BlackJack’s Bowl Season Kickoff: 3 Plays for Saturday
Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Fresno State Bulldogs
- BlackJack Fletcher gives out his three favorite plays on Saturday's bowl slate.
- He's riding with a few favorites that have proved more against quality competition this season.
This is the most wonderful time of the year, brothers. It’s the holiday season. Everyone is festive and feeling good.
On the sports calendar, we’re full, baby. NBA and NHL action all over the place. College basketball is kicking into gear. The NFL playoffs are around the corner and bowl season is finally here.
With that said, let’s take a look at the first day of bowls and what stands out to us.
Las Vegas Bowl
- Arizona State vs. Fresno State (-4)
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ABC
This is an interesting matchup because it features two teams that surprised to varying degrees this season.
ASU played better, especially on defense, than most expected in Herm Edwards’ first season in Tempe. Fresno State went into Boise, in the snow, and won the Mountain West Conference Championship Game in overtime.
I think this will be a fun game, but ultimately, the loss of wide receiver N’Keal Harry for the Sun Devils will be a major one. He limits their offensive and special teams capabilities with his absence to prep for the NFL Draft.
THE PICK: Fresno State -4
New Orleans Bowl
- Middle Tennessee vs. Appalachian State (-7)
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
App State has had a hell of a season. Nearly defeating Penn State on the road to open the season showed how the Mountaineers can fare against top flight competition. Other than their one slip up against Georgia Southern, they were pretty exceptional all year.
MTSU, on the other hand, is a mid-tier team from Conference USA. I think the Mountaineers put the capper on a very nice year in the Big Easy.
THE PICK: Appalachian State -7
New Mexico Bowl
- North Texas vs. Utah State (-7)
- Time: 2 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
Utah State has had an excellent season in the Mountain West this year. Its offense topped fifty points five times this year, and its only losses came to Michigan State and Boise State in extremely competitive games. The Aggies’ offense moves quickly and efficiently.
North Texas can score, as well, but the Mean Green simply have not faced the level of competition the Aggies have. Additionally, they are only 4-7 ATS this season.
THE PICK: Utah State -8
Bonus: I like a little three team money line parlay on these teams. I’m already on it at about +180, depending on your book.
Let’s CASH IT!