Bowls have already started, but you're in luck: My five favorite bets of the 2015 bowl season are on games that haven't been played yet.
Independence Bowl: Tulsa vs. Virginia Tech (-13.5)
Generally, I'd be loathe to take the Hokies giving nearly two touchdowns to anyone. Beamerball isn't about blowouts, after all.
In this case, I can see Tech getting fired up for Frank Beamer's farewell game. The Hokies have the bodies to overwhelm Tulsa physically, and they defend well against the pass, which is TU's strong suit.
I'm looking for Va. Tech to stymie the Golden Hurricane and send its beloved head coach out with a decisive win.
The pick: Fighting Beamers 37, 'Cane 20.
Northwestern vs. Tennessee (-7.5)
Despite a few anxiety-laden gaffes early in the season that led to losses, the Vols were playing like a top 10-ish squad to end the year. Still, perception of UT appears a lot closer to a middle-tier power conference team than one that I think should be favored to win its division in 2016.
Northwestern will make for a compelling upset pick for plenty of bowl-poolers. The Wildcats had a great year, but this team is one of the more overrated in the country. Even though the "find-a-way-to-win" stuff is fun, don't forget this team got blown off the field by Michigan and Iowa. Tennessee is more that speed and less Minnesota or Illinois.
My favorite play of the bowl season.
The pick: Tennessee 31, Cardiac Cats 14.
Auburn (-2.5) vs. Memphis
Coaching upheaval on both sidelines should rightfully give bettors pause here. Even so, given the talent disparities between these two teams, I can't pass on Auburn laying less than a field goal.
Gus Malzahn's tenuous job security might come into play here, too. A loss to a team from the American without a head coach would leave a bitter taste in War Eagle boosters' mouths heading into a year in which Malzahn will be sitting on a hot seat.
Memphis' signature win over Ole Miss feels like a long time ago now.
The pick: Auburn by more than three.
LSU vs. Texas Tech (+7.5)
Leonard Fournette versus Texas Tech's run defense looks like this bowl season's edition of Batman versus jaywalkers. Once you get past that eye-popping match-up, there's a lot to like about the Red Raiders in this spot.
However you want to characterize Tech's defensive ineptitude, Kliff Kingsbury's offense is the diametric opposite. Tech's well-balanced attack plays at a blistering pace and can beat opponents in a variety of ways. Worse for LSU, this version of the Bayou Bengals defense lacks the ferocity of predecessors.
I expect Tech to load the box and key on attacking LSU's running game in the backfield. The objective will be to force the Tigers to look to go downfield. Even if LSU is able to hit on big passing plays, Tech would undoubtedly prefer a shootout to getting mauled.
The pick: Take the points; heck, I'll say Tech outright.
Pittsburgh (+3.5) vs. Navy
I generally look to back the service academies in bowl games. These contests yield potluck efforts from your average teams, but you can always count on Navy to play focused ball.
I'll buck tradition here and get down on the Panthers. The reason is simple: They've already seen the triple option once this year against Georgia Tech.
The pick: It's the Pitts for the Middies this holiday season.