jimmythegreek Posts:10338 Followers:375
12/21/2012 02:28 PM

Beef O'Brady's Bowl:
Ball St. vs. Central Florida
A heartbreaking overtime loss in the Conference USA title game cost UCF a spot in the Liberty Bowl. The consolation prize for the Knights is getting to play a relatively short distance from campus - albeit against an unexpected opponent that will be looking for its seventh straight victory.

UCF tries to bounce back when it faces Ball State in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Friday night. The Knights may be playing in front of what amounts to a home crowd as they try to do that, as they'll travel only 100 miles to Tropicana Field - a much closer destination than Memphis, where Tulsa is headed for the Liberty Bowl. UCF made its first trip to the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl in 2009, suffering a 45-24 loss to Rutgers. The Knights will play in this game for the final time as a C-USA member as they head to the Big East for next season, but they may be back given the bowl's affiliation with that conference. The Knights (9-4) led by six going into the fourth quarter against Tulsa on Dec. 1 but allowed a 54-yard punt return for a score that pushed the game to overtime, where the Golden Hurricane prevailed 33-27. UCF had a 38-yard field goal blocked to start the extra period.

The high-scoring Knights, averaging 35.2 points, are led by Blake Bortles, who threw for 2,787 yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The bruising Murray has powered the ground game with 1,035 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns, though he failed to reach 100 yards in the last three games after a four-game stretch in which he ran for at least 117 each time. UCF has five players that have run for at least 162 yards and it has scored 31 touchdowns on the ground - seven by Bortles. UCF will be facing something of a mirror image in Ball State (9-3), which is averaging only 0.2 fewer points than the Knights. The Cardinals' Keith Wenning has passed for 2,878 yards, 22 TDs and 10 INTs, while sophomore Jahwan Edwards has rushed for 1,321 yards and 14 scores.

Edwards has been particularly effective during Ball State's win streak, averaging 131.0 yards with nine touchdowns in the six games. He ran for three TDs to power the Cardinals past Miami of Ohio 31-24 in their regular-season finale Nov. 23. Ball State won without Wenning, who suffered an ankle injury while catching a pass against Ohio on Nov. 14. His status for the bowl game is uncertain. The junior has posted a 143.8 passer rating in his last five contests. The Cardinals also lost Wenning's backup Kelly Page in the third quarter against Miami, leaving freshman Kyle Kamman to make his collegiate debut. If Wenning and Page can't go, Ball State will likely lean even more heavily on its powerful ground attack, which averages 214.3 yards. Along with Edwards, the Cardinals have Horactio Banks, who's rushed for 585 yards in 10 games.

While Ball State's offense should give it a chance to extend the winning streak, the Cardinals' defense may need to be considerably better than it's been for most of the season. They are allowing 205.8 yards per game on the ground - near the bottom of the FBS - and 217.7 through the air, which could prove fatal against the balanced UCF attack. Ball State opponents are averaging 31.5 points. The Cardinals are 0-5 in bowls, with their last appearance coming in the 2008 season, a 45-13 loss to Tulsa in the GMAC Bowl. UCF's last bowl appearance in 2010 yielded its first victory in four overall tries, 10-6 over Georgia in the Liberty Bowl.

Both teams can move the ball, but UCF’s 29th-rated defense has allowed about nine points less per game (22.5) than Ball State’s and should provide the difference. The MAC conference is very overrated, and Central Florida should control this game. Ball State’s most notable wins were at Toledo and against Ohio. Include a very strong lean to the over 60, as UCF can match wits offensively and should score well into the 40's.


The pick: Central Florida -7 (bought half)
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jimmythegreek Posts:10338 Followers:375
12/21/2012 11:34 PM

Well we were 20 yards short of hitting a totals lean but we go 4-0 so far on bowl sides with UCF covering by 2 TD's! Back up later with 2 more bowls plays for Saturday!

