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Thread: NCAAF Trends and Indexes - Bowl Season (Sat., Dec. 16 - Mon., Jan. 8)

  1. #16
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    NCAAF

    Wednesday, December 20


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    DXL Frisco Bowl Betting Preview and Odds: Louisiana Tech vs Southern Methodist
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    Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs Southern Methodist Mustangs (-4.5, 70)

    Game to be played at Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas

    SMU will face Louisiana Tech in the inaugural Frisco Bowl on Dec. 20 with a new coach. Sonny Dykes, whose first head coaching job was at Louisiana Tech in 2010, will coach the Mustangs at the bowl game formerly known as the Miami Beach Bowl before being moved to Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, in the offseason. Chad Morris, who led SMU to its first bowl game since 2012, was hired at Arkansas on Dec. 6 after building a 14-22 record in three seasons with the Mustangs.

    The Bulldogs won their final two games to become bowl eligible and earn their fourth straight postseason bid under coach Skip Holtz. Louisiana Tech is one of nine programs in the country that enters the postseason with three straight bowl wins. The Bulldogs are playing their third bowl in the past four years in North Texas after winning the Heat of Dallas Bowl in 2014 and the Armed Forces Bowl in Forth Worth last year.

    SMU and Oklahoma State are the only FBS teams with a 3,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers, so it should come as no surprise that the Mustangs averaged 40.2 points per game. Sophomore quarterback Ben Hicks threw for 3,442 yards and 32 touchdowns while Trey Quinn and Courtland Sutton each caught 12 touchdowns. It will be a big test for a Bulldogs defense that ranked near the middle of Conference USA in opponents' points (26.7) and passing yards (215.1).

    TV:
    8 p.m. ET, ESPN.

    LINE HISTORY:
    Oddsmakers opened SMU as five-point favorites and the number was bet down slightly to 4.5. The total hit betting boards at 68 and was bumped up to 70 as of Tuesday afternoon.

    WHERE THE ACTION IS:
    As of Monday night, SMU was drawing 68 percent of the tickets written and 81 percent of the money wagered according to William Hill US.

    INJURY REPORT:


    Louisiana Tech - LB B. Durman (Questionable, Undisclosed), WR M. Gaines (Questionable, Undisclosed), WR A. Smith (Out For Season, Undisclosed), LB R. Cleveland (Out For Season, Undisclosed), CB E. Kitchen (Out For Season, Undisclosed), OL D. Melancon (Out For Season, Undisclosed), CB M. Sam (Out For Season, Undisclosed).

    Southern Methodist - OL N. Natour (Questionable, Leg), WR J. Proche (Questionable, Hamstring), DB J. Wyatt (Out, Knee), DL D. Mixon (Out For Season, Knee).

    ABOUT LOUISIANA TECH (6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS, 6-6 O/U):
    Sophomore quarterback J'Mar Smith threw for 2,758 yards and 13 touchdowns, including five scores to Conference USA co-newcomer of the year Teddy Veal (69 catches, 832 yards). Junior defensive end Jaylon Ferguson (26.5 career sacks) had a team-high six sacks while senior safety Secdrick Cooper had 63 stops and two interceptions. Freshman cornerback Amik Robertson led the team with four interceptions to go with 58 tackles and two sacks.

    ABOUT SMU (7-5 SU, 6-6 ATS, 7-5 O/U):
    Quinn (106 catches, 1,191 yards) leads the country with 8.8 receptions per game, needs six catches to tie the single-season school record and is tied with Sutton (62 catches, 1,017 yards) for second place in single-season touchdown catches. Senior defensive end Justin Lawler joined Quinn and Sutton as first-team All-AAC picks after blocking three kicks and leading the Mustangs with 9.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. The Mustangs' defense allowed at least 31 points in its final five games, which included three straight losses before a last-second goal-line stand in the finale snapped the skid.

    TRENDS:


    * Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 bowl games.
    * Mustangs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games.
    * Over is 17-8 in Bulldogs' last 25 games overall.
    * Under is 5-1 in Mustangs' last 6 games in December.

    CONSENSUS:
    The public is siding with the favorite SMU Mustangs at a rate of 61 percent and the Over is getting 51 percent of the totals action.


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    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 12-20-2017 at 02:19 PM.

  2. #17
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    Replies 5 and 6 have updated.

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    NCAAF

    Thursday, December 21


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    Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl Betting Preview and Odds: Temple vs Florida International
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    Temple Owls vs Florida International Golden Panthers (+7, 56.5)

    Game to be played at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida

    Temple coach Geoff Collins will see a familiar uniform on the opposing sideline Dec. 21 in St. Petersburg, Fla. when the Owls take on Florida International in the Gasparilla Bowl. Collins was the defensive coordinator for the Golden Panthers in 2010, as FIU captured a conference title and went on to win the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. In his first season with the Owls, Collins guided the team to a 3-1 finish down the stretch to secure a fourth straight bowl berth for the team's seniors, the winningest class in school history.

    Neither Temple nor FIU is a particularly high-scoring team as the Owls rank 96th nationally in points while the Panthers are 75th. However, both teams closed with strong offensive performances as Temple scored a season-high 43 points in a regular season-ending win against Tulsa while FIU put up 104 points in its final two wins over Western Kentucky and Massachusetts. Frank Nutile gave the Owls a boost at quarterback over the final five weeks while counterpart Alex McGough was an improved player for the Panthers during the second half of the season.

    Perhaps the key for Temple will be its ability to stop FIU inside the red zone. The Panthers led the nation in scoring percentage in the red zone with 39 scores in 40 trips while the Owls' red-zone defense was far from great, holding their opponent scoreless on just 13 percent of red-zone trips. In addition to McGough, FIU has three running backs who carried the ball at least 70 times this season and have combined for more than 1,600 yards and 15 touchdowns.

    TV:
    8 p.m. ET, ESPN.

    LINE HISTORY:
    Temple opened as 7.5-point favorites and that number has been bet down slightly to 7. The total hit betting boards at 58 and has been dropped to the current number of 56.5.

    WHERE THE ACTION IS:
    As of Monday night, Temple was drawing 56 percent of the tickets written and 64 percent of the money wagered according to William Hill US.

    INJURY REPORT:


    Temple - QB L. Marchi (Questionable, Lower Body), LB I. Graham-Mobley (Questionable, Undisclosed), WR V. Bryant (Questionable, Leg), LB C. Russell (Out For Season, Knee), K A. Jones (Out Indefinitely, Knee), DB C. Jefferson (Out Indefinitely, Undisclosed), RB J. Gardner (Out Indefinitely, Leg).

