College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, December 27

College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, December 27

BOWLING GREEN (8 - 4) vs. SAN JOSE ST (10 - 2)

Top Trends for this game.
SAN JOSE ST is 18-7 ATS (+10.3 Units) as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points since 1992.
SAN JOSE ST is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) in all games this season.
SAN JOSE ST is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) in all lined games this season.
SAN JOSE ST is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) in non-conference games this season.
SAN JOSE ST is 4-15 ATS (-12.5 Units) after a bye week since 1992.

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


CINCINNATI (9 - 3) vs. DUKE (6 - 6)

Top Trends for this game.
DUKE is 0-6 ATS (-6.6 Units) in road games after playing a conference game over the last 2 seasons.
DUKE is 0-7 ATS (-7.7 Units) in road games in games played on a grass field over the last 2 seasons.

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


BAYLOR (7 - 5) vs. UCLA (9 - 4)

Top Trends for this game.
BAYLOR is 66-92 ATS (-35.2 Units) as an underdog since 1992.
BAYLOR is 17-8 ATS (+8.2 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
BAYLOR is 17-8 ATS (+8.2 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
UCLA is 4-16 ATS (-13.6 Units) in road games after a bye week since 1992.

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


BOWLING GREEN vs. SAN JOSE STATE
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Bowling Green's last 7 games
Bowling Green is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
San Jose State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of San Jose State's last 7 games

CINCINNATI vs. DUKE
Cincinnati is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Duke is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Duke's last 8 games

BAYLOR vs. UCLA
Baylor is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Baylor's last 10 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of UCLA's last 5 games
UCLA is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games


Bowling Green at San Jose State
Bowling Green:
San Jose State:

Cincinnati at Duke
Cincinnati:
Duke:

Baylor at UCLA
Baylor:
UCLA:


Bowling Green
7-1 ATS last 8 overall.
5-1 ATS last 6 following a SU win.
6-2 ATS in their last 8 games on grass.

San Jose State
4-0 ATS last 4 following a SU win.
20-6 ATS last 26 overall.
10-1 ATS last 11 non-conference games.
9-2 ATS last 11 following an ATS win.
7-0 ATS in their last 7 games on grass.


Cincinnati

6-2 ATS last 8 non-conference games.
1-4 ATS last 5 Bowl games.
8-3 ATS last 11 Thursday games.
4-1 ATS in their last 5 games on grass.
6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win.

Duke
5-1 ATS last 6 non-conference games.
10-4 ATS last 4 on grass.
0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.

Baylor

4-0 ATS last 4 following a SU and ATS win.
5-0 ATS last 5 overall.
5-2 ATS last 7 neutral site games.

UCLA
1-4 ATS last 5 Thursday games.
1-4 ATS last 5 following an ATS win.
4-1 ATS in their last 5 games on grass.
5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in December.

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Belk Bowl Preview
By Matt Fargo
Playbook.com

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Duke Blue Devils (+7/60)


How Cincinnati Got Here

Cincinnati is one of a number of teams that will be playing a bowl without the coach that got it there. Butch Jones turned down an offer from Colorado amid speculation that he was staying with the Bearcats only to find out the next day he was heading to Tennessee. The Bearcats hired Tommy Tuberville away from Texas Tech but defensive line coach Steve Stripling will coach the team, as announced following Jones' departure. Cincinnati claimed a share of the Big East title with a 5-2 record and it is 9-3 overall with a chance to win 10 games for the fifth time in six years. All three losses were by a touchdown or less including a setback at home against Rutgers that ended the chance of an outright championship. Conversely, seven of the nine wins were by double-digits.

How Duke Got Here

Duke became bowl eligible in Week Eight of the season to head to the postseason for the first time since 1994. While that was a great accomplishment, the Blue Devils took the remainder of the season off as they lost their last four games albeit against some pretty strong competition. The good news is that Duke will have had a month to forget about that horrible ending and focus on its first bowl game in nearly two decades. The Blue Devils are excited about playing this game just over two hours from their campus and there will be two forms of motivation here. Duke will be out to avoid a losing season and not head into next year on a five-game losing streak while at the same time, win the programs first bowl game since 1960.

