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COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL GAME PICKS – Friday December 29th

Arizona’s win in the Alamo Bowl last night capped off a good day as we went 2-1 in our article yesterday. We’re now heading into the halfway point as far as games remaining go. After today’s four game college bowl slate, we’ll only ten more bowl games to watch and bet. But the good news is, almost all games remaining are between Power 5 schools so the best is yet to come. Let’s keep the momentum rolling into a set of solid games today.

2023 BOWL GAME RECORD: 10-6

Friday December 29th

TAXSLAYER GATOR BOWL (12:00PM EST): KENTUCKY WILDCATS +4.5 vs CLEMSON TIGERS

The Kentucky Wildcats are playing in their 8th consecutive bowl which is a program record. Over the past seven seasons under coach Mark Stoops, they are 4-3 in bowl games. And outside of the first, a 33-18 loss to Ga Tech, and last, a 21-0 loss to Iowa, they have all been decided by 7 or less. The point being here is that the Wildcats are almost always up for this game under Stoops and he plays the underdog role well.

As for Clemson, they are 11-8 in bowl games under HC Dabo Swinney. They are coming off a loss in last year’s Orange Bowl to Tennessee. And they are also dealing with several transfer and opt-outs, including leading tackler Jeremiah Trotter Jr. There is also a question of motivation as they are playing in a non Big 6 Bowl game for only the second time in eight years.

We’ve talked about three factors we always use as part of our handicapping. In this one, I believe Kentucky has two advantages which are roster continuity and motivation. But we are going to add a fourth to consider as we get later in the bowl season. And that’s conference record. The SEC has played only one game and is 0-1. But I think we all know they are the best conference in the nation. On the other hand, the ACC is now 4-5 overall with their two ranked teams losing in NC State and Louisville.

I’m going to ride the Wildcats today and take the points. QB Cade Klubnik struggled against a South Carolina team that allowed the 2nd most points in the SEC. While I don’t have a ton of faith in Kentucky QB Devin Leary, he’s played Clemson three times prior and has experience that will help in this one.

TONY THE TIGER SUN BOWL (2:00PM EST): NOTRE DAME IRISH -6 vs OREGON STATE BEAVERS

If you don’t know about my affinity for the Oregon State Beavers, you just have to look up prior YouTube videos of Betting for Breakfast. Everything that HC Jonathan Smith built in Corvallis. But he is now gone as he moved to the Big 10 and Michigan State. He’s taking with him several key players including backup QB Aidan Chiles. The Beavers are also without their starting QB DJ Uiagalelei. And without those key players, Oregon State would look to lean on RB Damien Martinez but he is ruled out due to an arrest and impending disciplinary actions.

As bad as Oregon State has it, Notre Dame may be even more shorthanded. They are without QB Sam Hartman who opted out to prepare for the NFL Draft (by the way, if you ever want to hear me rant just ask my opinion of Sam Hartman). The Irish are also without all three of their top WR’s. So they have a QB in Steve Angelini that has seven snaps this season throwing to receivers that haven’t caught more than 20 balls this year.

So this game lines up as an ugly one. The difference will likely be the defense of Notre Dame and their coaching continuity. The Fighting Irish will be motivated to get to double digit wins and their star S Xavier Watts will make enough plays to lead them to that accomplishment.

AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL (3:30 PM EST): IOWA STATE CYCLONES -10.5 vs MEMPHIS TIGERS

This spread just stands out. We have a Memphis team that is 9-3 and their only losses were to Mizzou, SMU and Tulane. Yet they are 10.5 underdogs to Iowa State who lost to Ohio? Then we look deeper and see that Memphis still has QB Seth Hanigan and WR Roc Taylor, they’re two best offensive weapons. So what gives to make this line so big? Ultimately, it’s the Tigers defense which is allowing 29 points per game. And that number would have been worse if you take away games against Bethune and Arkansas St where they allowed a combined 17 points.

The other factor is Iowa State started clicking down the stretch. They hung tough against Texas as it was a one score game heading into the 4th quarter. And they upset 19th ranked Kansas State in their finale. The Cyclones have momentum as well as the better defense. I’m going to side with the faves here and not get suckered in by the big number.

GOODYEAR COTTON BOWL (8:00 PM EST): MISSOURI TIGERS +4.5 vs OHIO STATE BUCKEYES

The Missouri Tigers had one of their best seasons in program history. They finished 10-2 with their only two losses to Georgia and LSU. They are absolutely dialed in for this one as they are fired up to test their progress against one of the blue bloods of College Football.

Now that you finished reading the NFL BETS & SURVIVOR POOL PICKS article make sure to check out our YouTube Channel for constant content for every game and slate in the NFL this season and hop in our Discord Expert Chat.

Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@dgloeck) and my other content that is part of the WinDailySports family.

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