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RTT's Bowl Season Locks & Keys Pt. 1 of 3

In which your resident pickers go head-to-head for bowl supremacy and serve as open threads for the bowl games, at least for a little bit.

Leon Halip

So here's the thing: Locks and Keys this year was a lot of fun. Out of respect for the kid and I_S, we won't talk about their records on the season, but we will note that your resident editor writing this piece comfortably beat them.

And then was beat by memphispete, who pulls in the overall Locks and Keys championship for the regular season. (Of course, I'm crediting myself with the above-the-fold win.)

It's a new season, though. Bowl season. Hunting season. And there's no 1007 in sight.


Yeah, you read that right. Every single game. Here's how we're doing this: every game, each of us is either playing the line, the over/under, or a prop bet.

After bowl season is over, we'll have a big ol' summary post. Hopefully by then we'll actually want to talk about the men's team, because man that's depressing right now.

Chris Apparently Has Some Idea of What He's Doing But Didn't Have Time To Prep This So This Time Is Gonna Be Terrible

Seriously, these picks are one step up from picking a favorite mascot.

New Mexico 1:00 Dec. 21: Colorado State vs. Washington State (-5.5) - ALL HAIL DREAD PIRATE LEACH AND I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT COLORADO STATE SO WHATEVER

Las Vegas 2:30 Dec. 21: Southern Cal vs. Fresno State OVER 63 - This is entirely a bet on Fresno State in both directions, with a side of SC's defense not caring after their nice new stepdad is getting replaced with Weird Surrogate Kinda Dad Clay Helton.

Famous Idaho Potato 4:30 Dec. 21: Buffalo (+2) vs. San Diego State - knowing nothing about either team, I'm just going to go with the best player (Khalil Mack) and hope Buffalo's special teams are good enough. If that sounds like a cheap reason, well, it is but you know nothing about this game either, don't lie.

New Orleans 8:00 Dec. 21:UL-Lafayette (+2) vs. Tulane - Tulane's the nice story (and don't get me wrong, it is). Although admittedly, this is just tossing darts since I know very little about either team.

Beef 'O' Brady's 1:00 Dec. 23: Ohio vs. East Carolina (-14) - this line is rather severe, but ECU is legitimately good. Ohio is decent, but ECU should have enough to dispatch them without too much trouble.

Sheraton Hawaii 7:00 Dec. 24: Oregon State (-3) vs. Boise State - Chris Petersen got out at pretty close to the right time, but that also means dead coach walking, and I haven't gotten burned enough on Mike Riley yet this year.

Little Caesars 5:00 Dec. 26. Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green (-4) - that's MAC Champions, Dave Clawson-led BGSU to you.

Poinsettia 8:30 Dec. 26: Utah State+1.5 over Northern Illinois. The Jordan Lynch express is a solid one, but as we learned in the MAC Championship, NIU can't play defense. Also, Replacement Chuckie Keeton seems to be okay.

Military Bowl 1:30 Dec. 27:Marshall (-2.5) vs. Maryland - Riding hard for C-USA because seriously I'm not backing Maryland are you kidding me they still have James Franklin stink

Texas 5:00 Dec. 27: Syracuse vs. Minnesota UNDER 47.5 - eh, heck with it. If I tell you the final here is 27-20 you'll believe me anyway, right? You're not watching this.

Fight Hunger 8:30 Dec. 27: Washington vs. BYU (+3) - BYU is a hideous team and Washington's in transition. That's enough for the backing here.

KidB's "Free Money for Vegas" Picks

A few of this picks were like coin flips for me. So, don't mortgage your house to take my picks.

New Mexico 1:00 Dec. 21: Washington State -5.5 over Colorado State: Colorado State is a solid team, and they were good ATS this year (9-4), but I'm going to be leaning towards teams from the Pac-12 because I think it's right up there with the SEC in conference strength, and the better conferences tend to do well in bowl games.