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jimmythegreek Posts:10338 Followers:375
12/21/2012 11:54 PM

New Orleans Bowl:
East Carolina vs. Louisiana Lafayette
The Ragin' Cajuns face East Carolina in the New Orleans Bowl on Saturday, a matchup of teams that are both looking for a fourth straight victory to post a nine-win season. Louisiana-Lafayette tied a school record with nine wins last season, and a 32-30 victory over San Diego State at the Superdome in this bowl game last Dec. 17 was one of its most exciting. After giving up a touchdown with 35 seconds left, the Cajuns drove 49 yards on four plays to set up Brett Baer's 50-yard field goal as time expired.

Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4) again has a chance at a ninth win after earning three consecutive victories to end the regular season. The Cajuns' only loss in their final five contests was a 27-20 defeat at then-No. 7 Florida on Nov. 10, a game they led with less than two minutes left only to lose on a touchdown off a blocked punt with two seconds to play. Terrance Broadway, a sophomore who transferred from Houston, took over after last year's New Orleans Bowl most valuable player, Blaine Gautier, broke his left hand in a win over Florida International on Sept. 29.

Gautier returned for the final two games but only made brief appearances off the bench. Broadway has 2,526 passing yards and 661 on the ground, leaving him 258 shy of surpassing Gautier's school record for total yards. Gautier's single-season marks for total touchdowns (26), completion percentage (62.8) and passing efficiency (153.6) are also well within Broadway's reach. Broadway and the Cajuns will next face an East Carolina team that also ended the regular season with a three-game win streak.

That run assured the Pirates (8-4) of returning to the postseason after they finished 5-7 in 2011, ending a streak of five straight years reaching a bowl game. Quarterback Shane Carden topped 300 yards in four of the final six games and threw for a school-record 439 in a 65-59 overtime victory over Marshall in the season finale Nov. 23. Carden's top target is fellow sophomore Justin Hardy, who has 83 catches for 1,046 yards and 10 touchdowns. The first-team all-Conference USA selection, who had a program-record 16 receptions against Marshall, needs 78 yards to surpass Dwayne Harris' single-season school mark from 2010.

Hardy and junior Vintavious Cooper gave the Pirates a 1,000-yard receiver and rusher in the same season for the first time. Cooper, the C-USA newcomer of the year, had 1,030 yards on 191 carries as he switched to running back after playing quarterback for two years at Southwest Mississippi Community College. East Carolina, scheduled to join the Big East beginning in 2014, is seeking to snap a three-game bowl losing streak. The Pirates are 5-7 all-time in bowl games with the most recent win coming on a last-second field goal in the 2007 Hawaii Bowl against Boise State.

With a short trip from Lafayette to New Orleans, expect the Ragin’ Cajuns to have a significant home crowd advantage. Louisiana-Lafayette fans packed the Superdome for last season’s game and should be out in full force once again on Saturday. Both teams will have plenty of success moving the ball on offense, so it’s up to whichever defense can make a key stop in the fourth quarter. Believe it or not the difference could be the running game.The Pirates have a 1,000-yard rusher in junior Vintavious Cooper, but ULL's duo of Broadway and tailback Alonzo Harris, who combined for 16 rushing scores this season, will give the Cajuns an edge on the ground. Strong lean to the over 67 with the Rajun Cajuns in the end outscoring the Pirates.


The pick: Louisiana Lafayette -5.5 (bought half)
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jimmythegreek Posts:10338 Followers:375
12/22/2012 12:05 AM

Las Vegas bowl:
Boise St. vs. Washington
The 20th-ranked Broncos face the Huskies in the MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas on Saturday, the first of three meetings in as many years. Washington will open next season at renovated Husky Stadium against the Broncos on Aug. 31, and it travels to Boise in 2015 to complete the home-and-home series. Boise State (10-2) is quite familiar with Las Vegas, having won the last two MAACO Bowls against Utah and Arizona State by a combined 55 points. Unlike those Broncos teams, Boise State relied on its defense much more in 2012 to post its seventh straight 10-win season - the longest active streak in the country.

