BOWL SEASON YTD : 4-1, +5.7 Dimes
Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl – Dallas, TX
Noon / ESPN : Army (7-5,7-5) vs. North Texas (6-5-1,5-7) – Army -10.5, 47.5
These teams met earlier this year where North Texas came away with a 35-18 victory @Army as a 17.5 pt dog. This was a very uncharacteristic performance for Army as they turned it over 7 times, including a pick 6 and 3 int’s to end the game. Army had an 83 yard advantage in this game but when they built a large deficit early it was too much to overcome. Army defense has been too inconsistent and has mostly benefitted from the offense keeping them off the field.
The North Texas run defense has been atrocious all year, capped by an almost 400 yard performance by UTEP in their last game, which was almost a 30-pt loss. North Texas has struggled to score all year and do not hold onto the ball for long drives, which could be catastrophic against an Army team that will look to grind for 35+ minutes on offense. Win over Southern Miss in the 2nd to last game was huge but has been inconsistent otherwise.
This game could be taken over early by Army with their running game and time of possession. However, the turnovers could again be deadly and flip field position. I do not have a ton of confidence in this North Texas offense but I have just enough to bank on some turnovers and big plays from North Texas to keep this one close throughout and well within the large number. Play on N.Texas.
BET : North Texas +11
Military Bowl – Annapolis, MD
3:30 / ESPN : #23 Temple (12-1,10-3) vs. Wake Forest (7-5,6-6) – Temple -11, 41
This is a battle of two extremely strong defenses, as Temple comes in with the #3 total D and Wake is allowing only 22 PPG. Wake has lost 5 of 6 and scored 14 pts or fewer in all 5 of those losses. Wake passing game is all dink and dunk and have only had 1 multi-TD passing game all year (Temple #2 pass D). Wake will absolutely look to control the clock and the TO margin as they are at a +8 margin on the year.
The WakieLeak scandal could be a distraction here but so could the Temple missing Matty Rhule situation. Who knows what repercussions will happen with the Wake fallout or the Temple coach that built this power in the AAC over the last few years. Temple has been absolutely dominant, as anyone can tell by their nation’s best 12-1 ATS record this year. If you have been riding Temple this year, you have cashed 12 of 13 weeks!!
This is a very, very, very disruptive Temple front 7 that should be able to shut down anything Wake tries to do in the running and short passing game (Their entire offense)… Temple can be beaten in the deep occasionally but that is not something Wake if built for… John Wolford is rocking a 7/9 TD/INT ratio on the year with an absolutely pathetic 4.6 YPA!! Short passing game central WILL NOT WORK AGAINST TEMPLE. Phillip Walker averages 7.3 YPA in contrast and can also run, along with Jahad Thomas and Ryquell Armstead. Temple should be able to jump out to an early lead and dominate this throughout. 12 is a lot to lay when the O/U is 41 but I find it hard to see Wake putting up more than 14 in this game and the Temple attack should be too dynamic on offense to not cover the line.
BET : Temple -11 — 2 Dimes
Holiday Bowl – San Diego, CA
7:00 / ESPN : Minnesota (6-5-1,8-4) vs. 29 Washington St. (6-6,8-4) – Wazzu -8, 61
Soooo sex tape scandal with 10 Minnesota players apparently Gophering a girl at a party (http://www.startribune.com/charges-in-u-sex-case-still-possible/408364156/) sounds eerily familiar to what happened with the basketball team just last year (http://www.citypages.com/news/minnesota-basketball-players-suspended-through-end-of-season-for-sex-tape-tweet-8089452). We made huge money last basketball season when this happened, as the Gophers started 3 freshman walk-ons against a Rutgers team that came in 0-14 in the Big Ten and we cashed with the Scarlet Knights as 2.5 pt dogs (Rutgers won by 20+). The biggest part of this football scandal comes with the suspension of Minnesota’s top 2 CB’s. Your top 2 corners being out of any game is huge but when you are playing Mike Leach’s high powered passing attack, you are dead (Especially when you have no offense).
So let’s get into the real matchups… Minnesota will look to pound the ball but Wazzu has been surprisingly good against the run this year. Someone named Todd McShay rated this Gopher QB as one of the best NFL prospects in the preseason for some reason and he has more than answered with a solid 7/12 TD/INT ratio. Leidner is a joke and Wazzu will have ZERO respect for the passing game in this one.
Luke Falk has been one of the top QB’s all year with a 37/10 ratio and has big weapons, headlined by Gabe Marks who went for 85-867-13. Falk just announced that he is returning for his Senior season so he will be fully focused for a lights out performance here to kick start the Heisman campaign come 2017. The running game has also been a welcomed balance for this Wazzu squad, which should provide just enough balance for a blowout. I do not see how Minnesota can keep up in this one. Wazzu 1H and game play here.
BET : Wazzu -8 — 2 Dimes, Wazzu -4.5 (1H)
CACTUS BOWL — Phoenix, AZ
10:15 / ESPN : 28 Boise St. (3-9,10-2) vs. Baylor (3-9,6-6) — Boise -7, 68
The eventual fall out from the Baylor scandal has been devastating for not only this season but the future of the program. Baylor lost it’s coach and the coach’s son and Offensive Coordinator who will be moving on to Florida Atlantic to join another model human being in Lane Kiffin. Ultimately, the loss of several quality depth players to transfer, along with 12 of 22 recruits from this year’s class is going to cripple this team over the next couple years.
Baylor started out hot at 6-0 but those wins included Northwestern St, SMU, @Rice, Oklahoma St, @Iowa St, and Kansas. The only quality in that group would be Okie St. They since been destroyed by TCU, @Oklahoma, K-State, and Texas Tech on their way to 6 straight losses. In fact, they haven’t won since October 15 when they beat Kansas at home. QB Seth Russell sustained a season ending injury and really slowed this offense as a result. Freshman QB Zach Smith has been very mediocre throwing for 1,151 yds, 10/6 ratio, 56% comp %. The running game has still been explosive with a 3-headed monster in Terrence Williams, Shock Linwood, and FR JaMychal Hasty. Linwood will be sitting this out to prepare for NFL tryouts after he goes undrafted in April but Williams and Hasty should have solid performances.
Boise’s season can best be defined as efficient. The defense has been rock solid all season long but they have not been very disruptive. They rely on keeping everything in front of them and not allowing the big play, which works out just fine most of the time. The offense of Boise has the weapons to put up some enormous numbers but have been somewhat stagnant at times. QB Brett Rypien has been consistent all year with 3,341 yds, 23/6 ratio, 62% comp %. They also have a couple explosive WR’s with Thomas Sperbeck (72-1,193-9, 16.6 ypc) and Cedrick Wilson (50-1,041-10, 20.8 ypc). The difference maker in this game and someone who could have the performance of the bowl season is Jeremy McNichols. He has been incredible all season with 295 rushes for 1,663 yards and 23 TD’s (5.6 ypc), along with 32 rec for 450 yards and 4 TD’s. Bad, bad news for a Baylor defense that has had no chance to stop anyone with a competent running game all year. McNichols could easily surpass 300 total yards in this game, which may springboard him into a nice draft pick after this game as an early entry.
One other factor in this game is Baylor’s extremely undisciplined play all season, particularly leading the nation in penalties, averaging 79 yards on 10 penalties per game. This will be a high scoring affair and I would make a small play on the Over but the big play here is on a Boise blowout.
BET : Boise St. -7 — 3 Dimes, Over 68