Saturday Bowl Tips

Joe Southwick and the Boise State Broncos will be on the hunt for a third straight Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday.

Brigham Young picked up a Poinsettia Bowl win over San Diego State last night. Ball State and Central Florida will be looking to do the same tonight as they meet in the St. Petersbrug Bowl. Check our midweek blog to see who we picked.

With bowl games coming thick and fast, we’re giving you a head start and taking a look at Saturday’s pair of bowl games. Here’s our take on the New Orleans Bowl and Maaco Bowl Las Vegas.


R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

East Carolina vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA

Saturday, 12:00 PM ET

East Carolina (8-4, 7-1 CUSA) and Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4, 6-2 Sun Belt) renew a rivalry that hasn’t seen the light of day in 22 years, this Saturday in the New Orleans Bowl.

The two sides met 10 times between 1977 and 1990, with the Ragin’ Cajuns owning a 6-4 advantage. The Cajuns were winners of this game last year, knocking off San Diego State in epic come-from-behind fashion.

The Pirates had a solid season in Conference USA, narrowly missing out on a trip to the championship game. Ruffin McNeill’s side won its final three and five of six and will be looking to improve on a 6-7 bowl record, which includes three straight losses.

Louisiana-Lafayette finished second to Arkansas State in the Sun Belt Conference, winning four of the last five games. A second straight trip to the New Orleans Bowl marks only the second time the team has been to a major bowl.

Odds: Louisiana-Lafayette opened as four-point favorites, a number that has risen to 5½ with some bookmakers. The over/under is 67.

Take: Louisiana-Lafayette – This is one of the toughest games on the entire bowl schedule to pick the winner, and were East Carolina to pick up an upset victory it probably wouldn’t be that surprising. Ultimately, the Ragin’ Cajuns stand out for two reasons. Firstly, they’re playing in New Orleans which is as good as home field advantage. Secondly, the side’s defense is marginally better than East Carolina’s, and probably good enough for one extra stop. Take the Cajuns straight up and to cover the spread, just. Take the total to go under. While these teams have scoring power, 67 might be just out of reach.


Maaco Bowl Las Vegas

Boise State vs. Washington Huskies

Sam Boyd Stadium, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV

Saturday, 3:30 PM ET

Boise State (10-2, 7-1 MWC) will look to win its third straight Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday. Washington (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12) will be looking to buck that particular trend.

After falling to Michigan State in Week 1, Boise State won 10 of its last 11, including three straight to close out the season for a share of the MCS championship.

Washington was less consistent. The Huskies won three of the first four, then lost three straight, before winning four straight.  A loss to Washington State closed out the season.

The two sides have met just once, a Sept. 2007 game that ended 24-10 in favor of Washington.

The Huskies lost an Alamo Bowl shootout last year to Baylor and has lost three of its last four bowl games. Boise State has won three straight bowl games and has an impressive 8-4 bowl record all told.

Odds: Boise State opened as favorites but a six-point spread has fallen to 5½ with some bookies. He over/under has also fallen, from 46 to 44½.

Take: Boise State – The Broncos ranked No. 6 in scoring defense this season, giving up just 14.9 points per game. Much of this success was based on a passing defense that conceded just 163.4 yards per game (tied for fourth in the nation). Washington was no slouch defensively, and ranked 16th against the pass, but Boise State’s offense proved more prolific this season, and may be too much for Washington. Take Washington to cover the spread though, and take the total to go under, as has been the norm for both sides this season.