After a short hiatus following championship weekend, college football is back in full force! OK, maybe not full force, but there are a few bowl games this weekend to officially kick off the post-season for college football.
For some, bowl season is boring. I fully disagree. More football is always good. So let's look at this weekend's bowls and get some help from the people over at Best Online Sportsbooks for tips on what could be interesting in the opening slate of games.
NEW ORLEANS BOWL
COMPARE: Troy vs. North Texas
WHEN: Dec. 16, 2017; 1 p.m. ET
WHERE: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
ODDS: Troy -7, O/U 62
The highlight of this matchup is a Troy team that took down LSU earlier this year and is looking to add to its 10-2 record on the season. North Texas is looking to get to double-digit wins on the season (they're 9-4 on the year)
Best Online Sportsbooks points out that North Texas is 8-5 against the spread while Troy is just 5-7 ATS, so the 7-point favorite Trojans could be in for a close one.
COMPARE: Georgia State vs. Western Kentucky
WHEN: Dec. 16, 2017; 2:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida
TV: CBS Sports Network
ODDS: Western Kentucky -6.5, O/U 51.5
The draw of this game is definitely a couple of offensive players sure to get a shot in the NFL. Western Kentucky QB Mike White is a potential late-round draft pick in 2018, but a surefire free agent pickup. He's thrown for more than 10,000 yards and over 70 touchdowns at WKU.
On the other side, Penny Hart is a name to remember for Georgia State. The wide receiver is small — 5-foot-8, 180 pounds — but he's a big-time playmaker. The sophomore caught 73 passes for 1,094 yards and scored 8 touchdowns this year. Think along the lines of Tyreek Hill. It should be a fun one.
LAS VEGAS BOWL
COMPARE: Oregon vs. No. 25 Boise State
WHEN: Dec. 16, 2017; 3:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada
ODDS: Oregon -8.5, O/U 59.5
Arguably the marquee matchup of opening day, the Oregon Ducks will be the first Power-5 school to take the field in bowl season. While Oregon is more than a touchdown favorite, Best Online Sportsbooks tells us Boise State has gone 8-5 against the spread this season (Oregon is 6-6 ATS). Keep an eye on those Broncos.
NEW MEXICO BOWL
COMPARE: Marshall vs. Colorado State
WHEN: Dec. 16, 2017; 4:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: Branch Field at Dreamstyle Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
ODDS: Colorado State -5.5, O/U 58
Michael Gallup is the reason to tune into this matchup as bowl games commence. The Colorado State wide receiver flashes a ton of NFL talent — you'll see him on Sundays. And while the Rams have the biggest name in the game, it's the Thundering Herd you might want to keep an eye on. Best Online Sportsbooks says Marshall is 8-4 against the spread this year and Colorado State is just 4-8 ATS.
COMPARE: Middle Tennessee vs. Arkansas State
WHEN: Dec. 16, 2017; 8 p.m. ET
WHERE: Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, Alabama
ODDS: Arkansas State -3.5, O/U 62
The Camellia Bowl features an absolute stud on the defensive side of the ball in Arkansas State linebacker JaVon Rolland-Jones, who will definitely hear his name called in the NFL Draft. Middle Tennessee, meanwhile, has an explosive offense that's hopefully back to full strength after several players missed time this season. This should be a great matchup between a powerful offense and strong defense.