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College bowl confidence pool odds 2018: Picks, predictions from expert on 20-6 roll

The 2018 college football bowl schedule is set, and that means it’s time to enter your bowl confidence pool picks. This season’s 39-game slate features a wide-ranging selection, from classic programs like Texas and Georgia meeting in the Fiesta Bowl to high-powered teams colliding when West Virginia and Syracuse meet in the Camping World Bowl. There are also plenty of unfamiliar matchups like Group of Five stalwarts Troy and Buffalo meeting in the Dollar General Bowl.

Before you lock in your college football bowl picks for confidence pools, listen to what SportsLine senior analyst Josh Nagel has to say. Nagel is noted for specializing in college athletics, and his football handicapping has been on point this season. The Nevada-based expert has hit 60 percent of his point-spread picks this season, and enters the bowl season on an impressive 20-6 run. Those picks include providing SportsLine members with point-spread winners for the Pac-12, SEC and Big 12 title games during championship weekend. Anyone who has followed him is way up. 

Now, he’s using a season’s worth of data gathered from game film, analytics and his strong feel for the game. He has analyzed each bowl matchup and ordered every game by level of confidence. He’s only sharing his final picks over at SportsLine. 

One surprise we’ll give away: Nagel likes Iowa State to topple Washington State outright as a four-point underdog in the 2018 Alamo Bowl. He has assigned 27 confidence points to that selection. 

“Washington State coach Mike Leach apparently doesn’t like working overtime, as he has lost three of his four bowls with the Cougars, and now he’s preoccupied with complaining about the ranking system,” Nagel told SportsLine. “Iowa State plays the type of gritty style that is a nightmare for the finesse Cougars. The Cyclones win outright.” 

Meanwhile, he’s assigning 38 points to Penn State knocking off upstart Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day, his second-most confident selection. 

“Kentucky has had a breakout season and boasts a solid defense, but I can’t see the Wildcats hanging with Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley and the high-powered Nittany Lions in this one,” Nagel said. 

Nagel is also assigning a high-confidence ranking of 33 to a team that’s barely favored by a field goal. He is highly confident in the winner, but many people in your pool may be skeptical. Picks like these could be the difference between winning your 2018 bowl confidence pool and going home empty-handed. 

So which teams should you rank in which order in your football confidence pools? And what underrated favorite do you need to be all-in on? Visit SportsLine to see the full bowl confidence picks, and see what teams won’t disappoint, all from our senior analyst who’s hitting 77 percent of his spread selections.

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