The Broncos aren't exactly weak on offense, averaging 30.4 points, but that number pales in comparison to the 44.7 they produced over the last two seasons. Boise State was limited to fewer than 21 points four times this year after not being held below that mark in the past two. Defense has been the key, as the Broncos rank in the top 10 in the FBS with 14.9 points and 304.7 yards allowed per game. The unit is led by first-team All-Mountain West selections Demarcus Lawrence (9 1/2 sacks, 13 1/2 tackles for loss), J.C. Percy (team-high 101 tackles), Jamar Taylor and Mike Atkinson. The Broncos held Nevada 17 points below its average in a 27-21 road win Dec. 1 to clinch a share of the Mountain West title. Boise State allowed 90 yards in the first half while taking a 17-0 lead.

Washington (7-5) is making its third straight bowl appearance, but the Huskies are coming off a bitter loss. They fell 31-28 in overtime to Washington State in the Apple Cup on Nov. 23, blowing an 18-point fourth-quarter lead to allow the largest comeback in the history of the rivalry. The Huskies, who had won four straight, have one more chance to post their highest victory total since going 8-4 in 2001.

Quarterback Keith Price may have a more difficult time ridding himself of memories of the defeat. His fumble in the fourth quarter helped set up a Washington State touchdown that trimmed the lead to 28-25, and he threw an interception on the first play of OT that led to the winning field goal. Boise State's pass defense should pose a strong test. The Broncos are allowing 163.4 passing yards per game, tied for 12th in the nation, and they've yielded three touchdowns through the air all season. Washington is giving up 23.8 points and 353.3 yards a game - improvements of 15.1 and 137.8 from last year's rough defensive performance.

It's tough to pick against a team with a superior offense, defense and bowl history. Washington's best hope is to steal an early lead and force Boise State to throw the ball. Washington will face an offense that has struggled some in the transition from Kellen Moore to Joe Southwick under center. But Boise State's margin of victory average was more than two touchdowns this season -- and nothing on paper suggests this one will be any closer. Slight lean to the over 45.5 as the Broncos have a tendency to turn solid defense into offense with short drives and gift points.


The pick: Boise St -5.5
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jimmythegreek Posts:10338 Followers:375
12/24/2012 03:14 AM

Hawaii Bowl:
Fresno St vs. SMU
The Bulldogs could cap an exhilirating campaign with a sixth consecutive victory for the school's winningest season in 11 years as they meet former WAC rival SMU in the Hawaii Bowl on Monday night. Fresno State (9-3) made quite a splash in its new league, posting a 7-1 record to earn a share of the title - its first conference championship since 1999. The Bulldogs have been dominant in five games since a 20-10 loss at then-No. 24 Boise State on Oct. 13, winning by an average of 25.8 points and scoring at least 42 in each victory.

They'll be trying to snap a three-game bowl skid after notching the program's fifth nine-win season over the past decade. Fresno State hasn't reached double digits in wins since going 11-3 in 2001. Perhaps even more important is that the Christmas Eve game in Honolulu won't be the last in a Bulldogs uniform for junior quarterback Derek Carr. The Mountain West offensive player of the year announced following the team's regular-season finale - a 48-15 win over Air Force on Nov. 24 - that he would return for his senior year.

Led by Carr, the brother of New York Giants backup quarterback David Carr, the Bulldogs have done plenty right on offense, ranking 14th in the FBS with 488.5 yards per game and tied for 12th in scoring (40.3 ppg). Carr's favorite target is league freshman of the year Davante Adams, who has 13 TDs among his 89 receptions and is 14th in the nation with 97.3 yards per game. Senior running back Robbie Rouse also keyed the passing game with 58 catches and 406 yards - both surpassing his previous three seasons combined. The first-team all-conference selection is the Bulldogs' all-time leading rusher after a third straight 1,000-yard season. He's 81 yards and one rushing TD shy of his career highs of 1,549 and 13, set last year.

The Mustangs (6-6) are thrilled to be making a school-record fourth consecutive bowl appearance after opening the season 2-4. SMU became bowl eligible Nov. 24 in its last game, a 35-27 victory over Conference USA West champion Tulsa. The Mustangs will make their third postseason appearance in Honolulu and first since beating Nevada 45-10 in the 2009 Hawaii Bowl, their first bowl game in 25 years. SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert, a Texas transfer, will make his first bowl appearance since the 2010 BCS national title game. He was a freshman coming off the bench in the first quarter for an injured Colt McCoy, finishing with two TDs and four INTs in a 37-21 loss to Alabama.

