BCS Bowl Game Picks
The BCS bowl games were decided after a wild championship weekend on the field in which had teams change their destination for better or worse.
The games won’t commence until the New Year, but it’s not too early to begin looking for value in the lines.
15 Central Florida Knights +16.5 vs. 6 Baylor Bears
The Central Florida Knights are the Rodney Dangerfield of the college football world: they get no respect. The team looked solid in a one-loss regular season, losing to South Carolina by only three points, and picking up a huge comeback win over Louisville, yet the team is giving away better than two touchdowns to Baylor in their bowl game.
Bryce Petty has the Baylor offense functioning at a very high level which led to many blowout wins for Baylor, but Central Florida will bring a top flight quarterback into this battle as well in the form of soon to be first-round NFL Draft pick Blake Bortles, who has led the Knights to the biggest game in the history of the program.
An outright win may be asking a little much, but there’s no question the Knights aren’t getting the respect they deserve from oddsmakers in this one.
The play: Central Florida +16.5
5 Stanford Cardinals -5 vs. 4 Michigan State Spartans
This game is probably the toughest to handicap on the BCS board. Two stellar defenses will meet in the 100th playing of the Rose Bowl.
The natural inclination is to take the points in a game where scoring will be difficult, but Stanford has proven to be very comfortable playing the Rose Bowl, and it’s hard to get a read on any Big Ten team given the state of the Conference.
The play: Pass
3 Alabama Crimson Tide -15.5 vs. 11 Oklahoma Sooners
Alabama will be hitting the field for the first time since crashing down to Earth in the Iron Bowl with a loss to Auburn. The team surely had its sight set on a third consecutive national title game, so motivation could be an issue, but don’t expect it to be with future pros like AJ McCarron on the roster, and McCarron in particular will look to put an exclamation point on his career with a statement win.
Oklahoma picked up a big win over Oklahoma State in its last game, but they’ve gotten extremely inconsistent play from their quarterbacks this year, and they could get exposed against Alabama. It hurts to give away this many points at this time of year, but Alabama’s the team to do it with.
The play: Alabama -15.5
12 Clemson Tigers +3 vs. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes
The Ohio State was close to a likely spot in the national title game before stumbling in the Big Ten title game and have now been relegated to the Orange Bowl.
As for Clemson, the team has just two losses on the year and they can hardly be faulted for either, losing to a South Carolina team that they always lose to, and running into a buzzsaw in the form of a rising Florida State team.
Guys like Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins are going to want to go out with a bang. Frankly, it feels like the Buckeyes have been playing above themselves for the better part of two years, and they’re not going to be facing a Big Ten opponent on this night, so expect them to get exposed.
The play: Clemson +3
2014 BCS Title Game Pick
2 Auburn Tigers +8 vs. 1 Florida State Seminoles
This year’s national title game is tougher to predict than it appears to be on the surface. Florida State has run through its opponents with ease, winning all of their games by 14 points or more, leading the nation in scoring defense and finishing second in scoring, but their strength of schedule left a lot to be desired.
Now they get a red hot Auburn team that feels an awful lot like a team of destiny. Gus Malzahn has made all the right decisions since joining the program, and he may have a few more tricks up his sleeve to catch the Seminoles off guard.
This number has already been bet down after opening closer to 10, so getting in on Auburn quickly isn’t a terrible idea, if that’s the side you’re riding with.
The play: Auburn +8