    Florida International - WR T. Owens (Out For Season, Knee), G N. Mars (Out For Season, Undisclosed), RB A. Jones (Out Indefinitely, Knee).

    ABOUT TEMPLE (6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS, 6-6 O/U):
    The Owls turned to Nutile in late October and, with the exception of one bad game against undefeated UCF, the junior quarterback finished with nine touchdowns and two interceptions down the stretch. Adonis Jennings and Keith Kirkwood each finished with 39 catches and seven touchdowns for Temple, while Isaiah Wright contributed 41 catches and three scores. Wright also averaged 8.4 yards per carry on 23 attempts, but David Hood and Ryquell Armstead - who combined for about 1,100 yards and eight scores - typically handle the bulk of the running duties for Temple.

    ABOUT FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS, 7-4-1 O/U):
    McGough threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns against UMass in the regular-season finale, helping FIU set a school record for total yards (674) while matching the mark for wins in a season (eight). The Panthers racked up 379 rushing yards and six TDs on the ground, with Alex Gardner and Napoleon Maxwell each scoring twice and McGough adding 108 yards and a touchdown. Bryce Singleton, who entered the regular-season finale with 10 catches for 112 yards and no touchdowns, erupted for six receptions for 111 yards and three scores against the Minutemen.

    TRENDS:


    * Owls are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games on fieldturf.
    * Golden Panthers are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
    * Over is 5-0 in Owls last 5 games overall.
    * Over is 4-0 in Golden Panthers last 4 games overall.

    CONSENSUS:
    The public is siding with the underdog Florida International Golden Panthers at a rate of 60 percent and the Under is getting 51 percent of the totals action.


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  4. #19
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    NCAAF

    Friday, December 22


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    Bahamas Bowl Betting Preview and Odds: UAB vs. Ohio
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    Dual threat quarterback Nathan Rourke leads a Bobcats' offense that ranks 14th in the nation at 38.9 points per game.

    UAB Blazers vs. Ohio Bobcats (-7.5, 59)

    Game to be played at Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas

    Two years after the school shut down its football program amidst financial concerns, UAB won a school-record eight games to earn its second-ever bowl berth. The Blazers, guided by National Coach of the Year candidate Bill Clark, will face Ohio in the Bahamas Bowl on Friday, Dec. 22. UAB earned its invitation to the island paradise by finishing second in the West Division of Conference USA, thanks in part to a ground attack which produced 27 touchdowns.

    Ohio finished second in the MAC's East Division, one game behind Akron. The Bobcats lost to the Zips 37-34 in the penultimate game of the regular season, snapping their four-game winning streak, and capped the campaign with another narrow setback at Buffalo. Despite the consecutive defeats to end the season, the speedy Bobcats still finished the slate ranked 14th in the nation in scoring with an average of 38.9 points.

    Under Clark, who was named the conference's top coach, the Blazers went 6-0 at home and revitalized their fan base to lead the league in attendance. Defensive back Darious Williams earned All-American Honorable Mention laurels after leading the squad with five interceptions, including one pick in four straight games. Ohio is paced by dual threat quarterback Nathan Rourke, who threw for three touchdowns and ran for three more in a 45-28 win over Miami (Ohio) on Dec. 1.

    TV:
    12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN.

    LINE HISTORY:
    The Bobcats opened between 7 and 7.5-point faves depending on the shop and have bounced back and forth between those two numbers since hitting the board. The total opened around 57 and has been bet up to the current number of 59.

    INJURY REPORT:


    UAB - No injuries to report.

    Ohio - QB N. Rourke (Probable Friday, undisclosed), OL J. McCray (Questionable Friday, concussion), DL S. McKnight (Questionable Friday, knee), RB D. Brown (Questionable Friday, knee), WR B. Cope (Questionable Friday, ankle), WR K. Harris (Questionable Friday, foot), RB A. Ouellette (Doubtful Friday, shoulder).

    WEATHER REPORT:
    It should be a beautiful day for football in Nassau. The forecast is calling for partly cloudy skies with temperatures reaching the low 80's during game time and minimal wind.

    ABOUT UAB (8-4, 8-3-1 ATS, 4-8 O/U):
    The last time the Blazers played in a bowl game was in 2004, when they participated in the Hawaii Bowl, and getting back was not an easy endeavor after the program was shut down in 2014. Quarterback A.J. Erdely passed for 2,077 yards with 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions while rushing for 289 yards and 13 more scores. Spencer Brown carried the ball 237 times for 1,292 yards and 10 TDs while Andre Wilson was the team's top receiver, hauling in 48 passes for 619 yards and six touchdowns.

    ABOUT OHIO (8-4, 8-4 ATS, 8-3-1 O/U):
    The Bobcats have won exactly eight games for three straight seasons but suffered bowl losses to Troy last campaign and Appalachian State two years ago. Rourke, who relished the time off to recover from several nagging injuries, racked up 2,018 yards passing with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions while rushing for 882 yards and 21 scores. A.J. Ouellette finished the regular season with 980 yards and seven scores on 184 carries.

    TRENDS:


    * UAB is 5-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
    * Ohio is 12-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
    * Under is 7-1 in UAB's last eight games overall.
    * Over is 5-0 in Bobcats last five non-conference games.

    CONSENSUS:
    Bettors are giving a slight edge to the underdogs, with 54 percent of wagers on the Blazers. The total is almost split down the middle, with 52 percent of bets on the Over.


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    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 12-22-2017 at 02:12 AM.

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    NCAAF

    Friday, December 22


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    Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Betting Preview and Odds: Central Michigan vs. Wyoming
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    Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Wyoming Cowboys (-3, 45.5)

    Game to be played at Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho

    Will this be Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen's swan song? The rifled-armed 6-5, 233-pound junior had what many consider a disappointing season, completing just 141-of-251 passes (56.2 percent) for 1,658 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions while also rushing for 207 yards and five scores on 84 carries. Although only an Honorable Mention All-Mountain West pick, Allen comes in at No. 6 on ESPN NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr.'s top 20 list for 2018 NFL Draft prospects.

    Will Allen, who missed Wyoming's final two games after spraining his right shoulder in a 28-14 win at Air Force on Nov. 11, be healthy enough to play? "The shoulder is getting better day to day," Allen told Wyosports.net on Dec. 5. "I've been getting back in the swing of things with some 7-on-7 and some plays in the team sessions the last couple days of practice. It felt good. (The shoulder) still isn't where I want it to be or it needs to be. There are some throws I still feel some pain, and some I don't feel anything." As far as skipping the bowl to avoid the possibility of further injury should he decide to turn pro, Allen said: "If I'm 100 percent, I'm playing in the game. I owe that to this university and to this team."

