College Football Bowl Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Bahamas, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Hawaii

Here are picks for the first 10 bowl games of the season

College football's bowl season begins on Dec. 20 with two games on tap. The postseason gets started in Nassau with the Bahamas Bowl between Buffalo and Charlotte followed by the Frisco Bowl between Utah State and Kent State. Six more games follow on Saturday, Dec. 21, highlighted by the Las Vegas Bowl between Boise State and Washington. All told, there are 10 games slated prior to Christmas Day. Here are picks against the spread for each bowl game from Dec. 20-24.

 

College Football Bowl Picks Against the Spread (ATS): Games from Dec. 20-24

 

Bahamas Bowl: Charlotte (+6.5) over Buffalo

The bowl season kicks off with a matchup of two highly respected Group of 5 coaches — up-and-comer Will Healy (who did a masterful job at Austin Peay before taking Charlotte to its first bowl game ever) and veteran Lance Leipold (who won six Division III national titles at Wisconsin-Whitewater before building Buffalo into a consistent winner in the MAC). The youngster will keep this one interesting. Buffalo 30, Charlotte 27

 

Frisco Bowl: Utah State (-7) over Kent State

Kent State's Sean Lewis, a 33-year-old Dino Babers protege, is another rising star in the coaching world. The Golden Flashes reached bowl eligibility (after back-to-back two-win seasons) by beating Ball State and Eastern Michigan in the final two games of the season. Utah State quarterback Jordan Love has announced he will enter the NFL draft but will play for the Aggies in the bowl game. Utah State 38, Kent State 27

 

New Mexico Bowl: San Diego State (-3.5) over Central Michigan

Central Michigan, like Kent State, is a rags-to-riches story from the MAC. The Chippewas, who went 1–11 a year ago, won the MAC West title in the first year under coach Jim McElwain. San Diego State has played some low-scoring games over the last stretch of the season; neither the Aztecs nor their opponent has scored more than 20 points in the last five games. San Diego State 20, Central Michigan 16

 

Cure Bowl: Georgia Southern (-5) over Liberty

The 2019 Georgia Southern Eagles will go down in history as the first team to see the new-look — and seemingly unstoppable — LSU offense. (GSU lost in Baton Rouge 55–3 in Week 1.) Liberty's '19 slate is notable for another reason: The Flames beat New Mexico State twice in a rare home-and-home in the college football ranks. Georgia Southern 37, Liberty 30

 

Boca Raton Bowl: SMU (-3) over Florida Atlantic

SMU dropped out of contention for a coveted New Year's Six bowl by losing two out of three to open November (at Memphis and at Navy), but it was still a special season for the Mustangs. Florida Atlantic is in the midst of a coaching transition, with Lane Kiffin on the way out to Ole Miss and Willie Taggart on the way in after his tenure at Florida State was cut short in Year 2. SMU 44, Florida Atlantic 27

 

Camellia Bowl: Arkansas State (-2.5) over FIU

Arkansas State is making its ninth-straight trip to the postseason. The stretch began with Hugh Freeze’s lone season in Jonesboro (2011) and continued with one-year stints by Gus Malzahn and Bryan Harsin before current coach Blake Anderson arrived in 2014. FIU was the preseason pick to win C-USA's West Division title but is limping into the bowl season with a 6–6 record after losing three of its final five games. Arkansas State 28, FIU 24

 

Las Vegas Bowl: Washington (-3.5) over Boise State

Chris Petersen will step down as the head coach at Washington after this matchup with his former school. The Huskies and Broncos last met in 2015, Petersen's second season at UW. Boise State won that game, 16–13, on the blue turf. Washington 24, Boise State 17

 

New Orleans Bowl: UAB (+18.5) over Appalachian State

Bill Clark did a great job getting UAB back to the C-USA title game in 2019, but this team was not nearly as good as his 11-win Blazers from '18. UAB was no match for Florida Atlantic in the league title game, losing 49–6 in what turned out to be Lane Kiffin's final game with the Owls. App State will be under the guidance of new coach Shawn Clark. Appalachian State 38, UAB 20

 

Gasparilla Bowl: Marshall (+17.5) over UCF

UCF won't be flying any national title banners after the 2019 season, but the Knights still won nine games and scored a ton of points (43.0 per game). Marshall went 8–4 in the regular season and has won at least eight games six times in the last seven years. UCF 41, Marshall 24

 

Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii (+2) over BYU

Hawaii opened the 2019 season with victories over Pac-12 foes Arizona and Oregon State and proceeded to win nine games and capture the West Division title of the Mountain West. BYU's rather odd season included wins over Tennessee and USC and losses to Toledo and South Florida. Hawaii 27, BYU 20

 

Championship Week: 5-5

Season: 77-70-2

 

(Top photo courtesy of Utah State Athletics)

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