Bowl Games 2015-16: Latest Odds, Predictions for Entire Schedule

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2015

Michigan State's LJ Scott (3) runs for a 1-yard touchdown during the second half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, in Indianapolis. Michigan State won 16-13. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

All eyes will be on the Orange Bowl and the Cotton Bowl when the national semifinals take place December 31. 

These two games, featuring Michigan State and Alabama in the Cotton Bowl and Oklahoma and undefeated Clemson in the Orange Bowl, should both be stellar matchups, and two of the highlights of the bowl season.

Once again, college football fans will have a plethora of interconference matchups to consider for their handicapping pleasure. Longtime college football bettors realize that some of the more obscure bowls may actually present the best betting opportunities, while some of the bigger matchups may just be too difficult to come up with a winner.

Nevertheless, we will offer picks on all 40 bowl games and go into detail on two of them.

2015 College Football Bowl Schedule
Bowl GameDateMatchupLineSelection
New Mexico BowlDec. 19Arizona vs. New MexicoArizona -11.5New Mexico
Las Vegas BowlDec. 19BYU vs. UtahUtah -3Utah
Camellia BowlDec. 19Ohio vs. Appalachian StateAppalachian State -9Appalachian State
Cure BowlDec. 19San Jose State vs. Georgia StateSan Jose State -4San Jose state
New Orleans BowlDec. 19Arkansas State vs. Louisiana TechArkansas State -1Louisiana State
Miami Beach BowlDec. 21Western Kentucky vs. South FloridaWestern Kentucky -3Western Kentucky
Famous Idaho Potato BowlDec. 22Akron vs. Utah StateUtah State -6.5Utah State
Boca Raton BowlDec. 22Toledo vs. TempleTemple -1Toledo
Poinsettia BowlDec. 23Boise State vs. Northern IllinoisBoise State -8Northern Illinois
GoDaddy BowlDec. 23Georgia Southern vs. Bowling GreenBowling Green -7Georgia Southenr
Popeyes Bahamas BowlDec. 24Middle Tennessee vs. Western MichiganWestern Michigan -3Western Michigan
Hawai'i BowlDec. 24San Diego State vs. CincinnatiCincinnati -1San Diego State
St. Petersburg BowlDec. 26Connecticut vs. MarshallMarshall -4.5Marshall
Sun BowlDec. 26Miami vs. Washington StateWashington State -1.5Washington State
Heart of Dallas BowlDec. 26Washington vs. Southern MissWashington -8.5Southern Miss
Pinstripe BowlDec. 26Indiana vs. DukeIndiana -2Duke
Independence BowlDec. 26Tulsa vs. Virginia TechVirginia Tech -15Tulsa
Foster Farms BowlDec. 26UCLA vs. NebraskaUCLA -6.5UCLA
Military BowlDec. 28Pitt vs. NavyNavy -5Navy
Quick Lane BowlDec. 28Central Michigan vs. MinnesotaMinnesota -6Minnesota
Armed Forces BowlDec. 29Air Force vs. CaliforniaCalifornia -6.5Air Force
Russell Athletic BowlDec. 29North Carolina vs. BaylorBaylor -3.5North Carolina
Arizona BowlDec. 29Nevada vs. Colorado StateColorado State -3.5Colorado State
Texas BowlDec. 29LSU vs. Texas TechLSU -7.5LSU
Birmingham BowlDec. 30Auburn vs. MemphisAuburn -2.5Memphis
Belk BowlDec. 30NC State vs. Mississippi StateMississippi State -7North Carolina State
Music City BowlDec. 30Texas A&M vs. LouisvilleTexas A&M -2.5Louisville
Holiday BowlDec. 30USC vs. WisconsinUSC -3USC
Peach BowlDec. 31Houston vs. Florida StateFlorida State -7Houston
Orange BowlDec. 31Oklahoma vs. ClemsonOklahoma -3Clemson
Cotton Bowl ClassicDec. 31Michigan State vs. AlabamaAlabama -9.5Michigan State
Outback BowlJan. 1Northwestern vs. TennesseeTennessee -9Northwestern
Citrus BowlJan. 1Michigan vs. FloridaMichigan -3.5Michigan
Fiesta BowlJan. 1Notre Dame vs. Ohio StateOhio State -6.5Notre Dame
Rose BowlJan. 1Iowa vs. StanfordStanford -6.5Iowa
Sugar BowlJan. 1Oklahoma State vs. Ole MissOklahoma State -7Ole Miss
Taxslayer BowlJan. 2Penn State vs. GeorgiaGeorgia -7Georgia
Liberty BowlJan. 2Kansas State vs. ArkansasArkansas -13Kansas State
Alamo BowlJan. 2Oregon vs. TCUTCU -2Oregon
Cactus BowlJan. 2West Virginia vs. Arizona StateArizona State -2.5Arizona State
Vegas Insider; Silverman selections

