The road to the Discover BCS Championship Game on Jan. 7 begins this Saturday with the first two games of College Bowl Season.
First up, Nevada and Arizona meet for the first time in history, contending for the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.
Then, another two more sides that have never met square off as Toledo and Utah State meet in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Casino Review is here to get you in on the action.
Gildan New Mexico Bowl
University Stadium, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Saturday, 1:00 PM ET
Unbeaten in its opening three games, Arizona (7-4, 4-5 Pac-12) looked like it might be headed for a special season but the three losses that followed made sure the Wildcats would finish obscurely in the middle of the Pac-12.
Winners of six of seven to start the year, Nevada (7-5, 4-4 MWC) also looked like it might be ready to breakthrough in the Mountain West, but four losses from five ruined any such chances.
The two sides meet for the first time in Albuquerque, each looking to snap bowl losing streaks. Arizona has dropped two straight while Nevada has lost five of six, including last season’s Hawaii Bowl.
This will be the Wildcats’ first New Mexico Bowl, while the Wolf Pack played in the game in 2007, a 23-0 loss to New Mexico.
Both sides match up well on both sides of the ball, which means this should be an enjoyable game to watch at least.
Odds: Arizona has gone from eight-point favorites to 10-point favorites since opening. The over/under is 73.
Take: Arizona – The Wildcats bring Pac-12 dominance to the table against their MWC opponent which is an obvious advantage. But don’t expect everything to go Arizona’s way. The Wolf Pack will be able to hold their own, and cover the spread in the process. Take the total to go over. Both sides rank in the nation’s Top 20 in scoring and are not shy about conceding points either.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Bronco Stadium, Boise State University, Boise, ID
Saturday, 4:30 PM ET
Whilst most will roll their eyeballs at a MAC-WAC showdown, the Potato Bowl actually has more than enough to keep you interested.
Parity is the name of the game as Toledo (9-3, 6-2 MAC) faces WAC champions No. 18 Utah State (10-2, 6-0 WAC). The two sides match up almost yard for yard on the offensive side of the ball and have proven they can put points on the board. You might not think it – and certainly not from the over/under – but this could be a shootout.
But then again, the biggest advantage on Saturday will go to the Aggies of Utah State, who rank No. 8 in the country in points conceded, giving up just 15.4 points per contest. Conversely, the Rockets have given up 296 passing yards per game. Only Baylor, WVU and Louisiana Tech gave up more, and they were high-scoring sides.
Odds: Utah State opened as a 9½-point favorite, a number that has increased to 10½ ahead of kickoff. The over/under is 59.
Take: Utah State – Expect the Aggies to snap a two-game bowl losing streak by using a superior defense to shut down the Rockets. The spread really could go either way, but take Utah State to cover; the school’s 10-1-1 ATS record this season is bettered only by Northwestern and Fresno State (both 11-1-0). Take the total to go under, as it has in eight of both school’s games this year.