cnotes Posts:25728 Followers:33
12/24/2011 01:36 AM

So. Miss vs. Nevada

December 24, 2011

With no NFL night game on Christmas Eve, Southern Mississippi and Nevada will take center stage when they meet Saturday in the Hawaii Bowl at Aloha Stadium.

Most betting shops opened Southern Miss (11-2 straight up, 8-4-1 against the spread) as a six-point favorite but the number has been bet up to nine at most spots, as of late Friday night. The total has gone from 61 ½ up to 64. Gamblers can take Chris Ault’s team to win outright for a plus-500 return (risk $100 to win $500).

So. Miss is losing its head coach Larry Fedora, who has taken the same gig at North Carolina but will coach his team for the final time tonight. This is the best So. Miss team of his four-year campaign that was highlighted by the Golden Eagles’ 49-28 win over previously-unbeaten Houston as 12-point underdogs in the Conference USA title game.

Austin Davis threw for 279 yards and four touchdowns and USM got one touchdown apiece from the defense and special teams. The Eagles’ defense stymied the Cougars’ prolific offense, holding it to a season-low 28 points while intercepting Case Keenum twice.

So. Miss arrived in Hawaii on Sunday and Fedora has made it clear that his looming exit hasn’t had any impact on the team’s preparation. He told the Hattiesburg American, “It was just like the first [practice] we had four years ago and these kids have bought in and done everything we’ve asked them. I haven’t changed the way I coached them. We coached hard and got after their butts and they responded the way we needed to.”

Nevada (7-5 SU, 5-7 ATS) bounced back from narrow losses to La. Tech and Utah St. to win its regular-season finale in blowout fashion, blasting Idaho 56-3 as a 17 ½-point home ‘chalk.’

Tyler Lantrip torched the Vandals by completing 24-of-31 passes for 340 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. Aaron Bradley had seven receptions for 133 yards and three TDs. Lampford Mark rushed 24 times for 104 yards and one score.

For the season, Lantrip has a 10/6 touchdown-to-interception ratio but it’s unclear how much playing time Lantrip will get against So. Miss. After missing the win over Idaho with a sprained ankle, freshman QB Cody Fajardo is expected to get the starting nod.

Fajardo had started seven games in a row before suffering the injury against Utah St. in Week 13. He has a 6/5 TD-INT ratio but has been extremely productive with his legs, rushing for 680 yards and 11 TDs.

Lampford has emerged from the shadows of the departed Vai Taua, producing a team-high 728 rushing yards and eight TDs. Mike Ball has split carries with Lampford, rushing for 704 yards and three scores.

Davis surpassed Brett Favre as USM all-time passing leader earlier this year. In 2011, Davis threw for 3,331 yards with a 28/11 TD-INT ratio. His favorite target is Ryan Balentine, who has 49 catches for 742 yards and eight TDs.

USM has been a single-digit favorite four times this year, going 2-2 ATS. Meanwhile, Nevada owns a 2-1 spread record in three previous underdog spots.

Totals have been an overall wash for Nevada (6-6), but the ‘over’ has hit in four of its last six games. The ‘under’ is 7-6 overall for overall for So. Miss, but the ‘over’ is 4-1 in its last five outings.

Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Nevada is playing in a bowl game for a seventh straight season. The Wolf Pack beat Boston College 20-13 in last year’s Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

--After beating Troy 30-27 in overtime of the New Orleans Bowl in Fedora’s first year, USM has lost back-to-back bowl games, including last season’s 31-28 loss to Louisville in St. Pete.

--Nevada and So. Miss played a home-and-home series in 1997 and 1998 with So. Miss winning in convincing fashion both times.

--Just as I wrote and tweeted several times over the last few days, it’s beyond ridiculous that Boise St. has been so wronged by the BCS system the last two years. As college football fans, we were all completely robbed of the opportunity to see Kellen Moore do his thing on a bigger stage during the junior and senior seasons of his brilliant career. Congrats to Moore on a remarkable run at Boise St in which he had an incredible 50-3 record with the three losses coming by five combined points in games that would’ve each been won by the Broncos if not for missed FGs at crunch time. Moore went unbeaten against BCS foes, beating Oregon twice, winning [at] Va. Tech, [at] Georgia, vs. Oregon St. and vs Arizona St.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25728 Followers:33
12/24/2011 08:23 AM

Hawaii Bowl: What bettors need to know

Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (-8.5, 63)

HAWAII BOWL STORYLINES

1. Defense may be an afterthought in this game, which features two high-powered offenses. Nevada averages 522.8 yards of offense (fifth in the NCAA) and Southern Miss averages 471 (13th in the NCAA). Southern Miss has won 10 of its last 11 games, during which it has been held below 30 points only one time. Nevada has scored 37 or more in six of its last eight games, including 56 in the season-finale against Idaho.

