College Football Weekend Bowl Preview

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The bowl season rolls on into a Christmas weekend full of action. Here’s a quick look at some of this week’s college football matchups, and the numbers that go with them.

The Mountain West Conference takes on the Pac-10 Wednesday night when the Utah Utes (9-3) and Cal Bears (8-4) go at it in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego (8 pm Eastern, ESPN). Utah lost two of its last three regular-season games to finish third in the MWC, while Cal lost its season finale badly to Washington, and finished fifth in the Pac-10.

The Utes and Bears played one common opponent this season; Utah lost at Oregon in Week 3 by a score of 31-24, while the following week Cal went to Eugene and got clobbered 42-3.

As of Tuesday afternoon is listing Cal at -3 for Wednesday’s game over Utah, with a total of 52.5.

The Nevada Wolf Pack (8-4) and SMU Mustangs (7-5) must have good travel agents, because they’ll spend Christmas Eve in Honolulu, playing the Hawaii Bowl (8 E, ESPN). Nevada recovered from an 0-3 start this season to win eight straight before losing their season finale at Boise State, and finished in second place in the WAC. Southern Methodist won four of its last five games to finish tied for first in the C-USA West, although they lost the tie-breaker to Houston. is listing the Pack at -12.5 over the Ponies, with a total of 73.

College football takes Christmas Day off, but the action picks up again Saturday when the Ohio Bobcats (9-4) tangle with Marshall’s Thundering Herd (6-6) in the Little Caesar’s Bowl (1 pm Eastern, ESPN) at Ford Field in Detroit. After that, the Pitt Panthers (9-3) and North Carolina Tar Heels (8-4) meet in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte (4:30, ESPN). And the disappointing USC Trojans (8-4) and Boston College Eagles (8-4) cap off Saturday night in the Emerald Bowl (8, ESPN) in San Francisco.

Ohio is listed at -3 over Marshall at, with a total of 49.5.

The Panthers are giving the Heels 2.5 points on the betting line, with a total of 44.5.

And Southern Cal is listed at -8 over BC at, with a total of 45.

Sunday night it’s an ACC/SEC battle when the Clemson Tigers (8-5) and Kentucky Wildcats (7-5) play the Music City Bowl in Nashville (8:15 pm, ESPN). Kentucky started 2-3 this year, then won five of its last seven to reach a bowl for the fourth straight year. Clemson also started 2-3, then won six in a row before losing its last two. The Tigers will be playing in a bowl for the fifth straight season.

Kentucky upset Clemson 28-20 in a memorable Music City Bowl three years ago. is listing Clemson at -7 over the ‘Cats, with a total of 52.

And Monday night the SEC takes on the Big 12 when the Georgia Bulldogs (7-5) and Texas A&M Aggies (6-6) play the Independence Bowl in Shreveport (5 pm Eastern, ESPN2). is chalking Georgia at -7 over A&M, with a total of 65.5.

Bettors should check back at for updated odds on these and all the bowl games, right through the BCS championship game Jan. 7 at the Rose Bowl.

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