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Bracketology/Bowls Expert

Early bowl picks

The nature of bowls makes them difficult to predict straight up, let alone against the spread. You have long (sometimes very long) layoffs, academic casualties, coaches leaving, final exams, the holidays, and various other distractions that can prevent teams from being all they can be, or even all they were before.

With that in mind, I will get out the cosmic coin and offer up some predictions on the early bowl games.

New Mexico Bowl, Dec. 15: Arizona (-8.5, cover) vs. Nevada -- Two of the top running backs are in this game, so it should move along quickly.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Dec. 15: Utah State vs. Toledo (+10) -- Good chance you'll see a lot of scoring. Toledo can light it up ... for both teams.

Poinsettia Bowl, Dec. 20: BYU vs. San Diego State (+2.5) -- The Cougars struggled against the better teams they faced this year.

Beef O'Brady's Bowl, Dec. 21: Ball State (+7.5) vs. UCF -- The Cardinals finished hot, winning six straight. That momentum is all gone of course, but I still like them.

New Orleans Bowl, Dec. 22: East Carolina vs. UL Lafayette (-6, cover) -- Home-ish game for the Rajin Cajuns.

Las Vegas Bowl, Dec. 22: Washington vs. Boise State (-5.5) -- Washington will be looking to erase the rotten apple taste in its mouth, but Boise is still the better team.

Hawaii Bowl, Dec. 24: Fresno State vs. SMU (+12.5) -- You can't pick against June Jones on the island.

I will have more picks as Christmas approaches.

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