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Previewing This Weekend’s Football + Bowl Schedule

Football Betting: NFL/NCAAF Week Top Game Preview And Analysis

This is the most important week so far in college football betting, even if we only have 17 games on the FBS schedule. The results will determine who gets to play in the BCS National Championship Game and the four major bowls, not to mention the other 29 games on the bowl schedule – some far more prestigious than others.

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If you’re new to the sport, bowl season is what it’s all about in college. There is no playoff to determine a champion; instead, an entity called the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) exists to select which teams get to play in which bowl games. The No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the BCS rankings (currently Florida and Alabama, although that should change next week) get to play in the Championship Game. It gets a little more complicated after that.

Here’s the complete bowl schedule as we know it. Each bowl has a tie-in to a certain conference, and often a certain seed in that conference. These are included below, as are the teams who have already been awarded bids and have accepted. All times listed are Eastern; we’ll have the college football odds for bowl season at Bodog Sports as they become available.

2009/10 Bowl Game Schedule

New Mexico Bowl
December 19, 2:30 p.m., ESPN
Mountain West vs. WAC

St. Petersburg Bowl
December 19, 8:00 p.m., ESPN
Big East vs. C-USA (UCF)

New Orleans Bowl
December 20, 8:00 p.m., ESPN
C-USA vs. Sun Belt No. 1

Las Vegas Bowl
December 22, 8:00 p.m., ESPN
Mountain West No. 1 vs. Pac 10 No. 4

Poinsettia Bowl
December 23, 8:00 p.m., ESPN
Mountain West vs. Pac 10

Hawaii Bowl
December 24, 8:00 p.m., ESPN
C-USA (SMU) vs. WAC

Emerald Bowl
December 26, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
ACC No. 7 vs. Pac 10 No. 5

Meineke Car Care Bowl
December 26, 4:00 p.m., ESPN
ACC No. 6 vs. Big East

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
December 26, 5:00 p.m., ESPN
Big Ten No. 7 vs. MAC

Music City Bowl
December 27, 8:00 p.m., ESPN
ACC vs. SEC

Independence Bowl
December 28, 5:00 p.m., ESPN
Big 12 No. 7 vs. SEC No. 8

Champs Sports Bowl
December 29, 8:00 p.m., ESPN
ACC No. 4 vs. Big Ten No. 4 or 5

EagleBank Bowl
December 30, 4:30 p.m., ESPN
ACC No. 8 vs. Army or C-USA

Holiday Bowl
December 30, 8:00 p.m., ESPN
Big 12 No. 3 vs. Pac 10 No. 2

Humanitarian Bowl
December 30, 4:30 p.m., ESPN
Mountain West vs. WAC

Texas Bowl
December 31, TBA, ESPN
Big 12 vs. Navy or C-USA (Navy)

Armed Forces Bowl
December 31, TBA, ESPN
Mountain West vs. C-USA

Sun Bowl
December 31, 12:00 p.m., CBS
Pac 10 No. 3 vs. Big East or Big 12 or Notre Dame

Insight Bowl
December 31, 5:30 p.m., NFL Network
Big Ten No. 6 vs. Big 12 No. 6

Chick-fil-A Bowl
December 31, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
ACC No. 2 vs. SEC

Outback Bowl
January 1, 11:00 a.m., ESPN
Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC

Capital One Bowl
January 1, 1:00 p.m., ABC
Big Ten No. 2 vs. SEC No. 2

Gator Bowl
January 1, Jacksonville FL, 1:00 p.m., CBS
ACC No. 3 vs. Big East or Big 12 or Notre Dame

Liberty Bowl
January 2, 5:30 p.m., ESPN
C-USA No. 1 vs. SEC No. 6

International Bowl
January 2, 12:00 p.m., ESPN2
Big East vs. MAC No. 4 or 5

Cotton Bowl
January 2, 2:00 p.m., FOX
Big 12 No. 2 vs. SEC

Papajohns.com Bowl
January 2, 2:00 p.m., ESPN
Big East vs. SEC

Alamo Bowl
January 2, 8:00 p.m., ESPN
Big Ten No. 4 or 5 vs. Big 12 No. 4

GMAC Bowl
January 6, 7:00 p.m., ESPN
ACC vs. MAC

Rose Bowl
January 1, 5:00 p.m., ABC
BCS vs. BCS (Big Ten vs. Pac 10 champion, if available)

Sugar Bowl
January 1, 8:30 p.m., FOX
BCS vs. BCS (SEC Champion, if available)

Fiesta Bowl
January 4, 8:00 p.m., FOX
BCS vs. BCS (Big 12 Champion, if available)

Orange Bowl
January 5, Miami Gardens, FL, 8:00 p.m., FOX
BCS vs. BCS (ACC Champion, if available)

BCS National Championship Game
January 7, 8:00 p.m., FOX
BCS No. 1 vs. BCS No. 2

Saturday: No. 1 Florida vs. No. 2 Alabama (4:00 p.m., CBS)

Both the Gators (12-0 SU, 6-5 ATS) and the Tide (12-0 SU, 7-5 ATS) have made it this far without a scratch. But the loser of this SEC title contest will likely settle for the Sugar Bowl, while the winner moves on to the championship game. We have Alabama as a 6-point dog (-125) at press time. The Gators won this same title bout 31-20 last year as 10-point favorites.

Saturday: No. 3 Texas vs. No. 22 Nebraska (8:00 p.m., ABC)

The Longhorns (12-0 SU, 5-6-1 ATS) are expecting to win this Big 12 title game and move up from No. 3 to No. 2 in the final BCS rankings before the bowl season. But it’s hardly a foregone conclusion against the defensively stout Cornhuskers (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS). Texas is nonetheless much more popular and favored by 14 points (-115) at the new Cowboys Stadium.

Sunday: Tennessee at Indianapolis (1:00 p.m., CBS)

The Titans (5-6 SU, 6-5 ATS) are undefeated with Vince Young at quarterback, but the Colts (11-0 SU, 7-3-1 ATS) have been undefeated all season. Although Indianapolis has won the last two meetings with the Titans SU and ATS, one was in Week 5 before Young took over, and the other was last year in Week 17, when QB Jim Sorgi started for the Colts. Tennessee is a 7-point puppy (-120) this Sunday with a total of 47.

Sunday: Dallas at N.Y. Giants (4:15 p.m., FOX)

It should be near-freezing at Giants Stadium, but under mostly sunny skies for this NFC East tussle between the Cowboys (8-3 SU, 6-5 ATS) and the Giants (6-5 SU, 4-6-1 ATS). The Giants won this matchup 33-31 in Dallas (-3) back in Week 2, but they’re 1.5-point home dogs (even) this week with a total of 45. The UNDER has cashed in four times in a row for the Cowboys.

Sunday: Minnesota at Arizona (8:20 p.m., NBC)

This is supposed to be Brett Favre for the Vikings (10-1 SU, 7-3-1 ATS) versus Kurt Warner for the Cardinals (7-4 SU, 6-5 ATS), but we’re still not sure whether Warner (concussion) will be able to play. He returned to practice on Wednesday and split first-team reps with last week’s starter, Matt Leinart. Arizona hasn’t covered in two attempts since Warner was injured in Week 11 against his old team, the St. Louis Rams.

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