Interesting Stat

Duke has allowed an average of 49.5 ppg and 593.3 ypg during its four-game losing skid.

Breakdown

Cincinnati is buoyed by a strong rushing attack that was second in the Big East, averaging 199.8 ypg. The passing game was not nearly as efficient but a change at quarterback made that unit stronger down the stretch as Brendon Kay replaced Munchie Legaux with five games left. While the offense is not explosive, the Bearcats should have success against a Duke defense that is 104th overall and 103rd in scoring. The Blue Devils offense will have to perform at a high level to stay in this one and while they struggled down the stretch, rumor has it that some new wrinkles have been added for this game. Cincinnati is 41st in total defense but 12th in scoring defense thanks to an opportunistic defense that had 24 takeaways. Duke gave it up only 17 times though. The Bearcats allowed 17 points or less in each of their last four games and seven of 12 on the season.

Trending

Cincinnati is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 games away from home after allowing 17 points or less in two straight games.

Duke went over the total in nine of its 11 games this season and is 7-0-1 to the over in its last eight games against teams with a winning record.

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Military Bowl Preview
By Andrew Lange
Sportsmemo.com

Bowling Green vs. San Jose State
CRIS Opener: San Jose State -7.5 O/U 47
CRIS Current: San Jose State -7 (-115) O/U 44.5
Rob Veno's Power Rating: San Jose State -7

San Jose State put together an impressive season. They kicked it off with a three-point loss at Stanford and scored wins over bowl-bound teams San Diego State, Navy, and BYU. They also defeated a nine-win Louisiana Tech squad. The only blemish was a 22-point home loss to Utah State who proved to be the class of the WAC. San Jose’s late season wins over BYU and Louisiana Tech were however a little sketchy. The week leading up to the game, the Cougars accepted their bowl berth and being independent had nothing to play for. And Tech was off a devastating home loss to Utah State and forced to travel cross country.  Still, the overall body of work was so impressive that head coach Mike MacIntyre was hired at Colorado. Defensive coordinator Kent Baer will serve as the interim head coach.

The Spartans were for the most part a one dimensional offense relying heavily on the pass. Against the top two rush defenses in the WAC (Utah State and UT-San Antonio), SJSU ran for a total of 95 yards. And against BYU and Stanford, the run game was once again extremely limited. The passing game under quarterback David Fales however was prolific. And it wasn't a dink-and-dunk operation. Fales averaged 9.3 yards per attempt good for 4th nationally. You’ll want to make sure that the weather is conducive for throwing the football if you decide to support San Jose State.

Bowling Green hung its hat on defense which at times was dominant. The Falcons allowed the fewest passing (169.3) and rushing (104.0) yards per game in MAC play. They surrendered only seven touchdowns through the air and picked off 17 passes. The Falcons did however benefit from a favorable schedule and had difficulty stepping up in class. They didn't play the top two teams from the West (Northern Illinois and Ball State) and lost at Toledo 27-15 (outgained by 101 yards). Late in the season, in a key game against Kent State, Bowling Green battled but came up short 31-24. Out of conference they showed well in Week 1 against Florida (27-14 loss) but were blown out at Virginia Tech 37-0. Their best win of the season came on the road against an Ohio squad that at the time was a shell of its former self.

Bettors should be somewhat concerned with how the MAC has performed thus far in the postseason. Ball State was blown out by UCF and Toledo, despite hanging for three quarters, met a similar fate against Utah State. Even with the boost of playing Florida and Virginia Tech, Bowling Green's strength of schedule ranked 138th. And they obviously failed to come up with a win or come within less than a touchdown against a team of San Jose State's caliber. I'm not particularly in love with supporting a team playing clear across the country – with potentially dicey weather – that relies so heavily of the pass but the resumes indicate that San Jose is worthy of being a touchdown favorite.

