. The Broncos average 50 yards per game more than Washington and five points more per game. The Broncos also dominate in situations like this. Since 2017 they are 5-0 ATS as an underdog. Expect the Broncos to take it to the Huskies and prove they should be the team favored in this matchup.

Pick: Boise State +3.5

1. Music City Bowl: Mississippi State (-4.5) vs. Louisville, December 30, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

I already mentioned how down the ACC is this year and how it will struggle in bowl games against SEC schools. This one tops the cake for me.

Louisville has given up an astounding average of 211 rushing yards per game. The Cardinals just allowed 517 rushing yards to Kentucky in their final game of the season. The Bulldogs lean on the run game, with an average of 227 rushing yards per contest. Running back Kylin Hill rushed for more than 100 yards in eight games this season, including a 234-yard performance against Arkansas.

The Cardinals may be able to get their run game going against Mississippi State, but the Bulldogs improved their defense down the stretch and only allowed morethan 200 yards rushing once since September.

The Bulldogs will run all over the Cardinals and win in a blowout.