2. Southern Miss will be playing its final game under coach Larry Fedora, who accepted the head coaching position at North Carolina. Among those who have interviewed for the vacancy are South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken.

3. This will be the third meeting between Nevada and Southern Miss. They played a home-and-home series, with Southern Miss winning 35-19 in 1997 in Hattiesburg and 55-28 in Reno in 1998. Southern Miss will be playing a bowl game for the 10th consecutive year and the 14th in 15 years. Nevada has been to seven straight bowl games.

TV: 8 p.m. ET.

LINE: The Golden Eagles opened as 6-point favorites and have been bet past the key number to -8.5. The total has climbed to 63 points after opening around 61.5.

WEATHER: So much for a nice sunny vacation in Hawaii. Rain is in the forecast for Aiea with a 58 percent chance of showers and 20-mph winds, blowing ENE across Aloha Stadium.

ABOUT SOUTHERN MISS (11-2, 6-2 Conference USA, 8-4-1 ATS): The No. 21-ranked Golden Eagles set a school record when they beat Houston in the Conference USA championship game for their 11th win. The victory got a lot of attention, as it knocked the Cougars out of BCS consideration and allowed the Golden Eagles to win the Conference USA title. Senior QB Austin Davis, a starter since his freshman season, holds the school record for TD passes (81) and total offense (12,082 yards); he broke Brett Favre’s record for passing yardage and now has 10,727. Southern has a running back by committee approach, with four different players posting 100-yard games.

ABOUT NEVADA (7-5, 5-2 Western Athletic Conference, 5-7 ATS): Mark Lampford is the top rusher (104 yards per game), but it wasn’t easy. A torn ACL in 2010, a case of mono and a chest injury late in summer camp pushed him so far down the depth chart he didn’t even make the travel roster for the opener with Oregon. No decision on whether Tyler Lantrip or Cody Fajardo will start at QB. Lantrip threw for 340 yards in the final game, but Fajardo had started the previous seven games until suffering a badly sprained ankle. The Wolf Pack may have the best defensive player on the field in tackle Brett Roy. The senior led the WAC in tackles for loss (18.5) and sacks (10) and was named first-team All-America by Sports Illustrated.

TRENDS:

* Wolf Pack are 0-4 ATS in their last four Bowl games.
* Golden Eagles are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
* Under is 4-1 in Wolf Pack's last five Bowl games.
* Over is 4-1 in Golden Eagles' last five games overall.

PREDICTION: Southern Miss 41, Nevada 35 – In a game between two very gifted offensive teams, Southern gets the edge because of QB Austin Davis.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25728 Followers:33
12/24/2011 08:26 AM

Saturday's betting tips: Nevada on ATS bowl skid

Who’s hot

NFL: The Raiders are 5-0 ATS in their last five games in Kansas City.

NFL: Carolina is 16-6 ATS in its last 22 December games.

NFL: The over is 31-12-4 in the Chargers’ last 47 road games.

NCAAF: Southern Miss is 8-2-1 ATS in its last 11 games.

Who’s not

NFL: The under is 1-10 in the Patriots’ last 11 games vs. AFC East opponents.

NFL: The 49ers are 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 games as road favorites.

NFL: The Ravens are 1-5 ATS in their last six games vs. losing teams.

NCAAF: Nevada is 1-5 ATS in its last six games, and 0-4 ATS in its last four bowl games.

Key stat

75 – That’s the percentage of throws San Diego QB Philip Rivers completed over the past three games, all convincing wins. Rivers has thrown 8 TDs and 0 INTs over his last four games. He’s 23-2 as a starter in December. Still alive in the playoff chase, San Diego is a 1-point dog at Detroit on Saturday.

Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked

Cowboys RB Felix Jones has not practiced all week due to a hamstring injury, and is questionable for Saturday’s game against the Eagles. "It would surprise me if Felix does not go," owner Jerry Jones said Friday. "On the other hand, it would be madness not to recognize that he hasn't practiced all week, so you better have another plan in place." If Jones doesn’t play, 12-year vet Sammy Morris will carry the load. Dallas is a 1-point favorite over the surging Eagles.

Game of the day

New York Giants at New York Jets (-3, 45.5)

Notable quotable

“I've never worn sleeves, but I've been wearing sleeves in practice this week to try to get used to that. I won't wear a glove, maybe on my right hand, but not on my (left) hand. I don't plan to, anyway." – Tim Tebow to the Denver Post on dealing with temperatures in the 30s on Saturday in Buffalo. Tebow’s previous coldest game was 42 degrees at kickoff for last year’s season finale at home vs. San Diego. The Broncos are 1.5-point favorites over the Bills.

Notes and tips

QB Ben Roethlisberger will rest his badly sprained ankle Saturday, meaning 38-year-old Charlie Batch gets the start against the 2-12 Rams. Pittsburgh is laying 12 points at home. Look for the Steelers to try to pund the Rams’ 32nd-ranked rush defense with Rashad Mendenhall and Isaac Redman.

The Bears will start Kahlil Bell, not Mario Barber, at running back Sunday night at Green Bay. Barber won’t play with a calf injury. Bell's only backup will be undrafted rookie Armando Allen, fresh off the practice squad. Bell amassed 108 total yards and a TD in last week’s home loss to Seattle. But Chicago is perilously thin at the position. Green Bay is laying 12.5.

Lakers center Andrew Bynum and Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva had their suspensions reduced because of the shortened NBA season. Bynum, given a five-game suspension for making excessive contact with Mavs point guard J.J. Barea in the Western Conference finals, will only be out four games. Villanueva also received a five-game suspension for tangling with Cleveland’s Ryan Hollins late last season. He served one game and will sit the first three games of this season.

Sad news out of College Station, Tex., where Texas A&M senior offensive lineman Joseph Villavisencio was killed in a car accident. The tragedy comes as the Aggies prepare for the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas on Dec. 31. Villavisencio, 22, who saw limited action in his career with the Aggies, was heading to his home in Jacksonville, Tex., at the time of the crash. "He was one of the most respectful and high-character players I've ever coached," former A&M coach Mike Sherman, who was fired Dec. 1, told the Houston Chronicle. "It was an honor and privilege to have known him and coached him."

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25728 Followers:33
12/24/2011 08:31 AM

Top 3 NCAAF Trends

KANST
ARK Under is 8-0 in ARK last 8 bowl games.

WMICH
PURD WMICH are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.

NOTRE
FSU FSU are 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 bowl games.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25728 Followers:33
12/24/2011 08:35 AM

Hawaii Bowl: At betting window, Reno's not backing the Wolf Pack

Reno sports fans might support the Nevada football team, but few are willing to put their money where their hearts are.

That's the opinion of an oddsmaker who has been around the business long enough to know.

Chris Andrews, assistant sports book manager at the Club Cal Neva, said the manner in which local residents treat their hometown team at the betting window is unlike anything he has ever seen.

The Cal Neva has Conference USA champion Southern Mississippi posted as 6.5-point favorite over Nevada with an over-under total of 62 in Saturday's Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. Wolf Pack backers have been hard to come by, and Andrews wasn't the least bit surprised.

"I have to be honest. I've never seen a town with less support of a team financially than Reno does with the Wolf Pack," Andrews said Monday.

Among many examples he cited, Andrews, 55, recalled sitting in a suite at last year's Nevada-Cal game in Reno and overhearing many fans speak of their wagers on the Golden Bears. Nevada won, 52-31, as a 3.5-point underdog.

"Almost every guy I talked to said, 'I bet on Cal.' I'm sitting there as a handicapper, and I bet on the Pack. My numbers said Nevada was the play," said Andrews, who is an East Coast native.

"Locals are all over-betting against the Pack, often on the loser. I don't know what that is, to be honest with you. I have not seen that in other cities."

When it comes to bowl games, it appears as though those who bet against -- or fade -- the Pack are onto something. Nevada has not covered in the postseason since losing to Miami, 21-20, as a 3.5-point underdog in 2006.

