NCAA Football: Tennessee at South Carolina

Many college football fans and detractors alike claim there are too many bowl games. It's a sentiment I'll never agree with, but I understand why they feel that way. While I love all bowl games as if they were my children, some of the earlier matchups aren't as inspiring. They'll do if you're home on a Tuesday afternoon and looking for something to watch.

Even if you feel that way, however, you have to admit we're entering the sweet spot of bowl season. The ramp-up to the finish begins this week with multiple games every day and the Power Five conferences out in full force. While the College Football Playoff semifinals aren't until Saturday night, there are plenty of games to get through beforehand, so we might as well bet on them.

All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Games of the Week

No. 6 Tennessee vs. No. 7 Clemson

Orange Bowl -- Friday, Dec. 30: The first New Year's Six bowl kicks off Friday night in Miami with two orange teams. It's the orangest Orange Bowl possible, as the brighter orange of Clemson clashes with the creamier orange of Tennessee. I hope both teams come out in all-orange uniforms to make things fun and confusing. 

What I'm not expecting is as many points as the total suggests. Neither team will have its starting quarterback. If you're a Clemson fan, you're happy about this. Tigers fans have clamored for Cade Klubnik most of the season, and now they have him. Vols fans aren't nearly as pleased. Joe Milton is filling in for the injured Hendon Hooker, who was having one of the best seasons of any player in the country. I do not expect either offense to flourish. Clemson's offensive problems run far deeper than DJ Uiagalelei and won't be solved by his absence. And Milton has one of the strongest arms you'll ever see. It's just not very accurate, and accuracy is quite important in Tennessee's offense. Tennessee 28, Clemson 27 | Under 63.5

No. 12 Washington vs. No. 20 Texas

Alamo Bowl -- Thursday, Dec. 29: Texas is a $200,000 sports car with the engine of your mom's 2014 Subaru Outback. It's going to get you anywhere you need to go, but even though it looks like it should go much faster, there's a concerning vibration throughout the cabin once you start creeping up toward 80 mph. For whatever reason, the Longhorns are never the sum of their parts and overrated on the market too often. This is another example.

With Doak Walker winner Bijan Robinson and fellow running back Roschon Johnson opting out, the Longhorns will be without their best player and a key contributor. Linebacker DeMarvion Overshown is sitting the game out, too. Meanwhile, Washington returns quarterback Michael Penix, and he's seen as a Heisman candidate for next season. Given Texas' consistent underperformance and lack of key players, it's hard to trust the Horns as favorites here, isn't it? Washington 38, Texas 35 | Washington +3

Lock of the Week

No. 13 Florida State vs. Oklahoma

Cheez-It Bowl -- Thursday, Dec. 29: There will be a large Florida State bandwagon this offseason full of people telling you that the Seminoles will win the ACC next season and could reach the College Football Playoff. I won't say I'll be the one driving the bandwagon, but I'll be on it, and I'll be loud. It's a program heading in the right direction and poised to take advantage of an ACC without a dominant program heading into next season.

Oklahoma had a rough year in its first season under coach Brent Venables. Like the Seminoles, I expect the Sooners to be better next year ... but not in this game. Florida State's the much better team, and that should become evident over a full 60 minutes. This will not be a blowout, but I don't expect the Sooners to ever really have a shot at winning, either. Florida State 38, Oklahoma 24 | Florida State -9.5

Over of the Week

No. 15 Oregon vs. North Carolina

Holiday Bowl -- Wednesday, Dec. 28: There are questions about the North Carolina offense heading into this game because offensive coordinator Phil Longo left to take the same job on Luke Fickell's staff at Wisconsin. I am not worried because the Tar Heels will be facing an Oregon defense that's been awful all season long and missing its best cornerback. Also, whatever the Heels have lost on offense with their play-caller, they've given it all back with the players that will be missing from a defense that's been one of the worst in the country all season long.

That's something Oregon and Bo Nix will take advantage of, even if their offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham is now the head coach at Arizona State. It's hard to imagine many defensive stops in this game, and I don't want to. As long as these two teams play the same way they've played all season, this will be an easy over to cash. Oregon 48, North Carolina 34 | Over 75

Under of the Week

Minnesota vs. Syracuse 

Pinstripe Bowl -- Thursday, Dec. 29: You may remember Syracuse as the team that began the year 6-0 and climbed to No. 14 in the AP Top 25 before the floor fell from beneath it. The Orange dropped five straight before finishing the regular season with a win. In truth, Syracuse was never as good as its 6-0 start suggested, nor was it as bad as the five-game losing streak. It's a perfectly OK team. It'll be diminished in this bowl game, however. Leading rusher Sean Tucker, the team's most reliable offensive piece, has opted out. 

That's not good for the Syracuse offense, but It is good for the under. Minnesota's offense loves to run the ball and is never in a hurry to start the next play. Minnesota is the stronger team in this matchup, but asking the Gophers to cover 10 points is a bit much, especially in what should be a low-scoring affair. The under is the way to go. Minnesota 24, Syracuse 14 | Under 42

Wagon of the Week

Ohio vs. Wyoming

Arizona Bowl -- Friday, Dec. 30: If you don't want to follow me here, don't. This is a numbers play, you see, but it's also a play of loyalty. Ohio has been so good to me in the 2022 season. A rough start to the Bobcats' season had a large impact on how they were viewed on the market. As a MAC program rarely in the spotlight, it took way too long for the market to catch up to the fact this Bobcats team was far better than expected. I did realize it, though, and I was a happy passenger for the ride of eight straight covers (by an average of 14.2 points).

Sadly, the market has finally caught on. There isn't nearly as much value on Ohio as there was in October and November, but some meat remains on the bone. I wouldn't have included it in The Six Pack if this was the regular season and we had 60 games from which to choose. For bowl week, though, it's enough. After all the Bobcats have done for me in 2022, this is the least I can do in return. Ohio 23, Wyoming 17 | Ohio -1

Which college football picks can you make with confidence during bowl season, and which underdogs will win outright? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $2,500 in profit over the past six-plus seasons -- and find out.