College Football Expert Bowl Picks: Music City Bowl, Notre Dame vs LSU, Belk Bowl, Georgia vs Louisville, Farms Bowl, Maryland vs Stanford

December 30, 2014

By Brad Carroll

 

As we get closer and closer to the ball dropping in Times Square to start the new year, the college football bowl games get more and more interesting. That's the case with Tuesday's three-pack of matchups, with the Music City Bowl featuring Notre Dame and LSU, the Belk Bowl with Georgia and Louisville and the Foster Farms Bowl, which has Maryland and Stanford.

 

We preview and pick those three games against the spread right here. Follow us on Twitter for all of our previews and picks and follow the links below for all of our prior college football bowl picks.

 

Music City Bowl

Nashville, 3 p.m., ESPN

Notre Dame (7-5) vs. No. 23 LSU (8-4)

The Spread: Notre Dame +7.5; LSU -7.5

 

Brad's Breakdown: Earlier this season, both teams were ranked in the top 10 and had dreams of playing in the College Football Playoff. But both Notre Dame and LSU took tremendous falls this season after early success. Notre Dame was 6-0 before losing in controversial fashion to then-No. 2 Florida State. After rebounding to beat Navy two weeks later, the Fighting Irish proceeded to lose their final four games of the regular season, to Arizona State, Northwestern, Louisville and USC. The middle two games were at home and the Irish were beaten by a combined 59 points in the other two. LSU started 3-0 before losing to unranked Mississippi State, a team that would quickly skyrocket to No. 1. The Tigers won four of their next five, with a loss to then-No. 5 Auburn and a victory over then-No. 3 Ole Miss. But LSU lost two of its final three games, a heartbreaker to then-No. 5 Alabama and a shutout loss to unranked Arkansas, before beating Texas A&M. The Tigers have the third-ranked defense in the country, so Notre Dame is going to find putting points on the scoreboard difficult. Both teams aren't very good, so look for a low-scoring, close game in Nashville.

Brad's Score: LSU 20, Notre Dame 17

Craig's Score: LSU 24, Notre Dame 17

Glenn's Score: Notre Dame 24, LSU 17 (upset pick)

Matt's Score: LSU 31, Notre Dame 20

 

Belk Bowl

Charlotte, 6:30 p.m., ESPN

No. 13 Georgia (9-3) vs. No. 21 Louisville (9-3)

The Spread: Georgia -6.5; Louisville +6.5

 

Brad's Breakdown: Georgia has the 12th-best rushing team in the nation and averages an SEC-best 41.7 points per game. Louisville has the third best rushing defense in the country, allowing just 93.7 yards per game. The Bulldogs won't have Todd Gurley, as he's injured and out for the season, but Nick Chubb has done a tremendous job in relief. Chubb has rushed for 1,281 yards and 12 touchdowns while Gurley was out with suspension and injury. Louisville features a group of running backs, but Michael Dyer won't be one of them Tuesday, as he was declared academically ineligible. Freshman Reggie Bonnafon and third-stringer Kyle Bollin could both see action at quarterback, as starter Will Gardner tore his ACL in the regular season finale. Georgia comes into this game after an overtime loss to Georgia Tech. Louisville beat Boston College, Notre Dame and Kentucky to finish the season. The Cardinals blew a big, third-quarter lead against Florida State before that. Georgia has too much of everything not to win this game, but Louisville will keep it close throughout.

Brad's Score: Georgia 40, Louisville 35

Craig's Score: Louisville 30, Georgia 27 (upset pick)

Glenn's Score: Georgia 35, Louisville 20

Matt's Score: Georgia 45, Louisville 20

 

Foster Farms Bowl

Maryland (7-5) vs. Stanford (7-5)

Santa Clara, 10 p.m., ESPN

The Spread: Maryland +14; Stanford -14

 

Brad's Breakdown: This has been a rare down season for Stanford, as for the first time since 2009, it won't win at least 10 games. The Cardinal went 0-5 against ranked teams until beating then-No. 8 UCLA 31-10 in the regular season finale to ruin the Bruins dreams of playing for a Pac-12 title. The Cardinal have the second best defense in the country, allowing just 16 points per game. Stanford beat the unranked teams on its schedule by an average of 24.8 points, which is what Maryland is in this matchup a short way from the Cardinal campus. Maryland's entire offense goes through quarterback C.J. Brown, as he's by far the leading rusher as well. He has 20 total touchdowns and has thrown nine interceptions. Maryland lost three of its last five games to end the regular season, dropping decisions to Wisconsin, Michigan State and Rutgers. The Terrapins average 29.1 points per game on offense and allow 28.9 on defense. Two touchdowns is a lot to give up in a bowl game, but there's a solid chance Maryland gets shut out in this game.

Brad's Score: Stanford 28, Maryland 7

Craig's Score: Stanford 31, Maryland 14

Glenn's Score: Maryland 21, Stanford 17 (upset pick)

Matt's Score: Stanford 20, Maryland 7

 

New Orleans Bowl, New Mexico Bowl, Las Vegas Bowl, Idaho Potato Bowl, Camellia Bowl picks against the spread here

 

Miami Beach Bowl picks

 

Poinsettia Bowl and Boca Raton Bowl picks

 

Bahamas Bowl and Hawai'i Bowl picks

 

St. Petersburg Bowl, Heart of Dallas Bowl, Quick Lane Bowl picks

 

Holiday Bowl, Independence Bowl, Military Bowl, Sun Bowl, Pinstripe Bowl picks

 

Liberty Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl, Texas Bowl picks

 

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