    Which team can avoid turnovers? Both clubs thrived on forcing opponents to turn over the ball, with Central Michigan leading the FBS by creating 31 turnovers while Wyoming was right behind with 30. The Cowboys also had a turnover margin of plus-16, which was second-best in the FBS, while the Chippawas finished at plus-eight.

    TV:
    4 p.m. ET, ESPN.

    LINE HISTORY:
    The game opened as a Pick 'Em at most books and has moved to Wyoming -3. The total hit betting boards at 46.5 and has dropped slightly to 45.5.

    INJURY REPORT:


    Central Michigan - DL M. Steinhauer (Questionable, Undisclosed), TE L. Hessbrook (Out Indefinitely, Concussion), WR B. Childress (Out For Season, Knee).

    Wyoming - QB J. Allen (Probable, Shoulder), DL J. Jackson (Questionable, Knee), FB J. Watson (Questionable, Concussion), OL J. Webb (Doubtful, Concussion), G K. Jackson (Doubtful, Knee), T B. Jolly (Out For Season, Pectoral), WR J. Okwoli (Out For Season, Knee), DL R. Holt (Out For Season, Knee), CB D. Watson (Out Indefinitely, Undisclosed), DT C. Cain (Out For Season, Ankle), CB A. Hull (Out For Season, Thigh), DE S. Windsor (Out Indefinitely, Concussion), DL T. Meader (Out For Season, Knee).

    WEATHER REPORT:
    37 and partly cloudy at kickoff - winds at 4mph with 11% chance of precipitation

    ABOUT CENTRAL MICHIGAN (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS, 6-6 O/U):
    The Chips, who had a 45-27 nonconference win at Kansas of the Big 12, bounced back from a 3-4 start to earn their fourth straight bowl appearance after finishing second to eventual champ Toledo in the MAC's West Division. Sophomore running back Jonathan Ward (988 yards, nine touchdowns, 5.9 yards per carry) and senior wide receiver Corey Willis (42 catches, 625 yards, nine TDs) both were All-MAC Second Team picks while senior quarterback Shane Morris finished second in the conference in passing, completing 226-of-407 attempts for 2,908 yards with 26 TDs and 13 interceptions. Senior linebacker Joe Ostman (12 sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss) and defensive backs Amari Coleman (10 passes defended, three interceptions) and Josh Cox (six interceptions) lead a defense that ranks second in the FBS with 19 interceptions.

    ABOUT WYOMING (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS, 2-10 O/U):
    If Allen doesn't play, it could be a long afternoon for the Cowboys, who ranked 10th in the Mountain West in scoring (22.3 points) and last in rushing (107.8 yards). Backup quarterback Nick Smith struggled, completing just 54.1 percent of his passes (40-of-74) for 471 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in setbacks against Fresno State (13-7) and lowly San Jose State (20-17), which snapped a 10-game losing streak. Wyoming's defense was one of the best in the conference, allowing just 17.8 points and 332.8 yards while featuring three All-Mountain West First Team picks in defensive linemen Youhanna Ghaifan (five sacks, 13 tackles for loss) and Carl Granderson (7.5 sacks) and safety Andrew Wingard (111 tackles, four interceptions).

    TRENDS:


    * Chippewas are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
    * Cowboys are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. MAC.
    * Over is 5-0 in Chippewas last 5 games overall.
    * Under is 12-2 in Cowboys last 14 games overall.

    CONSENSUS:
    The public is siding with the favorite Wyoming Cowboys at a rate of 55 percent and the Over is getting 57 percent of the totals action.


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    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 12-22-2017 at 02:13 AM.

  6. #21
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    NCAAF

    Saturday, December 23


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    Birmingham Bowl Betting Preview: Texas Tech vs. South Florida
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    The Bulls were a disappointment for Over bettors despite the outstanding play of Quinton Flowers. The dual-threat QB needs just 47 yards to become the AAC all-time leader in offensive yards gained.

    Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. South Florida Bulls (-2.5, 66.5)

    Game to be played at Legion Field, Birmington, Alabama

    When Texas Tech and No. 24 South Florida meet in the Birmingham Bowl at Legion Field on Dec. 23, two of the top offensive teams in the nation figure to light up the scoreboard. Behind senior quarterback Nic Shimonek, Texas Tech ended the regular season ranked 17th in FBS in total offense (468.4 yards per game) and 26th in scoring offense, averaging 34.6 points. USF senior quarterback Quinton Flowers led the Bulls to an average of 508.6 yards per game, ninth nationally, and spearheaded the No. 16 scoring offense in the nation (38.3).

    Flowers has the opportunity to end his collegiate career as one of the most prolific offensive players in American Athletic Conference and school history. Already the school record holder with 11,385 career yards of offense, Flowers needs just 47 more to become the conference all-time leader. Flowers also needs just 44 yards to break Marlon Mack's school record for career rushing yards, one more touchdown pass for sole possession of first with 68, just 312 yards passing to break Matt Grothe's single-season mark of 2,911 and with four scoring strikes would break his own single-season mark of 24 set last season.

    In the final regular season game against rival Texas, Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury went with sophomore quarterback McLane Carter in place of Shimonek, who had started the opening 11 games of the season. But with Texas Tech down by 10 to start the fourth quarter, Shimonek entered the game and rallied the Red Raiders to a 27-23 victory with a pair of touchdown passes and 96 yards through the air. Kingsbury wasted no time in removing any doubt as to who would start the Birmingham Bowl, announcing three weeks out that Shimonek would get the call under center against USF.

    TV:
    Noon ET, ESPN.

    LINE HISTORY:
    Just about all shops opened with the Bulls set as 2.5-point favorites and as we inch closer to game day, some locations are starting to hang a field goal spread. The total opened as high as 69 but the line is holding steady at 66.5.

    INJURY REPORT:


    Texas Tech - DB Jaylon Lane (Suspension, Out), RB Justin Stockon (Concussion, Probable), DB Willie Sykes (Disciplinary, Out), WR Derrick Willies (Disciplinary, Questionable).

    South Florida - WR Deangelo Antoine (Ankle, Out).

    WEATHER REPORT:
    Rain is in the forecast for Saturday's game. Early indications point to an 83 percent chance of precipitation during the game while game time temperatures should be between 51 and 69 degrees.

