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Thread: The Bums 2017 College Football Bowl Games Trends-Stats-Best Bets !

  1. #46
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    Bowls to Bet - Week 2
    December 21, 2017

    Three Bowl Games To Supercharge Your Week


    There’s no doubt that this coming weekend is when bettors are going to get a little more risky with their NCAAF bowl bets, and we’ll get to those games on Friday. For now, we’ll have to settle for a trio of lesser bowl games that are grading well for gamblers. Temple, UAB and Central Michigan are all top notch plays to help build your bankroll heading in to the weekend.

    Find out way below.

    BAD BOY MOWERS GASPARILLA BOWL (Thursday, 8:00 p.m. ET)
    Temple Owls -7.0 over FIU Golden Panthers


    Instead of the usual Thursday Night Football garbage that the NFL usually dumps in our living rooms, we’re getting a gritty matchup between two schools trying to end their seasons on a high note.

    The Temple Owls didn’t insert quarterback Frank Nutile in to the offence until it was too late, but the junior did himself a world of favors by getting on track quickly. He ended the season with 253.6 yards per game in his last five outings with 11 touchdowns against 6 picks. It’s fair to point out that four of those interceptions came in a blowout loss to UCF which was just an outright bad game by Nutile.

    Florida International cobbled together an average season overall using a balanced attack built on the shoulders of a defence led by defensive end Fermin Silva, who racked up 7 sacks, but there’s just not enough juice on this team to really excite bettors. The Panthers went an uneasy 4-2 SU and ATS in the doldrums of the CUSA and are rightfully pegged down here by the oddsmakers against a seven-point spread.

    The big reason to bet against Temple is the fact that they’re just 1-3 SU in their last 4 post season appearances, but the new regime under Geoff Collins has finally found its quarterback and is ready to ring in the 2018 campaign by announcing their presence with a big win over an opponent that simply doesn’t have anything remarkable to bank on.

    BAHAMAS BOWL (Friday, 12:30 p.m. ET)
    UAB Blazers +6.5 over Ohio Bobcats


    The UAB Blazers have had an awfully tough, uphill climb as a program that has somehow clawed its way back from extinction to earn a bowl berth. I mean that in literal terms as the program was shutdown in 2014 before receiving a sudden injection of cash and support that helped it get back on its feet.

    That storyline in itself is enough to cause you to root for the Blazers, who put together an impressive 8-4 SU and 8-3 ATS season in their first year back. Credit goes to Bill Clark for having the presence and leadership to keep a sinking ship from hitting rock bottom. It’s certainly helped that he hit paydirt with freshman running back Spencer Brown, who has 1,292 rushing yards and 10 total touchdowns on the season.

    Ohio’s season started off really well, but was blown to smithereens when they lost as heavy favorites to Akron and then followed that up with a 24-31 defeat against Buffalo as road favorites. That downward momentum is enough to jilt bettors at the altar and have them turn their interest in stead to the Blazers. While they boast the 11th best rush defence in the country, and one of the better defensive sides overall, they’ve been brutal at year’s end and remain untrustworthy.

    There are a lot of great stories coming out of college football this year, but UAB is most certainly one of them. Their exciting brand of football will meet one of its biggest challenges of the season, but this is a program that has made it a new trend to overcome obstacles whenever – and wherever – they come from.

    FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL (Friday, 4:00 p.m. ET)
    Central Michigan Chippewas +3.5 over Wyoming Cowboys


    The big question mark about this game comes in the form of Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, who sustained an injury against Air Force in mid-November but remains on track to compete in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (one of my favorite bowl game names for those of you that care).

    Allen has routinely boasted first-round potential in the NFL Draft due to his 6-foot-5 and 233 pound frame, but he’s looked pedestrian on big stages. He posted just 64 passing yards against Oregon and a measly 92 yards against Hawaii’s notoriously leaky defence. This is his big chance to show scouts that he could be the next Carson Wentz, but I’d say that the hype train has left the station with hi standing on the platform.

    As for Central Michigan, I am just all in on their relentless passing offence. If Allen wants a real challenge, he’s going to get one in the form of Shane Morris slinging it to wide-receiver Corey Willis. How good is Willis? His 23 touchdowns on the season surpassed current video-game-come-to-life and Steeler Antonio Brown.

    Both teams are 7-5 ATS and anyone banking on Wyoming’s odds here are hoping that Allen is both healthy and ready for the spotlight. Problem is that he won’t be able to keep up with Morris, who is sitting on 2,908 passing yards this year already.
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    Thursday's Best Bet
    December 19, 2017


    Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl Betting Preview
    Temple Owls vs Florida International Golden Panthers


    The 2017 Gasparilla Bowl will feature some unique circumstances as it's the first-ever meeting between these two programs, and FIU and Temple will do battle at Tropicana Field which is where the MLB's Tampa Bay Rays play.

    Having Bowl games at baseball stadiums is nothing new for the NCAA, as this is the 10th consecutive year this Bowl game formerly known as the St Petersburg Bowl will be played at Tropicana. FIU as a program is 0-1 SU in this game with a 20-10 loss to Marshall back in 2011, and this will be Temple's first ever appearance here.

    Temple (-7); Total set at 57

    It's the Owls who come in as the favorites despite being in FIU's backyard and having the worse overall record at 6-6 SU (compared to FIU's 8-4 SU mark), and that's mostly because the AAC conference as a whole is more widely respected than Conference USA in terms of overall depth and talent. But early action suggests that bettors believe records do actually matter and “home field” advantage might help the Panthers get the job done as underdogs.

    VegasInsider.com is currently showing about 70% of bettors are grabbing the points with FIU and a little over half are taking a shot with the ML as well. Teams from the state of Florida are 2-3 SU all time in this Bowl game with the last win coming in 2012, and “public” underdogs are not ones I prefer to jump on board with, especially when the line has basically held true since opening weeks ago. But this is a bit of a hornets nest that Temple is walking into given the game's being played in Tampa and laying a touchdown in that type of environment is tough to do.

    Although these programs have zero history with one another, they did square off against two common opponents this year in Massachusetts and Central Florida. Temple and FIU both got smoked by UCF with the Owls loss looking a little better (45-19 compared to 61-17 for FIU), but Temple was at home for that contest compared to FIU playing the Knights on the road. It's the results against UMass that are more interesting though as both of them were able to beat the Minutemen in home games, as FIU capped off their regular season with a 63-45 win over U Mass, while Temple beat them 29-21 back in Week 3.

    On the surface that appears to be advantage FIU, but FIU actually closed as a home underdog of +2.5 in that game while Temple was a -14.5 home favorite in their meeting with the Minutemen. By those spreads you can see that oddsmakers definitely view the Owls in a much better light and will probably be rooting for the Owls to get the SU and ATS win if the action continues to hold on the pace it's shown. As tempting as it is to go against the grain and lay the chalk with Temple here, it's actually the total that I believe presents more value.

    Outside of the first three years this Bowl game was played at Tropicana Field, the most recent six contests have shown that points can be hard to come by. Obviously “styles make fights” and you can't compare this year's combatants to the way teams before them played, but since that 2011 St Petersburg Bowl that FIU lost (20-10), only once have we seen more than 57 points scored in this game.

    Part of that probably has to do with the fact that it is played on a baseball field (and a crappy baseball field at that) and it takes some adjustment for the players to get footing, sight lines etc. The past two years alone we've not had more than 33 points scored as crowds were sparse and teams really had a tough time “getting up” for a game like this. The crowd issue should be much better this year with FIU involved, but the whole adjustment to being on a baseball field could still be a factor.

    While ATS bettors have hit FIU at a 70% clip, the 'over' in this game is seeing more than 90% support as of this writing. Given FIU finished the year with four straight 'overs' and is coming off a game that saw 108 points, and Temple went 5-0 O/U in their last five, you can see why the 'over' is getting a lot of love. But the multiple weeks off likely had a cooling effect on these offenses, and Temple is a team that prefers to play a defensive brand of football in general. Yes, they finished the year with five straight 'overs', but prior to that they began the season on a 1-6 O/U run with all six of those 'unders' coming in Games 2-7. The Owls are also 5-11 O/U in their last 16 games against a winning team, and 3-8 O/U when coming off a SU win.

    As touchdown favorites I expect that Temple is the team that dictates and controls the pace for most of this game, and if that's the case, 57 or more points is going to be hard to reach. History is on the side of an 'under play here at Tropicana Field, and with sportsbooks likely needing this game to stay low with a vast majority expecting a shootout, I've got no problem fading the masses with this play.

    Best Bet: Under 57 points
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    THURSDAY, DECEMBER 21
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    TEM at FIU 08:00 PM

    FIU +7.0

    U 57.5
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Temple crushes FIU in Gasparilla Bowl
    December 21, 2017


    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Frank Nutile threw for 254 yards and a touchdown to lead Temple to a 28-3 victory over Florida International in the Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday night.