Gilbert completed just 53.1 percent of his passes this season for 2,720 yards and 14 TDs, but he hasn't been picked off in the last five games. Bulldogs safety Phillip Thomas will try to end that streak after leading the nation with eight interceptions. He was named the Mountain West defensive player of the year and a Thorpe Award finalist as the nation's best defensive back. Gilbert, though, is also a big running threat, as he's reached the end zone seven times and ran for a career-high 111 yards in the regular-season finale.

The Bulldogs are ranked 75th against the run (171.9 ypg), but they're among the top 20 nationally in total defense (335.3), sacks (35) and turnovers gained (33). While Fresno State's offense will be difficult for SMU to stop, this clash could ultimately be decided by ball protection. Both teams ranked in the top 12 in turnover margin this season and were tied for third nationally with 33 forced turnovers. However the decisive edge goes to the Bulldogs, whose stout defense will get the opportunity to tee off on the Mustangs' turnover-prone Gilbert. The former Longhorn has thrown more career interceptions (36) than touchdowns (26) and will need to be at his best to keep SMU afloat. Gilbert showed signs of maturity at the end of the year, avoiding throwing an interception in his last 166 attempts. Bottom line is that Fresno State's talent is too daunting to allow Jones and Co. to pick up another win in the Aloha State. Lean strong as well to the over 59.5 as things could get ugly at the rate the Bulldogs put up points.


The pick: Fresno St -12
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YTD 5-1 .833 +7.5 gyros

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bobalou Posts:4902 Followers:142
12/24/2012 07:06 PM

GL JTG... Love the Fresno call!



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jimmythegreek Posts:10338 Followers:375
12/26/2012 03:11 PM

Little Caesars Bowl:
Western Kentucky vs. Central Michigan
After making the most controversial hire in the annual coaching carousel by giving Bobby Petrino another chance, the Hilltoppers try to cap a successful season with a victory in their first bowl appearance Wednesday night in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against Central Michigan. Petrino's predecessor, Willie Taggart, was an institution at Western Kentucky. A former Hilltoppers quarterback under Jack Harbaugh - the father of 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Ravens coach John Harbaugh - Taggart was part of the staff that won the 2002 FCS title before leaving with Jim Harbaugh in 2007 to be running backs coach at Stanford.

His alma mater beckoned again as Western Kentucky endured growing pains in its transition to the FBS - the school was 0-12 in its first season in the Sun Belt Conference in 2009 and 2-10 in Taggart's first season as head coach in 2010. His persistence and recruiting paid off, though, as the Hilltoppers have gone 7-5 each of the last two years, culminating in this trip to Detroit. For this game, defensive coordinator Lance Guidry will be calling plays. Guidry is making his second appearance as an interim coach in a bowl after leading Miami (Ohio) to a victory in the 2011 GoDaddy.com Bowl following Mike Haywood's departure to coach Pittsburgh.

Guidry's defense had three players earn all-conference first-team nods, but the anchor of that unit - Sun Belt defensive player of the year and defensive end Quanterus Smith - is out due to a knee injury suffered Nov. 17 against Louisiana-Lafayette. He had an FBS-leading 1.25 sacks per game and 12 1/2 overall in 10 games. Western Kentucky led the conference with 31 sacks and was 12th among FBS teams with 7.42 tackles for loss per game.

Offensively, running back Antonio Andrews will get plenty of touches as he makes a bid to set a single-season NCAA record for all-purpose yards. Andrews, who rushed for 1,609 yards and 11 touchdowns, also has 957 return yards and 2,977 overall. The junior needs 274 yards to surpass Barry Sanders' mark of 3,250 from his 1988 Heisman Trophy-winning season. Central Michigan (6-6) finished fourth in the West Division of the Mid-American Conference and only became bowl eligible by closing the season with victories over Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio) and Massachusetts, which had a combined seven wins among them. The Chippewas are making their fourth appearance in this bowl, winning one out of three from 2006-08 when it was known as the Motor City Bowl.