    ABOUT TEXAS TECH (6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS, 4-8 O/U):
    The Red Raiders became bowl eligible for the 38th time in school history with a victory against Texas in the regular season finale. The often maligned Texas Tech defense, which ranks 99th in the country in total yards per game allowed, came up with the big plays against Texas as it forced four turnovers overall to fuel the comeback and preserve the victory. After allowing 40 or more points in five of the opening nine games, the Red Raiders held their final three opponents to under 30.

    ABOUT SOUTH FLORIDA (9-2 SU, 5-6 ATS, 4-7 O/U):
    Under first-year coach Charlie Strong, the Bulls can accomplish something never done in program history. With a victory in the Birmingham Bowl, USF can record consecutive seasons with 10 or more wins for the first time since the program was born in 1997. "It's big,'' Strong told reporters. "It allows our seniors to go out on a winning note. Then it prepares us now to step into next season, where you go from 11 wins (in 2016) to 10 wins. Now you're sitting with new expectations, a new team and a new season, you can carry over from that. You can build off of what you've done those last two years.''

    TRENDS:


    *Texas Tech is 4-0 ATS in its last four non-conference games.
    *South Florida is 1-4 ATS in its last five games.
    *The over is 7-1 in the Red Raiders' last eight bowl games.

    CONSENSUS:
    Over 65 percent of players are backing the South Florida Bulls to cover as 2.5-point chalk against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.


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    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 12-23-2017 at 04:07 AM.

  7. #22
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    NCAAF

    Saturday, December 23


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    Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Betting Preview and Odds: San Diego State vs. Army
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    San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny was the top rusher in the nation this past season while Army was the top running team in the country. Which ground game will get the edge on Saturday?

    San Diego State Aztecs vs. Army Black Knights (+6.5, 46)

    Game to be played at Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas

    Fans of the ground game won't want to miss San Diego State's Rashaad Penny match up against Army's vaunted run attack at the Armed Forces Bowl Dec. 23 in Fort Worth, Texas. Penny received five All-American awards after leading the country in rushing yards (2,027) and adding 19 touchdowns on the ground. The talented senior saved his best for last, stringing together four straight 200-yard rushing efforts while scoring nine touchdowns over that stretch.

    The Black Knights are no slouches themselves when it comes to producing high-level rushing performances as their 355.8 rushing yards per game led the entire nation, and they joined Navy as the only FBS schools this season to surpass 4,000 total yards on the ground. Quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw was the most dangerous player for Army, rushing for 1,566 yards and 12 TDs. Eleven different Black Knights players had at least one rushing score this season.

    Army comes into this one having played the role of cardiac kids a little too often for its own comfort in recent weeks, with five of its last six games decided by five or fewer points. And while the Black Knights are no worse for wear despite the spate of close games - going 4-1 in those contests - they were fortunate to escape with a 14-13 win against Navy in their annual December showdown to capture the Commander-in-Chief trophy for the first time in 1996.

    TV:
    3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

    LINE HISTORY:
    San Diego State opened as a touchdown favorite but the spread has dropped to just six points. The total opened at 46.5 and has since come down a half point to 46.

    INJURY REPORT:


    San Diego State - OL Antonio Rosales (Ankle, Questionable), FB Grady Vazquez (Knee, Questionable), LB Temerick Harper (Foot, Questionable).

    Army - DB Rhyan England (Undisclosed, Probable).

    WEATHER REPORT:
    The forecast is calling for clear skies and game day temperatures between 37 and 50 degrees.

    ABOUT SAN DIEGO STATE (10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS, 4-7-1 O/U):
    One-sided home losses to Boise State and Fresno State left the Aztecs searching for answers - and boy, did they find them in short order. Behind a highly motivated Penny, San Diego reeled off four consecutive routs to close the season, outscoring Hawaii, San Jose State, Nevada and New Mexico by a combined 110 points en route to their school-record eighth consecutive bowl appearance. Quarterback Christian Chapman will likely only be called upon to give Penny a rest, but acquitted himself well with 1,848 passing yards, 13 TDs and just three interceptions during the season.

    ABOUT ARMY (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS, 6-6 O/U):
    There isn't much more that can be said about the ultimate run-first offense - the Black Knights threw just 61 passes all year, completing 19 - but the defense is another story altogether, and one that Army fans should be pleased about heading into Dec. 23. Entering its date with Navy, Army allowed opponents to score points on just 70 percent of their red-zone visits - even with USC, and behind only Troy, TCU and Virginia Tech. The Black Knights were also one of the top teams in the country at securing the football, turning it over just nine times in 12 games - tied for third-fewest turnovers in Division I.

    TRENDS:


    *The Aztecs are 4-0 ATS in their last four games.
    *The Aztecs are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games against teams with winning records.
    *The under is 4-0 in Army's last four games against teams from the Mountain West Conference.
    *The under is 4-1 in San Diego State's last five bowl games.

    CONSENSUS:
    About 66 percent of players like San Diego State to cover as a 6-point favorite on Saturday against Army.


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    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 12-23-2017 at 04:09 AM.

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    Sharps backing Blazers, Cowboys in Friday's bowl betting action
    Patrick Everson

    OK, let’s not pretend any of you are going to do any real work this Friday, heading into the holiday weekend. That means you’ll have time to take in – and perhaps wager on – the day’s two college football bowl games. Patrick Everson checks in on action and line movement for both contests, with insights from Will Bernanke, lead analyst for CG Analytics in Las Vegas; Scott Shelton, sportsbook supervisor at The Mirage on the Vegas Strip; and Scott Cooley, odds consultant for offshore sportsbook Bookmaker.eu.

    Bahamas Bowl

    Alabama-Birmingham Blazers vs. Ohio Bobcats – Open: -9; Move: -8.5; Move: -8; Move: -7

    Alabama-Birmingham is literally back from the dead, returning after two years of no football following a decision to drop the program. The Blazers had a stunningly surprising comeback on the field and against the oddsmakers, going 8-4 SU and 8-3-1 ATS, capped by a 28-7 home victory over Texas-El Paso as a 21-point chalk on Nov. 25.

    Ohio (8-4 SU and ATS) had a reasonably good season, too, but blew a chance to reach the Mid-American Conference championship game by losing its last two outings, both from the favorite’s role. The Bobcats lost 37-34 at Akron as a 14.5-point fave, then fell at Buffalo 31-24 laying 6.5 points on Nov. 24.

    “Ninety percent of all money is on UAB, on both account and over the counter,” Bernanke said of sharp and public action favoring the Blazers at CG books, including at The Cosmopolitan and Venetian on the Strip. “Big liability on UAB.”