    Nutile teamed with Isaiah Wright on 45-yard TD play in the fourth quarter and also scored on a 4-yard run to give the Owls (7-6) an early lead. He completed passes of 13 and 17 yards to escape a first-and-30 hole before throwing 39 yards to Adonis Jennings to set up another TD.

    The victory was the fourth in five games for Temple, which rebounded from a 3-5 start to finish with a winning record in its first season under coach Geoff Collins.

    FIU (8-5) matched a school record for victories in its first year under Butch Davis, the former Miami, North Carolina and Cleveland Browns coach.

    The Panthers played most of the night without quarterback Alex McGough, who left in the opening quarter with a shoulder injury. Maurice Alexander replaced him, but had limited success throwing the ball and was intercepted twice.

    Nutile finished 17 of 27 passing with no interceptions and was named game MVP. He threw 13 yards to Keith Kirkwood and 17 yards to Isaiah Wright on consecutive plays before Jennings' long reception moved the Owls into position to go up 14-3 on David Hood's 1-yard TD run.

    Wright's TD reception made it 21-3 midway through the fourth quarter. Ryquell Armstead also scored on a 5-yard run for Temple.

    WHAT A RUSH

    Temple's defense set a Gasparilla Bowl record with seven sacks. LB William Kwenkeu led the way with two. The Owls also forced three turnovers.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    Temple: Collins inherited a program that won the American Athletic Conference in 2016, the Owls' first league crown since 1967. After a slow start that saw them lose five of eight, the Owls returned from a bye week to win three of four to become bowl eligible. This year's senior class won 33 games over four seasons, an Owls record.

    FIU: The Panthers hope to raise their profile under Davis, and matching the school record for wins and appearing in a bowl for the time is a start. The Panthers finished second in Conference USA's East Division and placed 12 players on the league's all-conference team.

    UP NEXT

    Temple: The Owls made significant strides in first-year offensive coordinator David Patenaude's system after Nutile, a redshirt junior moved into the starting lineup in October. Starting receivers Keith Kirkwood and Adonis Jennings are seniors, however sophomore Isaiah Wright led the Owls with 46 receptions for 668 yards with four TDs and will provide some continuity at the position.

    FIU: Key changes on offense. McGough, the Panthers' career leader in TD passes and No. 2 in career completions and passing yards, is a senior. Alexander appeared in seven games during the regular season, however the sophomore only attempted six passes. Leading receiver Thomas Owens (59 receptions, 887 yards, 6 TDs in nine games) is also a senior.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Friday's Bowl Notebook
    December 21, 2017


    We're officially in the full swing of the bowl season at this point, and with eight games down, there are 32 more left to be played. Two of those duels will take place on Friday at the Bahamas Bowl and the Potato Bowl, games that feature two of the most intriguing quarterback options and one of the best storylines in America.

    Welcome Back, Blazers

    This 2017 UAB team is remarkable. The Blazers went without football for three years, and when they put their team back together, they were made up of nothing but reject transfers from other schools, JUCO kids and relatively unheralded freshmen. There are only five senior starters on this roster.

    However, almost miraculously, this UAB team is the best in school history. Eight wins is already a school record, and now, the Blazers are hoping to win their first-ever bowl game.

    UAB was only accepted to a bowl game once before, the 2004 Hawaii Bowl that was lost to Hawaii. Now comes a trip to a totally different paradise at the Bahamas Bowl, and a huge fan base is expected to travel to Nassau for the game.

    The Blazers are getting some serious looks from the sharpest bettors as well. Bookmaker.eu is reporting 68 percent of the bets on the Bahamas Bowl on UAB as a sizeable 6.5-point underdog.

    Allen In Before He's Out

    Heading into the offseason between the 2016 and 2017 college football seasons, you probably had no idea who Josh Allen was. He quarterbacked Wyoming and had numbers that weren't all that impressive as a sophomore.

    However, even after completing just 56 percent of his passes and throwing 15 picks in his second year, Allen started to catch the eyes of NFL scouts. He's a big kid at 6-foot-5, and he runs really well for a quarterback. All of a sudden, there was talk that he might be the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

    Allen was remarkably disappointing in an injury-riddled season for the Cowboys. He threw for just 1,658 yards and 13 touchdowns in effectively just nine full games.

    There was talk that he might skip the Potato Bowl entirely in part to rehab an ankle injury and in part to get ready for the NFL Draft. Instead, Allen has committed to play in the game, and that's largely why this game has gone from a pick 'em to Wyoming -3 at Bookmaker.eu.

    CMU Meltdown


    Central Michigan has wholly looked unprepared for its bowl games over the course of the last three seasons.

    Most will remember the 2014 Bahamas Bowl for being a strange affair. The Chippewas were getting waxed by five touchdowns by Western Kentucky going into the fourth quarter, but they rallied to score 34 points in the fourth quarter. Yet when push came to shove, the Chippies went for two after scoring what could have been the game-tying touchdown. They failed, and that cost them the game.

    John Bonamego took over as the head coach for CMU in 2015. Though he brought the Chippewas to bowl games both in 2015 and 2016, they haven't had a really great shot in either game. Though they were beaten 21-14 by Minnesota in the 2015 Quick Lane Bowl, they didn't come anywhere near 300 yards of total offense. Meanwhile in last year's Miami Beach Bowl, Tulsa whipped up on Central Michigan 55-10.

    The Chippewas covered that bizarre game against Western Kentucky, but if you take away that fourth quarter, they have been outgained by over 800 yards in three bowl games and have been outscored by 87 points.

    It's almost a wonder when the Chippewas are only very short dogs at BookMaker.eu in the Potato Bowl.

    College Football Bowl Game Odds for Friday, December 22
    Bahamas Bowl: UAB vs. Ohio (-6.5, 59)
    Potato Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Wyoming (-3, 45.5)
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Friday's Best Bet
    December 20, 2017


    Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Betting Preview
    Central Michigan Chippewas vs Wyoming Cowboys
    Friday, Dec. 22, 2017 - ESPN, 4:00 p.m. ET


    Bettors are treated to an afternoon double-header of Bowl games on Friday with the Bahamas Bowl and Famous Idaho Potato Bowl going off back to back.

    Both are quite attractive from a betting standpoint, but it's the latter half of that double-header that is the better game to get down on when push comes to shove.

    This year's Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on the “smurf turf” at Boise State pits a Central Michigan team from the MAC up against a Wyoming team that will be very comfortable in these unique surroundings and has one guy that is very eager to prove his level of skill on the national stage.

    Bookmaker.eu Odds: Wyoming (-3); Total set at 46

    Wyoming enters this game on a two-game losing streak as their NFL-bound QB Josh Allen missed those final two games with a shoulder injury. Allen entered the year as one of the top NFL prospects at the position because of all the physical attributes he's got, but he's not a household name playing in Wyoming, and he hasn't exactly lit the world on fire this year.

    Allen hasn't really done anything to drastically reduce his draft stock this year, but he also hasn't done anything to drastically improve it either, and this Bowl game on the national stage is his final opportunity to gain some significant recognition in that regard. Allen should return under center for this game as he's had more than a month off since he last played, and chances are he will be looking to have his best game of the season.

    Allen and his Wyoming teammates also have the added advantage of not having to travel far for this game in Boise, and given the notion that playing on blue turf can be a bit of an adjustment for some players, the fact that Wyoming has already played on this field this year has to help. Wyoming lost 24-14 to Boise State in mid-October and Allen didn't exactly have his best game with just 131 passing yards with 1 TD and 2 INT's.

    He did run in the other TD the Cowboys scored that day, but Central Michigan's defense is not Boise State's and Allen and this Wyoming offense should have much more success on that side of the ball here. The Chippewas allowed 26.8 points per game on average and with Allen treating this like a personal showcase to improve his draft stock (and potentially make millions more the higher he goes), this may be the perfect opportunity for him to put all his highly touted attributes on full display.

    Central Michigan isn't just here to be enhancement talent like they are in WWE, and they come into this game on a 5-0 SU and ATS run. Central Michigan scored 30+ in all five of those wins, but the MAC isn't a conference that's known for top defensive play, whereas Wyoming is a team that has its most success playing stout defense and riding Allen's coattails on offense.

    The Cowboys have held five straight opponents to 20 points or less, and only once this year did a Wyoming opponent score more than 24 points against them. That was the high-flying Oregon Ducks back in Week 3, and if Wyoming's defense shows up too – which they should – that poses a significant problem for the Chippewas.

    Central Michigan's four losses this year, both SU and ATS, came when they were up against talented defensive units as they scored 17 points or less in each one of those defeats. Wyoming's defense averaged 17.8 points allowed per game, so if those numbers do hold true, the Chippewas just might end up being that enhancement talent Allen and his Wyoming teammates are looking for. After all, the month off between games for Central Michigan probably killed most of the momentum they built during that winning streak, and if they can't score in bunches, losses tend to follow.

