The best of the non-BCS bowls

The best of the non-BCS bowls

The best of the non-BCS bowls

With so much attention being given to the big BCS Bowl games, it’s easy to forget that there are a slew of other bowls to wager on over this holiday season. Here is a look at the top three bowls to watch for before the BCS heavyweight tilts take the spotlight.

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl – Arizona State (10-2) vs. Texas (9-3)

The Sun Devils will be going into this meeting with the Longhorns with a point to prove, as they finished just one spot out of a BCS berth. Their main goal will be to stop a powerful Texas offense that ranked 13th in the nation during the regular season, but Arizona State should be up to the task as they finished 27th in total defense. The Longhorns are a 1.5-point favorite, and the play of sophomore quarterback Colt McCoy will dictate the Longhorns’ success. But junior quarterback Rudy Carpenter is no slouch, leading the Sun Devils to 32.2 points a game this season.

Capital One Bowl – Michigan (8-4) vs. Florida (9-3)

Two historically solid programs go head to head in this contest as the Wolverines look to end a disappointing season on a high note. The Wolverines had high hopes that were dashed with two straight losses to open the season, including one to Division 1-AA’s Appalachian State at home in one of the biggest upsets in NCAA history. The Gators are powered by quarterback Tim Tebow, who won the Heisman trophy last weekend, becoming the first sophomore in the award’s storied history to walk away with college football’s biggest individual prize. The Gators are 10-point favorites in this clash, and the Wolverines need senior stars Chad Henne and Mike Hart to have big performances in the final game of their collegiate careers.

Gator Bowl – Missouri (11-2) vs. Arkansas (8-4)

The Tigers should feel aggrieved that they were left out of the BCS bowls despite finishing with a No. 6 ranking, as Oklahoma was the only team to beat them this season, including in the campaign finale that knocked Missouri from the top spot. Junior quarterback Chase Daniel had a phenomenal season for the Tigers, and everyone knows they can score points in bunches with their fifth-ranked offense. However, the Tigers’ main worry in this game will be the Razorbacks’ third-ranked rushing attack, powered by junior Darren McFadden who was second in Heisman voting for the second consecutive season. The Tigers ranked a decent 26th in the country against the run, but they allowed 284 yards on the ground in their two losses to the Sooners and Arkansas’ running game is much stronger than that. The Tigers are 3-point favorites in this encounter.

BetJamaica Odds

Arizona State: +1.5
Texas: -1.5 (O/U 61.5)

Michigan: +10
Florida: -10 (O/U 60)

Missouri: -3
Arkansas: +3 (O/U 69.5)

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