In last year's Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Nevada opened as a 7.5-point favorite over Boston College, and the spread moved as high as 10 in some books before settling back to the original number. The Eagles kicked a late field goal to get inside the number for their bettors in Nevada's 20-13 win.

In Southern Miss (11-2, 9-4 against the spread), Nevada (7-5, 5-7 ATS) faces a team that was under the radar nationally until it upset Houston 49-28 as a two-touchdown underdog in the C-USA championship game Dec. 3. A late-season upset loss to UAB likely cost the Golden Eagles an outside shot at a BCS bowl game.

The Wolf Pack will be looking to redeem recent disappointments in Hawaii, where it suffered its only loss last year and was upset by SMU, 45-10, in the 2009 Hawaii Bowl. Nevada was a double-digit favorite in that game.

Most Nevada sportsbooks opened Southern Miss as about a 5.5-point favorite, and some parlors have moved the number as high as 7.

Even so, the Las Vegas Hilton on Monday lowered its spread from 6 to 5.5, suggesting it took a decent chunk of cash on the Pack.

Andrews said he sees some value with the underdog in the Hawaii Bowl.

"I think the number is a little high, and I am not a biased, Wolf Pack guy," he said. "They have laid an egg in Hawaii before, and they'll want to make amends for that."

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25728 Followers:33
12/24/2011 08:40 AM

Golden Eagles ready for Wolf Pack

HONOLULU – After all the drama and uncertainty that has surrounded Southern Miss football for the last three weeks, the Golden Eagles finally get another chance to line it up and play.

USM (11-2) and Nevada (7-5) play at 7 p.m. today in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
Outgoing coach Larry Fedora will officially step down from his position and take over at North Carolina after the game. He will hand the program over to the newly-hired Ellis Johnson.


When Fedora walks off the field today, he will leave behind a team he built over four years into a Conference USA champion.


“It’ll be difficult,” Fedora said. “There will always be a piece of my heart and soul in this football team in Hattiesburg. It’ll be different. It’s just one more step in life we all experience and the players will overcome it and move forward.”


This Southern Miss team already features the most wins in a season in program history, and another victory today will set the bar even higher.


“I’m sure Nevada is anxious to keep us from getting our 12th win,” Fedora said.
Both teams feature two of the better offenses in the nation.


Nevada is No. 5 in the nation in total offense, averaging 522.8 yards a game.


Southern Miss is the 13th-best group in the FBS, averaging 471 yards a contest.


The Golden Eagles aren’t banking on an offensive shootout today, but that’s likely if Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo and receiver Rishard Matthews get the passing game going today.


“We hope (it’s not a shootout), but we’re going to be full go,” USM running back Tracey Lampley said. “Our defense is good enough to slow them down. On offense, we’ve got to click and put points on the board. We’ve got to match their intensity and come out and play offense.”


Southern Miss defensive coordinator Dan Disch expects his defense to face one of the toughest rushing attacks its faced this season led by a rugged offensive line.


It’ll be up to defensive tackles Khyri Thornton and Terrance Pope to take away the run up the middle.


“(The offensive line) is very disciplined,” Pope said. “They know what they have to do to run the ball. If we don’t stop the run, they’ll run it all night.”


The Southern Miss offensive line will have to find a way to hold a talented Nevada defensive front in check today.


The best player on the Wolf Pack roster is defensive tackle Brett Roy, who was named a first-team All-American by Sports Illustrated. Roy registered 10 sacks and 18.5 tackles for lost yardage this season.


“They’re a good team,” said quarterback Austin Davis, who will play his final game as a Golden Eagle today. “They’re going to twist up front and make it tough on the offensive line. They’re going to press us up on the outside and make it as tough as you can. The receivers definitely have to play their best game. Any time you play in a bowl game it’s about who wants it most and who can handle all the distractions.”

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25728 Followers:33
12/24/2011 08:43 AM

Bowl Record 2011-2012

Date WLT Pct Net Units Record
12/22/11 2-­0-­0 100.00% +­1000 Detail
12/21/11 1-­1-­0 50.00% -­50 Detail
12/20/11 1-­1-­0 50.00% -­50 Detail
12/17/11 4-­2-­0 66.67% +­900 Detail
Totals 8-­4-­0 66.67% +1800

Saturday, December 24

Game Score Status Pick Amount

Nevada - 8:00 PM ET Southern Mississippi -6.5 500

Southern Mississippi - Over 62 500

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25728 Followers:33
12/24/2011 08:45 AM

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL ( My Christmas Wishes )

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

Subject: CHRISTMAS WISHES

A Wish Sincere

To those we love
And see each day
And other loved ones
Far away,

To all good friends
Who mean so much
And those with whom
We're out of touch,

To folks who are
So good and kind
It's so easy
To keep them in mind,

To people we keep
Close at heart
Even when
We're far apart,

I send to you
This wish sincere
For a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year!!

