The Otter Room’s Week One Bowl Picks

Finished the season with 89-88-6 record. Bowl week is gonna make or break us. Stay tuned for some rare NFL picks at the bottom – the board is tempting.

North Texas vs. Troy (-6.5): R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

The Mean Green took advantage of being in the far weaker division of Conference USA, while Troy was one of the best Group of Five teams this season including a program-defining win at LSU.

Georgia State vs. Western Kentucky (+6.5): AutoNation Cure Bowl

Both teams limped down the stretch. The Panthers dropped their last two games at home, while Western Kentucky sat at 5-2 in October before losing four of their last five games. However, I trust Mike Sanford as an underdog.

Oregon (-6.5) vs. #24 Boise State: Las Vegas Bowl

Generally I go against teams in the midst of a coaching change for bowl games, but the Ducks have superior athletes to Boise State and while the Broncos managed to put together a 10-win campaign, their offense was anemic at times this season.

Marshall vs. Colorado State (-4) O/U: 57.5 – OVER: Gildan New Mexico Bowl

The Rams have shown a potent offense this season and the ability to hang with elite teams (they put up a better fight than most teams did at Alabama). Marshall played in an inferior conference and does not have the defensive personnel to hold CSU down.

SMU vs. Louisiana Tech (+5): DXL Frisco Bowl

The Mustangs have to deal with the sting of losing Chad Morris and there is often a more significant downgrade with a group of five school loses their coach and has to settle for an interim in the bowl game. La Tech finished the season winning three of their last five games to earn a bowl berth.

Florida International (+7.5) vs. Temple: Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl

In the greatest name to a bowl game ever, FIU is coming off one of the best seasons in program history. Butch Jones was able to rally the Panthers to an eight-win season, while Temple took a step back this year with just six wins.

USF (-2) vs. Texas Tech – O/U: 67.5 – OVER: Birmingham Bowl

In his last game in a Bulls uniform, look for Quinton Flowers to tear up the Texas Tech defense in a shootout in Birmingham.

Toledo (-8) vs. Appalachian State – O/U: 62 – OVER: Dollar General Bowl

The Rockets dominated the MAC this season and possess one of the best offense of any group of five school. Toledo won nine straight to finish the season and look for them to put up major points against the Mountaineer defense.

Houston vs. Fresno State (+2.5): Hawaii Bowl

Jeff Tedford put together one of the best coaching jobs in the country in his first season at the helm for the Bulldogs. Houston won eight games, but is not at the same level as some of the Tom Herman teams of recent years.

Missouri vs. Texas (+3): Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl

With the layoff between the last game and a bowl, superior coaches make all the difference. I am taking Tom Herman to out-scheme Barry Odom and use this win to springboard the Longhorns into 2018.

NFL PICKS:

Normally, I don’t pick the NFL, but the board is tantalizing, which probably means it’s a trap.

Chiefs (+1) vs. Chargers

Bills (-3) vs. Dolphins

Panthers (-3) vs. Packers

Jaguars vs. Texans (+11)

Vikings vs. Bengals (+11)

Saints vs. Jets (+16)

Giants (+7.5) vs. Eagles

Seahawks (-2) vs. Rams

Buccaneers (+7) vs. Falcons

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