Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saturday's Bettors ATS Bowl Game Preview

2 pm EST- New Mexico Bowl- Temple (-7) vs. Wyoming O/U 51- Neither of these teams was expected to have 8 wins at the beginning of the season; however, both these squads established strong offensive identities and achieved many of their preseason goals. The travel edge here goes to Wyoming as they will have a short jaunt over to New Mexico to play in a stadium they visit every other season in conference play. Both teams should be highly motivated entering this contest with no coaching or off-the-field issues.

Temple's strong rushing attack, led by Bernard Pierce, keys their team's success, and Wyoming's rushing D has proven to be vulnerable against tough competition (333 yards to Nebraska, 318 to Utah State, 390 to TCU and 312 to Air Force, 282 to San Diego State and 200 to Boise State). This should prove to be the difference in this game as Temple's D has proven to be of high quality most of the season. Wyoming's spread attack is formidable, however, and I'm not willing to go against a team that covered and won at Air Force and SD St. and covered at Boise.

Play- No play on the spread but slight lean towards Temple -7. Play the over at 51 as both teams should have offensive success throughout the game.

5:30 pm EST- Idaho Potato Bowl- Utah St. (-1.5) vs. Ohio -1.5 O/U 61.5- Another distinct travel advantage against the MAC team as must travel west to face a Utah St team with a short commute and experience on the blue turf at Boise from last season. The motivation edge is also strongly in Utah St's favor as they enter their first bowl game since the 1990's, while Ohio must rebound from collapsing with a 20-0 halftime lead to lose the MAC championship game. Utah St also enters this game off of 5 consecutive wins after impressive early season tight losses at Auburn and BYU.

Play- I expect Utah St to have a terrific showing against a reeling Ohio team who has failed to cover their last 3 bowl games. Play Utah St. -1.5. No play or lean on the Over/Under.

9:00 pm EST- New Orleans Bowl- SD St. (-5) vs. La-Lafayette O/U 59.5
- The Ragin Cajuns will be making their first bowl appearance in 41 years when they take the field Saturday night. They have a distinct travel advantage playing in their home state. Additionally, they have sold 18,500 tickets to the game, while SD St has only sold 1,000. This will be a home-field crowd for LaLaf tonight.

From an x's and o's standpoint, SD St. is clearly a better team playing in a tougher league. Their star sophomore RB Ronnie Hillman is NFL caliber and should have a great game. If SD St can limit turnovers (10th in the nation in TO margin) and get Hillman going, they should be able to put up points against a team that allowed 61 points to Okla St and 45 points to Ariz in their two games against higher competition this year. Lafayette's offense can put up points in bunches as well. They scored 34 and 37, respectively, in those losses at Okla St and Ariz. Their 31.8 ppg is good for 31st in the nation. Their

Play- With the home crowd behind them, the Cajuns should be able to cover the 5 points. Strong Lean LaLafayette +5. The over at 59.5 could also be attainable with two efficient offenses playing. Slight lean over 59.5

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