Third-year coach Dan Enos is hoping it will be a springboard for better things to come after his team improved following back-to-back 3-9 seasons in 2010 and 2011. The Chippewas found their stride offensively in the second half of the season, scoring at least 30 points in each of their final six games, and the defense showed signs of improvement after yielding an average of 39.4 points during a 2-5 start. The Chippewas also feature a standout running back in Zurlon Tipton, who amassed 1,391 yards and 19 rushing TDs while averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Tipton needs two touchdowns on the ground to better Brian Pruitt's single-season school record of 20 set in 1994. Quarterback Ryan Radcliff has a pair of solid wideouts in Titus Davis and Cody Wilson, who combined for 107 receptions, 1,599 yards and 10 TDs.

Even with a ton of distractions revolving around the Hilltoppers program WKU will pull out first bowl win ever. These Western Kentucky players have not forgot the terrible seasons of just two years ago, now WKU has chance to officially put the program on the map with first bowl win. CMU defense gave up over 43 points in its defeats and this defense won't be able to even slow down the great rushing attack of the Hilltoppers. WKU by double digits with a slight lean to the over 57.


The pick: Western Kentucky -6 (bought half)
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spooky Posts:4081 Followers:294
12/26/2012 06:21 PM

Hopefully Bobalou doesnt mush us tonight and the Hilltoppers show us how its done. lmao
GL my friend. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

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jimmythegreek Posts:10338 Followers:375
12/26/2012 11:43 PM

Military Bowl:
San Jose St vs. Bowling Green
Teams that combined for three victories two years ago meet Thursday in the Military Bowl when the No. 24 Spartans face the Bowling Green Falcons for the first time. Neither of these teams could have been expected to be headed to bowls in 2012. A 5-7 season followed before San Jose State went 10-2 this year to finish in second place in the Western Athletic Conference and clinch the program's first postseason game since the 2006 New Mexico Bowl. The Spartans have won six straight and can reach the 11-win plateau for the first time since the 1939 team went 13-0.

Bowling Green in 2009 went 7-6 with a trip to the Humanitarian Bowl. Campaigns of 2-10 and 5-7 followed before the Falcons went 8-4 this year - their first eight-win season since 2007. Although this will be a longer journey for San Jose State, it visited Washington earlier this season and beat Navy 12-0 on Sept. 29. The Spartans actually went through some of their plays on the National Mall.

San Jose State lineman Travis Johnson earned the honor in the WAC after finishing with 12 sacks and leading the conference with 19 tackles for loss. The 19 tackles for loss is the same total recorded by Bowling Green tackle Chris Jones, the Mid-American Conference player of the year. Jones finished third in the nation with 12 1/2 sacks for a defense ranked seventh nationally, allowing 289.7 yards per game.

The Falcons will try to slow down David Fales, a junior college transfer in his first year as the Spartans quarterback. Fales finished seventh in the nation with 3,798 passing yards and tied for the WAC lead with 31 touchdown passes. Fales has inviting targets in receivers Chandler Jones and Noel Grigsby. Jones led the team with 10 TD receptions while Grigsby had nine and 1,173 yards.

Bowling Green was not known for offense, finishing 11th in the MAC with 373.9 yards per game. Anthon Samuel gained a team-best 966 yards rushing, although eight of his team-high 10 touchdowns on the ground came in the first six games. Three-year starter Matt Schilz is third in school history with 7,673 passing yards. He had 2,426 yards, 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions this season.

San Jose State may be without Mike MacIntyre, the head coach that led them to its first 10-win season in 25 years, but this is a senior-laden team that wants to finish on a winning note. The Spartans have won six in a row with the closest victory being a six-point margin over BYU. Bowling Green has put together an impressive campaign of its own, which would not have been possible without the huge contributions of its defense. However, the Falcons’ inability to put long drives together and points on the scoreboard catches up to them in our nation’s capital against the Spartans. Even with interim coach Kent Baer calling the shots in place of MacIntyre, San Jose State tacks one more in the win column by controlling both sides of the ball and wearing down the Bowling Green defense in the second half. San Jose State has the more explosive offense and will hold on for the win. Lean slightly as well to the over 44.


