College Football Bowl Picks 2019: Schedule and Predictions for Upcoming Action

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 25, 2019

Washington State quarterback Anthony Gordon (18) throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Stanford in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Young Kwak/Associated Press

From December 26 to January 2, there will be at least two College Bowl games played every day with the exception of December 29, which is reserved for NFL Week 17. 

In the first 10 FBS bowl games so far, betting underdogs have covered the spread or won the game outright. 

If you believe that trend will stay alive, there are a few intriguing programs to keep an eye on before the College Football Playoff begins. 


College Football Playoff

Peach Bowl (Dec. 28)No. 1 LSU  (-13.5) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (4 p.m.) 

Fiesta Bowl (Dec. 28)No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson (-2) (8 p.m. ET) 


New Year's Six

Cotton Bowl (Dec. 28): Memphis vs. Penn State (-7) (noon, ESPN)

Orange Bowl (Dec. 30): Florida (-14.5) vs. Virginia (8 p.m., ESPN)

Rose Bowl (Jan. 1): Wisconsin (-3) vs. Oregon (5 p.m., ESPN) 

Sugar Bowl (Jan. 1): Georgia (-6) vs. Baylor (8:45 p.m., ESPN)


Other Bowls

Independence Bowl (Dec. 26): Miami (-6) vs. Louisiana Tech (4 p.m., ESPN)

Quick Lane Bowl (Dec. 26): Pittsburgh (-11) vs. Eastern Michigan (8 p.m., ESPN)

Military Bowl (Dec. 27): North Carolina (-5) vs. Temple (noon, ESPN)

Pinstripe Bowl (Dec. 27): Wake Forest vs. Michigan State (-3.5) (3:20 p.m., ESPN)

Texas Bowl (Dec. 27): Texas A&M (-6.5) vs. Oklahoma State (6:45 p.m., ESPN)

Holiday Bowl (Dec. 27): USC vs. Iowa (-2) (8 p.m., FS1)

Cheez-It Bowl (Dec. 27): Washington State vs. Air Force (-3) (10:15 p.m., ESPN)

Camping World Bowl (Dec. 28): Notre Dame (-4) vs. Iowa State (noon, ABC)

First Responder Bowl (Dec. 30): Western Kentucky (-3.5) vs. Western Michigan (12:30 p.m., ESPN)

Music City Bowl (Dec. 30): Mississippi State (-4) vs. Louisville (4 p.m., ESPN)

Redbox Bowl (Dec. 30): California (-6.5) vs. Illinois (4 p.m., Fox)

Belk Bowl (Dec. 31): Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech (-2.5) (noon, ESPN)

Sun Bowl (Dec. 31): Florida State vs. Arizona State (-4) (2 p.m., CBS)

Liberty Bowl (Dec. 31): Navy (-2) vs. Kansas State (3:45 p.m.. ESPN)

Arizona Bowl (Dec. 31): Wyoming (-7) vs. Georgia State (4:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network)

Alamo Bowl (Dec. 31): Utah (-7) vs. Texas (7:30 p.m., ESPN)

Citrus Bowl (Jan. 1): Alabama (-7) vs. Michigan (1 p.m., ABC)

Outback Bowl (Jan. 1): Auburn (-7.5) vs. Minnesota (1 p.m., ESPN)

Birmingham Bowl (Jan. 2): Boston College vs. Cincinnati (-7) (3 p.m., ESPN)

Gator Bowl (Jan. 2): Tennessee (-1.5) vs. Indiana (7 p.m., ESPN)

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Jan. 3): Ohio (-8) vs. Nevada (3:30 p.m., ESPN)

Armed Forces Bowl (Jan. 4): Tulane (-7) vs. Southern Miss (11:30 a.m., ESPN)

LendingTree Bowl (Jan. 6): Louisiana (-14) vs. Miami (Ohio) (7:30 p.m., ESPN)

All times ET. Odds via Caesars; predictions against the spread in bold.



North Carolina vs. Temple (+5) 

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 28: Quincy Roche #90 of the Temple Owls reacts in front of Jared Southers #70 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Lincoln Financial Field on September 28, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Temple Owls defated the Georg
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Temple Owls held three of their November opponents under 20 points, and in their last two wins, the American Athletic Conference side produced 78 points. 

Temple's defense faces a tough challenge in the Military Bowl against North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell, but its interior linemen should be able to put the freshman under pressure for 60 minutes. 

Quincy Roche, who has 13 sacks, leads a group of four Owls defensive linemen with at least four sacks. Roche also has six passes defended and a forced fumble. Howell has been taken down on 36 occasions, including eight in his final two ACC games versus the Pittsburgh Panthers and NC State Wolfpack. 

If Temple crowds the pocket early, it could force the first-year quarterback into a few bad decisions, or throwaways that lead to punts. That could set up Anthony Russo for success versus UNC's defense. He is coming off three straight 200-yard outings and had three scores against the UConn Huskies in the regular-season finale. 

Three of North Carolina's last four wins were by four points or fewer, which is significant for Friday's spread. Even if Howell leads Mack Brown's team to victory, Temple could remain close and cover the spread as a five-point underdog. 


Washington State (+3) vs. Air Force

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 29: Anthony Gordon #18 of the Washington State Cougars throws the ball against the Washington Huskies in the fourth quarter during their game at Husky Stadium on November 29, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr
Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Washington State Cougars are one of eight FBS programs that average over 500 total yards per game. 

The big difference between Mike Leach's side and the other seven in that category is a majority of that total comes through the air. Washington State leads the FBS with 444.3 passing yards per contest, and quarterback Anthony Gordon has recorded 5,228 passing yards and 45 touchdowns. 

In five of their six wins, the Cougars eclipsed 40 points, and there is a chance that occurs in the Cheez-It Bowl versus an Air Force Falcons defense that allows 208.1 passing yards per game. 

The Pac-12 squad could struggle with Air Force's offensive strength, as it allows 170 rushing yards per contest and The Falcons are one of three service academies at the top of the rushing offense stats, with 292.5 rushing yards per game

If both teams fail to stop what the opposing offense is best at, the Friday night clash should be a tight affair. 

If it comes down to scoring fast in the fourth quarter, Washington State has the advantage because of its Air Raid offense. That would extend the recent trend in Washington State bowl games, as four of the last five have been decided by one possession. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.