    Most of that line movement came in the last two days, dropping Ohio from -8.5 to -7 at CG. Meanwhile, MGM opened Ohio significantly lower at -7.5 and dropped to 7 on Wednesday.

    “Ticket count favors the ‘dog, 2/1 on UAB, but money’s on Ohio at 5/1,” Shelton said. “It also looks like we took a big under bet, $11,000. That’s about the most exciting thing on that game.”

    Still, the total is at 58.5, up from the opener of 57 for this 12:30 p.m. ET kickoff.

    Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

    Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Wyoming Cowboys – Open: -1; Move: -2; Move: -2.5; Move: -3; Move: -3.5; Move: -4; Move: -3.5; Move: -3

    Central Michigan (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS) is red-hot heading into this chilly contest in Boise, Idaho, where the temperature will be in the mid-30s for the 4 p.m. ET kickoff. The Chippewas won and cashed in their last five games and six of seven overall, including a 31-24 victory over Northern Illinois catching 2.5 points at home on Nov. 24.

    Wyoming went on a 6-1 SU and 7-0 ATS tear to get its season in order, but finished on a down note, losing its last two SU and ATS as quarterback Josh Allen sat out with a shoulder injury. In the regular-season finale, the Cowboys (7-5 SU and ATS) were dealt a stunning 20-17 setback giving 18 points at San Jose State on Nov. 25.

    CG opened the Cowboys -1 and saw the line reach 4 on Wednesday, then quickly got some buyback on the Chippewas to bring the line down to 3 in what’s shaping up to be a Pros vs. Joes game. Allen was expected to play in this game, and that was made official Wednesday, which may have influenced the surge a bit.

    “Sixty-five percent of account money is on Wyoming, and 70 percent of over-the-counter money is on Central Michigan,” Bernanke said. “The sharps are on Wyoming, and the public is on Central Michigan.”

    Bookmaker.eu opened this game a pick ‘em and got as high as Wyoming -4.5 Wednesday, before dialing down to 3.5 on Thursday.

    “Wiseguys are on the Cowboys in a big way here,” Cooley said. “That money started coming in heavy last week, and we did see some buyback after the spread ballooned to -4 or so, but we still have decent liability on Wyoming. This line will probably come down to a field goal, but we’ll still need Central Michigan, and no one seems eager to bet on the MAC this bowl season.”

  9. #24
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    NCAAF

    Saturday, December 23


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dollar General Bowl Betting Preview and Odds: Appalachian State vs. Toldeo
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Appalachian State Mountaineers vs. Toledo Rockets (-6.5, 61)

    Game to played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama

    Mobile, Ala., will be the site for a December 23 rematch between Toledo and Appalachian State, who will meet in a bowl game for the second straight season - this time in the Dollar General Bowl. Toledo and the Mountaineers played right down to the wire last season in the Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., as Appalachian State escaped with a 31-28 victory after the Rockets missed a potential game-tying field goal with fewer than two minutes remaining. Toledo won the Mid-American Conference title and Appalachian State earned a share of the Sun Belt championship.

    This game will feature two of the nation's most efficient quarterbacks in Toledo senior Logan Woodside and Appalachian State senior Taylor Lamb, each of whom has thrown for more than 25 touchdowns and fewer than eight interceptions - a feat matched by only one other quarterback in the FBS, Heisman Trophy finalist Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma. With Lamb at quarterback, the Mountaineers have won 35 of their last 44 games - the best record of any Group of 5 team and one that is topped by only five power conference teams. Unlike his counterpart from Toledo, Lamb can hurt an opponent with his legs, something he did in last season's bowl game when he ran for 126 yards and one touchdown against the Rockets.

    Woodside hasn't been quite as good this season as he was in 2016, when he completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for over 4,000 yards and 45 touchdowns, but he hasn't needed to be with Toledo's running game churning out 2,834 yards and 32 touchdowns. Terry Swanson and Shakif Seymour have more than made up for the loss of NFL Rookie of the Year candidate Kareem Hunt by combining for 26 touchdowns while becoming one of eight sets of teammates nationally to score double-digit rushing touchdowns. "We don't want to go out with a bad taste in our mouths," Swanson, who has run for 3,557 career yards, told reporters. "It is a chance to go out and win 12 games, something that has only been done here a couple of times. "

    TV:
    7 p.m. ET, ESPN.

    LINE HISTORY:
    Toldeo hit the board as an 8-point favorite, after closing as a 1-point underdog a year ago and bettors are getting behind the upset specialists from App State. The Rockets are down a point and a half to sit at the current number of -6.5. The total opened at 63 and has been bet down two points to the current number of 61.

    INJURY REPORT:


    Appalachian State - DB J. Thomas (Questionable Saturday, Undisclosed).

    Toledo - No injuries to report.

    WEATHER REPORT:
    61 degrees and mostly cloudy during the game - 7 to 9mph winds throughout

    ABOUT APPALACHIAN STATE (8-4, 5-7 ATS, 6-6 O/U):
    The Mountaineers' defense struggled for much of the year, including giving up 82 points in back-to-back losses to Massachusetts and Louisiana Monroe, but regained its form over the final three games by allowing 30 total points. The unit is led by senior linebacker Eric Boggs, who boasts a team-leading 97 tackles, senior defensive end Antonious Sims (13.5 tackles for loss, including 9.5 sacks) and sophomore defensive back Clifton Duck (10 career interceptions). On offense, the Mountaineers operate behind an offensive line with three All-Sun Belt first team members in seniors Beau Nunn and Colby Gossett and sophomore Victor Johnson.

    ABOUT TOLEDO (11-2, 7-6 ATS, 7-6 O/U):
    In addition to having a 1,000-yard rusher in Swanson, the Rockets also feature a 1,000-yard receiver in Diontae Johnson. The sophomore, who sat out last season due to injury after catching 14 balls as a freshman, has 1,257 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns - including 118 yards and two scores in the MAC title game victory over Akron. Jon'Vea Johnson, who has taken over as the No. 2 receiver after a mid-season injury to Cody Thompson, has racked up 10 catches for 199 yards and one score in the last two games.

    TRENDS:


    * Appalachian State is 4-1 ATS last five games vs. a team with a winning record.
    * Toledo is 4-1-1 ATS in their last six vs. Sun Belt opponents.
    * Under is 4-1 in Appalachian State's last five games vs. a team with a winning record.
    * Under is 4-1 in Toledo's last five neutral site games.