    This line has already seen significant movement as it opened up in the pick'em range when Bowl games were announced and has moved to it's current number since then. I' ve started to see some push back on Central Michigan since starting this piece, but VegasInsider.com shows a 60/40 split in favor of the Chippewas and that's held consistent throughout the entire move. That signals to me that the initial move in favor of Wyoming is the one big bettors got down on early and the one that holds more respect in the oddsmakers eyes and I fully agree with it 100%.

    Allen's return under center has a bit to do with that move as well, but with the guy essentially playing for his future in football, I do expect a great game from him and the rest of his offensive teammates looking to showcase his talent to the nation. Wyoming's defense will do what they do and hold the Chippewas offense at bay, and with Wyoming 6-2 ATS when coming off a loss and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 against a winning team, it's the Cowboys that should get the job done in a big way here.

    Yet given the significant move on the spread, I'd suggest splitting up your wager in one of two ways. Either you buy a half-point or so to get this number under the critical -3, or you lay the -3 and also take a piece of Wyoming on the ML as well.

    Odds per - Bookmaker.eu

    Best Bets:
    Wyoming -3 (-115)
    Wyoming ML -160
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Bahamas Bowl Preview
    December 21, 2017


    Alabama-Birmingham folded its program due to financial issues following the 2014 season and didn’t field a team for two years. Nevertheless, in its first season back on the gridiron, UAB (8-4 straight up, 8-3-1 against the spread) is going bowling.

    In fact, Bill Clark’s team is headed to one of the best places in the world in late December. That would be the Bahamas Bowl, where the Blazers will face Ohio at Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau on Friday afternoon. ESPN will have the telecast at 12:30 p.m. Eastern.

    As of Thursday afternoon, most betting shops had Ohio (8-4 SU, 8-4 ATS) listed as a 6.5-point favorite with a total of 59. UAB was available on the money line for a +230 payout (risk $100 to win $230).

    Frank Solich’s team went into its last two regular-season games with a four-game winning streak both SU and ATS. Going back further, Ohio had posted a 7-1 record both SU and ATS in its past eight outings. It was on the verge of clinching the MAC East and securing a spot in the conference championship game.

    However, Ohio lost a 37-34 decision at Akron as a 14.5-point road favorite on Nov. 14. This gave the Zips the tiebreaker over the Bobcats if they finished tied atop the division standings. But Solich’s squad could still win the loop if it won at Buffalo in the regular-season finale.

    The Bulls weren’t having it, though. They won a 31-24 decision over Ohio as 6.5-point home underdogs. The Bobcats rallied from a 24-7 deficit late in the second quarter with 17 unanswered points to pull even with 53 ticks left in the third. Buffalo got the go-ahead score on Emmanuel Reed’s one-yard TD run with 8:10 remaining, and Ohio didn’t have an answer at crunch time.

    Ohio had a 424-350 advantage over Buffalo in total offense, but it was undone by a pair of turnovers that left them minus two in TO margin. Nathan Rourke threw for 265 yards and one TD with one interception. The sophomore signal caller ran for 49 yards and a pair of scores on 16 attempts.

    True freshman RB Julian Ross rushed for 81 yards on 19 carries, while redshirt freshman WR Cameron Odom had two receptions for 85 yards and one TD.

    Ohio has been a single-digit favorite five times this year, compiling a 4-1 record both SU and ATS. Meanwhile, UAB has gone 5-2 ATS with four outright victories in seven games as an underdog.

    Ohio isn’t expected to have its leading rusher A.J. Ouellette, who is listed as ‘doubtful’ with a shoulder injury sustained at Buffalo. Ouellette rushed for 985 yards and seven TDs with a 5.3 yards-per-carry average during the regular season. He also had nine catches for 84 yards and one TD.

    Rourke was second on the team in rushing with 877 yards and 21 TDs, averaging 6.5 YPC. The Bobcats’ third-leading rusher Dorian Brown is listed as ‘questionable’ with a hip injury. Brown has run for 605 yards and seven TDs while averaging 6.1 YPC.

    Rourke has completed 54.2 percent of his throws for 2,031 yards with a 15/7 touchdown-to-interception ratio. His favorite target is Papi White, who has 31 receptions for 520 yards and four TDs. Brendan Cope, a senior wideout who is ‘questionable’ with a knee injury, has made 35 catches for 494 yards and four TDs.

    Ohio is ranked 13th in the country in scoring, averaging 38.9 points per game. The Bobcats are 37th in total offense and 17th in rushing yards (245.8 YPG). They’re 11th in the nation in rushing defense, allowing only 111.5 yards per game.

    The Ohio defense is led by senior LB Quentin Poling, a two-time first-team All-MAC selection who has recorded 102 tackles, 5.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, five QB hurries and four passes broken up this year.

    This is Ohio’s ninth postseason appearance during Solich’s 13-year tenure. The Bobcats had been to only two bowls games – in 1962 and ’68 – before his arrival in Athens. However, they’ve lost three straight bowls, including last year’s 28-23 setback against Troy as 4.5-point underdogs at the Dollar General Bowl. Ohio is 2-6 in eight postseason games under Solich, 2-8 in program history.

    UAB’s accomplishments earned Clark National Coach of the Year honors. The Blazers are in just their second bowl game in program history. In the first, they lost 59-40 as four-point road underdogs at Hawaii in the 2004 Hawaii Bowl.

    UAB won six of its last eight regular-season games, including a 28-7 win over UTEP as a 21-point home ‘chalk’ in its finale. The only defeats during this eight-game span were at Florida (36-7) and at Charlotte (25-24) in overtime.

    In the win over Miners, junior QB A.J. Erdely threw for 159 yards and two TDs without an interception. True freshman RB Spencer Brown ran for 98 yards on 22 carries, while Erdely rushed for 29 yards and one score on 11 attempts. Junior WR Collin Lisa had seven receptions for 76 yards and one TD.

    For the season, Erdely completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 2,077 yards with an excellent 16/4 TD-INT ratio. He also rushed for 295 yards and 13 TDs. Brown paced UAB with 1,292 rushing yards and 10 TDs while averaging 5.5 YPC.

    Andre Wilson has a team-best 48 receptions for 619 yards and six TDs, while Lisa has 29 catches for 384 yards and one TD.

    UAB’s stop unit is led by senior LB Tevin Crews, who has 95 tackles, one interception, three sacks, nine TFL’s, three PBU, one QB hurry and one forced fumble. Senior LB Shaq Jones enjoyed an outstanding campaign as well, contributing 55 tackles, three sacks, nine TFL’s, two PBU, two QB hurries and one forced fumble.

    The ‘under’ is 8-4 overall for UAB after cashing in its last three games and finished the year on a 7-1 surge. The Blazers have watched their games average combined scores of 53.9 PPG.

    The ‘over’ is 8-3-1 overall for the Bobcats, 4-1-1 in their last six games. They’ve seen their games average combined scores of 64.7 PPG.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
    December 21, 2017

    ESPN’s postseason coverage on Friday afternoon will go from the Bahamas to Boise for the late game. That’s Albertson’s Stadium and the smurf turf that’ll host the Famous Idaho Bowl, featuring Central Michigan from out of the MAC up against Mountain West rep Wyoming.

    The Cowboys got good news Wednesday when star QB and NFL prospect Josh Allen was upgraded to ‘probable.’ The junior quarterback missed his team’s last two games due to a shoulder injury and the results weren’t good. Without Allen, Craig Bohl’s squad lost a 13-7 decision at home to Fresno State and came up on the wrong end of a 20-17 decision at San Jose State.

    As of late Thursday afternoon, most books had Wyoming (7-5 straight up, 7-5 against the spread) installed as a three-point favorite with a total of 45. The Chippewas were +145 on the money line (risk $100 to win $145).

    Central Michigan (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS) has been an underdog eight times, producing a 5-3 record both SU and ATS. John Bonamego’s team was mired in a 1-4 slump both SU and ATS from mid-September to mid-October, but it finished the regular season with five consecutive victories both SU and ATS. Three of those wins came from the ‘dog role, including a 31-24 win over No. Illinois as a 2.5-point home puppy in the regular-season finale.

    Shane Morris hit Corey Willis with a 29-yard scoring strike with 92 seconds left to lift CMU past the Huskies. Morris, the transfer from Michigan, threw for 247 yards and three TDs vs. NIU. RB Jonathan Ward rushed 21 times for 159 yards and one TD, while WR Mark Chapman had three receptions for 74 yards and one TD.

