Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 10:57 AM
THE COLLEGE BOWLS BLAST OFF - WE KICK IT OFF WITH PREVIEWS OF SATURDAY'S FIVE (5) GAMES
PLUS NFL WEEK 15 - TONIGHT'S BUCS-RAMS QUICKIE PREVIEW (AND MORE!)
Hot diggity-dog! The parade of College Football Bowl Games - 40 of 'em in all plus the National Championship Game on Monday, January 11th - are ready to get rollin' with this Saturday's five games and we're previewing each/every one of the bowls this holiday season.
It's Bowl Season and my handicappers and bloggers have everything all mapped out and you can get the upcoming College Football Bowl Games beginning with Saturday's Five (5) games including BYU versus #22 Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl plus all the NFL Week 15 games too when you check with us here at Jim Hurley's Network - make sure you're all aboard for the week/weekend action here online or at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Hey, sign up right now and get the discounted price rate on the College Bowls and the NFL- do it today! Plus don't forget all the daily/nightly action on the hardwood as there's NBA and NCAA Hoops action all winter long right here with Jim Hurley!
THE COLLEGE BOWL REPORT
Our Jim Sez columns will get you all 40 College Bowl game previews - plus that championship tilt on January 11th - but we kick it off right here with the Bowl Games set for this Saturday, December 19TH:
NEW MEXICO BOWL - at Albuquerque, NM
ARIZONA (6-6) at NEW MEXICO (7-5) - 2 p.m. ET, ESPN
First bowl game for the New Mexico program since 2007 and so the "excitement factor" is on the Lobos' side - remember Arizona started off this season ranked #22 - but can UNM's eighth-ranked rushing attack (246.6 ypg) get any traction against a 'Zona bunch that returns injury-plagued LB Scooby Wright here? Game plan for Arizona is to chuck some long balls to WR Cayleb Jones who led the Wildcats with 51 receptions.
Current Line - Arizona (-8) and 65.5 points
Spread Notes - Arizona is a dead-even but vig-losing 6-6 ATS (against the spread) this season but did you know the 'Cats are just 19-31 spreadwise away since the start of the 2008 campaign? Meanwhile, New Mexico is also just 6-6 against the odds this 2015 season but Los Lobos have covered eight of their last dozen games when in the underdog role.
LAS VEGAS BOWL - at Las Vegas, NV
BYU (9-3) vs. #22 UTAH (9-3) - 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Unfortunately, the beloved "Beehive State Battle" has not been played since the 2013 season but a renewal is on tap here as these long-time rivals play one another in a bowl game for the first time. And it's the last time BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall will be patrolling the Cougars' sidelines as he's off to Virginia after this clash after compiling 99 wins in his 11-year stay in Provo.
If Mendenhall is gonna have a fond farewell, then frosh QB Tanner Mangum (21 TDs, 7 INTs this year) must strike with some deep chucks against a Utah defense that ranked a lowly 92nd nationally in pass defense (253.4 ypg). No RB Devontae Booker (knee) for Utah after his 1,261-yard, injury-shortened season but you might want to watch for QB Travis Wilson who's 10 INTs this year was a problem spot.
Current Line - Utah (- 2) and 53 points
Spread Notes - BYU rock-n-rolled its way to an 8-4 ATS campaign this year as the Coogs cranked out upset wins against 5-point favorite Nebraska and 1.5-point fav Boise State. On the flip side, Utah's 5-7 against the price tags this year and overall the Utes are a sizzling 11-2 ATS when playing non-conference foes the past five years.
CAMELLIA BOWL - at Montgomery, AL
OHIO (8-4) vs. APPALACHIAN STATE (10-2) - 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Go ahead and excuse "Appy State" for busting out at the proverbial seams here - it's the school's first-ever FBS bowl game and third-year boss Scott Satterfield has been praising his guys for becoming only the second Sun Belt Conference team ever to win 10 games in a regular season.
Now, if the Mountaineers are gonna win/cover this TD-plus price, the dynamic duo of QB Taylor Lamb (2,263 yards passing with 29 TDs, 8 INTs) and RB Marcus Cox (1,261 yards rushing and 8 scores) must chew up an Ohio defense that allowed 49, 41 and 62 points during a painful three-game SU (straight-up) losing streak in mid-season play.
