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Giving Away Money: 2023 Bowl Season — Week 2 picks against the spread to enhance your filthy lucre

Vegas has your money this bowl season; are you man enough to take it from them?

Bowl Week 1: 4-2-2
Season: 51-34-5

Told ya’

The MAC has a penchant for showing up in bowls no one wants to play in, and this team in particular plays an ugly, close style of football that will keep the ball away from GSU DBs.

No need to reinvent the wheel here; the Bobcats are 3-1 ATS as a Dog for a reason.

Ohio kicked the hell out of Georgia Southern, and did it the good ole’ fashioned way: bullied them on the lines. As the data indicated.

What on Earth?

App State isn’t great as a fave, but they’re better than the 1-3 MI-OH has been as a dog. And they secure the ball a lot better too. If ASU shows up, they win. That simple.

Dear reader, App. State did not show up against this garbage team. Although the Groza thief missed an extra point and doinked in his requisite 34 yard FGA in a 13-9 loss. Great selection there, guys.

No, I’m never getting over Will Reichard. I’ll die mad about it.

Welcome to Bowl Season Week 2 of 2023’s Giving Away Money.

Huge caveats with these data of late in bowls: opt-outs have killed a great deal of predictive power. We’ve had decent luck (near 60%), but in general, the bigger the bowl, the fewer the opt-outs, the better the predictive power of the modeling.

We use data-based algorithmic predictions for all of our picks, combined with deep knowledge, and some good ole’ fashioned eyeballs.

For a third year, we extend our thanks to DraftKings for sponsoring Roll ‘Bama Roll in this space. For more degenerate gambling, fantasy, and sportsbook posts, you can check all of those out at the SBNation DraftKings Supergroup hub.

For current odds, check those out here.

With it being bowl season, we’re only cover three a week over here: One we like, an underdog to consider, and one to absolutely avoid at all costs. The others are...elsewhere.

Vegas has your money; let’s go get it.

Not with a 10’ Pole and Stolen Money:

UCF -5 vs. Ga. Tech

You couldn’t pay me to watch this game. Two more erratic teams you will not find.

That said, the numbers here actually do look close to right...if UCF hangs on to the ball, they can win this game. They’ve been so good in so many games and come up a point or two short every time because of it. From Norman to Boise to Lubbock — road TOs have doomed them. Numbers think it happens again, at least to the extent that the spread gets busted for the Bees.

Probably a bit unfair for UCF to get to play in St. Pete, but them’s the breaks.

Overall too close to call. UCF -5.05

One We Like:

SJSU -10 vs. CCU

Sometimes, things really are what they seem.

It took SJSU a while to get their feet on the ground, but when they did, they were an engine of unparalleled destruction, winning six in a row, almost making the conference title, and covering 5 of 6 along the way. To the extent that a 5-7 team can be scary, this one is.

It was already long odds for the Chanticleers before 14 players portaled...but then that happened too, while SJSU lost very few. In their six game tear, SJSU is +10; they’re 3rd in the nation at +13.Hawaii is a fair bit closer to San Jose than South Carolina is. SJSU was just there this year. It’s not a to-do. It is for the Chants.

San Jose State is just better here. No need to overthink this too much.
SJSU -12.64

Underdog With Bite

Utah -6.5 vs Northwestern

The Utes are getting a whole lot of currency out of beating a shitty Florida team, some almost-wins, and a pair of decent dubs at home. It’s a structurally much weaker team this year with all the injuries.

Much like the Spartans looked like Green Berets in the ancient world, being the only professional drilling force in Hellas, so too do the Utes look like the ‘85 Bears in a conference where all-but two teams hate defense. (The other, UCLA, also underperformed this year.)

These are Big 10 athletes that play ugly football, RTDB, win close games, and force mistakes. If Utah thinks they can out-ugly a Big 10 West team, they are sadly mistaken. Northwestern is as happy as pigs in shit here, and with the nation’s third-best defense at forcing TOs, they should be. (Psssst. Utah is also just 2-5 as a favorite this year and almost 10 dudes from the defense jumped into the portal).

Gimme the Wildcats to at least cover.
jNW +3.09

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">NCAA Football: Howard at Northwestern


David Banks-USA TODAY Sports


Utah gonna look like a ranked team against a function Big 10 squad with a very good defense?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Nah. PAC is gonna’ PAC it all up.
    (87 votes)
  • 18%
    Sure. Good teams are good, no matter how taffy-soft their opponents are.
    (40 votes)
  • 42%
    I don’t watch yankees play football.
    (94 votes)
221 votes total Vote Now

Want some more of these? I crank the data for (almost) every single game, every single week over at my companion site: (Almost) Giving Away Money. Check it out, and prosper.

Just five bucks a month. Far cheaper than a divorce attorney when your wife leaves you for being a bad gambler.