And Good Luck to All and All a good night.........

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25728 Followers:33
12/26/2011 02:44 AM

Missouri, UNC meet in Independence Bowl

December 25, 2011

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Big changes are coming for the football programs at Missouri and North Carolina. Before they happen, there's one more football game to play.

The Tigers and Tar Heels meet on Monday in the Independence Bowl, and both teams have become quite experienced at juggling questions about their long-term future with the upcoming matchup. Players and coaches are adamant the focus will be squarely on the field.

``We're expecting to play our best game,'' Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. ``And we expect North Carolina to play their best game.''

Not that there aren't reasons to be distracted. North Carolina (7-5) is in the midst of a coaching change, while Missouri (7-5) is preparing for its move to the Southeastern Conference after an acrimonious exit from the Big 12.

The Tar Heels endured more than their share of turmoil this season under interim head coach Everett Withers, who took over in July after Butch Davis was fired shortly before preseason camp in the shadow of an NCAA investigation.

Withers was a candidate for the full-time job until last week, when North Carolina announced the hiring of Southern Mississippi coach Larry Fedora. Fedora takes over the program immediately after the bowl game and Withers is headed to Ohio State, where he'll be the defensive coordinator for new coach Urban Meyer.

Withers' time is already divided. He said he spent part of his week making recruiting calls for the Buckeyes before turning his focus back to North Carolina.

He expects his team to handle any extra adversity without issues. The Tar Heels have certainly had plenty of practice.

``This has been an experience for all of us,'' Withers said. ``Each player has done an unbelievable job of holding this together to have the success that we've had the past two years. It's been remarkable. I haven't looked at it as tumultuous. I've looked at it as a life lesson - a journey - that you go through.''

Coaching stability isn't a problem at Missouri (7-5), where Pinkel is wrapping up his 11th season with a program-record seventh consecutive bowl appearance. Instead, it's the move to the SEC that's the constant topic of conversation.

``There's no question about it - this is historically a big moment with us playing our last game in the Big 12,'' Pinkel said. ``That's kind of on my shoulders and on our players' shoulders. This game is important for many reasons, but it will be remembered specifically for that reason.''

While North Carolina and Missouri share a penchant for off-field issues, they also have similar on-field resumes.

Both are talented teams that have experienced bouts of success and failure. Missouri started the season with a 4-5 record before consecutive wins over Texas, Texas Tech and Kansas earned them the right to go to the Independence Bowl.

Missouri sophomore quarterback James Franklin has thrown for 2,733 yards and 20 touchdowns this season while also rushing for 839 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Tigers' defense has given up just 14 points per game during the recent three-game winning streak.

``It's been kind of an up-and-down year for us, so it'd be nice to end with four (wins) in a row and end our time in the Big 12 the way we want to,'' receiver T.J. Moe said. ``And for the guys who are going to be here next season, it can be a springboard into the SEC.''

North Carolina started the season 5-1, but stumbled down the stretch, losing four of the last six to finish with a 3-5 ACC record.

Still, the Tar Heels won their regular-season finale against Duke and have one of the best freshmen running backs in the country in Giovani Bernard.

The 5-foot-10, 205-pounder from Davie, Fla., rebounded from a torn knee ligament last season to become the program's first 1,000-yard rusher since 1997.

``You see the great running backs, and they're with the great teams,'' Bernard said. ``That's the main thing. Dwight Jones has done a great job catching the ball all year and our offensive line has protected me and Bryn (Renner) amazingly this year. The credit goes out to those guys. I'm following the blocks. A little patience helps.''

Renner, a sophomore, led the ACC in passing efficiency and has thrown for 2,769 yards, 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Renner said all of the team's adversity has taken a toll, but also made the Tar Heels resilient. Though disappointed Withers won't be around next season to coach the team, he said the Tar Heels are determined to send everyone out a winner.

