The profits from bowl season continued along on Christmas Eve in the Bahamas Bowl with Central Michigan and Western Kentucky flying over the number putting the game never in doubt. The game provided one, if not, the greatest almost comeback in football history. Down 42-7 at the half and 49-7 at the end of three quarters, the Central Michigan Chippewa came all the way back to lose 49-48. All of you have seen the play already, which speaks for itself. The Hail Mary was completed at about the 30 yard line of Western Kentucky, and then the madness ensued with multiple laterals resulting in hitting pay-dirt. It was one of the best comebacks of all time, well nearly, and the best play I have seen of all time. Everything needed to go right for that play to convert. Central Michigan opted to go for 2, a fade route in the back of the end zone that resulted in an incomplete pass. We cashed in on this crazy one, with the OVER coming in easily. That was pretty much the only bet in that game that wasn’t stressful. Lets move on to Boxing Day where we are bowling for more cash, and a 4-0 record in bowl season.
We turn from the Bahamas to downtown Detroit for our pick today. Quite a stark difference in locales without a doubt. All money is the same though, and that’s what we will be seeking today. Today’s matchup is the Quick Lane Bowl between Rutgers and North Carolina. This is the first Quick Lane Bowl, which takes over the Pizza Bowl in Detroit. The Pizza Bowl was a MAC/Sun Belt Bowl, so this series promises better matchups. In the first Quick Lane Bowl I think we get a pretty good one. Rutgers, the newcomers to the Big10, will square off against the North Carolina Tar Heels from the ACC. Rutgers enters at 7-5 and North Carolina at 6-6. Not great results at all, but I think this matchup has the potential to be a good game. Hopefully that come to fruition. We have had a myriad of great bowls already, lets hope this is no different in Detroit.
Rutgers vs. North Carolina Spread and Betting Odds:
@North Carolina -3(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Rutgers vs. North Carolina Pick:
North Carolina probably should have had a better record than 6-6 indicates. They have an offense that can go toe-to-toe with many teams in college football, but keeping up would be another story, because the defense, well there really is no defense on North Carolina. This used to be a team with a pretty strong defense. A team that relied on their defense, but playing backyard football becomes a common theme in North Carolina games. Take a look at their defensive efforts this season. In their last seven games they’ve given up an average of 38 points per game. Three of those games went over 40 points against. In 8 out of 12 games, the North Carolina defense allowed more than 30 points. That is more than 30 points allowed at a 66% clip. The offense, conversely, has been potent. In 8 out of 12 games the offense eclipsed 30 points a game. So here, it is all offense with no defense. Look out for Marquise Williams in this game, an exciting player that has the ability to make plays by way of the air or ground. This season Williams has gone for 20 touchdowns and 9 interceptions passing, and with his legs it is even more impressive, rushing for 732 yards with 12 touchdowns. Rutgers will have their hands full on Friday.
Speaking of defenses that used to pride themselves on defense, look no further than Rutgers. Rutgers had one of the best defenses in all of the land, but it has progressively gotten worse since Greg Schiano left the program. Schiano most recently coached the Buccaneers in the NFL. The defense started at alright this season, but they’ve trended downward ever since. In their last two games Rutgers gave up 45 points to MSU and then followed it up with 38 against Maryland. MSU has a quality offense, but no defense should allow 38 against Maryland. In their last six games, Rutgers has allowed an average of 40 points a game. The Rutgers offense can be great at times and flustered in other moments. However, against the North Carolina defense they should move the ball. I like NC in this spot, but I hate laying points with terrible defenses. This is the same reason I stayed off of Western Kentucky. I will take the OVER again, and look for this game to get over 67 points.
PICK: OVER 67.5 POINTS (-110)