    Morris completed 55.5 percent of his passes for 2,908 yards with a 26/13 touchdown-to-interception ratio during the regular season. Chapman was his favorite target, hauling in 54 receptions for 805 yards and five TDs. Willis has 42 catches for 625 yards and nine TDs, while TE Tyler Conklin has 28 grabs for 406 yards and five TDs.

    Ward has rushed for a team-high 988 yards and nine TDs while averaging 5.9 YPC. The sophomore RB has also contributed 41 catches for 361 yards and two TDs.

    Not surprisingly, CMU’s five-game winning streak coincided with improved QB play from Morris, who has 14 TD passes compared to merely two picks during the win spree. Ward has rushed for seven of his nine TDs in the past five games and has produced three of his four 100-yard rushing efforts.

    CMU’s defense is second in the nation in interceptions with 19. The secondary is stout, ranking 23rd in the country in pass defense.

    CMU senior CB Josh Cox is tied for fourth nationally with six picks for 118 return yards. Cox also has 82 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, four passes broken up and one forced fumble. Sophomore DB Sean Bunting has produced 46 tackles, five interceptions, five PBU, two forced fumbles and 0.5 TFL’s. Also, senior CB Amari Coleman has contributed 42 tackles, three interceptions, one pick-six, four TFL’s, seven PBU and one QB hurry.

    Wyoming owns a 3-0 record both SU and ATS in trio of games as a single-digit favorite. Before Allen’s injury, Bohl’s club had ripped off seven straight spread covers and had won outright six times. The only loss during this stretch came at Boise State, where Wyoming will face CMU on Friday afternoon.

    BSU beat the Cowboys 24-14, but the visitors took the cash as 15.5-point underdogs. Wyoming led 14-10 early in the fourth quarter, but the Broncos scored back-to-back TDs on a Montell Cozart TD run and pass midway through the final stanza.

    Allen completed just 12-of-27 throws for 131 yards and one TD, but BSU intercepted him twice. Allen ran for 62 yards and one TD on 18 attempts.

    For the season, Allen has completed 56.2 percent of his passes for only 1,658 yards with a 13/6 TD-INT ratio. He has run for 207 yards and five scores. Sophomore WR Austin Conway enjoyed a breakout campaign by catching 58 balls for 520 yards and six TDs. C.J. Johnson has 27 receptions for 468 yards and a team-best six TDs.

    Wyoming’s ground attack has been an immense disappointment all season. True freshman RB Trey Woods is team’s leading rusher, but he managed merely 474 rushing yards and two TDs with a pedestrian 3.6 YPC average.

    Despite the presence of Allen, who many draftniks consider a future first-round pick, Wyoming’s offense has been an unmitigated disaster. The Cowboys are ranked No. 126 out of 130 FBS teams in total offense, No. 101 in passing yards, No. 119 in rushing yards and No. 107 in scoring with a 22.3 points-per-game average.

    On the flip side, Wyoming’s stop unit is ranked 12th nationally in scoring ‘D,’ limiting opponents to a 17.8 PPG average. The Cowboys are fifth in the country in pass defense and 22nd in total defense.

    This unit is led by junior safety Andrew Wingard and sophomore LB Logan Wilson. Wingard and Wilson shared team-high honors in tackles with 111 apiece. Wilson recorded an 18-yard fumble return for a TD, one sack, seven tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one pass broken up. Wingard has registered one sack, four interceptions, one sack, six TFL’s, three PBU and one forced fumble.

    Junior DE Carl Granderson has produced 72 tackles, two interceptions, 7.5 sacks, 7.5 TFL’s, four QB hurries and a pair of forced fumbles.

    Some of Wyoming’s issues can be attributed to injuries along the offensive line. Three o-linemen are unlikely to play Friday. Junior OT Brinkley Jolly is ‘out,’ while OG Jace Webb and OG Kaden Jackson are ‘doubtful.’

    Wyoming is bowling for a second straight season and the 15th time in the program’s history. The Cowboys are 6-8 in 14 postseason games, including last year’s 24-21 loss to BYU at the Poinsettia Bowl. However, they did cover the number in the narrow defeat as 10.5-point underdogs.

    CMU is making a fourth straight postseason appearance and its fifth in the last six years. The Chippewas have dropped three straight bowl games, including last year’s 55-10 defeat vs. Tulsa at the Miami Beach Bowl. They did, however, post one of the most miracle spread covers in postseason history at the 2014 Bahamas Bowl.

    I obviously remember this game vividly because I was heavily invested in Western Kentucky as a three-point ‘chalk’ vs. CMU on that day. The Hilltoppers held a 49-14 lead with less than nine minutes left in the third quarter. That advantage was trimmed to 49-28 with less than seven minutes left, but Western Kentucky was in the red zone only to fumble.

    CMU would score with 1:10 remaining to get to within 49-42, but the ensuing onside kick failed. Western Kentucky was forced to punt from midfield with 10 seconds left. The punt went into the end zone with one second remaining. From its own 20, CMU QB Cooper Rush heaved a Hail Mary that would only get to the WKU 30, but it was caught by a Chippewa.

    The CMU player immediately lateraled to a teammate and three laterals eventually ended up in Titus Davis’s hands. Davis sprinted to the pylon and made it for an unfathomable TD. In this scenario, gamblers like me on the ‘Tops still had a chance to push or cover in overtime.

    However, CMU head coach Dan Enos, who would resign weeks later to become Bret Beliema’s OC at Arkansas, opted to go for two. The conversion failed, but CMU covered as a three-point ‘dog in the 49-48 loss. This is my third-worst Bad Beat ever, behind only Northwestern-Ohio State (2013) and a VCU at Nevada basketball game back in 2009 when college hoops used to have the BracketBuster Weekend. I had Nevada -1.5 and Luke Babbitt was going to the free-throw line to shoot two with 1.8 seconds left and a three-point lead. Babbitt made the first for a four-point lead, so the only way to lose was a missed FT and an 80-foot heave from VCU. Of course, that’s exactly what happened with Joey Rodriguez taking the honors to give the Rams a backdoor cover in the 71-70 loss.

    Let’s get back to Friday’s bowl game and examine the total. CMU has seen the ‘over’ hit in five straight games after the ‘under’ was a winner in six of its first seven contests. The Chippewas have watched their games average combined scores of 56.4 PPG.

    The ‘under’ has been a lucrative money maker in Wyoming games, cashing in six straight games. The Cowboys have seen the ‘under’ go 10-2 overall, with their games averaging combined scores of 40.2 PPG.

    Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

    According to weather.com, temperatures at kickoff will be in the low 30s or upper 20s. The forecast is for cloudy skies and some snow flurries.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Friday, December 22

    UAB @ Ohio


    Game 217-218
    December 22, 2017 @ 12:30 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    UAB
    76.334
    Ohio
    79.872
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Ohio
    by 3 1/2
    54
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Ohio
    by 8
    57 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    UAB
    (+8); Under

    Central Michigan @ Wyoming


    Game 219-220
    December 22, 2017 @ 4:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Central Michigan
    83.665
    Wyoming
    80.740
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Central Michigan
    by 3
    48
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Central Michigan
    Pick
    45 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Central Michigan
    Over


    ***********************

    Friday, December 22

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

    UAB (8 - 4) vs. OHIO U (8 - 4) - 12/22/2017, 12:30 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    UAB is 8-21 ATS (-15.1 Units) in road games off a win against a conference rival since 1992.
    OHIO U is 11-3 ATS (+7.7 Units) in non-conference games over the last 3 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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

    C MICHIGAN (8 - 4) vs. WYOMING (7 - 5) - 12/22/2017, 4:00 PM

    There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.


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

    Friday, December 22

    ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM @ OHIO

    The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Alabama-Birmingham's last 8 games
    Alabama-Birmingham is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
    Ohio is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games
    Ohio is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games

    CENTRAL MICHIGAN @ WYOMING
    Central Michigan is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
    Central Michigan is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Wyoming's last 5 games
    Wyoming is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games

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

    December 22
    Ohio (-7.5) vs UAB, Bahamas Bowl

    UAB didn’t even field a team the last two years, after briefly dropping the sport. Blazers went 6-2 in last eight games after a 46-43 loss to North Texas; UAB is 5-2 as an underdog this year, 5-1 in games with single digit spread. Ohio U lost its last two games after an 8-2 start; Bobcats are 5-3 as a favorite this year, 6-2 in games with a single digit spread. MAC teams are 5-18 in their last 23 bowls, but they’re 7-1 vs spread when opposing a C-USA team. MAC squads are 5-4 as a non-conference favorite this year. C-USA underdogs are 8-23 vs spread. UAB is in its 2nd bowl; they lost 59-40 to Hawai’i in the 2004 Hawai’i Bowl. Ohio lost its last three bowls, giving up 32 ppg; they’re 2-8 all-time in bowls. C-USA is 2-1 vs MAC in the Bahamas Bowl, with average total of 72.3— underdogs covered two of the three games.