Las Vegas 2:30 Dec. 21: USC-6 over Fresno: There is a decent chance that USC will just completely tank this game. The players played hard for Coach O, they wanted him to get the gig, he didn't get it, and so they just go through the motions as a result. That could happen. But if it doesn't happen, USC will cover. USC has a strong pass defense which makes this a tough matchup for Fresno. And obviously Fresno can't stop ANYBODY from scoring, so USC should be able to put a lot of points on the board.

Famous Idaho Potato 4:30 Dec. 21: Buffalo +2 over San Diego State: I've been burned betting against San Diego State this year, but I'm just not willing to back a team that got destroyed by UNLV in the last week of the season.

New Orleans 8:00 Dec. 21: Tulane-2 over ULL: ULL struggled in its last few games, and Tulane at least finished with a reasonably respectable performance against Rice, a respectably okay team. That's all I got.. This one is tough.

Beef 'O' Brady's 1:00 Dec. 23: East Carolina-14 over Ohio. ECU should absolutely destroy Ohio. This game really should not be close at all.

Sheraton Hawaii 7:00 Dec. 24: Boise+3 over Oregon State: I went back and forth on this one, and am still not sure I'm making the correct pick even as I type over Boise State. I don't think either team is really that good. I think this game is probably a PK and that Boise is getting points because they lost their coach, but a well-coached team isn't going to forget what they've been coached to do all year, so I discount that angle.

Little Caesars 5:00 Dec. 26. Bowling Green-4 over Pitt. Bowling Green is one of the best teams to come out of the MAC in a while. They can actually play defense, which is very much not the norm for MAC teams. I don't know much about Pitt, except that they aren't that great at football.

Poinsettia 8:30 Dec. 26: Utah State+1.5 over Northern Illinois. NIU really isn't that good at football. The MAC championship game was According to Hoyle "getting exposed." Utah State has been solid all year, even after losing Chuckie Keeton for the year. They have a solid defense -- especially their run defense -- and all NIU really has is a Jordan Lynch ground game. I'm surprised Utah State isn't favored.

Military Bowl 1:30 Dec. 27: Marshall-2.5 over Maryland. Marshall is all over the place this year. If they play well, I think they're the better team and will prevail, but I won't be shocked if they lay an egg. Maryland would have been actually decent this year if they hadn't lost Stefon Diggs. But they did, and he's still out.

Texas 5:00 Dec. 27: Minnesota-4 over Syracuse. Minnesota actually showed signs in the second half of the season of being unterrible. Good for them.

Fight Hunger 8:30 Dec. 27: Washington-3 over BYU. Bronco Mendenhall has a solid record in bowl games, but I think Washington is just the better team.

I_S's "Milos Raonic Quality" Picks

New Mexico 1:00 Dec. 21:
Washington State -5.5 over Colorado State. I figure both teams are motivated by being back in a bowl, so I'll take the better team, which is the Fighting Leaches.

Las Vegas 2:30 Dec. 21: Fresno State +6 over Southern Cal. I'm not convinced the Trojans are at all interested in playing this game. If they are, they should win. But Fresno State definitely is.

Famous Idaho Potato 4:30 Dec. 21: San Diego State -2 over Buffalo. I'll take the coach who's been in a bowl before over the one who hasn't. Although that might be a bad idea, since Rocky Long is 1-6 all-time in bowls. Still, while Buffalo is a good story, I think the MWC is a bit stronger overall than the MAC this year.

New Orleans 8:00 Dec. 21: Louisiana-Lafayette +2 over Tulane. Both teams stumbled into the finish a bit. Not sure whether the New Orleans Bowl is getting old hat for the Cajuns or whether Tulane has "just happy to be here" syndrome. But Hudspeth has won two of these in a row, so I'll go with that again.

Beef 'O' Brady's 1:00 Dec. 23: East Carolina -14 over Ohio. ECU is legit good this year.

Sheraton Hawaii 7:00 Dec. 24: Oregon State/Boise State over 64. I'm not convinced either team really wants to be here, so I guess I'll just hope for defensive malaise instead of offensive malaise. Points seem like a common occurrence in Hawai'i.

