and it's done.... I liked your pick but Wilson getting hurt sunk ya....it was too easy not to pile on though....34 goes down...:-)
Bowl Chronicles: My '34' Game....Updated with Alamo Bowl, NW vs Missou
I got too caught up in watching that first game on DVR and have no time to really put much time into this next one. That sure was a quirky end to that first one, but I'll take it. The Alamo Bowl is updated at the top of the Diary for easier access.
Alamo Bowl, San Antonio, 8 pm
Northwester vs Missouri. Lines, Missou -14, O/U 67
The creative folks are calling this the Prose Bowl becuase of both school's Journalism pedigrees. Whatever.
I am going to take a stab that Northwestern hangs within the two touchdon number in this one. I dont like Missouri's defense. They've given up 24 or more points seven times this season. The Wildcats have a senior laden offense and Bacher can take advantage of the nation's 81st worst pass defense.
The Tigers are good, but have never been as good this year as they were last. They dont run the ball as well as they need to and that might hurt them a bit today. Dont sleep on NW's D. Its solid, well coached and play the pass well. They will hold their own on enough third and longs tonight to stay in the ballgame and keep Chase Daniel from turning this into his personal video game.
NW's players goals this season was to finally win a bowl game. Their season has pointed to this moment. The Tigers, meanwhile, wanted to play in a BCS game when the season started. The season spun out of control, and while they have redemption on their mind, I feel the Wildcats have an intangible motivation edge in this one.
This just feels like a game where we have a disinterested favorite in the Tigers. They have a lot of key players who are returning to the Texas, their native state, and that lends itself to a bit of a distracted team. It might be the second quarter before some guys realize the game is on.
Besides, remember one of the rules we are leaning on: Underdogs after Christmas, but before New Year's Day. You profit by doing that, especially by focusing on those catching between 7 and 16.5 points. Those guys are 63-35-1 ATS since 1990, 3-1 ATS this season. Might as well ride that bandwagon out the rest of the calendar year.
The Pick: NW +14.....1 Unit....yeah, after the sweat fest of the first game, lets take it down a notch on this one. Tyrelle Sutton looks to be a go, which is great news for Wildcat backers. Also, this line has grown from 12.5 to 14 since yesterday. The public and late money is on the Tigers. I faded this movement in all three Saturday games and went 2-1. We'll see how this one goes tonight.
Papa Johns Bowls, Birmingham, 3 pm
North Carolina St vs Rutgers. Lines, Rutgers -7, O/U 57
If we ever get a playoff system, I hope they keep some of the bowls as an undercard. Hey, the NCAA Tournament has the NIT after all. Anyway, these two teams playing this afternoon gives us a good example of why the Bowl System can not be discarded altogether. Neither Rutgers, nor NCST would be anywhere near a playoff spot. But, both ended the season playing as well as most anybody else in the country. What's more, is both teams climbed out of embarrasing early season holes, rallied and ripped off winning streaks to close the season. The end result? Surprising bowl bids. It would be a pity if we lose the bowl system and teams like Rutgers and NCST dont have a place to go to reward the fantastic conclusions of their seasons.
Anyway, enough of the preaching. Let's get into this game. I hope you have your DVR set and wont miss this one at work. This will be a barnburner. I expect it to be one of the best bowl games this season. Both clubs were playing at such a high level to close the season that anything else other than a classic would be a letdown.
Rutgers closed the year with a six-game winning streak. During the run, Rutgers woodshedded USF and Pitt and scored more than 40 ppg. Not to be outdone, NCST won their final four games in a row and beat all five of their in state rivals this season. They've covered the spread in seven straight games. The Pack covered every single ACC game this season en route to a 9-2 ATS record, one of the best in the country. This is a club that won me a lot of cash since the end of September.
Despite Rutgers own hot streak, I am not getting off my very own NCST Wolfpack bandwagon.
Already this bowl season, we've seen ACC teams Wake Forest, UNC and Miami look good and cover the spread. In the Pack, we have a team that beat all three of those teams by a combined 45 points in the month of November. NCST played 10 bowl teams this year and went 8-2 ATS in those contests. Rutgers, meanwhile, only went 3-5 ATS in their games against fellow bowlers this year. That alone would have me on the TD underdog in this one.
But, on the field, there is much to like about NCST, even though statistically they dont appear as strong as Rutgers. QB Russel Wilson is the real deal. He's a redshirt freshmen and the minute the team gave the QB position to him, this team has been on fire. They're covered the spread in each of his starts. He's a dual threat and will get between 250-300 yards of total offense today. He's tossed 16 TDs to just 1 INT and has at least 2 TD passes in five straight games. What's more is the threat of Wilson has really opened up the running game. They have a thunder and lightning type combo of Andre Brown and Jamelle Eugene and the duo has combined to average more than 5 yards per carry since Wilson became the QB. I am sure there will be some rust due to the layoff, but I expect Wilson, Brown and Eugene to eventually get it going and march up and down the field against an undersized and not very impressive Rutgers defense.
In their 7-game cover streak, the Pack are averaging 28.85 ppg, against athletic and powerful defenses like Florida St, BC, Maryland, Miami and UNC.