    Wyoming vs Central Michigan, Idaho Potato Bowl, Boise

    Wyoming QB Allen (shoulder) missed last two games; Wyoming lost both, 13-7/20-17. He is expected to play here, to quiet doubts of NFL scouts. Cowboys were 7-3 when he got hurt; they are 5-1 vs spread this season in games with single digit spread. Wyoming lost its bowl 24-21 LY, its first bowl in five years. Central Michigan lost bowls the last three years, allowing 41.7 ppg; they lost 55-10 in a bowl LY. Chippewas won their last five games after a 3-4 start; they’re 5-3 vs spread in games with single digit spread- they scored 37.2 ppg in last five games. Underdogs won last three Potato Bowls SU; average total in last five, 69.2. Since 2011, Mountain West teams are 14-10 vs spread when playing a MAC opponent.

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

    Spread to bet now

    Appalachian State (+7.5) vs. Toledo


    This line for the Dollar General Bowl opened at +8 and was quickly bet down to +7.5. Play it now while it remains above the key number of +7. Appalachian State enters with solid offensive momentum as they scored 31 points or more in three of their final four regular season games. Overall, the Mountaineers averaged 33.4 points per game on 6.5 yards per play this year, while allowing just 21.9 points per game on 5.5 yards per play.

    Toledo also enters off three straight wins, but might be a little flat after winning the MAC championship game. Toledo probably was hoping for a better bowl bid after a solid 11-2 SU season. The Rockets were strong offensively this year, but weak on defense as they allowed 5.6 yards per play versus a schedule of weak offensive opponents that averaged just 5.3 yppl overall. Toledo's defense is now taking a substantial step-up in class. The Rockets lost last year, 31-28, versus Appalachian State in the Camellia Bowl.

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

    NCAAF

    Friday, December 22


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bahamas Bowl Betting Preview and Odds: UAB vs. Ohio
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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.

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

    NCAAF

    Friday, December 22


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Betting Preview and Odds: Central Michigan vs. Wyoming
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  10. #55
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    FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    UAB at OHIO 12:30 PM

    UAB +6.5

    U 57.0


    CMU at WYO 04:00 PM

    WYO -3.0

    U 45.0
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Ohio beats UAB 41-6 in Bahamas Bowl
    December 22, 2017


    NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) Ohio coach Frank Solich knew his Bobcats were better than their record showed. You'll get no argument from UAB.

    Dorian Brown rushed for 152 yards on just 12 carries and scored four touchdowns, Nathan Rourke threw for two scores and Ohio beat UAB 41-6 in the Bahamas Bowl on Friday.

    It was a stirring comeback for the Bobcats, who lost their last two games of the regular season to miss a shot at the Mid-American Conference title.

    ''I feel like eight wins were not enough with this football team, so this ninth win puts a little icing on the cake,'' Solich said.

    Ohio (9-4) averaged 38.9 points per game during the season, setting a school record with 467 points scored, and the Bobcats exhibited that prowess in the opening half of this one, using big plays to build an insurmountable 27-3 halftime lead.

    Brown, a redshirt senior, scored on runs of 74, 9, 25 and 14 yards, two in the second quarter and two in the third as he carried the load for injured A.J. Ouellette.

    ''It was very important (to go out on a high note),'' Brown said. ''I had to step up and take my role.''

    Brown's heroics were too much for the Blazers, a feel-good team seeking its first bowl victory on just its second try. The loss spoiled the end of a remarkable first season back for UAB (8-5), which was predicted to struggle and didn't.

    UAB President Ray Watts had cut the football program in December 2014 because a university report deemed it too expensive. After public outcry, football was reinstated, but NCAA rules required the school to skip the 2016 season to help the players who stuck it out re-adjust to competing at the top level of college football.

    The Blazers, under Conference USA Coach of the Year Bill Clark, responded by winning a school-record eight games and finished second in the conference's West Division. They won six of their final eight games.

    On this day, though, they ran out of miracles.

    ''It's hurts a lot - to not go out with a victory,'' senior linebacker Tevin Crews said. ''I'm just blessed to be part of a great team with a great coach and a great role model. This is a starting point - our first season back.''

    ''It's tough,'' Clark added. ''This game is not for the timid or the weak. When it's really important to you, it's going to hurt if it doesn't go the way you want it to.''

    The high-scoring Bobcats have a veteran offensive line with more than 100 starts and they repeatedly took advantage of that experience. Rourke had plenty of time to throw, and when the Bobcats decided to run, holes were there. They finished with a 249-99 edge on the ground.

    ''They're a very experienced bunch and they wanted this a whole bunch,'' said Rourke, who finished 12 of 18 for 185 yards passing and rushed for 30 yards. ''When we get the running game going on and I have all day to throw, that makes my job really easy, and that's when you see our offense start to click.''

    Ohio raced to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter, pretty much sticking to the ground until the end of an 11-play drive. After the Blazers were called for two penalties in the red zone, Rourke hit DL Knock for a 19-yard touchdown midway through the period.

    Rourke then stunned the Blazers with a bomb. After a nifty 23-yard punt return by the elusive Papi White, Rourke took advantage of UAB's preoccupation with the run game and hit White on a play-action pass for a 56-yard touchdown and a 13-0 lead. Brown's 74-yard run early in the second boosted the lead to 20-0.

    When UAB finally mounted a promising drive, the Blazers had to settle for Nick Vogel's 34-yard field goal midway through the second quarter.

    Spencer Brown, who broke the UAB school record for freshman rushing yards with 1,329, finished with 37 yards on 13 carries.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    UAB: The Blazers demonstrated this season that they belong at college football's top level. If the community support that helped resurrect the program continues, the Blazers have a coach in Clark, an Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year finalist, who can take them to the postseason on a regular basis.

    Ohio: The Bobcats have a budding star in Rourke, who next season has a chance to lead them to their first MAC title since the late 1960s. A native of Ontario, Canada, the sophomore set single-season records at Ohio with 21 rushing touchdowns, 22 touchdowns scored and 132 points scored.

    NOT NEEDED

    Ouellette led Ohio with 980 yards rushing during the season, but he re-injured his left arm early in the third quarter and left the game with 26 yards to become Ohio's first 1,000-yard rusher since 2012.

    UP NEXT

    UAB: Its 2018 schedule has not been finalized, but the Blazers are expected to open next season against Savannah State.

    Ohio: The Bobcats open the 2018 season at home against Howard on Sept. 1.

    *****************

    Josh Allen, Wyoming routs sloppy Central Michigan
    December 22, 2017


    BOISE, Idaho (AP) When Wyoming junior quarterback Josh Allen stepped onto the stage to accept his MVP trophy following the Cowboys' 37-14 victory over Central Michigan on Friday in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, it didn't take long for the chant to begin.

    ''Do it! Do it!'' Wyoming players shouted in unison as snow began to fall on the field.

    Surrounded by teammates and a throng of Wyoming fans, Allen couldn't resist the moment and hoisted the trophy over his head before declaring his intentions to skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft.

    ''I was hoping to spend at least a day or two thinking about it,'' Allen said, ''but I think my teammates knew, and they were chanting for me to do it. This was the idea the whole time, to come back and trust what Coach (Craig) Bohl was doing and learn more on the offensive side of the football. It wasn't pre-planned before the season started, but we had a pretty good idea of what we were going to do.''

    Allen missed the final two regular-season games with a sprained right shoulder, resulting in a pair of close losses. In warmups, he looked anxious to return to the field and didn't disappoint the Wyoming contingent on hand for his final collegiate game.

    ''Sitting out for those two games killed me inside,'' Allen said. ''I wanted to be back on the field with my teammates and brothers.''

    Allen completed 11 of 19 passed for 154 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. He didn't have to do much thanks to Wyoming's suffocating defense. But when the Cowboys needed Allen, he produced.

    Allen's first touchdown pass to open the scoring was a 23-yard bullet to Jared Scott. But the potential top 10 draft pick showed off the arm strength and accuracy that has scouts drooling with a 45-yard strike that hit C.J. Johnson in stride in the end zone.

    ''In today's world where players are making all kinds of decisions about bowl games, Josh chose to play and I applaud him for that,'' Bohl said before lobbying for Allen to be drafted. ''If there's any NFL team looking for a player out there, you're never going to find a bigger competitor and a better leader than him.''

    However, Allen's performance didn't have to be all that impressive thanks to a defense that forced eight turnovers.

    Central Michigan (8-5) had won five straight. The eight turnovers broke the previous Famous Idaho Potato Bowl record of six.

    ''I don't feel that today's performance was indicative of the type of team we have,'' Central Michigan coach John Bonamego said. ''The storyline obviously is eight turnovers. You're not going to win many football games against any decent opponent turning it over that many times.''