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Belk Bowl Preview
By Andrew Lange
Sportsmemo.com

Cincinnati vs. Duke
CRIS Opener: Cincinnati -10 O/U 58
CRIS Current: Cincinnati -9 O/U 60.5
Rob Veno's Power Rating: Cincinnati -9.5

The way Duke ended the regular season presents an interesting situation for tonight's Belt Bowl matchup against Cincinnati. Two months ago, the Blue Devils got to six wins and clinched their first postseason berth since 1961. And not only that but they did so against in-state rival North Carolina who at the time was trending upwards after wins over Virginia Tech and Miami (FL). Duke's resume leading up to that victory wasn't eye-popping. A vast majority of BCS conference schools would have notched wins over Florida International, Memphis, NC Central, Wake Forest, and Virginia. And when asked to step up in class, the Blue Devils were blown out at Stanford and blew 20-0 lead against Virginia Tech. Following the win over the Tar Heels, the Blue Devils lost four straight – three of which in comical fashion. No question this team has motivation on its side but once the game starts, they’ll need to play like they did in the win over UNC to have a chance.

Cincinnati put together a solid 9-3 season with wins over bowl-bound Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, and Syracuse. And all three losses (Toledo, Louisville, and Rutgers) came against teams playing in the postseason. As a result of their success, the Bearcats not only lost head coach Butch Jones but both coordinators as well leaving defensive line coach Steve Stripling in charge. From a statistical standpoint, Cincinnati owns nearly every advantage imaginable. Our ACCU-Stats show the Bearcats to be significantly better than Duke in all four categories (YPR, DYPR, YPP, and DYPP). I do think Cinci's defensive numbers were somewhat overrated. In Big East play, they ranked seventh out of eight teams in terms of yards per game allowed despite thriving against the poor offenses of Temple, Rutgers, South Florida and UConn the final four weeks of the season. Louisville and Miami-OH were the only passing attacks that Duke can be statistically compared to and the Cardinals and RedHawks threw for 416 yards and 320 yards respectively. Part of that was by design as Cincinnati plays more of a keep-everything-in-front-of-you style but Duke has one of the better offenses the Bearcats will have faced year-to-date.

Overall, this handicap isn't difficult. You like fundamentals? Lay the points. Motivated by motivation? Take the points and throw in a little moneyline while you're at it.

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Holiday Bowl Preview
By Alf Musketa
Sportsmemo.com

Baylor vs. UCLA
CRIS Opener:  UCLA -1 O/U 77.5
CRIS Current: UCLA pk O/U 80
Rob Veno’s Power Rating: UCLA -3

The Holiday Bowl is annually played at Qualcomm Stadium home of the San Diego Chargers. For UCLA fans and alumni it's just a two hour drive down I-5. We know the Bruins travel well and we expect them to support their team with huge numbers. The Baylor Bears meanwhile, which has been a punching bag for years in the Big XII, reportedly do not travel with large support. There have been only 300 on-campus tickets issued for Baylor students via Baylor busses, the rest will have to make alternative plans.

Matchup wise we have two teams that can move the football through the air and on the ground, but one of them has a glaringly obvious problem on defense and is difficult to trust from a betting perspective. The line on this game is currently a pick ‘em but I made UCLA -2.

Baylor has offensive fire power to burn with quarterback Nick Florence who is third in the nation in passing with 4,121 yards, 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Then there is wide receiver Terrance Williams, a sure NFL draft pick who leads the nation with 1,764 yards. Add in running-back Lache Seastrunk who has bolted for 7.6 yards per carry over his last five games and Baylor can score on just about anyone. However, UCLA will counter with linebacker Anthony Barr, who leads the NCAA with 13.5 sacks and linebacker Eric Kendricks, who leads the PAC-12 in tackles with 137. The Bruins rank fourth in the nation in total sacks with 44, the secondary ranks 23rd with 15 interceptions and they have seven defensive senior starters that will be playing their hearts out in their final game.