``This coaching staff - you can't say enough about the job coach Withers did for us all season,'' Renner said. ``That's really who we're playing for. This staff and this team.''

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25728 Followers:33
12/26/2011 02:48 AM

Independence Bowl: What bettors need to know

NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS vs. MISSOURI TIGERS (-5.5, 52.5)

ADVOCARE V100 INDEPENDENCE BOWL STORYLINES

1. Missouri's parting gift from the Big 12 Conference -- the Tigers are headed to the Southeastern Conference along with Texas A&M next season -- was being passed over in the Big 12's bowl pecking order and relegated to a third trip to Shreveport, La., since 2003. The Tigers lost to Arkansas 27-14 in 2003 and rallied for a 38-31 win over South Carolina in 2005. North Carolina is playing in the Independence Bowl for the first time.

2. Both teams boast sophomore quarterbacks who put up big numbers, and they could be relied upon to carry the load, because both defenses are tough against the run. North Carolina's Bryn Renner has passed for 2,769 yards and 23 touchdowns, which ties Chris Keldorf's school record. Missouri's James Franklin has been a catalyst for the Tigers' balanced offense with 2,733 passing yards and 839 rushing yards and 33 total touchdowns.

3. It will be the Tar Heels' final game under interim coach Everett Withers, as former Southern Mississippi coach Larry Fedora will take over after the bowl game. North Carolina won five of its first six games under Withers but stumbled down the stretch, losing four of its last six. Withers announced that he'll be joining Urban Meyer's staff at Ohio State after the bowl game.

4. The teams have met only twice, with Missouri winning both meetings in 1973 and 1976. The Tigers won the first contest 27-14 in Chapel Hill and won 24-3 at home three years later. North Carolina has not played a Big 12 opponent since a 52-21 home loss to Texas in 2002, and the Tar Heels haven't beaten a current Big 12 team since a 20-0 win over Kansas in 1986.

TV: 5 p.m. ET, ESPN2.

LINE: Missouri opened as a 3.5-point favorite and has been bet up steadily to 5.5. But you can still find the Tigers at -5 if you shop around. The total is 52.5 or 53, depending on the book.

WEATHER: There's an 80 percent chance of rain at kickoff, with temperatures in the mid-40s and light wind. The chance of rain decreases slightly throughout the game. By 8 p.m. ET, the forecast calls for a 60 percent chance.

ABOUT MISSOURI (7-5, 5-4 Big 12): The Tigers closed the regular season with three straight wins to land in a bowl game for a school-record seventh consecutive season. The Tigers haven't won their last four games of the season since 1965. The late-season success helped make up for a tumultuous stretch in which leading rusher Henry Josey was lost for the season with two torn ligaments and a torn tendon in his left knee and head coach Gary Pinkel was suspended for one game after pleading guilty to a drunk driving charge. Losing Josey proved to be a speed bump for the nation's No. 12 offense (473.2 yards per game) but the defense was up to the task down the stretch, shutting down Texas in a 17-5 home win and stifling Kansas in a 24-10 win in Kansas City to end the regular season.

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA (7-5, 3-5 ACC): The Tar Heels are playing in a bowl game for the fourth consecutive season, their longest streak since going to seven straight bowl games from 1992-98. Giovani Bernard has rushed for a North Carolina freshman record 1,222 yards, becoming the first Tar Heel to top 1,000 rushing yards since 1997. With 13 rushing touchdowns, he needs one more to tie the school's freshman record. The Tar Heels got some good news when leading receiver Dwight Jones was reinstated to the team. Jones was originally declared ineligible after allowing his name and image to be used to promote a party in his hometown of Burlington, N.C. Jones hauled in a school-record 79 passes for 1,119 this season with 11 going for touchdowns. Bernard and Jones are the first duo in school history to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season.

TRENDS:

- Missouri is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games on grass.
- Missouri is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 neutral-site games.
- North Carolina is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games following an ATS win.
- North Carolina is 19-9 ATS in its last 28 games as an underdog.
- Under is 9-3 in Missouri's last 12 non-conference games.
- Under is 9-4 in UNC's last 13 games vs. winning teams.

PREDICTION: Missouri 27, North Carolina 23 -- The Tigers have more weapons and will end a season with four straight wins for the first time in 46 years.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: