College football pick, bowl games: Michigan State vs. Pitt, Tennessee vs. Purdue among best bets

The good news is that last week’s The Six Pack Four Pack Special Edition had a winning week. The bad news is that only three of the four games have been played. The Hawaii Bowl was canceled the day before the game – what would Christmas Eve be like? – and more have fallen since.

This should come as no surprise considering what is going on in all of the other big American sports. Still, college football has been fortunate this season to largely avoid the postponements and cancellations that were plaguing 2020. Hopefully we don’t lose too many games over the coming week and the six games of this week’s column be played.

Unless the choices are bound to be incorrect. Any choice likely to be wrong must be postponed. Odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.

Games of the week

No.10 Michigan State vs. No.12 Pitt

Featured Game | Michigan State Spartans vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

Peach Bowl: – Thursday December 30: The biggest story of this game is who doesn’t. Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett, who finished third in the Heisman vote this season, has retired from the game to prepare for the NFL Draft. Michigan state running back Kenneth Walker, fifth in the Heisman vote, did the same. That undeniably takes away some of the allure of a New Years game, but at least anyone who wants the college football playoffs to expand to 12 teams has more ammo to their argument.

As if they were taken hostage and forced to watch.

Either way, let’s not go on a tangent. Obviously, these are two significant absences that make the game a little harder to cripple, but while Pickett is the headliner, he’s not the only notable absence for Pitt. Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple has left to become the CO in Nebraska, so the Panthers will have a new player to play and a new QB. Nick Patti is expected to start for the Panthers, and the senior red shirt threw 62 assists during his college career. Meanwhile, Jordon Simmons replaces Kenneth Walker. It’s not an exact science, but I think a running back is a lot easier to replace than your QB and OC – even one as good as Kenneth Walker. I’ll take the Spartans. Michigan State 31, Pitt 27 | Michigan State -2.5

# 14 Oregon vs # 16 Oklahoma

Alamo Bowl – Wednesday, December 29: How did two teams ranked so well end up in the Alamo Bowl? Well, first of all, the Alamo Bowl is a lovely game that has featured a lot of good games over the years. Secondly, it is because there is no one left on these teams. Seriously. Oklahoma lost coach Lincoln Riley to USC, and he took much of the coaching staff with him. The Sooners have also seen many players enter the transfer portal or declare themselves for the NFL Draft since, including names like QB Spencer Rattler, DL Perrion Winfrey, LB Nik Bonitto and Brian Asamoah, and WR Jadon Haselwood.

All of this would be great news for Oregon if it didn’t go through the same thing. Coach Mario Cristobal has left to take the job in Miami and offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead has been hired as head coach Akron. The Ducks have also brought a lot of players into the portal or started to prepare for the draft, so there will be a lot of new faces in important roles for this one. This means that we have two possible outcomes, regardless of who wins. Either things get silly and 100 points are scored because no one knows how to stop anyone, or it’s a nasty mess and no one can score. I would bet on the latter before the former. Oklahoma 24, Oregon 16 | Less than 60.5

Lock of the week

Tennessee vs. Purdue

Featured Game | Purdue Boilermakers vs. Tennessee Volunteers

Music City Bowl: – Thursday December 30: Opt-outs impact some teams more than others. For the best teams in the country who have racked up the best recruiting classes, it is much easier to replace key players. Well, Purdue lost his biggest weapon in attack in receiver David Bell (93 receptions, 1275 yards, 6 TD) and his most impactful player in defense in George Karlaftis (54 pressures, five sacks). These are not players that Boilermakers can easily replace.

Meanwhile, Tennessee are as close to full power as any team can get at this point in the season. Tiyon Evans has transferred to Louisville, and while the running back has been instrumental in the offense, he’s not irreplaceable. I don’t know how this Purdue defense gets enough saves without Karlaftis, and I also don’t know how the Purdue offense can follow without Bell. Tennessee 34, Purdue 20 | Tennessee -5

Optional team of the week

Air Force vs. Louisville

Featured Game | Louisville Cardinals vs. Air Force Falcons

First Responders Bowl – Tuesday, December 28: I’ve long been a champion of the Service Academy submarines when they play during the regular season, but there’s another trend involving academies that I haven’t mentioned much: they’re crushing it in the regulars. bowls games. Since 2005, the service academies have gone from 20 to 9 ATS in the bowls. They’re 0-1 this season, but while Army didn’t cover Missouri, they won instantly. Much like this game, it is a clash that the Air Force can exploit.

The Air Force ranks seventh in the country for offensive success rate and 21st for points per possession. His offense will face a Louisville defense which ranks 87th in EPA defensive rush and 105th in run success rate. The Cardinals will be successful offensive against this Falcons defense, but I don’t trust them to get as many saves as they need to win. Take the points, but don’t be surprised if the Air Force wins straight away. Air Force 28, Louisville 24 | Air Force +1.5

Revenge Game of the Week

Minnesota vs. West Virginia

Featured Game | Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

Guaranteed rate bowl – Tuesday, December 28: When Minnesota went 11-2 in 2019, their offensive coordinator was Kirk Ciarocca. Ciarocca left after the season for the same position at Penn State, but only lasted there for one season before being substituted. For the past year, he served as the Offensive Analyst for West Virginia. However, he won’t be with the Mountaineers for the bowl game.

Instead, it will call games for Minnesota!

Ciarocca recently returned to the Gophers, replacing Mike Sanford. This means Minnesota will have the same person calling the plays for this great 2019 season, and that person also has intimate knowledge of everything the Mountaineers offense does.

Oh, and West Virginia will be without RB Leddie Brown (1,065 yards rushing, 13 touchdowns, 217 receiving yards) and WR Isaiah Esdale (29 receptions, 362 yards). If all that isn’t enough, Minnesota have won their previous two bowl games under PJ Fleck. Considering Fleck is a living Red Bull box, it’s safe to assume that his side will show up ready to play. Minnesota 28, West Virginia 21 | Minnesota -5

Turtles of the week

Maryland vs. Virginia Tech

Featured Game | Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Maryland Terrapins

Pinstripe bowl – Wednesday, December 29: I try not to make a habit of betting on Maryland, especially when it’s favored, but I can’t help but do it here. I’m not even sure the parents of the Virginia Tech players will recognize the team taking the field at Yankee Stadium for this one. Justin Fuente has been fired and replaced by Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry, so he has a new coaching staff. On the player side, the Hokies will be without QB Braxton Burmeister (portal) and two top receivers in Tre Turner (NFL Draft) and Tayvion Robinson (portal). The Hokies will also be missed by starting offensive lineman Lecitus Smith. On the defensive end of the ball, they are deprived of defensive linemen Amare Barno and Jordan Williams, who have combined 57 QB presses, 9.5 TFL and 6 sacks and are now on their way to the NFL. Oh, and Jermaine Waller, who led the team with four interceptions, has also left for the NFL.

So, yes, the Hokies are missing a lot of key players. While the Terps have been injured all season, they have no known exit options to talk about. They’ll be as close to full power as you might expect, so it’s hard to imagine them not winning this game comfortably. Maryland 31, Virginia Tech 23 | Maryland -3.5

Games of the week

2-1

18-15

Lock of the week

0-0

9-6

Globally

2-1

53-40

What college football choices can you confidently make during bowl season, and which underdogs will outright win? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the gap – all from a proven computer model that has grossed nearly $ 3,600 in profits over the past five+ seasons – and find out.


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