    Wyoming entered the game first in the nation in turnover margin, but second in forced turnovers with 30 behind Central Michigan, which had 31. But with an 8-0 advantage, Wyoming will likely finish at the top of both rankings after the bowl season concludes.

    Wyoming took a 21-7 lead in the first quarter.

    Wyoming's offense struggled in the red zone after the first quarter, settling for three field goals in three trips.

    Central Michigan struggled everywhere on the field, watching promising drives end on turnovers or other drives stunted due to Wyoming's relentless pass rush. The Cowboys had a season-high five sacks.

    Late in the third quarter, Central Michigan found a spark and cut the deficit to 30-14. The Chippewas strung together a seven-play, 65-yard drive that ended on a 3-yard run by Jonathan Ward.

    But Central Michigan failed to build on that momentum, losing it all on a scoop and score. After a strip sack by Youhanna Ghaifan, Wyoming defensive end Carl Granderson took the fumble and rumbled 58 yards for the touchdowns.

    ''This defense is special,'' Ghaifan said. ''We all do our jobs and do it exceptionally well. ... We got eight turnovers today-that's not too shabby.''

    THE TAKEAWAY

    Wyoming: Finding a replacement for Allen will be a high priority for a Cowboys team that is losing only three starters on offense and three on defense. Wyoming returns leading rusher Trey Woods and a stout defense that should give the Cowboys a strong chance to contend for the Mountain West Conference title.

    Central Michigan: The Chippewas face a rebuilding season next year in the MAC as they lose seven starters on offense and five on defense. The offense is a mix of good and bad. The bad? They lose starting quarterback Shane Morris along with his top two receivers, Mark Chapman and Corey Willis. However, the top three rushers-Jonathan Ward, Kumehnnu Gwilly, and Romello Ross-all return.

    HONORING ENBERG

    Central Michigan honored alum Dick Enberg a day after the sportscasting great died at age 82.

    The team wore helmet stickers with Enberg's ''Oh My!'' signature call, while coaches wrote the phrase on the back of their caps.

    Enberg graduated from Central Michigan in 1957 and played baseball for the Chippewas.

    UP NEXT

    Central Michigan will open the 2018 season on Sept. 1 at Kentucky.

    Wyoming will face New Mexico State on Aug. 25.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    2017 CFB Bowls Record:..............( BASED ON 5 UNITS )

    DATE W-L-T % UNITS RECORD

    12/22/2017 2-2-0 50.00% -1.00
    12/21/2017 1-1-0 50.00% -0.50
    12/20/2017 2-0-0 100.00% +10.00
    12/19/2017 0-2-0 0.00% -11.00
    12/16/2017 5-5-0 50.00% - 2.50

    Totals...............10 - 10.........50.00%.....-5.00


    Best Bets:..............ATS...............Units........ ..... .....O/U..................Units

    12/22/2017....................1 - 1..................-0.50.................1 - 1.................-0.50
    12/21/2017....................0 - 1..................-5.50.................1 - 0................+5.00
    12/20/2017....................1 - 0.................+5.00.................1 - 0................+5.00
    12/19/2017....................0 - 1.................- 5.50.................0 - 1.................-5.50
    12/16/2017....................3 - 2............,....+4.00.................2 - 3.................-6.50

    Totals.............................5 - 5..................-2.50................5 - 5.................-2.50
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  13. #58
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    Saturday's Bowl Notes
    December 22, 2017


    Bowl Notes - Saturday, December 23

    The second week of the college football bowl season kicks off on Saturday with three crucial affairs. Five of the very best Group of Five teams will be in action while the Group of Five will be represented by a Texas Tech team that desperately needs a win for its embattled head coach.

    Guns Up

    Kliff Kingsbury saved his job at his alma mater by the skin of his teeth this year. One of the reasons why he's getting a shot to come back for 2018 is because of the way his Red Raiders have played against non-conference teams. T-Tech hasn't always had great success in the Big XII, but the team is 8-2-1 ATS in its 11 non-conference games played over the course of the last three seasons, including going 4-0 ATS this year.

    The Red Raiders have moved from +2 to +2.5 at BookMaker.eu against a South Florida team that only has losses this year to Houston and UCF.

    The No-Fly Zone

    If you love running the football, you're going to love the Armed Forces Bowl. San Diego State and Army only combine to throw the ball an average of 25.3 times per game against 104.3 rushing attempts. Virtually every single first down will be a running play by these teams, and even simple swing passes or basic wide receiver routes will seem like trick plays.

    However, the Aztecs and Black Knights couldn't possibly be any different.

    Ahmad Bradshaw is one of the more successful triple-option quarterbacks we've seen in recent memory. He isn't adept as a passer, but he's a fantastic runner and always seems to fall forward for extra yardage. After beating Navy for a second-straight season, Bradshaw can become the first quarterback in three decades to lead the Cadets to two bowl game wins in his career.

    The key is going to be stopping San Diego State's two-headed monster in the backfield composing of Rashaad Penny and Juwan Washington.

    Washington is clearly the second fiddle here, but he ran the ball 122 times for 715 yards and seven touchdowns, numbers that many No. 1 backs would love to have.

    Penny, though, is a plodder and a special one at that. He had the ball in his hands 275 times this year and finished with 2,027 rushing yards with 19 touchdowns.

    You'd think with a 4:1 ratio of runs to passes that the under would be a smart play. BookMaker.eu has largely only taken under action in the Armed Forces Bowl even though it has the total in this game listed at 45.5, one of the lowest totals of the entire bowl season.

    The Rockets' Revenge?

    Bowl game rematches don't happen often. In fact, before Clemson and Alabama met in the 2015 and 2016 National Championship Games (and now again this year in the Sugar Bowl), it hadn't happened since the 1992 and 1993 Orange Bowls between Florida State and Nebraska.

    Though most will be focusing in on Alabama/Clemson Act III, don't lose sight of how good the Dollar General Bowl could be. Not only is this game already listed as a complete sellout, but Appalachian State and Toledo put on one heck of a show last year in the Camellia Bowl.

    App State won 31-28, but Toledo literally never went away in that game. Appalachian State had leads of 7-0, 14-7, 21-14 and 28-21. Every time it scored a touchdown, the Rockets scored on the very next drive to tie the game. Toledo had no answer for Michael Rubino's game-winning field goal with 5:14 left to play.

    Little did we know it at the time, but the dramatic ending of the Camellia Bowl only setup what could be a budding Group of Five rivalry between these two schools.

    The Rockets, relatively easy winners of the MAC this season, are expected to exact their revenge. They opened up at -8 against Appalachian State, though BookMaker.eu has since dropped the spread to -7.

    College Football Bowl Game Odds for Saturday, December 23

    Birmingham Bowl: Texas Tech vs. South Florida (-2.5, 66.5)
    Armed Forces Bowl: Army vs. San Diego State (-6, 45.5)
    Dollar General Bowl: Appalachian State vs. Toledo (-7, 61)
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  14. #59
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    Saturday's Bowl Tips
    December 22, 2017


    **Texas Tech vs. South Florida**

    -- Texas Tech and South Florida will collide Saturday at Legion Field in the Birmingham Bowl at noon Eastern on ESPN. As of late Friday afternoon, most betting shops had USF (9-2 straight up, 5-6 against the spread) listed as a three-point favorite with a total of 66. The Red Raiders were +130 on the money line (risk $100 to win $130).

    -- USF missed out on a chance to get into the AAC Championship Game when it lost a heartbreaking thriller at UCF by a 49-42 count, but it still made its backers happy by covering the number as a 10-point road underdog. The spread cover for the Bulls halted a 0-4 ATS slide. The 91 combined points soared ‘over’ the 65-point total to end a 3-0 run of ‘unders.’

    -- In the losing effort at UCF, The Knights went in front 35-34 with 7:33 remaining on a 45-yard touchdown pass. Then with 2:21 left, Scott Frost’s squad extended its lead to eight with another TD pass. But with 1:41 remaining, USF senior quarterback Quinton Flowers found Darnell Salomon for an 83-yard scoring strike. The Bulls pulled even when Flowers found D’Ernest Johnson on a two-point conversion pass. However, UCF immediately answered with a 95-yard kickoff return for the go-ahead score, and USF was unable to answer. Flowers generated 605 yards from scrimmage, as his team enjoyed a 653-533 advantage over UCF in total offense. Flowers threw for 503 yards and four TDs with one interception. He also rushed for 102 yards and one TD on 20 attempts. WR Tyre McCants had nine receptions for 227 yards and one TD, while Salomon had five catches for 139 yards and one TD.

