College Football Betting News and Notes Wednesday, December 26

College Football Betting News and Notes Wednesday, December 26

C MICHIGAN (6 - 6) vs. W KENTUCKY (7 - 5)

Top Trends for this game.
C MICHIGAN is 0-7 ATS (-7.7 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
C MICHIGAN is 6-18 ATS (-13.8 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
C MICHIGAN is 6-18 ATS (-13.8 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
C MICHIGAN is 2-13 ATS (-12.3 Units) as an underdog over the last 2 seasons.
W KENTUCKY is 18-6 ATS (+11.4 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
W KENTUCKY is 18-6 ATS (+11.4 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
W KENTUCKY is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) in road games after playing a conference game over the last 2 seasons.
W KENTUCKY is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) in road games in games played on turf over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.


CENTRAL MICHIGAN vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY
Central Michigan is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Central Michigan is 6-19 ATS in its last 25 games
Western Kentucky is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
Western Kentucky is 14-6 SU in its last 20 games


Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky
Central Michigan: 2-9 ATS off a road game
Western Kentucky: 7-0 ATS away off a conference game


Central Michigan
31-15-2 last 48 following an ATS win.
8-20 ATS last 28 on fieldturf.
8-24 ATS last 32 overall.
1-6 ATS last 7 nonconference games.

Western Kentucky
5-0 ATS last 5 non-conference games.
21-7 ATS last 28 games overall.
11-2 ATS last 13 following a SU win.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Wednesday, December 26

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Preview
By Matt Fargo
Playbook.com

Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (-5.5/59)


How Central Michigan Got Here

After consecutive 3-9 seasons, the Chippewas are bowling once again but it wasn't easy. Central Michigan opened up 2-1 which included a big upset (at the time, not anymore) at Iowa but then it dropped four straight, all by double digits, and five of its next six games to fall to 3-6. The Chippewas can thank the schedule makers as they finished with three cupcakes to close out the season and were able to win them all even though they were outgained in two of those. The final game against Massachusetts was the only game this season that Central Michigan outgained its opponent and that was only by 27 total yards. The Chippewas are here only because the Big Ten failed to have enough teams qualify and they come in with no wins against teams with a winning record.

How Western Kentucky Got Here

Western Kentucky made a significant hire with Bobby Petrino taking over as head coach although defensive coordinator Lance Guidry was named interim coach and will coach the team in the bowl game. This is the first bowl game in the history of the program so there will certainly be no lack of motivation on the Hilltoppers sideline especially considering they were 7-5 last year and were passed over on a bowl. They opened the season at 5-1 with that loss being against Alabama but a slow finish of 2-4 killed any SCB Championship hope. Those were not horrible losses however as they came by an average of just 4.75 ppg but a home loss against Florida Atlantic was inexcusable. Western Kentucky can claim however to be the only team to defeat conference champion Arkansas St.

Interesting Stat

Western Kentucky running back Antonio Andrews led the entire country in all-purpose yards with 2,977.

Breakdown

Central Michigan should have the edge with the crowd with this game taking place in Detroit as well as its familiarity with the venue as this is its fourth time here. Still, that intangible may not be enough as the Chippewas do not possess a great offense and have a below average defense. They are ranked 67th in total offense and 94th in total defense, both of which are good for seventh in the 14-team MAC. The Hilltoppers offense is slightly better but it is their defense that could be the difference as they come in 23rd in total defense which was tops in the Sun Belt Conference. Western Kentucky possesses the sixth best rusher in the country in Andrews and he can put a hurting on the Central Michigan rushing defense which is just 99th overall. The Hilltoppers also have a significant edge in the return teams.

Trending

Central Michigan is 0-7 ATS against teams with a winning record over the last two seasons.

Western Kentucky is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games following a straight up victory.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Wednesday, December 26

Little Caesar’s Bowl Preview

Western Kentucky has to be thrilled to be playing in its first-ever bowl, especially after being snubbed LY, but coach Taggart dampened lot of the enthusiasm by bolting for South Florida job. WKU lost four of last six games, allowed 31.5 ppg in last four and failed to cover last three tries as a favorite, but they held Alabama to 328 TY, 2nd-least Crimson Tide gained this year in 35-0 (+38) loss in September. Five of last seven WKU games were decided by 5 or less points. Central Michigan won four of last five games to get here, and maybe save coach Enos’ job; he is 12-24 in three years, but was 8-23 before late surge, at a school used to recent success. Chippewas are 2-4 in bowl games, with last three all decided by exactly 3 points- they’re 1-5 vs spread as an underdog this year, giving up 41+ points in five of their six losses, all while playing #118 (out of 124) ranked schedule. MAC underdogs are 17-15 vs spread this season; Sun Belt favorites are 5-2.