    CONSENSUS:
    Bettors are giving the slight edge to the favorite here, with 53 percent of wagers backing Toledo. When it comes to the total, 62 percent of wagers are on the Over.


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    NCAAF

    Sunday, December 24


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hawai'i Bowl Betting Preview and Odds: Fresno State vs Houston
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fresno State Bulldogs vs Houston Cougars (-2.5, 49)

    Game to be played at Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

    Points could be a precious commodity on Dec. 24, when Fresno State faces Houston in the Hawaii Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The Bulldogs led the Mountain West in scoring defense at 17.2 points per game while Houston possesses the top interior lineman in the country in Outland Trophy winner Ed Oliver, a sophomore defensive tackle who has made 37.5 tackles-for-loss in 24 career games. Oliver received American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors after recording 14.5 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 sacks this season.

    Fresno State won the West Division of the Mountain West and completed the biggest turnaround in the FBS this season, going from 1-11 to 9-4 under first-year coach Jeff Tedford. The Bulldogs fell 17-14 to Boise State in the conference title game and will be looking to snap a six-game bowl losing streak when they face Houston, which finished second in the West Division of the AAC. Fresno State is making its first trip to the postseason since losing to Rice in the 2014 Hawaii Bowl, while Houston is playing in a bowl game for the fifth straight season.

    Houston’s resume includes impressive road wins over Arizona (19-16) and South Florida (28-24), as well as narrow home losses to Texas Tech (27-24) and Memphis (42-38). The Bulldogs lost back-to-back games at Alabama and Washington by a combined 63 points but responded with four straight wins, a streak capped by a dominant 27-3 victory at San Diego State. Tedford’s squad followed the win in San Diego with an ugly home loss to UNLV but closed the regular season with four straight victories, including a 28-17 triumph over Boise State.

    TV:
    8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN.

    LINE HISTORY:
    Fresno State opened as 1.5-point favorites but plenty of Houston action has pushed that number over the fence to HOU -2.5. The total hit betting boards at 47 and has been pushed up slightly to 49.

    INJURY REPORT:


    Fresno State - DB C. Coleman (Out Indefinitely, Foot), RB D. James (Out For Season, Knee), WR D. Hardaway (Out For Season, Knee).

    Houston - RB D. Birden (Questionable, Elbow), WR L. Bonner (Questionable, Arm), S C. Wilder (Out Indefinitely, Knee), OL K. Eloph (Out For Season, Back), DB D. Small (Out For Season, Undisclosed), OL A. Fontana (Out For Season, Foot), WR M. Stevenson (Out For Season, Knee).

    WEATHER REPORT:
    Temperatures are expected to be in the upper-70's with a light Pacific Ocean breeze blowing at about 6-7 miles per hour. It will be a perfect night at Aloha Stadium for sipping on margaritas and watching football with virtually no chance of rain and humidity levels fairly reasonable at about 70 percent.

    ABOUT HOUSTON (7-4 SU, 6-5 ATS, 2-9 O/U):
    The Cougars are on their third starting quarterback of the season with sophomore D’Eriq King, who led a comeback win against South Florida and has completed 73 percent of his passes for 832 yards over the last three games. Wide receiver Steven Dunbar made eight catches for 142 yards and a touchdown in a 24-14 win over Navy in the regular-season finale and has been especially dangerous on third downs. Senior linebacker D'Juan Hines set a career high with 104 tackles and was named to the All-AAC First Team, while safety Khalil Williams (eight tackles-for-loss) received Second Team honors.

    ABOUT FRESNO STATE (9-4 SU, 10-2-1 ATS, 3-10 O/U):
    The Bulldogs’ remarkable turnaround has been sparked by a revitalized defense and the arrival of junior quarterback Marcus McMaryion, a transfer from Oregon State who has thrown 14 touchdown passes against four interceptions. The Bulldogs’ running game has been held to 3.5 yards per carry over the last three contests, but McMaryion has several dangerous receiving targets - including 6-2 junior KeeSean Johnson, who has eight touchdown catches and needs 82 yards to reach 1,000 for the season. The stellar defense is led by linebackers George Helmuth and Jeffrey Allison, an All-Mountain West First Team selection who has made a team-high 113 tackles.

    TRENDS:


    * Bulldogs are 11-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
    * Bulldogs are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games.
    * Cougars are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games on fieldturf.
    * Under is 13-3 in Bulldogs' last 16 games overall.
    * Under is 14-3 in Cougars' last 17 games overall.

    CONSENSUS:
    The public is siding with the favorite Houston Cougars at a rate of 51 percent and the Over is getting 56 percent of the totals action.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  11. #26
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    replies 5 and 6 have updated - 5 is now complete

  12. #27
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    NCAAF

    Tuesday, December 26


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Heart of Dallas Bowl Betting Preview and Odds: Utah vs. West Virginia
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Utah Utes vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (+6.5, 55.5)

    Game to be played at Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas

    When the Big Ten couldn’t fulfill its allotted slot opposite the Big 12’s West Virginia, Heart of Dallas Bowl officials still wanted a matchup of Power Five teams for the Dec. 26 contest in Cotton Bowl Stadium and found what they needed in Utah of the Pac-12 Conference. The Utes needed a 34-13 win over visiting Colorado in their regular-season finale to become bowl eligible, giving the Pac-12 nine postseason teams. It will be the 36th bowl for the Mountaineers and 21st for Utah, and although it will be at least the fourth Texas-based bowl game for each school, both will be making their debuts in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, which is in its eighth season.

    While both teams will be making their fourth straight bowl appearance and the two head coaches – West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham – have coached in a combined 16 postseason contests between them, it’s the latter’s historic bowl success that’s garnering the pregame spotlight. The Utes own an impressive 16-4 all-time bowl record, and Whittingham has accounted for 10 of those wins for an NCAA-best postseason record of 10-1, including victories in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl over Pittsburgh (as a co-head coach) and the 2009 Sugar Bowl over Alabama. “Our secret formula is our players prepare hard and do it the right way, and that’s what it’s all about,” Whittingham said in the Dec. 3 bowl media conference call. “We don’t have a routine or a process that’s top secret. It’s just our guys in the program taking a lot of pride in bowl games, and they prepare the right way.”

    The availability of both starting quarterbacks is in question for the game. West Virginia’s Will Grier, the nation’s seventh-ranked passer in terms of efficiency with 3,490 yards and 34 touchdown passes, had surgery after breaking the middle finger on his throwing hand in the first quarter of the Mountaineers’ loss to Texas on Nov. 18, and Holgorsen said the chances of the Florida transfer playing against Utah are “not good.” Meanwhile, dual-threat sophomore starter Tyler Huntley was a surprise pre-game scratch from Utah’s Nov. 25 regular-season finale with an unspecified injury, but Whittingham classified the QB’s bowl prognosis as “looking very positive” in an early-December interview with the Salt Lake Tribune.