Current Line - Appalachian State (- 7.5) and 55 points
Spread Notes - Appalachian State split its dozen pointspread verdicts this year and that included a 41-10 loss at 18.5-point fav Clemson. Meanwhile, Ohio rattled off an 8-4 ATS mark this season but the Bobcats are just 2-4 vig-wise in bowl games under 11th-year boss Frank Solich.
CURE BOWL - at Orlando, FL
SAN JOSE STATE (5-7) vs. GEORGIA STATE (6-6) - 7 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
The inaugural Cure Bowl may appear to be a "friends-and-family" type of game but be aware that Georgia State zooms into its first-ever bowl on a four-game win streak (both SU/ATS) and QB Nick Arbuckle (347 yards per game passing and 26 TDs) is a legit triggerman who should garner the NFL's attention while San Jose State's one of three FBS teams with a 5-7 record to gain a bowl berth. Watch for Spartans' RB Tyler Ervin (1,469 yards passing and 13 TDs) who could slice-and-dice G-State here.
Current Line - San Jose State (- 2) and 56 points
Spread Notes - Georgia State is a solid 8-4 versus the vig this year and that includes a regular-season-ending four-game spread winning streak and a perfect 6-and-oh ATS away mark. On the other hand, San Jose State is 7-5 against the prices this season and a cumulative 20-13 ATS away since the start of the 2011 season.
NEW ORLEANS BOWL - at New Orleans, LA
ARKANSAS STATE (9-3) vs. LOUISIANA TECH (8-4) - 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
Looky here ... a New Orleans Bowl without UL-Lafayette, the winner of the past four consecutive N'Orleans Bowls!
And so that also means the end of Arkansas State's four-year run of GoDaddy.Com Bowls (won two, lost two). As far as this prime-time game goes, Arkansas State (+ 11 in turnovers) will be looking to apply the heat to mistake-prone Louisiana Tech QB Jeff Driskel (three INTs in regular-season finale loss to Southern Miss) and so the Techsters' best shot here might be just get the ball in the hands of RB Kenneth Dixon (83 career TDs) and watch 'em motor. Arkansas State's won eight in a row coming in here and that coincides with QB Fredi Knighten (19 TDs and 7 INTs) recovering from an early-season groin injury.
Current Line - Louisiana Tech (- 2) and 67.5 points
Spread Notes - Louisiana Tech is 6-6 against the odds this year and that includes chalk covers against bowl-bound Middle Tennessee State plus the LT Bulldogs are 10-5 spreadwise away the past two years. Arkansas State's 8-4 vig-wise this year including a current four-game spread winning streak.
NFL WEEK 15
Tonight, it's ...TAMPA BAY (6-7) at ST. LOUIS (5-8) - 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network
No playoff implications here but worth checking out Tampa Bay's on-the-rise rookie QB Jameis Winston (3,059 passing yards with 18 TDs, 11 INTs) and his main contender for Rookie of the Year - RB Todd Gurley (975 yards rushing).
Keep in mind two other items: This could well be the Rams' last-ever game in St. Louis (please go back "home" to Los Angeles!) and Tampa Bay must cut down on its NFL-worst 125 penalties - no wonder the Bucs have shot themselves in the foot so much this year!
Spread Notes - St. Louis is 5-7-1 versus the vig overall this year and the Rams are a dead-even 7-7 ATS as betting favorites since the start of 2013. Tampa Bay's 7-6 against the odds this year and the Bucs are 9-5 ATS away the past year-plus.
In other NFL Week 15 News/Notes ...
Want one stat that "indicts" a team/head coach for the year it is having? Try points differential as there are only two NFL teams with a plus points margin and yet a losing record - the Buffalo Bills (6-7) who enter Sunday's game at Washington with a plus 15 (that's 316 points to 301) and then there's the New York Giants (6-7) who enter Sunday's game against unbeaten Carolina with a plus 18 (that's 338-to-320).
Anything to say 'bout that, Rex Ryan and Tom Coughlin? ...
Finally, our up-to-the-second NFL Betting Favorites stat: The chalk sides are 92-101-10 ATS with 5 pick 'em games (a .477 winning rate for the favorites) while "totals" players should be alerted to the fact that "Overs" are 98-107-3 ATS (a .478 winning rate) after last week's action when "Unders" copped 12-of-16 verdicts (and you couldn't even blame cold/bad weather on any of 'em except for Kansas City's rain-filled 10-3 non-cover win against San Diego).
NOTE: Catch more NFL Week 15 Previews in tomorrow's Jim Sez.