NCAA Bowl Week 1 Picks - Late Games

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NCAA Bowl Week 1 Late Games

All times Eastern

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Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl
7:30 pm Utah State vs. Oregon State (-7, 67) - This looks like it could produce the upset of the day, as the Aggies of Utah State won the Mountain West conference championship, rigging the ranked Aztecs of San Diego State, 46-13. Utah State is 10-3 overall and 6-2 in conference, winning seven of their last eight. Early season losses to Boise State and BYU should be taken with many grains of salt, as the Aggies have evolved over the season into a powerful combination of explosive offense and stingy defense.

Oregon State's Beavers kind of hung around the PAC-12 with a 5-4 record in conference and a 7-5 mark overall. While their defense was spotty, the offense can light it up, but against the Aggies, their full throttle approach may lead to short series and possible turnovers. The Beavers' losses were to plain vanilla types, including Purdue, Washington State, Cal, Stanford and Oregon. This is a team looking for ways to lose and the Utah guys are probably keyed up for a regional rivalry.

Coin Flip: Utah State

Prediction: Aggies 41 Beavers 30


New Orleans Bowl
9:15 pm #23 Louisiana (-5, 55 1/2) vs. Marshall - The Thundering Herd didn't frighten many teams in 2021, finishing with a 7-5 record and a 5-3 conference mark in Conference USA. After losing three straight by October 2nd, the Herd went on to win five of them next seven, getting into a bowl game. QB Grant Wells, knocked out in the second quarter in Marshall's last game - a 53-21 blowout by Western Kentucky - will start, which is good news for Marshall.

The Rain' Cajuns out of Lafayette, Louisiana may be looking to make quick work of the Herd. They haven't lost since their season opener, a 38-18 loss at Texas. Since then, 12 straight wins give them the longest winning streak in the nation, capped off by capturing the Sun Belt title with a 24-16 win over Appalachian State. Oddsmakers may have taken the Cajuns a bit lightly. Their defense is solid and often crushing, and their offensive players are fast and well-prepped.

Marshall may not be quite good enough to handle the Sun Belt's representative..

Coin Flip: Louisiana

Prediction: Ragin' Cajuns 36 Thundering Herd 24


Monday, December 20

Myrtle Beach Bowl
2:30 pm Old Dominion vs. Tulsa (-9 1/2, 53) - These teams share identical 6-6 records and both went 5-3 in their respective conferences. The Golden Hurricane comes in off a three-game winning streak, topping Tulane, Temple, and a surprising 34-31 win over SMU.

The Monarchs started out 1-6, but put their season on the right track when Hayden Wolff took over at quarterback, stringing together five straight wins to close out the regular season.

This appears to be a very even match. Old Dominion may surprise.

Coin Flip: Tulsa

Prediction: Monarchs 34 Golden Hurricane 21



Tuesday, December 21

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
3:30 pm Kent State vs. Wyoming (-3, 59) - It might not be a surprise to Ohioans, but the Kent State Golden Flashes can light it up on occasion. They closed out the season winning four of their last five to reach the conference championship, which they lost to Northern Illinois, 41-23.

Wyoming won't offer as much of a challenge as they were just 6-6, with a 2-6 record in the Mountain West conference. Double-digit losses to Air Force, Fresno State, New Mexico, Boise State, and Hawaii bodes ill for the Cowboys. They are somewhat offensively-challenged.

Coin Flip: Wyoming

Prediction: Golden Flashes 34 Cowboys 17


Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl
7:30 pm UTSA (-2 1/2, 49 1/2) vs. #24 San Diego State - Best game of the day features the 12-1 Roadrunners, champions of Conference USA, and the Aztecs of San Diego State, runners-up in the Mountain West to Utah State, losing the title game by a 46-13 score. The Aztecs finished a very respectable 11-2. A 30-20 loss to Fresno State the the last week of October is the only other tarnish on their superb record, which includes notable wins over Utah, Air Force, and Boise State.

Both teams are well-coached and armed with solid defenders. Offensively, the Road Runners stand out, so it will be imperative for the Aztecs to be mistake-free when they have the ball. UTSA may be just a little too talented on the offensive side.

Coin Flip: San Diego State

Prediction: Roadrunners 27 Aztecs 21


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