    -- Flowers needs only 43 rushing yards against Texas Tech to surpass his former teammate, RB Marlon Mack, who turned pro one year early after the 2016 campaign, as USF’s all-time leading rusher. Flowers has rushed for a team-best 972 yards and 10 TDs while averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Darius Tice has run for 878 yards and 11 TDs with a 5.4 YPC average, while Johnson has 745 rushing yards, seven TDs and a 4.2 YPC average.

    -- Flowers has completed 53.4 percent of his passes for 2,600 yards with a 21/6 TD-INT ratio. He has a 67/23 TD-INT ratio and 40 rushing TDs during his collegiate career. Flowers’ favorite target is Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who has 50 receptions for 746 yards and five TDs. McCants has 30 catches for 598 yards and five TDs, while Salomon has 28 grabs for 465 yards and four TDs.

    -- USF is ranked ninth in the nation in total offense, eighth in rushing yards and 14th in scoring with a 38.3 points-per-game average. The Bulls are ranked 28th in the country in total defense, 22nd versus the run and 36th in scoring ‘D,’ allowing foes to average 22.5 PPG. The stop unit is led by senior LB Auggie Sanchez, who has recorded 76 tackles, two pick-sixes covering 108 return yards, two sacks, seven tackles for loss, two passes broken up and one QB hurry.

    -- How soft was USF’s schedule? The Bulls have nine wins and only one came over a team with a winning record, and that’s Temple, which improved to 7-6 with Thursday’s win over FIU in the Gasparilla Bowl in St. Pete. Charlie Strong’s team faced only two other teams with winning ledgers – UFC and Houston. The Cougars went to Tampa and handed USF its first loss by a 28-24 count as 10-point road underdogs. The Bulls had started the season 7-0 with six wins by double-digit margins until falling vs. UH.

    -- USF was a double-digit favorite 10 times and an underdog at UCF. The Bulls are in their first single-digit ‘chalk’ spot here.

    -- USF is making its ninth postseason appearance in program history. The Bulls are 5-3 in their eight previous bowl games, winning a 46-39 overtime decision over South Carolina at last year’s Birmingham Bowl. However, the Gamecocks took the cash as 10.5-point underdogs.

    -- Texas Tech (6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS) won 27-23 at Texas as a 7.5-point underdog to garner a postseason bid in the regular-season finale for both Big 12 rivals. Kliff Kingsbury’s team railed from two separate double-digit deficits in the second half. Nic Shimonek hit Cameron Batson on a 16-yard scoring strike to provide the winning points with 1:47 remaining. Shimonek came off the bench to spark the comeback with a pair of fourth-quarter TD passes. Star WR Keke Coutee had nine receptions for 1658 yards against the Longhorns, while T.J. Vasher had five catches for 127 yards and one TD.

    -- Texas Tech has compiled a 3-3 spread record with a pair of outright victories in six games as an underdog. The Red Raiders captured a 27-24 win at Houston as seven-point road ‘dogs on Sept. 23.

    -- Texas Tech is bowling for the third time in Kingsbury’s five-year tenure. In his first season, the Red Raiders smashed 16th-ranked Arizona State 37-23 as 14-point underdogs at the 2013 Holiday Bowl. In the 2015 Texas Bowl, LSU thumped Texas Tech 56-27 as a seven-point ‘chalk.’

    -- Texas Tech went 3-6 (SU) this year in nine games against teams that are in the postseason. In addition to the aforementioned victories at Texas and at Houston, Kingsbury’s club also won a 52-45 decision over Arizona State as a 6.5-point home ‘chalk.’

    -- Texas Tech is ranked 18th in the nation in total offense, 11th in passing yards and 26th in scoring with a 34.3 PPG average. Shimonek has completed 68.2 percent of his throws for 3,457 yards with a 30/8 TD-INT ratio. Justin Stockton has rushed for a team-best 694 yards and four TDs with a 6.1 YPC average, while Tre King has 588 rushing yards, four TDs and a 4.9 YPC average. Desmond Nisby has a team-best seven rushing scores.


    -- Shimonek’s favorite target is Coutee, who has 82 receptions for 1,242 yards and nine TDs. Dylan Cantrell has 67 catches for 790 yards and six TDs, while Batson has 55 grabs for 464 yards and five TDs.

    -- Texas Tech’s defense was vastly improved in 2017. This unit had given up scoring averages of 41.3, 43.6 and 43.5 PPG from 2014-16. This year, though, the Red Raiders gave up 31.8 PPG. Although that’s not exactly a quality stat, which is evidenced by TT’s No. 95 ranking in the country in scoring ‘D,’ it still represents some progress on that side of the ball. The Red Raiders are still struggling against the pass, ranking No. 124 out of 130 FBS teams.

    -- The ‘under’ is 8-4 overall for Texas Tech, cashing in each of its past three games and five of its last six. The Red Raiders have watched their games average combined scores of 66.1 PPG.

    -- The ‘under’ is 7-4 overall for the Bulls, who have seen their games average combined scores of 60.8 PPG.

    **Army vs. San Diego State**

    -- The Armed Forces Bowl be played in Forth Worth, TX., at Amon G. Carter Stadium on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. As of late Friday afternoon, most spots had San Diego State listed as a six-point favorite over Army. The total was 46, while the Black Knights were +200 on the money line (risk $100 to win $200).

    -- San Diego State (10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS) brings a four-game winning streak both SU and ATS into the postseason. Rocky Long’s squad won each of those four games by margins of 19 points or more. The Aztecs started the season 6-0 with wins at Arizona State (30-20) and vs. Stanford (20-17), only to drop back-to-back home game in mid-October vs. Boise State (31-14) and vs. Fresno State (27-3).

    -- One year after losing college football’s all-time leading career rusher in Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State had the nation’s leader in rushing yards with 2,027 from Rashaad Penny. The senior RB was third in the country in rushing TDs with 19. Penny averaged 7.4 YPC and also had 18 catches for 142 yards and two TDs. That isn’t it, though. Penny also played special teams, returning a punt for a TD and two kickoffs for TDs. He produced 2,698 all-purpose yards.

    -- San Diego State junior QB Christian Chapman has completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 1,848 yards with a 13/3 TD-INT ratio. WR Mikah Holder is his favorite target, catching a team-best 43 balls for 602 yards and two TDs.

    -- San Diego State went 4-2 SU and 3-3 ATS in six games as a single-digit favorite during the regular season. The Aztecs played five teams that are in the postseason, producing a 3-2 SU record.

    -- During Long’s seven-year tenure, the Aztecs are 3-3 in bowl games. They’ve won back-to-back postseason contests and three of their last four, including last season’s 34-10 win over Houston at the Las Vegas Bowl.

    -- Army (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS) has won seven of its past eight games with the only loss coming at North Texas (52-49). The Black Knights capped the regular season with a 14-13 win over Navy as 2.5-point underdogs. QB Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 94 yards and one TD on 21 attempts.

    -- Army is No. 1 in the nation in rushing yards, producing 355.8 yards per game. On the flip side, the Black Knights are ranked No. 130 (last) in passing yards with only 29.6 per game. They average 29.8 PPG.

    -- Bradshaw has rushed for a team-best 1,566 yards and 12 TDs while averaging 7.5 YPC. Darnell Woolfolk has rushed for 725 yards and 12 TDs with a 5.3 YPC average. Bradshaw has completed merely 13-of-40 passes (32.5%) for 279 yards with a ˝ TD-INT ratio.

    -- Army owns a 4-2 spread record with three outright victories in six games as an underdog. The Black Knights went 3-2 (SU) in five games against teams that made the postseason, with their victories coming over Navy, Duke and Temple.

    -- The ‘under’ is 7-4-1 overall for San Diego State, but the ‘over’ has hit in two of its last three games. The Aztecs have seen their games average combined scores of 48.8 PPG. They’ve watched the ‘under’ go 4-2 in their six games that have had totals in the 40s. If this total stays at 46, it will be the lowest the Aztecs have seen all year. Their previous low total was 46.5.

    -- Totals have been an overall wash for Army (6-6), but the ‘under’ went 3-1 in its last four games. The Black Knights have seen their games average combined scores of 50.7 PPG.

    **Appalachian State vs. Toledo**

    -- ESPN’s Saturday tripleheader will conclude in Mobile, AL., where Appalachian State and Toledo will square off in the Dollar General Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. As of late Friday afternoon, most books had Toledo installed as a 6.5-point favorite with a total of 61.5. The Mountaineers were +200 on the money line (risk $100 to win $200).

    -- This is a rematch of last year’s Camellia Bowl, where Appalachian State won a 31-28 decision over Toledo as a one-point ‘chalk.’ The 59 combined points slithered ‘under’ the 60.5-poin tally. ASU QB Taylor Lamb threw for 119 yards and one TD without an interception, in addition to rushing for 126 yards and one TD on nine attempts. Marcus Cox ran for 143 yards and one TD on 22 carries, while Jalin Moore was held to 35 rushing yards on 16 totes. In the losing effort, Toledo QB Logan Woodside threw for 247 yards and two TDs without an interception. Kareem Hunt rushed for 120 yards and two TDs on 22 carries.