Yes, Baylor knocked off Kansas State from the undefeated ranks and out of the BCS title game. They have won four of their last five games and their last three were quite impressive beating postseason participants Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Kansas State. However, Baylor’s defense is atrocious, ranking 119th out of 120 teams. They give up 38.2 points per game and only one team that they faced did not score at least 20 points and that was Big XII bottom feeder Kansas who finished 0-9 in conference play.

The Bruins must have a game plan to keep Baylor's offense off the field and that will start with running back Jonathan Franklin. Franklin has amassed 1,700 yards and 13 touchdowns, good for eighth nationally. His success will go a long way in determining the outcome of this game.

The total on this game is 80.5; bet up quickly from 77.5. Given Baylor's defense, UCLA should score close to 37 points and as mentioned earlier, deserves to be the favorite according to my numbers. I’d also lean toward the under as the long layoff has a way of disrupting the timing of up-tempo, quick hitting offenses.

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Military Bowl: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

San Jose State vs. Bowling Green (7.5, 44)


MILITARY BOWL STORYLINES


1. Bowling Green has allowed an average of 15.8 points and ranks seventh in the nation in total defense (289.7), while San Jose State’s offense has been productive, averaging 35.2 points and 327.5 yards passing.

2. The two teams combined for three victories in 2010 and both finished 5-7 in 2011. San Jose State won its last bowl in 2006 (New Mexico) and is 5-3 overall. Bowling Green last won in 2004 (GMAC) and is 4-5.

3. Both offensive lines will get quite a challenge. San Jose State is fifth in the nation with 40 sacks and Bowling Green ninth with 37, led by defensive tackle Chris Jones (12.5).

LINE: San Jose State -7.5, O/U 44

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the high-30s with partly cloudy skies at RFK Stadium. Winds will gust out of the WNW at 20 mph.

TRENDS:

* Spartans are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games vs. a team with a winning record.
* Falcons are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games overall.
* Under is 6-1 in Falcons’ last seven games following a win.
* Over is 4-1 in Spartans’ last five games vs. a team with a winning record.

ABOUT SAN JOSE STATE (10-2, 5-1 WAC): The Spartans can reach the 11-victory mark for the first time since 1939 without coach Mike MacIntyre, who accepted the job at Colorado on Dec. 10. Defensive coordinator Kent Baer, the interim coach, takes over a team that has averaged just over 40 points in six straight wins. Quarterback David Fales has led the lethal offense, completing 72.1 percent of his passes and throwing for 31 scores with only nine interceptions. Noel Grigsby has been the top target, scoring nine times while compiling 1,173 yards on 73 receptions. Chandler Jones has a team-high 10 touchdown receptions. De’Leon Eskridge has led the ground attack with 992 yards and 10 touchdowns. Safety Bene Benwikere is the player to watch on defense with seven interceptions and 62 tackles.

ABOUT BOWLING GREEN (8-4, 6-2 MAC): The Falcons have leaned on their defense to win seven of its last eight games after losing to bowl teams Florida, Toledo and Virginia Tech early on. Jones, the MAC Defensive Player of the Year, leads the way while linebacker Gabe Martin and defensive back BooBoo Gates also stand out. Bowling Green has held opponents to an average of 173 yards through the air and a 28 percent conversion rate on third down. The Falcons have averaged 28.5 points the last eight games, keyed by quarterback Matt Schilz and running back Anthon Samuel. Schilz, a junior, has thrown 50 career touchdown passes and 39 interceptions - 14 and 12, respectively, this season. Samuel is 34 yards from becoming the eighth Bowling Green player to rush for 1,000 yards.