The pick: San Jose St -6.5 (bought half)
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jimmythegreek Posts:10338 Followers:375
12/27/2012 12:06 AM

Belk Bowl:
Cincinnati vs. Duke
For a team that finished the regular season with four consecutive losses, Duke couldn't be happier about how its year is ending. The Blue Devils will play a postseason game for the first time in almost 18 years at the Belk Bowl in nearby Charlotte on Thursday night, facing a Cincinnati team that's dealing with yet another coaching change. A 6-6 season may not be special for most programs, but it is progress at basketball-mad Duke after the football team suffered through 17 consecutive losing years. The Blue Devils, who last earned a bowl bid following the 1994 season, went 37-158 (.190) from 1995-2011, including winless campaigns in 1996, 2000, 2001 and 2006.

That's why Duke's 6-2 start eventually earned ACC coach of the year David Cutcliffe a contract extension through the 2018 season. Since earning their all-important sixth win in dramatic fashion against rival North Carolina on Oct. 20, the Blue Devils have struggled, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They've allowed an average of 49.5 points and 593.3 yards during their four-game skid, losing the regular-season finale 52-45 to Miami on Nov. 24.

Sean Renfree threw a 99-yard touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder in the final quarter against the Hurricanes, finishing with 432 yards and four TDs. The third-year starter had one interception over his final four games and a career-low eight for the season. Renfree's career-high 18 TD passes included a five-yarder to Crowder in the final minute of the 33-30 win over the Tar Heels, helping him end his collegiate career in a bowl. He received the Tatum Award as the ACC's top senior student-athlete.

Fellow senior Conner Vernon, who needs 45 receiving yards to top 1,000 for the first time, said his class wants to be a part of the first bowl win for Duke since it beat Arkansas 7-6 in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2, 1961. The Bearcats (9-3) finished in a four-way tie for first place in the Big East - the fourth time in five years they've captured at least a share of the title - but Louisville earned a spot in the Sugar Bowl by virtue of its BCS ranking. Cincinnati's success led to other opportunities for coach Butch Jones, who took over at Tennessee. He's the third straight Bearcats coach - after Mark Dantonio and Brian Kelly - to leave after three seasons for a higher-profile job.

The Bearcats have been successful defensively, holding their last four opponents to an average of 11.8 points, but they made a midseason quarterback change with Brendon Kay taking over for the struggling Munchie Legaux last month. The senior is rising to the occasion, getting his first opportunity for extended playing time late in his collegiate career - although he'll be allowed to return next season after the NCAA granted him an extra year of eligibility. Kay went 19 of 29 for 245 yards and two touchdowns without an interception in the regular-season finale, a 34-17 win at Connecticut on Dec. 1. Both of his touchdowns went to fellow senior Travis Kelce, a tight end who also threw a scoring pass to Kay in that game on a trick play. Kelce leads the Bearcats with 599 receiving yards and seven TD catches, while George Winn has powered the ground game. The senior led the Big East with 1,204 rushing yards - 100.3 per game - and scored 12 times.

Duke averaged 31.3 points per game this season, the fifth-best mark in team history, so posting points hasn't been a problem. But down the stretch, the Renfree-Vernon connection wasn't potent enough to dig Duke out of the holes its sieve-like defense had created. Offense hasn't been a problem for Cincinnati, either, at least since Kay took over for the struggling Legaux at quarterback. Kay, who has received an extra year of eligibility for 2013, went 3-1 as the starter, completing 61.9 percent of his passes and averaging 6.1 yards per rush. The Bearcats were 5-0 when they avoided committing a turnover this season. Duke may have ended its bowless streak, but this won't be the year in which the Blue Devils, whose last postseason win came in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2, 1961, actually end their bowl win drought. This is by far my strongest play of the entire bowl series. The Bearcats are way too strong defensively, and with Duke's misfortunes on both sides of the ball the final month of the season, this one will be over faster than you can say Mike Krzyzewski. Lean slightly to under 60.5.


The pick: Cincinnati -9.5
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