2009 College Bowls Weekend Game Breakdowns

The bowl game betting season kicks off this week with a three-pack of games for college football handicappers to dig into!

New Mexico Bowl: Wyoming Cowboys (6-6, 8-3 ATS) vs. Fresno State Bulldogs (8-4, 7-4 ATS)… The Cowboys and Bulldogs lock horns in Santa Fe for the New Mexico Bowl to kick off the bowl season on Saturday afternoon. Fresno State was the second largest favorite of any team this winter at the open of 12.5-points, but now stands at (-11) with a game ‘total’ of 55. If you’re just looking at how these two teams stack up against each other conference vs. conference, the decision should clearly go to the Cowboys.

Wyoming is 4-1 ATS in its L/5 games against the WAC, while Fresno is only 1-6 ATS in its L/7 games against the MWC. HC Pat Hill’s bunch is only 5-15 ATS in its L/20 games as double digit favorites. Wyoming is 14-6 ATS in its L/20 games out of conference. The Cowboys are making their first bowl appearance since 2004 (W 24-21 vs. UCLA), while Fresno lost last year’s New Mexico Bowl 40-35 against Colorado State.

St. Petersburg Bowl: UCF Knights (8-4, 9-2 ATS) vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (8-4, 6-6 ATS)… The UCF Knights will play in just the third bowl game in team history when they take the short hike up the road to Tropicana Field for the St. Petersburg Bowl against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The Scarlet Knights are 2.5-point favorites, while the ‘total’ has been set at 44. UCF hasn’t had any luck at all against the Big East in team history, going just 2-10-1 ATS in its L/13 tries. Rutgers is 4-1 ATS in its L/5 games against Conference USA foes.

The Knights have covered six of their L/7 games as underdogs, while the Scarlet Knights are 3-0-1 ATS in their L/4 bowl games under HC Greg Schiano. Central Florida’s last bowl game was an ugly 10-3 defeat in the ’07 Liberty Bowl to Mississippi State. Rutgers won last year’s Papa John’s.com Bowl 29-23, pushing as six-point favorites.

New Orleans Bowl: Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (9-3, 9-3 ATS) vs. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (7-5, 6-5 ATS)… The Superdome is the sight of the first all-time meeting between the MTSU Blue Raiders and the Southern Miss Golden Eagles for the ’09 New Orleans Bowl. The C-USA reps are 3.5-point choices of BetUS oddsmakers in this one, with the over/under set at 58. Both teams are red hot overall, as Middle Tennessee has covered six straight, while SMS has gone 5-1 ATS in its L/6 overall.

Both teams have also dominated the other’s conference as well. The Blue Raiders are 4-0 ATS in their L/4 against Conference USA, while the Golden Eagles are 7-2 ATS in their L/9 efforts against the Sun Belt. MTSU hasn’t played in a bowl game since 2006, when it lost to Central Michigan. SMS won last year’s New Orleans Bowl 30-27 in overtime against Troy.