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Belk Bowl: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Cincinnati vs. Duke (9.5, 60.5)


BELK BOWL STORYLINES


1. Making its first bowl appearance in 17 years, Duke does not have to make a long trip as the Blue Devils meet Cincinnati in Charlotte, N.C., less than three hours from their campus in Durham. Led by ACC Coach of the Year David Cutcliffe and despite the excitement of heading to its first bowl game since 1995, Duke is on a four-game losing streak that has seen the Blue Devils allow 49.5 points during that span.

2. For the third time since 2006, Cincinnati goes into its postseason game without the coach that led the Bearcats during the season. After winning or sharing its fourth Big East Conference championship in the past five years, Cincinnati lost third-year coach Butch Jones on Dec. 7 to Tennessee, but 36 hours later hired former Texas Tech, Auburn, and Mississippi coach Tommy Tuberville. Offensive line coach Steve Stripling will coach the Bearcats in the bowl game.

3. With constant conference realignment in the air, Cincinnati has made no secret is would like to be in the ACC, which offered a spot to Louisville earlier this month. And the Bearcats would like to make a statement in the Belk Bowl, taking on Duke from the ACC. Cincinnati is making its 14th bowl appearance and sixth in the last seven years. In September, the Bearcats rallied to beat Virginia Tech in Washington D.C., knocking the Hokies out of the Top 25.

LINE: Cincinnati -9.5. O/U 60.5

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the low-40s with clear skies at Bank of America Stadium. Wind shouldn’t be a factor.

TRENDS:

* Bearcats are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall.
* Blue Devils are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall.
* Over is 5-1 in Bearcats’ last six December games.
* Over is 6-1-1 in Blue Devils’ last eight games overall.

ABOUT CINCINNATI (9-3, 5-2 Big East): Senior Brendon Kay took over for the versatile, but erratic Munchie Legaux at quarterback late in the season and led the Bearcats to three wins in four games. Kay is completing almost 62 percent of his passes for 966 yards and six touchdowns with only two interceptions. Kay also rushed for 230 yards and a pair of scores. Legaux accounted for 2,051 yards of offense and 17 touchdowns to go along with nine interceptions. Tight end Travis Kelce, a first team All-Big East performer is Cincinnati's top receiver with 40 catches for 599 yards and seven touchdowns. Second team All-Big East tailback George Winn was second in the league with 1,204 yards rushing. Winn had 12 touchdowns and five 100-yard games. The Bearcats average 430.8 yards and 31 points, while allowing only 13 sacks in 12 games. Cincinnati is allowing only 17.2 points, second in the Big East.

ABOUT DUKE (6-6, 3-5 ACC): The Blue Devils raced to a 6-2 start, highlighted by wins over North Carolina and Virginia before the ACC powers got them at the end of the season. Quarterback Sean Renfree has passed for 2,755 yards and 18 touchdowns while throwing only eight interceptions and Duke is the only FBS team in the nation to have three receivers catch more than 60 passes. Second team All-ACC performer Conner Vernon leads Duke with 75 receptions for 955 yards and seven touchdowns, while honorable mention all-ACC pick Jamison Crowder caught 70 for 1,025 yards and eight scores. Desmond Scott hauled in 61 receptions for 606 yards and two touchdowns. Duke averages 31.3 points and 396.6 yards total offense while allowing 35 points and 462.1 yards. Ross Martin, the honorable mention all-league kicker for the Blue Devils, is 18-for-20 in field goals, including 6-for-6 from beyond 40 yards.

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Holiday Bowl: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Baylor vs. UCLA (-3, 81.5)


BRIDGEPORT EDUCATION HOLIDAY BOWL STORYLINES

1. UCLA, ranked 19th, is looking for a 10-win season for the first time since 2005 as first-year coach Jim Mora has engineered an impressive turnaround. Baylor is playing in a third straight bowl game for the first time in school history and is also playing a bowl game outside the state of the Texas for the initial time.

2. The Holiday Bowl has a reputation for offensive fireworks and the Bruins and Bears should only add to the bowl’s lore. Baylor leads the nation in total offense at 578.8 yards per game and ranks fifth in scoring (44.1). UCLA is 20th in total offense (474.5) and 28th in scoring (35.1). Both teams have been very shaky defending the pass.

