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The college football bowl season can be overwhelming. It's the final slate of the year, jam-packed with 39 games - and a national title to boot. But approach it just like you would a regular weekend in college football: Play what you like and don't force the issue on games you don't.
That's why I've dialed up my bowl betting confidence rankings, starting with the most bettable game to the one I want nothing to do with.
Line/total: Alabama -7, 59
It's going to be Alabama minus the points and the over for me here. Michigan played in a ton of slugfests early in the season against the likes of Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan State, and Iowa; then we found out against Ohio State (again) that the defense can't handle speed. Well, Alabama's skill corps is the fastest in the country. I think we're also overlooking the magnitude of the coaching mismatch. This line is short, the total is a couple of points too low, and I wouldn't be opposed to starting some teasers with Alabama as the base.
Line/total: Florida -14, 54
It doesn't jump off the paper, but this one should be fun. Florida's offense averaged north of 33 points per game with quarterback Kyle Trask leading the show and Virginia's Bryce Perkins is one of the more underrated dual threats in the country. I played the over and expect Florida will get whatever it wants on offense.
Line/total: Arkansas State -2.5, 63
"Hey, you excited for the College Football Playoff games?"
"Nah, huge fan of the Camellia Bowl between C-USA powerhouse FIU and Sun Belt castoff Arkansas State."
I think you're safe to play any sort of Florida International over in this spot. Head coach Butch Davis has been one of the best for bettors in bowl season, going 8-1 against the spread. I also don't think you'll see a lick of defense played.
Line/total: Air Force -2.5, 66.5
When this potential bowl matchup leaked prior to conference championship weekend, I figured I'd have something on this game; I've been lower on Air Force's defense and higher on its offense than most, so there's no surprise I'm endorsing the over against Mike Leach's Air Raid. Find me in a ditch when the broadcast crew says, "And we might be in for a shootout here," only for the game to end 21-13.
Line/total: Buffalo -6.5, 58
I like Charlotte - as I do every time the 49ers play - but I think you're safe to approach this game with few adjustments. Both teams want to be there, there aren't many (if any) motivational concerns, and I know you, dear reader, will have a play on the Bahamas Bowl anyway. It's a tradition.
Line/total: North Carolina -4.5, 53
I faded North Carolina plenty this season. However, I love the Tar Heels in this spot. Temple head coach Rod Carey is 0-6 ATS in bowl games and I think his team is outmatched in athleticism here. This line's short and I'm not biting on the trendy 'dog.
Line/total: Western Kentucky -2.5, 51
These two teams went opposite directions as the season progressed and I'm taking the one on the upswing: Western Kentucky. Also, if the market's going to continue hammering Hilltopper totals down, I'll keep playing the over.
Line/total: UCF -17.5, 61
Another case where I like the 'dog and the over. Marshall's Doc Holliday is 6-0 ATS in bowls and I think the Herd can put up some points on UCF's defense.
Line/total: LSU -13, 75.5
I was initially excited to play this game over the total of anything at 71 or better ... and then it opened at 77 and I had no choice but to play under. There's still value, with a slight lean on Oklahoma.
Line/total: Tennessee -1.5, 49.5
I don't necessarily love betting a Big Ten team over an SEC affiliate, but I came away impressed with Indiana this season. Despite Tennessee's upward trajectory, I'd take the points, with another slight lean to the over.
Line/total: Texas A&M -7, 54
Personally, I think Texas A&M rolls. Oklahoma State's offense without quarterback Spencer Sanders and wide receiver Tylan Wallace just doesn't have what it takes to move the ball against A&M. Aggies, big.
Line/total: Penn State -6.5, 60.5
Line/total: Notre Dame -3.5, 57
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly is 3-8 ATS in bowl games and gets an Iowa State team that I don't think will have any trouble getting up for this one. Take the points with the Cyclones (and another lean to the over).
Line/total: Virginia Tech -2.5, 53.5
Betting on teams that can run the ball effectively has been profitable in bowl season. Look no further than Kentucky, which ranked No. 6 in the country with an average of 257 yards on the ground per game this year.
Line/total: Tulane -7, 57
Tulane really tapered off after its hot start. The Green Wave can run the ball, but Southern Miss' Achilles' heel this season has been teams that can throw. Getting a full touchdown with the Golden Eagles is a solid look, as well as the under.
