Follow me on twitter @jasonbelschner. All the lines are on BookMaker.eu.
Sugar Bowl: #3 Ohio State vs. #2 Clemson
I’m going to say it right from the start. Ohio State does not deserve to be in the playoff. They didn’t deserve to play in the Big 10 championship. They only have six wins on the season. I’d rather see Texas A&M or Cincinnati in this spot; however, they get the spot even if they didn’t earn it. At least this game will feature two of the best quarterbacks in college football with Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence. These guys are both potential top 10 picks in next years draft. Clemson’s lone loss came when Lawrence was out of the lineup against Notre Dame. That was also the only game that they were even challenged.
PICK: CLEMSON -7.5 OVER 66.5
Citrus Bowl: Auburn vs. #14 Northwestern
In an interesting turn of events, Bryan Harsin has been named the new head coach of the Auburn. Harsin is replacing Gus Malzahn for the second time. When Malzahn left Arkansas State, it was Harsin who replaced him there. This doesn’t overly matter for this game since Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele is coaching Auburn in this game. Despite their bad season, I was half tempted to take Auburn, but then I came to my senses. Northwestern has something to prove and beating a perennial powerhouse from the SEC is a good way to do it. They want this win.
PICK: NORTHWESTERN -4 OVER 43.5
ROSE BOWL: #4 Notre Dame vs. #1 Alabama
In a truly 2020 statement, the Rose Bowl will not be played in the Rose Bowl this year. The game will be played at AT&T Stadium in Texas. I don’t believe Notre Dame has a chance in this game. They were just dominated by Clemson in the ACC Championship game. Sure, they beat the Tigers earlier in the season, but that was without Trevor Lawrence. Alabama will easily pull off the win to cause yet another Clemson/Alabama national championship game. With that said, 20 points is way too many for Alabama to be giving up. I think the Irish will keep it closer than that.
PICK: NOTRE DAME +20 UNDER 65.5
Peach Bowl: #9 Georgia vs. #8 Cincinnati
I would have liked to see Cincinnati in the playoff. When they pull off this win against Georgia, it will be like UCF a couple of years ago. And yes, I whole heartedly believe that Cincy will win. This is a situation that plays out every year in one bowl or another. A quality program misses out on a major post season bid, so they have nothing to play for. This game means nothing for the Bulldogs. It is the national championship for Cincinnati. This is their chance to prove that they belonged in the playoff. They will come out full throttle for the win.
PICK: CINCINNATI +7 OVER 51.5
Orange Bowl: #5 Texas A&M vs. #13 North Carolina
I’ll be interested to see how the Aggies come out and play in this game. This could be a situation like the Peach Bowl, but I don’t think Jimbo Fisher will let his team be unprepared for this game. This is Fisher’s best season as A&M’s coach. They had a surprisingly easy SEC schedule this year. Outside of the Florida and Alabama games, their schedule was pretty easy. It didn’t look they way in the beginning of the season. North Carolina has been overrated all season. Sam Howell didn’t quite make that jump that was expected of him. Howell put together a solid season, but it wasn’t that different from last year. That lack of progression will keep his team from competing in this game.
PICK: TEXAS A&M -7.5 OVER 65.5
Fiesta Bowl: #25 Oregon vs. #10 Iowa State
I don’t know why, but I’m not really interested in this game. Oregon is rarely a team I get excited for, so that is probably part of it. Also, I think Iowa State is a much better team than Oregon. The Ducks are ranked on name alone. This is a 4-2 team that lost to two unranked team. They did get the win in the PAC-12 Championship over USC for what that is worth. Iowa State should handle this game pretty easily.
PICK: IOWA STATE -4 UNDER 58
Outback Bowl: Ole Miss vs. #11 Indiana
How much disrespect can one team get on one season? First, they put together a great season only to have their starting quarterback get hurt; however, they still got a win against Wisconsin without him. Then the Big 10 changed their rules to let Ohio State play in the championship game without having enough games in which left Indiana out. Now, they get a crap bowl game against a bad SEC school. This is a slap in the face of one of the best stories of the college football season.
PICK: INDIANA -8.5 UNDER 65
Taxslayer Bowl: #23 North Carolina State vs. Kentucky
North Carolina State was the only team to solve the Liberty puzzle this year, but it wasn’t a big victory. It was enough for them to sneak into the top 25. In this weird season, it might be understandable. I still like Kentucky in this game. Their defense will shut down NC State even if their offense can’t score many points.
PICK: KENTUCKY -2.5 UNDER 48.5