    -- Toledo (11-2 SU, 7-6 ATS) won the MAC Championship Game by thumping Akron 45-28, but the Rockets let a 38-0 lead get away and the Zips went on a 28-7 run to post the backdoor cover as 20.5-point underdogs. Senior QB Logan Woodside threw for 307 yards and four TDs, but he was intercepted twice. Senior RB Terry Swanson ran 21 times for 180 yards and a pair of TDs. Diontae Johnson had nine receptions for 118 yards and two TDs, while Jon’Vea Johnson had six catches for 103 yards and one TD.

    -- Toledo is in the postseason for the fourth consecutive season. The Rockets are 10-6 in 16 postseason games in their program’s history.

    -- Toledo is ranked eighth in the nation in total offense (511.2 YPG), 10th in scoring (39.2 PPG), 21st in passing yards and 26th in rushing yards.

    -- Woodside has enjoyed a remarkable career. He has 93 TD passes compared to only 22 interceptions. As a junior in 2016, Woodside threw for 4,129 yards with a 45/9 TD-INT ratio. He lost last season’s leading receiver Cody Thompson to a season-ending injury in early October, yet still threw for 3,758 yards to surpass Bruce Gradkowski as the school’s all-time leading passer. Woodside had a 28/5 TD-INT ratio during the regular season.

    -- With Thompson going down, Diontae Johnson was provided with more opportunities. He took advantage by snaring 72 receptions for 1,257 yards and 13 TDs. Jon’Vea Johnson has 41 catches for 675 yards and five TDs.

    -- Swanson enjoyed a breakout campaign replacing Hunt, who has enjoyed an outstanding rookie season with the Kansas City Chiefs. Swanson has run for a team-best 1,319 yards and 14 TDs with a 5.7 YPC average. Shakif Seymour has run for 704 yards and 12 TDs with a 6.2 YPC average, while Art Thompkins has 618 rushing yards, two TDs and a 6.1 YPC average.

    -- Toledo has been a single-digit ‘chalk’ four times, producing a 3-1 SU record and a 2-2 ATS mark. The Rockets won outright in four of six games against foes that made the postseason.

    -- Appalachian State (8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS) compiled a 1-1 spread record in a pair of games as an underdog. Scott Satterfield’s squad lost 31-10 at Georgia as a 12.5-point underdog in its season opener. The Mountaineers covered the spread and should’ve won outright in a 20-19 loss to Wake Forest as five-point home underdogs. Lamb threw for 372 yards and two TDs without an interception in the losing effort. ASU had a potential game-winning field goal blocked on the game’s final play and it also missed an extra point in the first half.

    -- Appalachian State took its other two defeats at UMass (30-27 in overtime) and at ULM (52-45) in consecutive weeks. The Mountaineers won by double-digit margins in five of their eight victories. They closed the regular season with three straight wins both SU and ATS. Each of those W’s came by 21 points or more, including a 63-14 win over Louisiana as a 14-point home favorite.

    -- Lamb, a four-year starter, is closing out a stellar collegiate career just like Woodside is. He is second in program history with 9,655 passing yards, behind only Armanti Edwards, who orchestrated the famous upset over fifth-ranked Michigan at The Big House in 2007. Lamb posted career-best numbers this year in completion percentage (61.7%), passing yards (2,606), rushing yards (539), YPC average (7.7) and interceptions (actually a career-low six). The senior signal caller threw 27 TD passes and rushed for five scores. For his career, Lamb has a 90/32 TD-INT ratio and 23 rushing TDs.

    -- Moore led ASU in rushing with 912 yards and nine TD while averaging 5.7 YPC. Terrence Upshaw has run for 314 yards and four TDs with a 4.6 YPC average.

    -- Lamb’s favorite targets are Ike Lewis and Thomas Hennigan. Lewis has 47 receptions for 666 yards and eight TDs, while Henningan has 44 catches for 556 yards and seven TDs.

    -- ASU is in just its fourth season competing at the FBS level in the Sun Belt Conference. Nevertheless, it’s going bowling for a third straight year. The Mountaineers are 2-0 in bowl games, defeating Ohio by a 31-29 count at the 2015 Camellia Bowl.

    -- The ‘over’ is 7-6 overall for the Rockets, who have watched their games average combined scores of 64.8 PPG.

    -- Totals have been an overall wash for ASU (6-6), but the ‘over’ hit at a 4-2 clip in its last six games.

    -- Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  15. #60
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    Saturday's Best Bet
    December 21, 2017


    Armed Forces Bowl Betting Preview
    San Diego State vs. Army
    Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017 (ESPN, 3:30 p.m. ET)


    Fresh off their second straight win over Navy (which is quite the feat considering Army had lost 14 in a row in that rivalry), the Army Black Knights are in a Bowl game for the second consecutive season as they square off against San Diego State in the Armed Forces Bowl. Bettors should expect a lot of rushing plays in this game as Army led the nation in rushing yards per game (355.8), while San Diego State wasn't too far behind at 11th in the country with 252.8 rushing yards per game.

    All of that running will lead to the continuing to run, but will a short game lead to a defensive battle between these two?

    San Diego State (-6); Total set at 46

    Not only was 2017 the second straight year Army beat their rivals from Navy, but it's the second straight year the Black Knights have gone Bowling as well. Last year it was a 38-31 OT win over North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, and this year it's a return to the Armed Forces Bowl for the first time since 2010 – Army's last Bowl appearance prior to 2016. Those were Army's only two Bowl appearances in this century (previous appearance was in 1996) and with both being victories, those grabbing the points with Army as an underdog hae to be feeling confident that recent history is somewhat on their side.

    San Diego State is a program that's no stranger to Bowl appearances as this will be their eighth straight appearance in a Bowl game with the last seven all coming during the Rocky Long era at the school. 2017 also marks the third straight season this program has reached double-digit wins, but a 10-2 SU mark wasn't good enough to reach the Mountain West Championship game as a head-to-head defeat against Fresno cost them in that regard.

    But since that lose the Aztecs finished the year 4-0 SU and ATS, dominating opponents with an average winning margin of 27.5 points. That kind of point differential can go a long way into garnering plenty of support from bettors in this game as they are seeing just under 70% of the wagers ATS according to VegasInsider.com right now. Yet this line actually opened up at San Diego State -7, so there has been some push back from the Army side getting some significant support and causing the reverse line movement.

    Yet, looking into the side is not something I'm that interested in here as recent history in this Bowl game and these two teams plays throughout 2017 makes the total much more appealing. With two predominant running teams, oddsmakers were always going to be forced to put a lower total up, especially when you've got two defenses that give up less than 21 points per game. But just because the clock will be consistently running doesn't mean that points will always be hard to come by, as both of these teams had multiple games this year where they managed to put up 40+ themselves and I do believe we will see both sides bust out some long runs throughout the course of this game.

    Furthermore, the Armed Forces Bowl has been a scoring fest the last three years as we've seen 69, 91, and 93 points scored in this game during that time. We aren't likely to see that many points in this contest, but 50+ points being scored is highly probable and that's more than enough to cash an 'over' ticket.

    Army showed in last year's Bowl game that after a hard-fought, gruelling game with Navy, they preferred to open things up in the Bowl game and this year should be no different. Trying a few trick plays, throwing more passes, and keeping a San Diego State team (that sees the triple-option every year vs Air Force) off-balance is going to be a big part of the Black Knights gameplan. And even if it's not, San Diego State's defense only gave up 24 or more points three times this season and one of those did come against Air Force. As the top rushing team in the land, Army's triple-option attack is a bit more honed then the one Air Force brings to the table and I do expect the Black Knights to at least reach the 20's on the scoreboard.

    San Diego State will have no worries about their own rushing game producing points either as they boast the nation's top rusher in Rashaad Penny (2027 rushing yards). Army's defense has had trouble against premier rushers in the past this year – they gave up 172 yards and 2 TD's on just 13 carries to Ohio State's J.K Dobbins, and San Diego State's ability to pass will continually keep Army's dffense off-balance and give Penny more than enough room to have success.

    With the Aztecs offense scoring 28 or more points in nine of their 12 games this year, I'm trusting their offense to hit the high 20's at a minimum, especially with the recent history of this Bowl game favoring points. I see this game finishing with something like a 30-24 scoreline (likely in favor of the Aztecs), and that gives us plenty of room for error regarding the total as opposed to the side. So while conventional wisdom would suggest going 'under' a low number in a game featuring two teams that love the run the ball and bleed the clock, I'm going against that common perception here and expecting both teams to break numerous big runs and cash in with TD's when they can.

    Best Bet: Over 46 points
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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