Little Caesars 5:00 Dec. 26. Bowling Green -4 over Pittsburgh. Maybe Pitt is happy to not be playing in Birmingham. But probably not. No idea how Bowling Green will fare without their coach, but they should at least be amped up and ready to go. And they're probably the better team anyways.

Poinsettia 8:30 Dec. 26: Utah State +1.5 over Northern Illinois. This would've been much more interesting last year when both teams were at full strength. But despite losing their QB, Utah State got better as the season progressed, so let's go with them.

Military 1:30 Dec. 27: Maryland +2.5 over Marshall. Believe it or not, Randy Edsall has a winning record in bowls. I think he'll have Maryland ready to go after a couple year absence.

Texas 5:00 Dec. 27: Minnesota -4 over Syracuse. The Gophers put together one of the quietest really good seasons (by their standards, at least) in the country. Syracuse is not good.

Fight Hunger 8:30 Dec. 27: BYU +3 over Washington. The Huskies are the better team, but they're without their coach, and Bronco Mendenhall has won four straight bowl games.

MemphisPete's "Can He Do It On The Big Stage" Picks

I appreciate the RTT Picks Panel bringing me into the fold above the fold for the Bowl season. These guys are really smart, so I'm just trying not to be embarrassed. Let's hope my bowl results look more like the season (49-39-2 for 62.5% ATS) than Championship week (1-5).

New Mexico 1:00 Dec. 21: Colorado State +5.5 over Washington State. Both teams have been solid ATS. Most are taking Wash State so I'll start with a bowled pick and take the points.

Las Vegas 2:30 Dec. 21: Fresno State +6 over USC. Coaches left USC, not good morale, disappointing bowl and lots of other reasons to think Fresno can win it.

Famous Idaho Potato 4:30 Dec. 21: Buffalo +2 over San Diego State. I liked Buffalo in the regular season for good reason; Buffalo is 8-4 ATS.

New Orleans 8:00 Dec. 21: Tulane +1.5 over ULL. ULL has the better offense and Tulane has the better defense. It's a dartboard game. Tulane is 9-3 ATS and ULL is 4-8. I like Tulane's ATS darts better.

Beef 'O' Brady's 1:00 Dec. 23: East Carolina (-14) over Ohio. You might have noticed I picked a few blowout favorites during the season. ECU's solid offense against a weak defense makes this a Beef O Brady's kind of day for the Pirates.

Sheraton Hawaii 7:00 Dec. 24: Oregon State (-3) over Boise State. Oregon State started as a 3 point dog and swung to a favorite. The Beavers gave the Ducks a great go of it. Boise hasn't played anybody and has a new coach.

Little Caesars 5:00 Dec. 26. Bowling Green (-4) over Pitt. Pitt is 4-7-1 ATS and BGSU is 10-3. Besides, I think it's completely telling that a very average ACC school is a dog to a 10-3 MAC team, which had its coach hired away.

Poinsettia 8:30 Dec. 26: Utah State (+1.5) over Northern Illinois. NIU gets spanked by Bowling Green and misses the BCS game. Disappointing bowls make for poor performances. Both were 8-5 ATS. Cheering for the Vols opener in 2014 in a coin flip.

Military Bowl 1:30 Dec. 27: Marshall (-2.5) over Maryland. No really good reasons here other than Marshall's terrific offense and the Terps' blasé record.

Texas 5:00 Dec. 27: Minnesota (-4) over Syracuse. Syracuse got spanked by every ranked team it played. Minnesota at least beat one ranked team. The Gophers were also 9-3 ATS.

Fight Hunger 8:30 Dec. 27: Washington (-3) over BYU. BYU has a decent defense, but Washington hung with the three best Pac 12 teams with a very good offense and a solid D. I think the Huskies (a.k.a. Fat Kids) win more easily than 3, despite the loss of their head coach.