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Home / Articles / Mike Handzelek's College Bowls - 3rd Installment Analysis/Review

Mike Handzelek's College Bowls - 3rd Installment Analysis/Review

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Jan 3, 2020
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Thursday, January 02, 2020 Tennessee vs. Indiana (NCAAF) - 7:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 2.5/-110 Indiana Rating 8* Mushes Nightmare Late Steam (WIN) All the mushes are piling, yes that's right, PILING tickets & overall money that's come in late on the Volunteers. There's only 1 problem. The Hoosiers are MORE excited than Tennessee to be here! Remember, this is their FIRST winning record in the Big Ten in the last 26 years! For this one, the mushes under-estimated the abrupted chemistry for Tennessee when starting center Brandon Kennedy missed several practices this past week. Adding to the mix is leading Vols' WR (57 receptions, 8 TD's) Jajuan Johnson is suspended for the first half for stepping on a player's face on the sidelines of their heated SEC rivalry with intra-state Vanderbilt. My bottom line says these Indiana players will heavily buy-in to what their coaches are saying about becoming the 1st Hoosiers' team to win 9 games since the 1967 team when QB Harry Gonso guided them to a Rose Bowl game with #1 U.S.C. (lost 14-3 but still finished 4th in the Final AP Poll). Here's where we're going. Let's catch a quick flight to TIAA Bank Filed in Jacksonville, FL for the Gator Bowl to play the INDIANA HOOSIERS (buying to a key (+ 4 1/2) as my Mushes Nightmare Late Steam! Wednesday, January 01, 2020 Minnesota vs. Auburn (NCAAF) - 1:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 7/-110 Minnesota Rating: 9* Mike's New Year's Day Late Steam (WIN) HC P.J. Fleck is 9-0 SU versus non-conference foes. What the mushes DIDN'T know here is these same Golden Gophers hold the longest record in the nation (current) with an amazing 18-0 SU when facing non-conference foes. Yes, this is SEC's Auburn Tigers they're facing. However, digging into the not-so-distant past 6 seasons has revealed the lines-makers have certainly caught up to this conference as they're a LOSING proposition versus bowl teams with a ho-hum 26-28-1 ATS record. I feel that Minnesota is also slightly more excited to be here. If anyone saw their game with Penn State, they should be able to hang within a TD here or pull off the SU upset (check above). Let's go to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL for the Outback Bowl to play the MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS (buying to a key + 10 1/2) as my New Year's Day Late Steam! Wisconsin vs. Oregon (NCAAF) - 5:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 3.5/-115 Oregon Rating: 9* Mike's New Year's Day Smart Play (WIN) The odds-makers KNOW the mushes are SUPER eager to get to the window & pull the lever on the Badgers - winners of their last 5 bowl games SU. Some of them sight the reason as Wisky's bruising style of play with Jonathan Taylor that grounds & pounds their opponent til' exhaustion sets in. However, further examination reveals Ducks' HC Mario Cristobal has actually switched gears to a more power game than what his predecessors (Mark Helfrich & Chip Kelly) installed that concentrated on speed & an up-tempo game plan. My bottom line says this game plan predicated on a running game featuring C.J. Verdell & Cyrus Habibi-Likio make play action that more effective for QB & senior signal-caller Justin Herbert. Numbers show Wisconsin being just 1-6 ATS versus Pac-12 opposition coming off back-to-back wins. Sealing the deal for us is Oregon showing a near-flawless 7-0-1 spread mark as a dog versus the Big Ten & a take-me-to-the-window-quick 12-1 ATS number when coming in as underdogs with rest. Yep, these 2 are destined to go nip & tuck throughout. Let's go to Pasadena, CA for the Rose Bowl to put our bucks on the OREGON DUCKS (buying to + 4 1/2) as our 9* New Year's Day Smart Play! Tuesday, December 31, 2019 Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech (NCAAF) - 12:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 2.5/-110 Kentucky Rating: 9* Bowl Parity Game Of The Day (WIN) These 2 have their respective