CFB Bowl Picks: Take UCF, Hawai'i Bowl Over

We've reached the seasonal lull for bowl games.

We are coming down off the high of the six-game Saturday to open the postseason slate and we are a few days away from the power-five teams rapidly invading our television screens for 10-12 hours per day.

Bowl season has taught us a few things so far. Underdogs and Overs are the way to go. Underdogs are 7-5 against the spread and Overs are 9-3.

So of course I'm running it back with those trends for two of the next four bowl games.

UCF is one of the largest dogs left on the board and the Knights might be the most profitable. They have everything to play for against Florida and they get the Gators at the absolute perfect time in the Gasparilla Bowl.

The best over from the next few days comes from the Hawai'i Bowl, which is the best way to get away from your in-laws on Christmas Eve.

Memphis and Hawai'i both give up over 400 total yards per game and the total is set at a very attainable number.

Below are my best bets for the next four bowl games. That takes us up to Christmas Day. The bowl picks for next week's smorgasbord will come in different posts.

CFB Bowl Picks

Overall Record: 113-96 (8-7 Bowl Record)

Frisco Football Classic

North Texas vs. Miami (Ohio) (-2.5) (Over 56.5) (Thursday, 3:30 p.m. ET)

Here's what I know about the Frisco Football Classic.

The NCAA created this bowl game to make sure all of the 84 bowl eligible teams could play in a postseason game.

The MAC comes into Thursday with a 0-4 straight-up record in bowl games. The last two losses suffered by Kent State and Eastern Michigan were by double figures.

I also know that teams who run the ball well have had success in bowl season. Use Wyoming for example and how Levi Williams tore apart the Kent State defense.

With all that being said, my pick should be North Texas.


Give me the RedHawks of Miami (Ohio) to end the MAC bowl drought.

Miami was one win away from the MAC Championship Game and it has a slightly better defense than the Mean Green.

The RedHawks also have the best player on the field in wide receiver Jack Sorensen, who catches passes from Brett Gabbert. Yes, that's the younger brother of Blaine Gabbert.

I do think Miami wins in a high-scoring affair since both offenses average over 425 yards per game and the defenses concede more than 375 yards per contest.

Gasparilla Bowl

UCF (+7) at Florida (Thursday, 7 p.m. ET)

How can you not love UCF in this spot?

Florida has been grossly overvalued throughout the season and that is evident again for the Gasparilla Bowl.

UCF has everything to play for. A win over a power-five in-state rival counts no matter what the opponent is going through.

Florida already had its leading tackler enter the transfer portal and quarterback Emory Jones is an awkward spot playing in his last game for the Gators before he hops in the portal.

UCF and Florida will be playing in front of a sold-out crowd in Tampa and most of the fans should be dressed in UCF's gold and black.

I considered the Knights on the money line, but I'm content with taking them to cover as a touchdown underdog.

Hawai'i Bowl

Memphis vs. Hawai'i (Over 54.5) (Friday, 8 p.m. ET)

The purpose of the Hawai'i Bowl is to keep you away from your annoying in-laws on Christmas Eve.

You have more reason to avoid them if a high-scoring game is on your television screen and that's what you typically get in the Hawai'i Bowl.

The winner of the last eight Hawai'i Bowls had at least 30 points. Three of the last four bowl games played on the island had more than 55 points.

Memphis and Hawai'i have the perfect defenses to aid the over. They both concede over 400 total yards per game.

If the Over hits too early in the game for you, just bet the live total for the extra excuse not to have conversation with anyone in your family.

Camellia Bowl

Georgia State (-5.5) vs. Ball State (Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET)

Small rant here.

A bowl game should not be played on Christmas Day.

Every bowl game should be celebrated in its unique time slot and it stinks that the Camellia Bowl will be jammed in on Christmas Day beneath the NBA and two NFL games. No one is going to talk about it.

The game itself might not be worth talking about if Georgia State has its way with Ball State. The Panthers are 8-4 against the spread this season and five of their last six wins were by seven or more points.

Ball State suffered all six of its losses to bowl qualifiers. The Cardinals lost five of those games by a touchdown or more. They scored more than 20 points once in those defeats.

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