New Year's College Bowl Picks

The college football bowl games have started. But, the top bowl games straddle the New Year, including the College Football Playoff between the Alabama Crimson Tide, Clemson Tigers, Ohio State Buckeyes, and Washington Huskies and four additional bowls known as the “New Year’s Six.” For those die-hard fans that want to get stuffed with all the guts and glory that only college football can bring, I’ve got my New Year’s Six Bowl Predictions 2016 (not including the CFP Playoff) right below.

New Year's College Bowl Picks

Orange Bowl: No.6 Michigan Wolverines vs No. 11 Florida State Seminoles
When: Friday, December 30, 2016
Start Time: 8:00 PM ET
Stadium: Hard Rock Stadium
Spread: Michigan -7
Moneyline: Michigan ¿65 vs Florida State +225
Game Total: 52.5
Watch: ESPN

Analysis: Michigan lost out on the Big Ten Championship despite going 10-2 in the season after a couple of late-season defeats, while the Seminoles’ victory over the SEC East champion Florida in their last regular season game catapulted them to playing in this bowl. Florida has a solid running game, however Michigan is as good as it gets when it comes to defense. Even a player like Dalvin Cook, who rushed for over 1,000 yards for the third-straight season this year, might be slowed down by the Wolverines’ run defense.

Prediction: Having just barely missed their shot at the Playoff will have Michigan playing with a big chip on their shoulders. Michigan will win but I like the dog on this one, bet Florida State to cover at +7.

Cotton Bowl: No. 15 Western Michigan Broncos vs No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers
When: Monday, January 02, 2017
Start Time: 1:00 PM ET
Stadium: AT&T Stadium
Spread: Wisconsin -7.5
Moneyline: Wisconsin -300 vs Western Michigan +250
Game Total: 53,5
Watch: ESPN

Analysis: The undisputed and unbeaten MAC champion Western Michigan Broncos got a one-way ticket to the Cotton Bowl and will face a tough challenge in the Badgers. Western Michigan has already laid to rest two Big Ten teams -Northwestern and Illinois- this year and have made waves nationally as the only team in the FBS-apart from Alabama that is- that is unbeaten. However, the Badgers own the tables in these team’s four previous encounters winning three vs the Broncos. But, perhaps what makes the most difference between these two is defense. While the Broncos are good, the Badgers are solid. Wisconsin is ranked No. 3 in the Big Ten in total defense and No. 1 versus the run in the nation. The front seven is frankly, scary and will stop Western Michigan’s offense cold.

Prediction: The Badgers have a much better team, if not on offense on defense. The Broncos already proved their worth by making it here, but will lose. Bet Wisconsin at -7.5, they’ll win and cover.

Sugar Bowl: No. 14 Auburn Tigers vs No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners
When: Monday, January 02, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 PM ET
Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Spread: Oklahoma -3
Moneyline: Oklahoma -155 vs Auburn +135
Game Total: 62.5
Watch: FOX

Analysis: When you have two Heisman trophy finalists on offense, as Oklahoma does, there’s a good shot that you’ll be able to fire up a devastating offensive attack, especially considering how Auburn’s ranks have been decimated due to injuries to its players. That’s not to say the Tigers won’t fight tooth and claw to win this game, but that the Sooners might overwhelm them eventually. Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook will crack open Auburn’s defenses play-by-play and start putting up points on the scoreboard.

Prediction: It’s hard for players to think ahead into next year, but Baker Midfield announced that he wants to put a national title under his belt and that he’ll be staying at OU. Oklahoma’s offensive machine is impressive to watch once it get going; powered by its running game, the Sooners will overrun the Tigers’ defense. Oklahoma wins and covers.

Rose Bowl: No. 5 Penn State Nittany Lions vs No. Southern California Trojans
When: Monday, January 02, 2017
Start Time: 5:00 PM ET
Stadium: Rose Bowl
Spread: USC -6.5
Moneyline: USC -250 vs Penn State +210
Game Total: 60
Watch: ESPN

Analysis: The Nittany Lions topped Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game and heads into the Rose Bowl as the first team that didn’t qualify for the a spot in the Playoff. USC finally made it back to the Rose Bowl after Sam Darnold took hold of driving the offense. The Trojans also have a long history of winning the Rose Bowl (24-9) while the Nittany Lions don’t (1-2), but based on how these two got here, both rebounded from bad starts to finish strong, anything could happen in this game.

Prediction: Penn State showed grit when they defeated No. 2 Ohio State back in October. In fact, they just missed a Playoff spot, finishing No. 5 in the last College Football Playoff poll. This will be one heck of a game, both teams have fantastic offenses but not only that, they have solid defensive units. USC’s defense held five opponents to under 100 rushing yards during their last five games of the season. The Trojans also manhandled opponents in the last eight games, winning by an average margin of close to 20 points, including a 26-13 victory over No. 4 Washington. Meanwhile, Penn State also held its own with players of the likes of Garrett Sickels and Evan Schwan being a big threat to Darnold. However, I still believe USC has a big advantage in that they’re playing on their home turf; the Trojans win but the Nittany Lions cover. My bet is on Penn State at -6.5.

 
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