strengths. However, after 2 consecutive shutout wins over Georgia Tech & Pittsburgh (45-0 & 28-0), 33-yr. vet DC Bud Foster's "D" was exposed in a 39-30 road loss to intra-state rival Virginia (their 1st loss to the Cavaliers in 15 years). I feel SEC Kentucky should be the slight favorite here but isn't due to VT action since its Bud Foster's send-off game. The mushes are quick to point out new QB Hendon Hooker has won 6 games for the Gobblers. Upon deeper examination, 5 of those wins occurred versus teams like Miami, Fla., Rhode Island, North Carolina, Wake Forest & Georgia Tech. Those teams weren't major threats to go anywhere except Miami, Fla. who wound up getting shutout by Louisiana Tech? My bottom line says VT's "D" yields 27 PPG which is a far cry compared to the Wildcats' defense who ranked 4th in the country in pass defense (155 YPG) & that was against superior SEC competition. It's no secret the ACC is down overall once you throw out Clemson. I strongly feel that converted RB Lynn Bowden (284 yards versus Louisville) should get his due after leading the SEC in rushing yards per game. I'm ready to go to Bank Of America Stadium in Charlotte for the Belk Bowl & take the KENTUCKY WILDCATS (buying to + 4 1/2) as my Bowl Parity Game Of The Day! Texas vs. Utah (NCAAF) - 7:30 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 7.5/-115 Texas Rating: 9* Mike's New Year's Eve Bail Out Play (WIN) We're looking to end the year then start the year with a bang. We're going to end the year as I strongly feel the firing of DC Todd Orlando is a good thing for a 7-5 SU Longhorns' squad (who only lost to L.S.U. by a 45-38 count & to Oklahoma 34-27) that gets a fresh look after ending the season with a 49-24 romper of rival Texas Tech. Mushes will be inclined to take a Kyle Whittingham (15th year @ Utah & one of the few coaches who played in the 80's USFL --for the New Orleans Breakers & Denver Gold) team that shows good credentials with a 11-2 SU bowl record. But under further examination, the Utah defense has to be break in 2 new safeties since both starters got hurt in their PAC-12 Championship 37-15 loss to Oregon. That loss was pretty deflating for the 11-2 SU Utes since they could just taste a shot for the national championship heading in. My bottom line says the blueprints were laid by the Ducks in that game as in how to stop the Utah running game. If the U.S.C. receivers solved this "D" for 30 points earlier, what's going to happen now without their top 2 safeties? They'll go up against Slingin' Sammy Ehlinger (3,462 passing yards, 29 TD's & 599 rushing yards) & a Hook'em Horns' "O" that put up 35 PPG. Their HC Tom Herman has been EXCELLENT in the dog category going 15-5 versus the number as well as a perfect 3-0 ATS as a bowl underdog. The PAC-12 is down this season & we'll gladly push this to double-digits for the "W". We'll jet down to the Alamodome in San Antonio for the Valero Alamo Bowl to hop all over the TEXAS LONGHORNS (buying to + 10 1/2) as my New Year's Eve Bail Out Play! Florida State vs. Arizona State (NCAAF) - 2:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 3.5/-110 Florida State Rating: 9* Mike's Transitional Game Of The Day (WIN) How about the BIG moves for both of these teams! Florida State RB Cam Akers will be out as he prepares for the NFL. FSU HC Willie Taggert is gone (interim HC Odell Haggins takes over) but his OC & DC (Kendal Briles & Harlon Barnett) are coaching their last game before new HC Mike Norvell comes in with his staff. On the Arizona State side, HC Herm Edwards got rid of OC Rob Likens & other offensive coaches. Shorty after, his DC Danny Gonzales bolted for the New Mexico HC'ing job along with 2 important cogs in RB Eno Benjamin & WR Brandon Aiyuk both declared they'll hold out to prepare for the pros. My bottom line says ASU has been over-valued of late as witnessed by a 4-10 pointspread record. In fact, the Pac-12 has also been over-valued the last 3 bowl seasons as they've gone a ticket-ripping 4-18-1 versus the number & a no-show 2-9 ATS when installed as favorites. I expect FSU sophomore QB James Blackmon should be able to solve the weak Sun Devils' secondary for some on-target rainbows. The daggers for us HAS to be ASU being a perfect 0-7 ATS versus ACC teams while