Armadillosports.com

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Wednesday, December 26

Little Caesars Bowl Betting Preview
By Otto Sports
Sportsmemo.com

Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky
CRIS Opener: Western Kentucky -6 O/U 60
CRIS Current: Western Kentucky -5.5 O/U 58.5
Rob Veno's Power Rating: Western Kentucky -9

In what might be a rare situation this college bowl season we’ve got a game featuring two teams that figure to be “hungry” to partake in the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl. Western Kentucky will be playing in its first ever bowl game while Central Michigan gets a short trip to Detroit which represents its first bowl appearance since 2009.

The stadium certainly won’t be sold out but a decent turnout is expected to add a little flavor here. CMU has a large alumni base in the Detroit area and the short drive for current students and fans should make an attractive destination for a little post-Christmas party. WKU already had over 1,000 fans put down deposits to attend the game before knowing what bowl the Hilltoppers would even be playing. Along with some help from the Detroit promoters WKU is excited about a unique tie in with the area because every Corvette currently produced is made in Bowling Green where WKU’s campus is located.

There are a few things to address here before we break down the fundamental matchups. WKU received some buzz ahead of this game when head coach Willie Taggart left the team in early December to become the new head coach at South Florida. Taggart meant so much to this program as he helped build them into this blue collar, punch you in the mouth type team. He guided WKU from a 0-12 mess transitioning from the FCS to FBS level, to bowl eligible the past two years. He will be replaced permanently by Bobby Petrino in what was another buzz worthy headline but for this bowl game the Hilltoppers will be led by defensive coordinator Lance Guidry. Given the enormity of this being the program’s first ever bowl game I don’t see the coaching situation having that much of a negative impact.

From a fundamental standpoint this game screams WKU. Although they seemed to hit a wall late in the season WKU showed early on that they will be as physical a team as the Chippewas will have faced all season. The Sun Belt representative features a big and bruising offensive line that can dominate an opposing defense’s front seven. They also run multiple tight end sets which can force the defense declare which side they want to defend which in turn allows WKU to simply run away from that side and create an edge mismatch. Playing in the MAC, Central Michigan hasn’t really faced this style of offense so they’ll need to prepare for something drastically different from the normal spread styles they see in conference play. The Hilltoppers have rushed for 5.40 yards per carry according to our ACCU-Stats while CMU has allowed over 5.60 ypc defensively. Big edge there for WKU.

On the defensive side WKU again showed their strength up front while also featuring a secondary deep on talent that likely belongs on the field in a stronger conference than the Sun Belt. Linemen Quanterus Smith won the SBC Defensive Player of the Year award while linebacker Andrew Jackson and defensive back Jonathan Dowling earned all-conference honors. Unfortunately for us we won’t get a chance to see Smith who blew out his knee before the end of the year. Still this team has talent and depth up front. WKU gave up less than 5.0 ypc this season while the Chippewas managed to average a pedestrian 4.74 ypc; a disappointing number considering the defenses they faced this year.

Both teams get solid, though far from spectacular, play from the quarterback position as Kawaun Jakes and Ryan Radcliff both wrap up their senior seasons. But I don’t think this game is won or lost through the air. I think this game is decided by how effective Antonio Andrews (WKU) and Zurlon Tipton (CMU) carrying the football. Though Tipton scored more touchdowns this season I think Andrew’s skill set is more dynamic, his line is better, and his defense can help him win the battle by holding Tipton down.

Let’s not forget CMU had to rattle off four wins in five weeks just to become bowl eligible. This team at one point lost 23 of 32 games straight up before their mini streak to end 2012. They had lost 18 of their previous 20 games during that time to teams .500 or better, going just 5-15 ATS. This was a team widely considered to be bottom of the barrel in many regards.

Although WKU finished with a whimper during the regular season we must also keep in mind this was a team that had ripped off 15 consecutive pointspread wins spanning 2011 and part of 2012. They won all but two of those games straight up. This team is better than what they showed over the final month.

I actually rate WKU as a favorite of 10 points on a neutral field. With this game being played in Detroit I downgraded them to an eight-point favorite which in my opinion makes them a play at anything less than six.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Wednesday, December 26

Little Caesars Bowl: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Western Kentucky vs. Central Michigan (6, 57)


LITTLE CAESARS BOWL STORYLINES


1. Western Kentucky makes its first bowl appearance in history as a program in transition. Coach Willie Taggart left to take the South Florida job, disgraced former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino takes over the Hilltoppers, but defensive coordinator Lance Guidry will guide the team in the bowl game.

2. Central Michigan saved its best football for a 13-day stretch in November. The Chippewas were 3-6 after losing to Western Michigan, but won three games in less than two weeks starting with a 34-31 victory over Eastern Michigan on Nov. 10. A 42-21 triumph at Massachusetts moved Central Michigan to 6-6 on the season.

3. The Chippewas average 29.3 points; the Hilltoppers 28.8. The big difference comes on defense. Western Kentucky allows 25.6 points per game (second in the Sun Belt Conference), while Central Michigan surrenders 33.3. Western Kentucky struggled on defense down the stretch, allowing 30-plus points four times in six games to go 2-4. Losing senior defensive end Quanterus Smith (12 sacks) to a torn left ACL in the next-to-last game was a big blow.

