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SYRACUSE vs. MINNESOTA
Friday, Dec. 27, 6:00 pm
ESPN Out in Reliant Stadium on Friday, December 27th we get two teams who had interesting seasons to say the least. The Syracuse Orange ended up at 6-6 overall, just barely becoming bowl eligible in their last game, which was a three point win against the Boston College Eagles. The Orange had some tough losses to take, but didn't really have any wins that blow you away when you look at them on paper.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers on the other side were a nice surprise to finish out the year at 8-4 overall. They beat some solid teams in UNLV, San Jose State, Nebraska, Indiana, and Penn State. They finished their year out by barely losing to Michigan State 14-3. The Golden Gophers were a solid team this year, and they are looking to round out the year with a nice bowl game win as well.
This game kicks off with a sports betting line of right around -4 for the Minnesota Golden Gophers on most sports betting sites. I'm not surprised to see the Golden Gophers favored here, and I think in this spot against a team who they are likely to overmatch, that they could very possibly pull out a nice bowl win.
Check the Numbers
When two teams are pretty evenly matched you think on paper, you should check the stats. I really like the stats here that favor towards Minnesota. When you look at the numbers, Minnesota averages 26.4 points per game, while Syracuse averages only 22.8 per game. The defense though is what really sticks out, as Syracuse gives up 26.1 points per game, but Minnesota has played some solid offenses this year, and allowed just 22.3 points per game.
Two teams, one who snuck into a bowl game, and the other who was prepared for a bowl game weeks ago. The Golden Gophers still aren't getting quite enough love in my opinion, and while I'd love to see this line move a little lower for the Gophers', I'm going to be looking at it for a bet on the moneyline. Minnesota's offense isn't going to have much of an issue against the Syracuse defense, but I could very likely see Syracuse not being able to put up a ton of points on this Minnesota defense. This is one of those games that I have as a small favorite and its hard to lay the points yet more difficult to take a team I am not sure can win grab only a few points. At this point I am leaning towards taking Minnesota on the moneyline and making it a small play. Will update as we get closer to game.
MINNESOTA PK (moneyline)
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Syracuse is much better team in the Dome, than on the road. Syracuse is getting very healthy at the right time. Minnesota is a stout team. They don't receive the BIG 10 recognition, but this team can play run defense and run offense.
Neutral field, but my edge goes to Minnesota only because of the tougher schedule played. Syracuse' stats may be little inflated with a weaker schedule. TOUGH GAME!!