Motivation plays a huge part in some of the college bowl games and presents some great opportunities to make some money.
In the examples below you’ll see some of the early bowl games where motivation may play a factor.
12/15 – Nevada vs Arizona, Motivational Edge: Nevada +9 = WINNER
A small school like Nevada playing in postseason bowls is big deal.
Arizona is an average team in a big conference and I can’t see them being motivated with Christmas break on the horizon.
The game will also be in New Mexico and I expect to see more Nevada fans.
If I’m an Arizona fan, I’d be asking myself, “Who wants to go to New Mexico? Not me, unless I’m a huge friggin’ dork.” If it were me, I’d be staying home in the warm frat house and watch this one on ESPN.
Finally, should weather be a factor, it would play to Nevada’s favor as they play in a colder climate.
12/20 – San Diego St vs BYU, Motivational Edge: San Diego St+3.5 = loser
This is essentially a home game for SD St.
I can’t really see BYU being up for this one. BYU went 5-5 to finish the year. Those wins? New Mexico St, Idaho, Ga Tech, Utah St, Hawaii.
Outside of Utah St, those teams really suck.
SD St’s last loss was in September and have since ripped off 7 in a row including wins at Boise and Nevada.
They are a sneaky good team and will look to win at home vs a former conference rival.
12/21 – Ball St vs Central Florida, Motivational Edge: Ball St+7 = loser
Central Florida just lost their Conference USA title game to Tulsa and may be dejected heading into this matchup.
Ball St, while not competing for MAC title a few weeks ago, put together a very respectable season and will enter this game riding a 6 game winning streak.
This strikes me as a pride game for them while the boys from Florida will go through the motions playing in the “Beef O’Brady” Bowl… because believe me when I tell you that college kids love playing in bowl games sponsored by brands that no one has ever heard of.
Finally, the game is in Florida, but I expect the Ball St fans to travel well here, because a pre-Christmas trip to Florida sure as you-know-what beats staying in Indiana.
12/22 – UL Lafayette vs E. Carolina, Motivational Edge: UL Lafayette -6 = WINNER
Similar to Nevada and Ball St, we have a small school from a small conference excited to head to bowl game vs a school from a larger conference who may not be as jazzed.
The Sun Belt Conference was very good to us this year, while ECU coming from Conference USA is one of the more lackluster conferences.
Outside of winning the C-USA title, what would really motivate a team from that conference? A second rate bowl game berth doesn’t strike me as something that would.
Also, the game is in New Orleans which should boast more ULL fans than ECU supporters.
12/22 – Washington vs Boise St, Motivational Edge: Washington+6 = WINNER
Boise has won and covered in it’s last 3 bowl games, but those were also games quarterbacked by Kellen Moore.
Moore’s heir, Joe Southwick, sucks and Coach Peterson has not coached this team as well in 2012 as he has in the past.
Perhaps, he’s always been an average coach, but was able to make up for it with the excellent talent he’s had in year’s past. The next few years will tell.
His counterpart in this one, Washington Coach Steve Sarkisian, will have his guys pumped for this one.
Two years ago after a disappointing regular season, Sarkisian and current Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker beat Nebraska as an 11.5 point underdog.
Last year, Washington led for most of the way vs Baylor and RG3 before blowing it late.
The point is Sarkisian knows how to get his guys up for bowl games and I anticipate that he’ll do the same this year in what could be one of the early bowl season upsets.
12/24 – Fresno St vs SMU, Motivational Edge: Fresno St
Neither of these teams comes from a big conference and SMU may be more pumped to play in this bowl game, but let me tell you, that is a bad assumption.
The Bulldog football program is buzzing in their first under under new coach, Tim DeRuyter.
While the Bulldogs wanted to go to the Las Vegas Bowl to play a Pac 12 team, they’re headed to Hawaii to play crappy SMU. A potentially disappointing proposition. However, the Bulldogs will overcome that.
DeRuyter has done a great job of getting the Dogs up every week and they’ve responded by blowing out mostly everyone they’ve played.
Additionally, all 3 of their losses were to extremely respectable opponents (Oregon, Tulsa, Boise St).
The Dogs will likely laying double digits here and I would probably lay them.
If laying double digits makes you nervous, you could always tease it down or play the moneyline with a few other favorites.
Finally, this is the only game on Christmas Eve and DeRuyter will want the Dogs looking their best as the only game available for football fans.
Some big favorites would disappoint in a spot like this, but I think the Dogs avoid it and win by 20+.
These are all the games up until Christmas on our next installment, we’ll take a look at the games from Christmas on.
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RESULTS = 3-2
WINS = Nevada +9, UL Lafayette -6, Washington +6
LOSSES = Ball St +7.5, San Diego State +3.5
June 18, 2013 //
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