3. UCLA senior running back Johnathan Franklin is ninth in the nation in rushing yards per game (130.8) and is the school’s all-time leading rusher with 4,369 career yards. Baylor allows 190.8 rushing yards per game, so there will be opportunities for Franklin to conclude his career in style.

LINE: UCLA -3, O/U 81.5

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the low-50s and clear skies at Qualcomm Stadium. Winds will blow out of the NW at 5 mph.

TRENDS:

* Bears are 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Bruins are 4-1 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning record.
* Over is 6-0 in Bruins’ last six games overall.
* Over is 4-1 in Bears’ last five neutral site games.

ABOUT BAYLOR (7-5, 4-5 Big 12):
Senior quarterback Nick Florence was up to the arduous task of replacing Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III and leads the nation in total offense at 387.7 yards per game. Florence has passed for 4,121 yards and 31 touchdowns while being intercepted 13 times. He has a superb target in senior receiver Terrance Williams, who set a school-record with 1,764 receiving yards. Williams has 12 touchdowns among his 95 receptions. Sophomore running back Lache Seastrunk (874 yards) has played well down the stretch. Sophomore middle linebacker Bryce Hager has a team-leading 115 tackles, which leads the Big 12. Junior weak-side linebacker Eddie Lackey has a team-high four interceptions and returned two of them for touchdowns.

ABOUT UCLA (9-4, 6-3 Pac-12):
The Bruins are coming off back-to-back losses to Stanford – the latter in the Pac-12 championship game – after winning five consecutive games. Franklin has rushed for a school-record 1,700 yards and was a runner-up for the Doak Walker Award won by Wisconsin’s Montee Ball. Redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley has completed 68.2 percent of his passes for 3,411 yards and 26 touchdowns. He has been intercepted 11 times. Junior outside linebacker Anthony Barr is a force with 20.5 tackles for loss – including 13.5 sacks – and four forced fumbles. Sophomore inside linebacker Eric Kendricks has a team-best 137 tackles while senior cornerback Sheldon Price and senior safety Andrew Abbott share the team lead with four interceptions.

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Thursday's Bowl Tips
VegasInsider.com

Editor's Note: Steve Makinen and hist StatFox crew have offered up their expert insight this bowl season with their College Football Bowl Blast. Below is a small snapshot of the 81-page Tip Sheet that provides instant analysis on all 35 bowl games. If you're serious about making money this bowl season, then be sure to invest in this guide, which includes trends and winning picks. Click here!

Military Bowl at RFK Stadium from Washington, D.C.

Bowling Green (8-4 SU, 8-4 ATS) vs. San Jose State (10-2 SU, 10-2 ATS)

Breakdown: San Jose State will be making just their second bowl game since 1991, after assembling their first 10-win season since 1987. The Spartans defense was not only stalwart, but opportunists. San Jose's stop troops ended up at 28th in the country and they were persistent in forcing 31 turnovers. Third-year coach Mike MacIntyre has changed the culture and his offense with David Fales at the helm, has three receivers averaging over 12 yards a catch. After being shutout 37-0 by Virginia Tech, Bowling Green regrouped to finish the season 7-1 (SU & ATS). The Falcons have an awesome defense (7th nationally) led by MAC defensive Player of the Year Chris Jones. The defensive tackle had 19 tackles for loss, including 12 1/2 sacks. Bowling Green is below average offensively (scored 23.2 PPG vs. foes which allowed 31.6), with QB Matt Schilz more of a game manager than a playmaker.

Head-to-Head History: Not surprisingly, this will be the first head-to-head matchup between Bowling Green and San Jose State. In fact, it will be the first time ever that the Spartans face a MAC team in a lined game. They just don't get as east as Washington DC very often, but they did make the trip to nearby Annapolis in September, beating Navy 12-0. BGSU is 2-4 SU & ATS vs. WAC foes since '05.

