Purdue vs. LSU -14.5 (Citrus Bowl)
The choice: LSU -14.5
Thin: Purdue sixth-year senior quarterback Aidan O’Connell’s Citrus Bowl pick pushed this streak into double digits earlier this month, along with the announcement that he will play LSU signal-caller Jayden Daniels in the Tigers’ final game. To be fair, Purdue has a new coaching staff and the bowl game is the last thing on the agenda for the Boilermakers this month, and it feels as if that could happen in Orlando.
Oklahoma vs. Florida State -9.5 (Cheez-It Bowl)
The choice: Florida State -9.5
Thin: The crowd shows the level of respect Mike Norvell’s Seminoles have for his first season with a 5-game winning streak. Oklahoma’s defense has struggled mightily this season against above-average punts, and Jordan Travis fits that moniker. Florida State should capitalize on this as bigger and better things in Orlando in 2023.
Washington vs. Texas -3.5 (Alamo Bowl)
The choice: Washington +3.5
ThinI favored Washington by +6 when this game opened and I still like the Huskies to score 3.5 points in San Antonio. This is a 10-win team that finished the campaign on a six-game winning streak. In fact, you could make an argument that the Huskies were the best team in the Pac-12, even with the Utah Braves in the league title game. Here’s a look at 2023 Heisman candidate Michael Penix for the Huskies. Texas will be without two of its best playmakers, including wide receiver Bijan Robinson.
South Carolina vs. Notre Dame -2.5 (Gator Bowl)
The choice: South Carolina +2.5
ThinHe finished the regular season with a top-10 tournament win for the first time in program history. Portal departures earlier this month temporarily concluded another important recruiting cycle for the Gamecocks, who signed a top-20 class including 14 four-star recruits. Will this be Spencer Rattler’s last game at South Carolina? The Rattlers, along with WR1 Juice Wells, are expected to announce their 2023 targets when this is over.
Tulane vs. USC -1.5 (cotton plate)
The choice: USC -1.5
Thin: I wouldn’t guarantee against USC after the loss to Utah in the Pac-12 Finals. This could be an official game later this month if the lineup continues as it is now. I think both teams will be motivated, so there is no worry in that regard. Tulane can move the football against the Trojans, but I don’t think the Green Wave can stop the USC attack. This should be fun at AT&T Stadium.
Penn State vs. Utah -2.5 (Rose Bowl)
The choice: Penn State +2.5
Thin: With so many picks for the Utes, this is the Nittany Lions tilt all the way. Penn State has been one of the most consistent teams in the country all year, and their losses have come against two playoff teams. Can Utah summon some of the momentum it gained in the second half of last season’s win over USC? It’s hard to say. Coming into this game last season helps, but Penn State has the home ground advantage in what I think will be the most physical affair under the sun in Pasadena.
Kansas State vs. Alabama -6.5 (Sugar Bowl)
The choiceAlabama -6.5
ThinStarting with Crimson Tide star Will Anderson Jr., that streak almost ended with a field goal against Alabama. And Bryce Young announced they will be playing in the final game. With that, knowing the Crimson Tide are motivated by this Big 12 championship, I’m going to change course and cover Alabama. Kansas State should be able to match its opponent’s physicality, but these rosters aren’t competitive in terms of talent when both teams play with a full deck.
Tennessee at Clemson -5.5 (Orange Bowl)
The choice: Tennessee +5.5
Thin: To my surprise, I wrote two weeks ago. The line was almost a touch in Clemson’s favor and now, it’s moved up a bit to 5.5. He’s showing a lot of respect for the Tigers and Cade Klubnick, who will be making his first start at quarterback. Meanwhile, Tennessee will play its first game without starter Alex Golesh and nowhere near a full lineup. This could be one of the tougher games because of motivation and the Vols had plenty of reasons to drink for this season considering what happened in the awards season.
TCU vs. Michigan -7.5 (CFB playoff, Fiesta Bowl)
The choice: Michigan -7.5
Thin: Not enough points here to take the Horned Frogs. Michigan is on a mission and plays a brand of football that isn’t conducive to TCU’s upset unless Sonny Dykes’ team gets there and can handle the body and energy. Duggan needs to carry TCU in this one to make things interesting in the fourth quarter, but the more likely scenario is Michigan rushing for 300-plus and moving into the final.
Ohio State vs. Georgia -6.5 (CFB Playoff, Peach Bowl)
The choice: Georgia -6.5
Thin: This is one of my top plays for the bowl season, so I’m going to put it this way, it’s time to hammer Georgia before this line goes by a touchdown. I think the Bulldogs are clearly the more physical team and I’m not sure if Ohio State can match that intensity on the line of scrimmage. The only way the Buckeyes can cover this game and possibly advance to the playoffs is if CJ Stroud puts in a Herculean performance against a top defense. I don’t see it happening. Like most playoff games, this one won’t be particularly close.