The first college football bowl game of the season is on December 17th as the Wyoming Cowboys and the Temple Owls meet at the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.

The 2011 bowl game odds on this game opened with the Temple Owls as 7.5 point favorites, but since then the line has been bet down to as low as 6.5 in some places. This move is contrary to the public opinion as the Cowboys are getting the early money at a slight 54% clip.Click Here for Odds on all the BCS Games

FREE PICKS: For updated free football picks in college and the NFL, check out Bookie Blitz for the latest in free-sports betting selections.  All 2011-2012 Bowl Picks and Predictions are here.

Coming into this game, both teams are sporting an identical 8-4 record. For the Temple Owls this is a great invite after failing to make a bowl game a year ago. First-year coach Steve Addazio has this team winning with defense and a strong rushing attack. That attack is led by Bernard Pierce who put up some great numbers this year, rushing for 1,381 yards and 25 touchdowns. The Owls rushing attack is very solid but they still have questions at quarterback, where the Owls have rotated out three different signal callers throughout the year.

The defense always keeps the Owls in games and is only allowing 13.8 points per contest.

Wyoming comes in to this game with a freshman quarterback at the helm in Brett Smith. Smith played more like a senior, leading the Cowboys to eight wins including several impressive wins on the road. Smith will keep the offense going, but he may have to put up a ton of points to make up for the defense. They rank 115th nationally in rush defense, allowing 230.8 yards per game on the ground. That could be recipe for disaster against the Owls.

The 2011 bowl game betting trends favor the Cowboys in this matchup. The Cowboys are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games following a win and they are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog of 3.5-10.0. The Owls are 1-4 against the number when playing a team with a winning record.

The Cowboys defense may have some holes, but they are very good at creating turnovers. They rank fourth nationally in turnover margin with 31 takeaways on the season and that extra edge will be the difference. Take the team who plays well on the road and can cause turnovers.

Gildan New Mexico Bowl Pick Against the Spread: Wyoming +7