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

By

Valero Alamo Bowl

Friday, December 28
9:00, ESPN, Alamodome, San Antonio, TX 
Iowa State vs. Washington State

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Iowa State’s defense vs. Washington State’s offense. The Cougars might be disappointed to not get to the Rose Bowl, but Gardner Minshew and the offense are strong enough to get past a plucky Cyclone squad that won’t take it easy. Mike Leach might not be great in bowls, but this year will be different.

First Thought Prediction: Washington State 27, Iowa State 23
First Thought Line Guess: Washington State -3.5
Actual Initial Line: Washington State -3
Get Alamo Bowl Tickets

Belk Bowl

Saturday, December 29
12:00, ABC, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC 
South Carolina vs. Virginia 

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: It’ll be an interesting atmosphere with both fan bases likely to turn out a lively crowd. Virginia QB Bryce Perkins is worth the price of admission, but this is a strong South Carolina team with the passing game to take over early on and fight through losing the time of possession battle by a mile.

First Thought Prediction: South Carolina 34, Virginia 20
First Thought Line Guess: South Carolina -7.5
Actual Initial Line: South Carolina -6
Get Bowl Tickets

NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl

Friday, December 29
1:15, CBS Sports Network, Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ 
Arkansas State vs. 
Nevada 

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: This will be one of the tougher bowl games to call, only because Arkansas State has been so mediocre. The offense is there to show up and make this a fight, but Nevada is better – it should be able to hold down QB Justice Hansen and company.

First Thought Prediction: Nevada 37, Arkansas State 31
First Thought Line Guess: Nevada -2
Actual Initial Line: Nevada -1.5
Get Bowl Tickets

Military Bowl Presented By Northrup Grumman

Monday, December 31st
12:00, ESPN, Navy-Marine Corps. Stadium, Annapolis, MD
Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Okay, Virginia Tech. You’re here, but can you do something with your bowl slot? Cincinnati needs to show up for the American Athletic Conference, and it will. The Bearcats will put together a nice, sharp offensive performance. The Hokies will have the crowd, but UC will pull off the win.

First Thought Prediction: Cincinnati 26, Virginia Tech 23
First Thought Line Guess: Virginia Tech -1
Actual Initial Line: Cincinnati -7
Get Bowl Tickets

Hyundai Sun Bowl

Monday, December 31
2:00, CBS, Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, TX 
Pitt vs. Stanford

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Pitt has to try getting the running game going against a Stanford run defense with a month to prepare for it. KJ Costello and the Cardinal passing attack will go off in a good game with the Cardinal pulling away in the third.

First Thought Prediction: Stanford 31, Pitt 20
First Thought Line Guess: Stanford -6
Actual Initial Line: Stanford -6.5
Get Bowl Tickets

Redbox Bowl

Monday, December 31
3:00, FOX, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA 
Michigan State vs. Oregon

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Michigan State is excellent in bowl games lately under Mark Dantonio, and Oregon has lost its last three. Okay, one of them was the national championship, but this Duck team will have to be ready for a defense that won’t allow a thing. It won’t be a thing of beauty, but it’ll be Dantonio with a month to prepare.

First Thought Prediction: Michigan State 20, Oregon 17
First Thought Line Guess: Michigan State -1
Actual Initial Line: Oregon State -1.5
Get Bowl Tickets

NEXT: New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day Bowls

More Bowl Projections