Top Picks for the First Week of the 2017 College Football Bowl Season

Posted by Rogelio Aguas on December 6, 2017 in

The college football conversation is still dominated by buzz about the top four teams — Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Alabama — and their odds to win the national championship. However, there are a total of 40 bowl games (in addition to the national championship game), involving every team that won at least six games during the regular season. We’ve made some College Football odds picks for you to consider as you put wagers together for the week leading up to Christmas Day.

Top Picks for the First Week of the 2017 College Football Bowl Season

Saturday, December 16

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Troy (-6) vs North Texas (1:00pm ET, ESPN)

North Texas rolled off an impressive streak in conference play after losing at SMU in the second week of the season. Their offense has been solid all season long, but they face a Troy team that has won six in a row. One of the Trojans’ wins this year came at LSU, on LSU’s Homecoming. North Texas doesn’t have any victories approaching that.

College Football Bowl Prediction: Troy 30, North Texas 20

AutoNation Cure Bowl: Western Kentucky (+4.5) vs Georgia State (2:30pm ET, CBS Sports)

You could definitely look at this as one of the duds of the bowl season. Georgia State only put up 217 points in 12 games this season, while Western Kentucky enters this game having dropped four of five and having lost to an Illinois team that only won two games all season. However, Western Kentucky does feature the most prolific quarterback in Conference USA, in Mike White, and I see them delivering the upset.

College Football Bowl Prediction: Western Kentucky 27, Georgia State 20

Las Vegas Bowl: Oregon (-7.5) vs Boise State (3:30pm ET, ABC)

Oregon will be saying goodbye to head coach Willie Taggart, who is heading to Florida State after just one season in the Pacific Northwest. Teams are unpredictable in bowl games after their head coaches depart, but dominance is not something that you commonly associate with those performances. However, quarterback Justin Herbert has shown he is the real deal since returning from injury. Can he dent the tough Boise State defense, or will apathy keep the Ducks grounded?

College Football Bowl Prediction: Boise State 34, Oregon 27

GILDAN New Mexico Bowl: Marshall (+5.5) vs Colorado State (4:30pm ET, ESPN)

Marshall limped into bowl eligibility, dropping four of their last five. Colorado State features wideout Michael Gallup, who is a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award and is one of the best receivers you’ve never heard of. Expect Colorado State to roll in this game.

College Football Bowl Prediction: Colorado State 34, Marshall 27

Tuesday, December 19

Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl: Florida Atlantic (-23) vs Akron (7:00pm ET, ESPN)

Florida Atlantic gets to host this bowl game in their own home stadium. Sometimes this galvanizes the home team, but sometimes it turns into some apathy since the players may have been looking forward to traveling. In this case, given the turnaround Lane Kiffin has brought to FAU, I see this turning into excitement for the home team and a beating for the visiting Zips, as Akron just got torched by Toledon in the MAC championship game, surrendering 45 points. But that 23-point line? Not sure I see that happening in a bowl game.

College Football Bowl Prediction: FAU 38, Akron 23

Wednesday, December 20

DXL Frisco Bowl: Louisiana Tech (+5) vs SMU (8:00pm ET, ESPN)

SMU scored 126 points in its last three games and only won one of them. Why did it win that one? Because Tulane’s head coach refused to tie the game with a chip-shot field goal and send matters to overtime, because he mysteriously called a running play in the waning seconds, and because his quarterback shifted hands with the ball so that it would not break the plane as he was tackled inside the 1. SMU’s head coach, Chad Morris, might be the top contender for the Arkansas job, but it won’t be because of his team’s defense. The SMU offense is stellar thanks to wideouts Trey Quinn and Courtland Sutton, but that awful defense is why this line is the way it is.

College Football Bowl Prediction: SMU 48, Louisiana Tech 38