Texas Bowl

LSU vs. Texas Tech

Just a little over a week ago, Les Miles was supposed to be on his way out at LSU. However, he led his team to a 19-7 win over Texas A&M in the regular-season finale, and that was apparently enough to save his job.

That's good news for the Tigers, who should be in a positive state when they take on Texas Tech as 7.5-point favorites, according to Vegas Insider

The Tigers are going to unleash running back Leonard Fournette on the Red Raiders, and he should have a huge day against Texas Tech's soft defense. Fournette rushed for 1,741 yards an 18 TDs this year, while averaging 6.4 yards per carry.

Quarterback Brandon Harris is not a star, but he threw for 1,904 yards with a 12-5 TD-interception ratio.

Texas Tech is led by big-play quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who threw for 4,283 yards while firing 32 TD passes. Wide receiver Jakeem Grant caught 80-1,143-7 and was his No. 1 receiver.

The Red Raiders have the firepower to stay in this game for more than 30 minutes, but look for the Tigers to play some defense in the second half and pull away for a 45-31 victory.

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 5: Running back Derrick Henry #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates with running back Kenyan Drake #17 of the Alabama Crimson Tides after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the Florida Gators during the SEC Championship
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Cotton Bowl

Michigan State vs. Alabama

The Michigan State Spartans earned their way into the national semifinals by playing a remarkably tough schedule and managing to win all of their most demanding games.

The Spartans opened the season with a key victory over Oregon, and then found a way to beat Big Ten rivals Michigan and Ohio State on the road. While they needed quite a bit of good fortune to beat the Wolverines on a final-play, special-teams mishap by the Wolverines, they outplayed the Buckeyes in Columbus.

The Spartans also won the Big Ten Championship Game over Iowa in dramatic fashion with a game-winning, 22-play TD drive.

The Spartans have a big-play passing game with quarterback Connor Cook, who threw for 2,921 yards with a 24-5 TD-interception ratio. However, he appeared to be limited by his late-season shoulder injury in the win over Iowa.

Wide receiver Aaron Burbridge excels at making the tough catch in traffic, while Macgarrett Kings and R.J. Shelton are also solid targets. Running backs LJ Scott, Gerald Holmes and Madre London are capable of sapping the will from opposing defenses.

Alabama is all about strength, power and hard-hitting play. The Florida Gators were able to contain Alabama for most of the first half in the SEC Championships Game, but Alabama took the game over over in the second half with running back Derrick Henry doing most of the damage.

Henry ran past legendary running back Herschel Walker this season, and he has gained 1,986 yards which makes him a solid Heisman candidate. Quarterback Jake Coker has emerged as an excellent quarterback for head coach Nick Saban. In addition to throwing for 2,489 yards and completing 65.7 percent of his passes, Coker has thrown 24 TD passes.

This will be an epic battle between two hard-hitting and physical football teams. This game will be about effective blocking and tackling, and not about deception.

Give the slightest of edges to Alabama, and they should come away with a 24-21 victory. That means Michigan State should easily cover the 9.5-point spread.


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