Bowl Series History: San Jose State has never played a game this late in the season, and it will be at an all-too unfamiliar place, some 2800 miles away from home. Don't read too much into that however, as Air Force and UCLA both traveled great distances to play in this game and were 2-0 ATS. Additionally, favorites have won all four prior games in this bowl series, going 3-1 ATS. Bowling Green will be representing the MAC, hoping to break a 0-2 ATS slide for their league in this game. Don't forget the total either, as all four prior games went OVER.

Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium from Charlotte, NC

Cincinnati (9-3 SU, 7-4 ATS) vs. Duke (6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS)

Breakdown: With a Belk Bowl victory, Cincinnati will have posted its fifth 10 or more win season in the past six years. The Bearcats performed well against the run, holding opponents to 3.7 yards per attempt. In this contest, it will be how Cincy plays the pass which will count more, as this is Duke's strength. If the Bearcats generate a steady pass rush, the secondary will hold up. The switch to QB Brendon Kay gave Cincinnati a down the field passing game and RB George Winn could well match his team's 5.2 YPC average versus the Blue Devils. Duke is excited about their first bowl game since 1994, but they have their work cut out for them. The Blue Devils have a capable passing offense with QB Sean Renfree and receivers Conner Vernon and Jamison Crowder. Can the Duke defense play better after allowing 41.6 PPG in away games?
   
Head-to-Head History: Cincinnati and Duke have never met in football, so there will be a lot of unfamiliarity involved as Duke plays its first bowl game in 18 seasons. The Blue Devils haven't even faced a Big East team since '07 when they lost to Connecticut 45-14 at home. The Bearcats took on Virginia Tech of the ACC back in September in a neutral field game at Fed Ex Field and won 27-24.

Bowl Series History: The Belk Bowl in Charlotte, NC has had a pair of different names in its 10-year history, but one thing is for certain regardless of the name, home field advantage has proven important. In fact, teams from the state of North Carolina are on a 5-1 ATS run in this game, good news for Duke, who plays as a sizeable underdog to Cincinnati. Strangely, underdogs and favorites have alternated ATS victories every year in this bowl game since its inception in 2002. By that pattern, Duke as the underdog would be the winner in 2012. The last two games went OVER the total.

Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium from San Diego, CA

Baylor (7-4 SU, 4-7 ATS) vs. UCLA (9-4 SU, 8-5 ATS)

Breakdown: This could be the "explosion" bowl with both these football teams able to generate explosive plays at any moment. Baylor leads the nation in total offense with 578.7 YPG and finished strong (4-1 and 5-0 ATS) because RB's Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin took over a larger part of the offense and helped Nick Florence not feel like he had to complete every pass. The Bears were 123rd in defense and will have to force the almost three turnovers a game like they did to close the regular season. The Holiday Bowl is annually a top attraction and UCLA will do its part to carry on the tradition. QB Brett Hundley is one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country and RB Johnathan Franklin has excelled as a senior in offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone's spread option. With the Bruins spotty defense, the oddsmakers opening total of 77.5 is inviting.

Head-to-Head History: Baylor and UCLA meet for the first time ever at the Holiday Bowl. The Bears faced Pac 12 foe Washington in last year's Alamo Bowl game and won 67-56 behind 777 yards of offense. They have covered three straight games against Pac 12 opponents. UCLA hasn't faced a Big 12 team in a bowl game since '98 and 10 of their 12 games vs. that conference since went OVER the total.

Bowl Series History: After underdogs had ripped off eight straight ATS victories in the Holiday Bowl from 1998 through 2005, favorites have turned it around, going 5-1 SU & ATS in the last six years. You'll need to watch the closing line for this year's game as oddsmakers project it to be a tight affair. In terms of conferences, the Big 12 and Pac 12 have alternated ATS wins over the last seven years, with UCLA and the Pac 12 due in 2012. The last four Holiday Bowl games went UNDER the total, and the losing team has put up just 20 points in the last three.

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