LINE: Western Kentucky -6, O/U 57

TRENDS:

* Hilltoppers are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games following a win.
* Chippewas are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 vs. a team with a winning record.
* Under is 4-1 in Chippewas’ last five December games.
* Over is 4-1 in Hilltoppers’ last five games following a win.

ABOUT WESTERN KENTUCKY (7-5, 4-4 Sun Belt): Junior running back Antonio Andrews comes in after two monster rushing games, finishing with 238 yards against Louisiana-Lafayette and 230 yards against North Texas. The Sun Belt’s leading rusher with 1,609 yards this season, Andrews has three games of 200-plus yards and leads the conference by averaging 248.1 all-purpose yards. The Hilltoppers have been particularly tough on opposing running games, holding opponents to only 136.6 yards on the ground (second in the conference). Junior linebacker Andrew Jackson leads Western Kentucky and ranks second in the conference in tackles (116).

ABOUT CENTRAL MICHIGAN (6-4, 4-4 MAC):
The Chippewas make their fourth appearance in the Detroit bowl since 2006, going 1-2. They have running back Zurlon Tipton to thank for helping fuel their last-season sprint. The junior rushed for 185 yards and four touchdowns in the victory over Massachusetts, and has rushed for 110 or more yards in six consecutive games. Tipton rushed for 1,391 yards and 19 touchdowns this season. Quarterback Ryan Radcliff (2,905 yards, 20 touchdowns) finished third in the MAC in passing yards. Sophomore linebacker Justin Cherocci averaged 10.3 tackles per game, fourth in the conference.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Wednesday, December 26

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Point Spread, Betting Line and Pick
By: The Linemakers 
Sportingnews.com

Central Michigan (6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS) and Western Kentucky (7-5 SU, 8-4 ATS) meet in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 26, at Ford Field in Detroit (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). Here is point spread information and trends analysis, as well as a pick, from the The Linemakers on Sporting News.

The Line: Western Kentucky -6.5

Total: 57

Line movement: Western Kentucky opened -6.5, and then Central Michigan money came in, dropping the line to as a low -5 within the first week of action. There was plenty of two-way action early this week, but money has been on Western Kentucky Tuesday and Wednesday, and the line sits at -6.5 as of Wednesday morning. The total opened at 60 and has been bet UNDER all the way to 57.

The Linemakers Power Ratings: Central Michigan 86.9 (No. 102), Western Kentucky 95.1 (No. 81)

Previous meetings: This will be the first game played between the schools.

Notable trends:

Hilltoppers are 5-0 ATS in their last five non-conference games.

Hilltoppers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.

Hilltoppers are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games following a SU win.

Chippewas are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a SU win of more than 20 points.

Chippewas are 1-6 ATS in their last seven non-conference games.

Chippewas are 2-13 ATS vs. teams with a winning record over the last two seasons.

OVER is 15-5-1 in Chippewas last 21 games overall.

Central Michigan outlook: The Chippewas are lucky to be here. It took three wins to close out the season for them to make it to .500, but consider Eastern Michigan, Miami (OH) and Massachusetts — the three teams they beat in that run — combined to win only seven games all season. Central Michigan’s main positive is that it will be playing close to home, which should give it a slight home-field edge.

CMU is led by RB Zurlon Tipton, who averaged 6.1 yards a carry while gaining 1,391 yards and scoring 19 TDs. QB Ryan Radcliffe has 20 TD passes and just nine interceptions on the season, but he'll be without one of his star receivers, Titus Davis, who was suspended along with two other back-up receivers. Radcliffe still has WR Cody Wilson to throw to, but the team is still pretty thin in that area.

Western Kentucky outlook: This is their first bowl game ever, and they made things hard for themselves by underachieving down the stretch and losing four of their final six games. In two of those games, they lost straight-up as large favorites. They were -9 at home against Middle Tennessee State and lost, 34-29, and the very next week they lost at home to Florida Atlantic, 37-28, as 16-point favorites.

They feature one of the most exciting players in college football, Antonio Andrews, who has racked up 2,977 all-purpose yards. He needs 274 yards to surpass Barry Sanders’ single-season mark set in 1988.

Western Kentucky injury:

* DE - Quanterus Smith (knee) is OUT. Smith was Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year with an FBS-leading 1.25 sacks per game, but was injured in the second to last game of the season against UL-Lafayette.

Ugly stat of the game: Even worse than covering only one of their last 10 games vs. winning teams, Central Michigan's average score this season was 39.8 to 23.9, in its opponents' favor.

The Linemakers’ take: We have a lot of differing opinions on this game. On one side, the defenses in the MAC are tougher than they are in the Sun Belt, and Central Michigan has de facto home-field advantage. On the other side, CMU hasn't played well against any team with a winning record. The Chippewas are also very similar to the CMU teams that went 3-9 in each of the last two seasons. Meanwhile, there's a big negative with Western Kentucky, as the Hilltoppers are coming in at less than their best, but getting to their first bowl ever is a big deal. Simply because of our ratings, we have a small lean toward Western Kentucky, as there’s value in the current market line.

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