Welcome to one of the busiest days of bowl season.
Strap in for a five-game, 13-hour marathon that begins in Birmingham, ends in Phoenix and has stops in Dallas, Memphis and San Diego.
Tuesday marks the introduction of mostly Power Five matchups. The SEC will try to get into the postseason win column through Auburn and Mississippi State.
The ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 make their entrances into bowl season on Tuesday as well. The best of the power-conference showdowns comes from the Holiday Bowl, where UCLA and NC State are expected to play in a high-scoring affair.
Houston and Air Force carry the flags for the Group of Five on Tuesday. The Cougars are better positioned to defeat their power conference foe because of their high-powered offense.
Below is a pick and breakdown for each of Tuesday's five bowl games. Let's see if I can keep the winning picks going after a strong last few days.
Tuesday Bowl Picks
Overall Record: 117-97 (12-8 Bowl Record)
Houston vs. Auburn (Over 49.5)
Houston and Auburn both average over 400 total yards per game.
Houston has the better scoring offense and it should have more motivation to win the Birmingham Bowl with a more in-tact unit.
Auburn had quarterback Bo Nix transfer to Oregon and the last time we saw T.J. Finley he was limping through an upset bid against Alabama.
Both teams have fantastic running backs in Alton McCaskill and Tank Bigsby. Houston’s McCaskill could be one of the breakout stars of 2022. He ran for 16 touchdowns in his freshman season.
Houston is 8-5 to the over and Auburn gave up some of its highest concessions to pass-heavy offenses. The Tigers conceded 43 points to Mississippi State and 20 to Ole Miss.
All we need for the over to hit is for both teams to score in the mid-20s, which is possible with Houston’s offense and a healthier Finley under center for Auburn.
First Responder Bowl
Air Force vs. Louisville (-110)
This pick comes down to the team with the best player.
Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham is one of the top playmakers in college football and his speed should be too much for Air Force to handle.
Sure, the Air Force triple option will give Louisville fits, but the Falcons may be shocked by the Power Five talent it opposes in the First Responder Bowl.
Air Force did not play a Power Five team in nonconference play and its two Mountain West losses came against the two participants of the Mountain West Championship Game.
Mississippi State (-10) vs. Texas Tech
Mike Leach is out for blood.
The Mississippi State head coach still holds a grudge against Texas Tech for his departure and he is in charge of the much better team in the Liberty Bowl.
Texas Tech is in a transitional phase between head coaches and its top wide receiver opted out of the bowl game.
The Red Raiders have had a revolving door at quarterback and they lost four of their last five games.
Will Rogers and the Mississippi State passing attack should have its way with a Texas Tech team that is waiting for next season.
UCLA vs. NC State (Over 60)
The Holiday Bowl is easily the best game on the Tuesday slate.
UCLA and NC State could be involved in a back-and-forth showdown with Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Devin Leary in starring roles.
Thompson-Robinson is looking to go out with a strong performance. UCLA brought in UCF transfer Dillon Gabriel to play quarterback next season.
Leary has potential to be one of the top quarterbacks in the FBS next season and he leads a dynamic NC State passing offense that has a handful of quality wide receivers.
NC State hit the over in its last three games and UCLA went 4-1 to the over to finish the regular season.
Both sides can easily hit the 30-point mark to clear the over inside Petco Park.
Guaranteed Rate Bowl
West Virginia vs. Minnesota (-5)
Do not look to the Guaranteed Rate Bowl for points.
West Virginia needed close wins over Texas and Kansas to become bowl eligible and it will be without leading rusher Leddie Brown due to an opt-out.
Minnesota has a much better defense than West Virginia. The Golden Gophers concede 18.3 points and 284.8 total yards per game.
P.J. Fleck’s side is the better team and its defense should cause fits to Jarret Doege and the remaining stars in the WVU offense.