Line/total: Miami -6, 50
I can understand why Louisiana Tech would be a trendy pick here. Miami underachieved all year and already lost to a C-USA team this season. This might mean absolutely nothing, but are we forgetting that Louisiana Tech was a 21-point underdog to Texas in the opener? Obviously, the Bulldogs made strides as the season progressed, but this feels like a massive overcorrection. Lay the chalk with the 'Canes.
Line/total: Appalachian State -16.5, 48
Is one-loss Appalachian State content with playing in the New Orleans Bowl? If they are, they name the score.
Line/total: Auburn -7.5, 51.5
Betting the over in Minnesota games was fun for a while. This total's a tad high, especially considering Auburn's Gus Malzahn is 5-1 to the under in bowl games.
Line/total: Utah State -7, 65
After ranking No. 2 in scoring offense last season, Utah State declined in a big way. Quarterback and NFL hopeful Jordan Love will play, but Kent State is no slouch. I wouldn't be so quick to fade the MAC in this one.
Line/total: BYU -2, 63.5
This might be a good look on the over after Hawaii - traditionally an over team - played to the under in each of its final three games.
Line/total: SMU -3.5, 70.5
Defense = optional.
Line/total: Pitt -11, 49
If there's one game that looks disgustingly bad on paper but could get real weird, I think it's this one. Eastern Michigan's defense is so bad that Pitt might cover the over itself.
Line/total: Georgia -7, 42
Line/total: UL-Lafayette -14, 55
Louisiana should be able to run the ball on one of the most fraudulent teams in the country. How bad is the MAC that Miami won the conference?
Line/total: Clemson -2, 63
Line/total: San Diego State -3.5, 41
San Diego State's another team I bet at open and it's one I feel worse about as the days go by. Something tells me there were better MAC teams to fade than the one that probably should have won the conference title.
Line/total: Iowa -2, 51.5
Fun clash of styles here, but I think Iowa's going to struggle against the speed of USC's wide receivers. The Hawkeyes didn't encounter a ton of athleticism during conference play. Lean to USC and the over.
Line/total: Michigan State -3.5, 49
I could only imagine how difficult it was to shape this total. You have a team that wants to play super slow (Michigan State) and another that wants to go lightning-fast (Wake Forest). There's a good chance if you like the Spartans, you like the under, and vice versa.
Line/total: Wisconsin -2.5, 51
This would have been more fun if Oregon was the Oregon of old. Given both teams' strength is in the trenches, this game might set the sport back a full century.
Line/total: Utah -7, 55
There's a lot to unpack here. Is either team actually good? Does either side want to be playing in the Alamo Bowl, of all spots? Utah's Kyle Whittingham typically rakes for bettors in bowl season and Texas' Tom Herman performs well when getting points. Full-on pass.
Line/total: Arizona State -5.5, 55
Another game where the numbers look right. This is the one game where you have zero edge but end up playing the over because both offenses have above-average speed.
Line/total: Ohio -7.5, 58.5
I wanted to play Ohio but couldn't get the number. Fading Nevada against passing teams has been profitable, but the Bobcats love running the ball.
Line/total: Navy -2.5, 52
New rule for bowl season next year: All triple-option teams have to play Air Raid-based teams. This is an ugly draw for Navy and not a game I want to be involved with.
Line/total: Wyoming -7, 49
A team that will play two quarterbacks versus an offense led by a quarterback who tore his ACL roughly a month ago? Good luck.
Line/total: Cincinnati -7, 55.5
Another game with too much to factor in. Cincinnati is laying a touchdown after losing in the AAC title game. Boston College fired its head coach ... and I don't think it fazed the players one bit. No edge here.
Line/total: Mississippi State -3.5, 63.5
Louisville peaked, then came back down to earth against Kentucky. Mississippi State's been on a steady decline virtually all season. It could be a fun game, but nothing on the side or total - no result would surprise me.
Line/total: Cal -6.5, 43
I made it Cal -6 and 42. I highly doubt anything opens up here.
Line/total: Washington -3.5, 49
I just hope both teams have fun in the Chris Petersen Bowl.
Line/total: Georgia Southern -5, 58.5
I kid you not, I don't think I've won a game involving Liberty since the program made the leap to the FBS.
Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKoIodziej.