Bowling for Dollars: Campbell's bowl picks & tips

Whenever I hear the words to “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” I drift off into a dreamy vision of Boise State’s Statue of Liberty play. The one that beat Oklahoma during the 2007 Fiesta Bowl that had us all jumping off our couches, hands pulling out our own hair, delirium in our eyes, yelling “Holy (cow)!” or something to that effect.  

 

A mile-wide grin washes over my face and my eyes glaze over like I’m some kind of happy psychopath.

 

When my wife asks me what I’m thinking about, I simply reply: “The holidays, honey.” And then she rolls her eyes and sighs because she knows my love for the holidays is synonymous with college football.

 

That play was pure, unadulterated joy. It was Christmas morning and I was 10 years old, Nintendo awaiting its unveiling.

 

And I had Oklahoma in that game. 

 

But I digress. It’s Bowling for Dollars time again, where I give you my picks for every bowl game on the board and open myself up to ridicule and shame.

 

Before I begin, I want to give you a few betting tips for the holidays. Ignore me at your own peril. These are based purely on personal pain from my past. No need for you to endure the same.

 

1. Tell your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend (I don’t judge) or other family members right frigging now which bowl games you are going to watch and when they are. Declare it up front and save yourself a world of misery later.

 

There is nothing worse than sitting down, icy cold man-soda in one hand, remote in the other, only to hear a voice from behind you say: “You’re not ready yet?! Hurrry up, it’s my former co-worker’s cousin’s party today! I told you last week!”

 

Save yourself a Chris Henry domestic dispute. (Too soon?). Declare right now that you aren’t missing whatever B-list bowl games are highest on your list. For me, it’s Nebraska-Zona and Navy-Missouri this year.    

 

2. Set aside $50 or $100 of play money with an online account that has a nice offering of props and halftime lines. Use this whenever you are watching games while drinking, puffing, snorting or huffing whatever you have lying around.

 

It’s for those times when you get the sudden urge to double down in the second half or that Navy’s Ricky Dobbs is going to throw for over 100 yards. It will satisfy your need to say “I was right!” without having to pillage the sofa cushions after the holidays in search of your bankroll.

 

3. Set a goal. This is an oversight I make way too often. But if you set a profit goal and a loss limit for the holidays, I can almost guarantee you’ll come out with more money in the end than if you don’t.

 

It’s amazing how the money management and discipline part of it tends to take care of itself when you have a vision.

 

4. Don’t bet the NFL. Just don’t. It’s hard enough to win at the best of times in the pros, let alone the end of the season.

 

Don’t throw your hard-earned funds away on one NFL afternoon that took you a week of grinding it out on the college gridiron to attain. To me, it’s like kicking it through the end zone on a bad pooch punt when all you had to do was knock it out of bounds at the five.

 

That’s all I got for now. Feel free to help out and add your own tips in the discussion below.

 

Happy holidays. Good luck and stay safe.

 

On to the picks, where I will refuse to acknowledge bowl name-wrecking sponsors.

 

New Mexico Bowl, Wyoming vs. Fresno State (-11.5, 55.5) – Proceed to that party you don’t want to go to and do not waste one of your B-list bowl game freebies on this one. Pick: Fresno State

 

St. Petersburg Bowl, Central Florida vs. Rutgers (-2.5, 44.5) – It's not home for UCF, but close enough. Pick: UCF

 

New Orleans Bowl, Middle Tennessee St. vs. Southern Miss (-3.5, 57.5) – OMG! Southern Miss has missed 10 extra points this year. The Eagles are so bad, coach Larry Fedora says he might not even use the kicking unit this game. Pick: over 57.5

 

Las Vegas Bowl, BYU vs. Oregon State (-2.5, 60.5) – In Sin City, it’s best to go with God. Pick: BYU

 

Poinsettia Bowl, Utah vs. Cal (-3.5, 52) – No Jahvid Best. Pick: Utah

 

Hawaii Bowl, Southern Methodist vs. Nevada (-15, 74) – If there’s one thing SMU coach June Jones knows how to do, it’s win in Hawaii. Pick: SMU

 

Pie Bowl, Ohio vs. Marshall (+2.5, 49) – I dunno. Marshall? Pick: Thundering Herd, I guess.

 

Car Care Bowl, North Carolina vs. Pitt (-3, 44.5) – Auto parts bowl is a long fall from the Orange Bowl in just one game for Pitt. Pick: UNC

 

Emerald Bowl, Boston College vs. USC (-9.5, 44.5) – If you saw Pete Carroll jumping around after a late, meaningless touchdown against UCLA, you know the Trojans still care. Pick: USC

 

Music City Bowl, Kentucky vs. Clemson (-7.5, 53) – This is the game that will make you say “Oh. The ACC really does suck.” Pick: Kentucky

 

Independence Bowl, A&M vs. Georgia (-7, 65.5) – PETA has asked Georgia to make Uga VIII a robot. Not kidding. I just don’t know how the Dogs will be able to focus on the game now. Pick: A&M

 

Bank Bowl, UCLA vs. Temple (3.5, 46) – In an old tradition that dates back to 1980, several UCLA players went “over the wall” at practice recently and skipped out. “We’ll make this a positive,” coach Rick Neuheisel said afterward. Umm, OK. Pick: Temple

 

Sports Bowl, Wisconsin vs. Miami (-3, 59) – Do you have any idea how cold it is in Wisconsin this time of year? Football takes a back seat for the Badgers in Orlando. Pick: Miami

 

Humanitarian Bowl, Bowling Green vs. Idaho (+1.5, 68.5) – It will be nice for Idaho to have the blue turf as home-field advantage for a change. Pick: Idaho

 

Holiday Bowl, Nebraska vs. Arizona (-2, 40) – Warm weather. A month to prepare. Should be enough to squeak out more than 40. Pick: over

 

Armed Forces Bowl, Air Force vs. Houston (-4.5, 63) – Seriously, this is getting old already. Pick: Houston

 

Sun Bowl, Stanford vs. Oklahoma (-8, 55.5) – Stanford is out of Luck in this one. Pick: Oklahoma

 

Texas Bowl, Navy vs. Mizzou (-6.5, 52.5) – So Mizzou would consider an invitation to the Big Ten? I’m fading the Tigers for even thinking about it. Pick: Navy

 

Insight Bowl, Iowa State vs. Minnesota (-2.5, 48.5) – This game needs to be moved back some because it is way too bad to be on New Year’s Eve. Pick: Iowa State

 

Bowl Formerly Known as The Peach, Va. Tech vs. Tennessee (-4.5, 49.5) – Tennessee’s recruiting broads will propel the Vols to victory. Pick: Tennessee

 

Bowl Formerly Known as The Hall of Fame, Northwestern vs. Auburn (-7.5, 54.5) – Good things happen when you fade the Big Ten. Pick: Auburn

 

Gator Bowl, Florida State vs. West Virginia (-2.5, 60.5) – So fitting isn’t it? Pick: Florida State 

 

Bowl Formerly Known as The Tangerine, LSU vs. Penn State (-3, 44) – Still fading the Big Ten. Pick: LSU

 

Rose Bowl, Ohio State vs. Oregon (-3.5, 50.5) – You win Big Ten, I’m not fading you here. Pick: under

 

Sugar Bowl, Cincinnati vs. Florida (-10.5, 57.5) – Seriously, did somebody set this line while drinking or something? I like Cincy and all, just not here. Pick: Florida

 

International Bowl, Northern Illinois vs. South Florida (-6.5, 50) Pick: USF

 

Pie Bowl II, UConn vs. South Carolina (-4.5, 51) – Taking an inspired UConn team to finish the season strong. Pick: UConn  

 

Cotton Bowl, Ole Miss vs. OK State (+3, 50.5) – Don’t be fooled by the rankings. Ole Miss is the better squad. Pick: Ole Miss

 

Liberty Bowl, Arkansas vs. East Carolina (+7.5, 63.5) – Take the points with a balanced ECU team that’s strong on both sides. Pick: ECU

 

Alamo Bowl, Michigan State vs. Texas Tech (-8, 60.5) – Finally, I have to submit. Pick: Michigan State

 

Fiesta Bowl, Boise State vs. TCU (-7, 55) – TCU is a touchdown better? Not against the Boise State team I watched this year. Pick: Boise State

 

Orange Bowl, Iowa vs. Ga. Tech (-4.5, 50.5) – Oh, this pains me but I have to take another Big Ten team. Pick: Iowa

 

Bowl Formerly Known as The Mobile Alabama, Troy vs. Central Michigan (-3.5, 65) – This bowl is clearly lost. It does not belong here. Somebody please, please help it find its way back to Dec. 17 or something. Pick: Central Michigan

 

BCS Natty Championship Game, Texas vs. Alabama (-5, 45) – Don’t care what conference Texas played in this year, this is too many points. Final score: Texas 24, Bama 20.

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Posted by KwameKilpatrick
4 years ago

ok, he says that fading the big ten is a good idea come bowl time, then proceeds to pick OHIO ST., MICHIGAN ST., and IOWA. those are terrible. GA TECH and OREGON are better than there bowl opponents by alot, and MICHIGAN ST. just recently got 8 people suspended including my high school teammate mark dell, who is there only playmaker at the WR spot. TECH BIG!!! i like the texas pick though...
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Posted by bodio
4 years ago

1-2 so far....
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Posted by ZarleyZalapski
4 years ago

Great advice... I'm telling my ho fo sho. She won't be stoppin' me from watchin' every game.
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Posted by Vietboy555
4 years ago

YOUR bowl picks are horrible
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Posted by LonghornHoosier
4 years ago

dude, just delete the chris henry reference. that is even below a crappy low brow degenerate gambling blog like this...
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Posted by Robertwilsoniii
4 years ago

Hey jack behind I'm from Mobile and the thing I'M AMAZED BY IS THAT YOU GET PAID TO POST THIS garbage. You don't have a clue about gambling and anyone that listens to you must get hammered weekly. Why don't you try and post your picks with some serious thought.
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Posted by kidkozak
4 years ago

LMFAO! JonBoy, you just plain out suck man meat!! You were pathetic in your four packs, and now you are ofer in your first two bowl games. The fact that you call yourself an editor when you can't even spell football is amazing. You must have fotos on someone!
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Posted by joewashington
4 years ago

Hopefully your feet aren't sheered off by a passing snow plow as you step into the street tonight on your way to Chuckee Cheese for dinner..... You're pathetic......
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Posted by KingSerf
4 years ago

Bravo, Jon! I'm not sucking your schlong, but I think your writing is getting better with each article. I am glad to see you are on UCF (Central Florida) tonight. Take care, and merry, merry Christmas!
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Posted by WinsNow999
4 years ago

OVER @ New Orleans bowl OVER @ Holiday Bowl OVER @ Rose Bowl UNDER @ BCS bowl. 90% bowls games will hit OVER totals. 2009!!!
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Posted by bodio
4 years ago

I thought the Chris Henry reference was pretty funny!!
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Posted by w123082
4 years ago

Jon, great piece...already had my ChrsiHenry moment..."you little child, I thought the bowls games started Sunday...you knew about this dinner party for 3 weeks".... Great advice: same for betting the NBA...and dont blow up a winning totals play win by betting the other way in 2d half to get a middle...RESPECT the number; they are all sharp for bowls.
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Posted by jru37726
4 years ago

I cant wait til Navy wins and makes wseitz eat his words....that Hawaii game was at Hawaii. Navy beat Wake forest and Notre dame, teams Missouri wouldnt have a chance against. I;m running to the betting booth right now.
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Posted by wseitzjr
4 years ago

this guy has some iffy picks... I read through the whole article, and when I came to the missouri/navy pick I forgot every thing else. He picked a navy team, that barely beat Army, and got embarresed by A TERRIBLE HAWAII TEAM? This guy does not watch college football, but picks bowl games like my wife. Which team has the better shopping mall... Because of this don;t listen to a thing this morom has to say... Navy will lose big!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Posted by mightiestmojo
5 years ago

Not sure about the picks. Though am impressed in someone picking my 'horns. On Henry, it sucks and is a little early, doesn't he watch the news? You use an iron for domestic disputes.
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Posted by paintguy
5 years ago

seriously jon , thats just NOT even close to being funny and Chris Henry. Kinda sick imo to be trying to make a funny about that situation. goodluck with your bowl picks i agree with maybe 4 of them, nice read though other than horrible comment about recent passing of a 26 year old!!
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Posted by QMICH
5 years ago

JON, ALL I CAN SAY ABOUT THOSE PICKS IS: WOW! BOL
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Posted by VERMONT1
5 years ago

ditto opinion, nc1capper. the comment about henry is indeed ill-advised.
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Posted by hvacdawg
5 years ago

40 degrees out wearing no shirt jumping in the back of a moving jeep yelling if she dont stop that he's gonna kill himself.....he finally does what he says.
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Posted by nc1capper
5 years ago

Jon - nice write up, but yeah, way too early for the chris henry reference (is the man even in the ground yet ,,geez)
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Posted by Jon_Campbell
5 years ago

My bad, thanks for pointing that out Jtc.
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Top Response

Posted by WinsNow999
4 years ago

"OVER @ New Orleans bowl OVER @ Holiday Bowl OVER @ Rose Bowl UNDER @ BCS bowl. 90% bowls games will hit OVER totals. 2009!!!"