    TV:
    1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN.

    LINE HISTORY:
    Utah opened as 4.5-point favorites and heading into game day that number is up to 6.5. The total hit betting boards at 54 and has been bet up to 55.5.

    INJURY REPORT:


    Utah - DE K. Fitts (Probable, Undisclosed), QB T. Huntley (Probable, Undisclosed), WR D. Carrington II (Questionable, Undisclosed), DB J. Johnson (Out, Undisclosed), DB M. Blair (Out For Season, Leg), LB C. Drews (Out For Season, Undisclosed), DB T. Smith (Out For Season, Ankle), RB A. Shyne (Out Indefinitely, Leg).

    West Virginia - OL J. Buccigrossi (Questionable, Knee), K M. Molina (Questionable, Hip), OL K. Bosch (Out, Undisclosed), QB W. Grier (Out, Finger), RB J. Crawford (Out, Personal), LB B. Ferns (Out For Season, Shoulder).

    WEATHER REPORT:
    41and overcast - 8 to 10 mph winds and 30% chance of precipitation

    ABOUT UTAH (6-6 SU, 8-3-1 ATS, 6-6 O/U):
    Huntley also did miss starts on Oct. 7 and 14 with a shoulder injury, but went 5-4 as a starter with a combined 19 passing and rushing TDs while ranking second in the conference and 15th nationally with an average of 302.9 yards of total offense per game. If Huntley can’t play, the Utes have a capable backup in senior Troy Williams, who is 10-6 as a starter over the last two seasons, including a 9-4 mark a year ago. Whomever is throwing passes will frequently target senior wide receiver Darren Carrington II, an Oregon transfer who ranked second in the Pac-12 with 83.5 receiving yards per outing, while the defense (ranked third in the conference in rushing, total and scoring defense) and special teams (kicker Matt Gay and punter Mitch Wishnowsky both garnered multiple All-America honors) are the Utes’ unquestioned strengths.

    ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA (7-5 SU, 5-6-1 ATS, 7-4-1 O/U):
    With Grier sidelined, redshirt sophomore Chris Chugunov started the Mountaineers’ regular-season finale against Oklahoma and went 10-of-20 for 137 yards in the 59-31 road loss, but the team made strong use of the Wildcat formation, featuring reserve tailback Kennedy McKoy who ran for a career-high 137 yards and three TDs in the contest. Starting tailback Justin Crawford, who rushed for a team-high 1,061 yards and seven TDs, announced Dec. 14 he will skip the bowl to focus on NFL Draft preparations, leaving wide receivers Gary Jennings, David Sills V and Ka’Raun White as the top offensive play-makers after they combined for 212 receptions, 2,988 yards and 30 receiving TDs. Defensively, senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton led the way with 102 total tackles, including 13 for losses, but the Mountaineers struggled for the most part, allowing 31.6 points (92nd nationally) and 452.5 yards (110th) per game.

    TRENDS:


    * Utes are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 bowl games.
    * Mountaineers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
    * Over is 4-1 in Utes' last 5 games overall.
    * Under is 7-1 in Mountaineers' last 8 games in December.

    CONSENSUS:
    The public is siding with the underdog West Virginia Mountaineers at a rate of 65 percent and the Over is getting 62 percent of the totals action.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 12-26-2017 at 12:50 PM.

  13. #28
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    NCAAF

    Tuesday, December 26


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quick Lane Bowl betting preview and odds: Duke vs. Northern Illinois
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Duke Blue Devils vs. Northern Illinois Huskies (+5.5, 47.5)

    Game to be played at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.

    Northern Illinois and Duke, teams that had lengthy bowl streaks interrupted last season, will each bring a standout defender and stingy defense to the Quick Lane Bowl on Dec. 26 at Ford Field in Detroit. The Huskies, who had a streak of eight consecutive bowl appearances snapped last season, are led by sophomore defensive end Sutton Smith, the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year and first Huskie since 1993 to be named to the Walter Camp Football Foundation All-America first team. Sophomore linebacker Joe Giles-Harris, who was a first team All-ACC and second team All-American pick after leading the Blue Devils in tackles (117) and tackles for loss (15), helped Duke return to a bowl game for the fifth time in six years after a 17-year absence.

    Smith leads FBS in sacks (14), tackles for loss (28.5), pressures (73) and defensive touchdowns (two) - all school records - and is 3.5 tackles for loss away from the NCAA single-season record of 32 set by Western Michigan's Jason Babin in 2003. With Sutton wreaking havoc in the backfield, the Huskies enter ranked in the top 25 in FBS in nine defensive categories, including first in tackles for loss (106), second in sacks (41), 11th in rushing defense (112.3 yards per game) and 18th in total defense (328 yards per game). The 6-2, 230 pound Giles, who ranks third in the ACC and tied for 20th in the nation in tackles per game (9.8), heads a unit that ranked first in the ACC in opponent completion percentage (50.3), second in pass defense (174.8 yards per game) and third in interceptions (15), with four returned for touchdowns.

    Northern Illinois finished in a tie for second place in the West Division of the MAC with its signature victory a 21-17 decision at Big Ten-member Nebraska. The Huskies are no strangers to Detroit and Ford Field, playing here in six consecutive MAC championship games from 2010-15, winning three times. Duke won its first four games this season by a combined 101 points, dropped its next six contests before rebounding with consecutive wins to close out the regular season, including a 31-23 triumph over Wake Forest on Nov. 25 behind a career-high 346 passing yards and three total touchdowns from Daniel Jones.

    TV:
    5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

    LINE HISTORY:
    The Blue Devils opened as 4.5-point favorites but are now 5.5-point chalk. The total opened at 47.5 and dropped a half point to 47.

    INJURY REPORT:


    Duke - LB Ben Humphreys (Leg, Probable), K Austin Parker (Disciplinary, Out).

    NIU - TE Shane Wimann (Foot, Out), RB Jordan Huff (Ankle, Out), CB Shawun Lurry (Wrist, Out), QB Daniel Santacaterina (Personal, Left team).

