The Picker: Tips for picking bowl games
BY The Picker
Thursday, December 06, 2012
12/06/12 at 3:31 AM
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Original Print Headline: Some tips to follow in picking bowl games
The biggest picking contest ever is about to start: Pick all the college bowl games against the point spread, beat us, beat everybody else, and win an HDTV almost big as your living room wall.
There are so many bowl games (35), updates of the contest leaders will be posted periodically along the way.
You have a week to get entered online.
During the regular-season picking challenge, we beat so many contestants that a Bowl Picking Primer seems appropriate.
Seniors: System players paid for all those pretty lights in Vegas, where wagering on sports is legal.
Playing one team or another because of something technical, or historic, that happened with different players on the roster borders on the nutty.
Successful displays of instinct and creativity win the prizes.
Still, some trends occasionally matter.
One negative bowl vibe involves seniors with certain pro careers.
You think they want to risk injury against a bowl bum?
The answer is no.
Respect: The lack thereof can be a factor among underdogs, who usually cover more than half the bowl spreads.
Anybody who goes up against the top seeds figures to play the lack of respect card repeatedly, Notre Dame and K-State this time around, possibly even OU, whose defense is expected to be ravaged by High School Harry of the Aggies.
No coach: Generally speaking, many bowl teams need coaches.
Without coaches, who is to tell them where to collect the bowl swag, and inform the players of the five strikes and you're suspended for the first half drug policy.
Coaching turmoil, the fires and hires and interim coaches, can leave a team out all night and unsettled.
Cracked bowls, like the one where Oklahoma State has been banished, would seem to favor the heavy underdogs, but don't always.
Army versus Navy (-7) in Philadelphia: You could have thrown the record book out the window when these two meet if Army hadn't thrown it out weeks back.
Army has only won a couple.
Still, it's a great spectacle to be observed for the patriotism and the intense competition.
Navy by 13.
Baltimore at Washington (-2 1/2): RG3's bandwagon has everybody from punks to politicians on it.
His chief quality is an accurate arm.
Hopefully it won't be wrapped around his head and tied in a knot.
Vicious hits after a run are a concern; see Michael Vick.
Washington by 1.
San Diego at the Steelers (-7): Have the owners of the Chargers even been watching the last half a dozen years?
The Steelers have been surviving on guts, guts and more guts.
Steelers by 5.
Dallas at Cincinnati (-3): The Cowboys are almost in need of an intervention, with owner Jones being led off the sideline until a proper general manager can be put in place.
Dallas is in this precarious a condition: Must make a first down. Must score. Must get a turnover. Must keep all that up. Must win.
Dallas by 2.
Detroit at Green Bay (-7): Lions are the leader in the doghouse for flop of the year.
First nip in the gridiron air predicted.
GB by 9.
Houston at New England (-4): These three show up as fake favorites most years before wilting in the playoffs - Atlanta, Baltimore and Houston.
Temperature change worth a point or two to home squad.
NE by 3.