Of course, Rutgers will do some offensive damage in this one. After 3.5 years of head scratching inconsistency, Knight QB Mike Teel finally found his groove. As Rutgers won six in a row, Teel and his awesome set of wideouts (I like Kenny Britt and Tanquean Underwood. They've got NFL written all over him) have combined for 20 TDs passes. He has many critics--myself included-- but at least he's ending his tenure on a high note and no other QB has led the program to as many bowl games as he has.
Nevertheless, I think the run ends today. First, lets look at the key TO stat. The Pack never turn it over and rank 15th nationally in TO margin. Rutgers has always had problems holding onto the ball and are on the fringe of being in the bottom third nationally in the TO margin category. I still dont trust Teel. He can be a turnover machine and is not the most accurate QB out there.
Neither defenses are that great, but the Pack have more play makers on that side of the ball. That will help create turnovers and a bad throw or two out of Teel. The best pass rusher in this game in NCST's Willie Young. And, the best overall defender on the field will be NCST's LB Nate Irving. Much is made of Wilson's insertion into the lineup as turning around the Pack, but dont forget Wilson missed most of the first half of the season with an injury. Folks, this guy is a stud. He's a dual threat defender, stuffing the run for a TFL on one play and getting a pass deflection on the next. Watch for him to bait Teel into an INT right into his arms that will sway momentum in this game.
The ACC is a better conference than the Big East. I'll take the team from the ACC getting a TD head start against a Big East team anyday of the week. Espcially one with a first team all league QB on its roster. The ACC is 4-0 ATS in bowls this year. Really as long as an ACC team is not going against one of the elite teams in the country, I'll take that team getting points all the time.
Also, there is the Tom OBrien factor. He won his final 8 bowl games as head coach at BC. He's getting his postseason chance in Raliegh, and I like his proven ability to get it done in the bowl games.
Teel and his wideouts will land a haymaker or two. But, the Pack will survive that. Teams have run all year on Rutgers. The tailback combo, plus the legs of Wilson, will account for 200 yards on the ground. Plus, Wilson will match Teel's TD throws if his streak of at least 2 TD passes in a game is any indication. The Pack will finish +2 in the TO department. I expect them to win this game, but I will gladly take the +7 points and put them in my pocket in case I need them.
The Pack have covered as an underdog against ECU, FSU, BC, Maryland, Wake, UNC and Miami. All of those clubs would beat Rutgers on a neutral field. The wrong team is favored in this one.
The Pick: NCST +7......4 Units.....I am going to steal a poker reference in this one: I am going 'All In' with this game and am risking all the Units won so far during bowl season. Near as I can tell, its a coin flip. The spread should be a Pick 'Em. How confident am I? You know those polls where you select which team to cover and then rank them confidence-like. This would be my 34 game. The ND game would have been my 33 game and it won easily. Here's hoping for a repeat.
The Pick: Over 56......1 Unit.....Adding a small play over. I cant see anything smaller than a 31-27 final score. I expect both teams in get into the 30s. This will be one of the better games in bowl season
I will add a writeup on the Missouri/Northwestern Alamo Bowl later in the day.
I've started getting nervous watching bowl games because I'm concerned about Jamie's betting success. As a man who doesn't really bet those '4 units' really had me concerned. This game illustrated why I don't like betting ATS. With the spread at 7, if Schiano goes for the TD and gets it rather than kicking that FG (I thought the 4th try was the way to go) then Rutgers covers. If Schiano kicks or doesn't get the 4th down then Rutgers doesn't cover. Those decisions were made after the game was more or less over but they decided the betting swing.
And Jamie won, didn't he?
you're not piling on, unless you're doing it with some cash.
This, my friend, was a winner.
Rumors of 34's demise were premature.
I agree with the idea that Missouri won't be up for this game. How can they? The Alamo Bowl??? WAAAAA WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. They had NC hopes when this season stared. Can you say 2005 Michigan Wolverines??
are you telling me we had NC hopes in 05? With that young of an offense?
WE'RE MICHIGAN WE HAVE NC ASPIRATIONS EVERY YEAR!
But seriously, didn't they? I recall some crazy propaganda pumping up Michigan's explosive offense that year with Henne, Hart and Breaston.
Weren't they ranked high to start the year? I assume so as they usually were in the Carr years.
I like your bookie JmAc nowhere I saw had +7 congrats on that 1...my apologies.
It was +7 the whole time until game day when it went down to +6.5.....late betting on NC St put the line down to +6 in the hour leading up to kickoff. So, it closed at +6.
I line "browse" at four different places and the movement was pretty similar.
I had the bet locked in on Sunday afternoon, though, when all four "books" had +7. The line never really moved at all until Monday afternoon.
But, even, if I had the closing line, it was still a push.....and I would have got my money back, no harm, no foul.
I dont think any WolfPack bettors with the points lost yesterday.
As far as confidence pools go, I'd wager most had Rutgers -6.5 or -7.5 (gotta have the hooks because pushes are a nightmare for a pool), so the 34 would have still won.