    WEATHER REPORT:
    13 degrees and mostly cloudy - 5 to 7 mph winds and negligible chance for precipitation

    ABOUT NORTHERN ILLINOIS (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS, 6-6 O/U):
    Quarterback Marcus Childers, the MAC Freshman of the Year, took over the reins in early October after Ryan Graham suffered an elbow injury in Week 1 and Daniel Santacaterina battled turnover issues. Childers completed 57.3 percent of his passes for 1,440 yards with 15 touchdowns against five interceptions and picked up an additional 454 rushing yards with five more TDs. Senior Jordan Huff (740 yards in nine games, 5.8 per carry), will miss this game because of a season-ending ankle injury while Childers has five receivers that caught between 28 and 39 passes, but four of the five averaged less than 12 yards per catch.

    ABOUT DUKE (6-6 SU, 6-5-1 ATS, 3-9 O/U):
    Prior to the big outing against the Demon Deacons, Jones (2,439 passing yards, 12 TDs; 432 rushing yards, six TDs) had passed for more than 200 yards only twice in his seven previous games, a big reason why the Blue Devils ranked last in the ACC in passer efficiency rating (110.3) and 12th in scoring offense (25.8 points per game). Senior Shaun Wilson (743 yards, five TDs) and freshman Brittain Brown (660, six) will split carries and junior wideout T.J. Rahming (61 receptions, 733 yards, one TD) will be Jones’ main target downfield. Duke sophomore kicker Austin Parker, who made 17-of-21 field goal attempts and averaged 42.1 yards per punt, was dismissed from the program for violation of university academic policy.

    TRENDS:


    *The Blue Devils are 13-1 ATS in their last 14 games on fieldturf.
    *The Blue Devils are 19-6-1 ATS in their last 26 non-conference games.
    *The Huskies are 0-4 ATS in their last four bowl games.
    *The under is 9-1 in Duke's last 10 games overall.

    CONSENSUS:
    Nearly 55 percent of contest players are backing the Blue Devils to cover as 5.5-point chalk and 59 percent like the game to play over the 47.5-point total.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 12-26-2017 at 12:51 PM.

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    NCAAF

    Tuesday, December 26


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cactus Bowl betting preview and odds: Kansas State vs. UCLA
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Kansas State Wildcats vs. UCLA Bruins (+6.5, 60.5)

    Game to be played at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Will he or won't he? UCLA starting quarterback Josh Rosen stated over the weekend that he wants to play in the Cactus Bowl, but he's yet to clear concussion protocol following a second injury to his head in the regular season finale. He finished the campaign 10th in the FBS in passing yards with 3,717, but the junior has been slowed by injuries the past two seasons and twice was unable to finish a game this fall.

    He was replaced against California after getting sacked three times in the first half, but he has since returned to practice and appears ready to go against Kansas State, which has the second-worst pass defense in the FBS at 310.3 passing yards surrendered per game. Rosen's other postseason appearance came in the Foster Farms Bowl two years ago, when the Bruins were defeated by five-win Nebraska 37-29 in Santa Clara, Calif.

    UCLA interim coach Jedd Fisch will try to send he and the Bruins out a winner when they face Kansas State in the Cactus Bowl on Dec. 26 at Chase Field in Phoenix. UCLA hired Chip Kelly on Nov. 25, six days after Jim Mora was fired following a 28-23 loss to crosstown rival USC, but Kelly won't officially take over until this season's over. Fisch guided UCLA to a 30-27 victory against California in the final regular-season game on Nov. 24, making the Bruins bowl-eligible after they missed out on the postseason a year ago.

    Kansas State ended the regular season on a high note Nov. 25, defeating Iowa State 20-19 on a last-second touchdown pass which came a week after the Wildcats toppled then-No. 13 Oklahoma State 45-40 as 19 1/2-point underdogs. Kansas State met UCLA in the Alamo Bowl on January 2, 2015, and the 40-35 victory by the Bruins was somewhat overshadowed when Mora pulled his hand away from Kansas State coach Bill Snyder during their postgame handshake because he didn't like the way the Wildcats remained physical as the Bruins tried to run out the clock. Mora won't get that opportunity again, but the 78-year-old Snyder is still winning games for Kansas State.

    TV:
    9 p.m. ET, ESPN

    LINE HISTORY:
    The Bruins opened as 2.5-point underdogs but are getting 6.5 points because of Rosen's questionable status. The total opened at 62 and dropped to 60.5.

    INJURY REPORT:


    UCLA - QB Josh Rosen (Concussion, Doubtful), QB Devon Modster (Thumb, Questionable), DL Jaelan Phillips (Undisclosed, Questionable), LB Lokeni Toailoa (Ribs, Questionable).

    Kansas State - WR Dalton Schoen (Collarbone, Questionable), DB AJ Parker (Undisclosed, Questionable), QB Alex Delton (Concussion, Questionable), DB D.J. Reed (Undisclosed, Questionable), TE Dayton Valentine (Undisclosed, Questionable), DB Kendall Adams (Foot, Questionable).

    ABOUT KANSAS STATE (7-5 SU, 5-6-1 ATS, 6-6 O/U):
    The Wildcats are on their third quarterback this season, but they might be playing their best football behind freshman Skylar Thompson, who only threw two passes the first seven games but is a combined 25-for-34 passing in the past two games with four touchdown throws and no interceptions. Jesse Ertz started the first five games before he sustained a season-ending knee injury, and Alex Delton started the next four before he was sidelined with a concussion. Thompson has a nice choice of receivers in deep-threat Byron Pringle, who is averaging 25.2 yards on his 28 receptions, or Isaiah Zuber, who has caught a team-high 51 passes for 510 yards and four touchdowns.

    ABOUT UCLA (6-6 SU, 4-8 ATS, 8-4 O/U):
    The receiving corps for the Bruins took a couple major hits when leading receiver Darren Andrews sustained a season-ending knee injury on Nov. 3 against Utah, a month after sure-handed tight end Caleb Wilson was lost for the season with a foot injury. Rosen still has a great option in junior wide receiver Jordan Lasley, who's coming off back-to-back 200-yard receiving efforts while significantly improving his NFL Draft stock. The challenge for Rosen will be finding other receivers, as Lasley is sure to draw consistent double coverage, even against Kansas State's weak pass defense.

    TRENDS:


    *The Bruins 1-7 ATS in their last eight non-conference games.
    *The Wildcats are 2-7 ATS in their last nine bowl games.
    *The Bruins are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games overall.

    CONSENSUS:
    About 60 percent of players are backing the Wildcats to cover as 6.5-point chalk and 59 percent like the game to play over the 59.5-point total.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 12-26-2017 at 12:51 PM.

  15. #30
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    Reply 5 has updated - writeups are complete - results chart at the end of 5 will continue to update each morning

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