In what I wish was in a better time slot, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and South Florida Bulls square off in the Miami Beach Bowl. I understand the fact that MNF is tonight and bowl games and MNF both fall on ESPN. However, couldn’t have it at least been scheduled for 5:00 eastern or something? That way you have the bowl leading up to the Lions and Saints. I admit I won’t be able to catch the first half of this game, so there is a reason for me to be a bit annoyed by it. Although, it doesn’t mean we can’t make any money off this matchup. What we have in this game is two fairly hot teams clashing with one another, and I think it will be a good one to watch. Western Kentucky has been in the shadows of the big boys for a while, but are worth paying attention to. They sort of remind me of a lite version of what Boise State was years ago when Kellen Moore was there. Boise would sweep their schedule in those years, so I can’t say this is how they were. The Broncos were also playing in BCS Bowls. However, the offense of the Hilltoppers is comparable. Quarterback Brandon Doughty is one of the best kept secrets in college football.
South Florida has a weapon on their team who has been a bit of a secret, too. I feel this is going to be a pretty nice quarterback battle between Doughty and Quinton Flowers. Two different styles of quarterbacks, but ones that are effective in their ability. Doughty is the pro-style quarterback who will throw it out of the pocket. Western Kentucky goes up tempo and likes to go fast between plays. South Florida and Flowers like to hurry it up, but Flowers is more of a runner and scrambler. Not to say that he can’t throw the ball, because he is pretty proficient at doing that.
Western Kentucky at 11-2 and South Florida at 8-4 should play a close game. Last season the Hilltoppers played one of the most exciting bowl games of the season in the Bahamas Bowl. On a side note though, they seem to have it nice playing last year in the Bahamas and now in Miami. Where is next, the Hawaii Bowl? Western Kentucky held on to win that one after a furious ending, one in which Central Michigan pulled off a hook-and-ladder then a series of laterals to score, then to fail on a 2 point conversion.
Western Kentucky vs. South Florida Miami Beach Bowl Betting Odds:
Western Kentucky -2.5(-110)
vs. South Florida +2.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Western Kentucky vs. South Florida Pick:
I need to get going soon, so I’ll get to the pick quickly. Western Kentucky and the South Florida offense have been potent all season long. Note that the Hilltoppers are scoring 44.2 points per game. They are throwing for a gaudy 365 yards per game. Doughty has thrown for 45 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions, while going for 4594 yards. I am really curious to see where he falls in the NFL Draft. You really don’t know with quarterbacks in this type of system if they can succeed, but Doughty does have a rocket accurate arm. In the last three games the offense has scored 52.3 points per game.
Western Kentucky’s defense will have an offense to contend with themselves. South Florid averages 33.5 points per game and have looked their best of late. The Bulls scored 51 points per game in their last three games. Like I said Flowers, can do it via the ground or air. Note that he has thrown for 24 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, while rushing for 883 yards and 10 touchdowns. The only play I see in this game is the OVER 67. I have Western Kentucky and South Florida as even to cover the spread. Consequently, I am taking a look at the total and the OVER 67.
PICK: OVER 67 POINTS (-110)