College Football Playoff & Bowl Game First Predictions, Lines

College Football Playoff & Bowl Game First Predictions, Lines

Bowls College Football Playoff

College Football Playoff & Bowl Game First Predictions, Lines


SERVPRO First Responder Bowl

Wednesday, December 26
1:30, ESPN, Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas, TX 
Boise State vs. Boston College

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Considering Boise State was very, very close to winning the Mountain West title – and didn’t – and went into Saturday hoping for a New Year’s Six shot, this should be a bit of a letdown. But it’s also a terrific matchup. Remember, it wasn’t all that long ago that GameDay went to Chestnut Hill. They were there for a reason, but Boise State doesn’t lose bowl games, and lately, Boston College does.

First Thought Prediction: Boise State 23, Boston College 17
First Thought Line Guess: Boston College -3
Actual Initial Line: Boise State -2.5
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Quick Lane Bowl

Wednesday, December 26
5:15, ESPN, Ford Field, Detroit, MI 
Georgia Tech vs. Minnesota

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: It’s a terrific matchup considering this could’ve been some mediocre MAC school against an ACCer. Instead, it’s Paul Johnson’s last game for Georgia Tech, and it’s PJ Fleck trying to establish something big for the Gopher program. The Yellow Jacket triple-option will roll.

First Thought Prediction: Georgia Tech 34, Minnesota 24
First Thought Line Guess: Georgia Tech -3.5
Actual Initial Line: Georgia Tech -3.5
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Cheez-It Bowl

Wednesday, December 26
9:00, ESPN, Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ 
TCU vs. Cal

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: It’s a sneaky-good matchup that will be the anti-thesis to anything you want in a mid-range bowl game. No offense, lots of defense, and a tight battle between two teams that will care. Cal is good, but give this TCU team time to rest up and prepare, and Gary Patterson will figure out how to get to 20 points first.

First Thought Prediction: TCU 20, Cal 17
First Thought Line Guess: Cal -3
Actual Initial Line: Cal -2.5
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Walk-On’s Independence Bowl

Thursday, December 27
1:30, ESPN, Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA 
Temple vs. Duke

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: It might not seem like the most scintillating of matchups, but the Temple offense is a blast and Duke isn’t afraid to wing it around and get into a shootout. The Blue Devils haven’t been all that focused on a consistent basis, but that changes as the D slows down the Owls.

First Thought Prediction: Duke 37, Temple 30
First Thought Line Guess: Temple -2
Actual Initial Line: Temple -6
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New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Thursday, December 27
5:15, ESPN, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY 
Wisconsin vs. Miami

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Oh how far we’ve come in less than a year. It’s a showdown of two of college football’s biggest underachievers, but nothing is going to change. Wisconsin will be rested and angry, Miami will buckle, and in the chilly weather, the Badgers will end its awful season with something positive.

First Thought Prediction: Wisconsin 27, Miami 20
First Thought Line Guess: Wisconsin -3
Actual Initial Line: Miami -3
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Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl

Thursday, December 27
9:00, ESPN, NRG Stadium, Houston, TX 
Baylor vs. Vanderbilt

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: This will be far more interesting than you might think. The passing games should go off, both teams are going to be jacked to be in a bowl, and it’ll be entertaining with Vanderbilt playing an air-tight game to overcome a nice day from the Bear offense.

First Thought Prediction: Vanderbilt 34, Baylor 27
First Thought Line Guess: Vanderbilt -2
Actual Initial Line: Vanderbilt -1
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Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

Friday, December 28
1:30, ESPN, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN 
Purdue vs. Auburn

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: As interesting a matchup as there is in the lower-tier bowls, will Auburn’s offense show up? Will Purdue get the passing game going? There should be a combed five yards rushing, but the two passing attacks will go off from the start. After not showing up for the bowl game against UCF, Auburn will bring it.

First Thought Prediction: Auburn 38, Purdue 20
First Thought Line Guess: Auburn -5
Actual Initial Line: Auburn -3
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Camping World Bowl

Friday, December 28
5:15, ESPN, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL 
Syracuse vs. West Virginia

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Let’s … go. The point total might be light at 80 with these two offenses putting on one of the better shows of the bowl season. These types of bowl matchups never seem to live up to their potential, but this has the potential to turn into a special firefight. West Virginia is just better, but the Syracuse defense will be jacked, too.

First Thought Prediction: West Virginia 47, Syracuse 41
First Thought Line Guess: West Virginia -7
Actual Initial Line: West Virginia -7
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NEXT: December Bowls, Part 4

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