Florida State comes in with an 11-2-1 spread mark in bowls when off a SU loss. Let's go to Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, TX for the Sun Bowl to pull the lever on the FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES (buying to + 7 1/2) as my Transitional Game Of The Day! Monday, December 30, 2019 Mississippi State vs. Louisville (NCAAF) - 4:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 5.5/-110 Louisville Rating: 8* Lucky To Be Here Game Of The Day (WIN) Whose lucky to be here? It's the Mississippi State Bulldogs! If it wasn't for that 15-yard penalty dealt to an Ole Miss WR for mimicking a dog urinating after scoring a TD, the Bulldogs had a high probability to lose the Egg Bowl to the Rebels. As a result, here sits a 6-6 SU & unmotivated Mississippi State team in a bowl game for the 10th consecutive year. I feel the flip side is the more excited team especially after turning a 2-10 SU of last season into a 7-5 SU winning season under 1st-year HC Scott Satterfield (who was a winner @ Appalachian State turning in a 51-24 record in 5 seasons from 14' thru 18'). My bottom line says having 10 starters back on defense is just the trick to stifle the run-heavy Bulldogs. These conferences going head-to-head has a good history. The last 15 times they have met with the SEC favored by 7 or less in a bowl, the ACC have come back to go a take-me-to-the-window 13-2 ATS! That speaks loud enough as we go to Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN to play the LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (buying to + 7 1/2) in the Music City Bowl as my Lucky To be Here Game Of The Day! Virginia vs. Florida (NCAAF) - 8:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -14.5/-110 Florida Rating: 9* Mike's College Bowl Mismatch Play (LOSS) You'd have to go back to 1959 for the last (and first) time these 2 schools have met (Florida won 55-10 in Gainesville). The Gators under 2nd-year HC Dan Mullen (who came over after 9 years with Mississippi State) are pretty familiar with these Orange Bowl surroundings & are out to capture their 4th straight. The previous 3 has seen them win by an average scoring margin of 23 points. What stands out HAS to be the play of the Florida defense under the direction of DC Todd Grantham (who also came with Mullen from MSU). The 10-2 SU record was largely due to a "D" that recorded 46 sacks, 14.4 PPG, 22 takeaways & was 1st in the nation in red zone efficiency. Even though this may be competitive early, I'm expecting 6'5" QB Kyle Trask to move the football easier in the 2nd half with salvos to WR's Van Jefferson, Trevon Grimes, Freddie Swain & TE Kyle Pitts. The Gators passing offense finished 17th & put up an average of 33 PPG. We'll watch this happily unfold as we snag the FLORIDA GATORS (BUYING TO -12 1/2) as my College Bowl Mismatch Play in the Capital One Orange Bowl @ Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens! Western Michigan vs. Western Kentucky (NCAAF) - 12:30 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 3.5/-110 Western Michigan Rating: 9* Lower Conference Underdog Golden Play (WIN) Even though both of these teams have equal talent, I feel Western Kentucky should give up a healthy chink of points here! With the Broncos ranking 22nd in total offense, they represent the ONLY team Western Kentucky will face in the Top 25 of that category. My bottom line says we'll gladly go with a seasoned club like WMU that features senior QB Jon Wassink & senior RB LeVante Bellamy. Digging deeper into the numbers reveal Western Michigan has had their way winning all 4 tussles SU versus Sun Belt competition. In addition, the Hilltoppers (when facing sub .666 opponents) have failed all 3 tries in previous bowl games. Sealing the deal for us HAS to be Western Kentucky's ticket-ripping 5-13 ATS mark if installed as a favorite. Let's roll down to Gerald Ford Stadium in Dallas for the First Responder Bowl to play the WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS (buying to + 4 1/2) as my Lower Conference Underdog Golden Play! Mike Handzelek's 2019-20 College Bowl Record: 11-7 for 61% (8-1 last 9) Mike Handzelek's 2019-20 CFB Overall Seasonal Record: 49-38 for a decent 57%

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