Senior Bowl Betting News and Notes

Senior Bowl Betting News and Notes

Betting Tale Of The Tape: College Football Senior Bowl
By Covers.com

The 65th edition of the college football's Senior Bowl goes Saturday afternoon in Mobile, Ala., showcasing the nation's top senior collegiate players and NFL prospects ahead of the spring draft.

The end-of-season showcase has seen its share of future NFL star power, with the list of MVPs including Dan Marino (Pittsburgh), Thurman Thomas (Oklahoma State), LaDainian Tomlinson (TCU) and E.J. Manuel (Florida State). This year's rosters are no different, with several players on both sides expected to go early in the draft.

Here's the breakdown in our betting tale of the tape:

Offense

The North is led by standout Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, who isn't among the list of higher-profile pass-throwers entering the NFL draft but could make a major name for himself here. A short-list candidate for the Walter Camp Award, Boyd threw for 3,851 yards with 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions for the Tigers this season. West Virginia running back Charles Sims is the most skilled offensive player on the roster other than Boyd, racking up 1,095 yards on the ground and 14 total touchdowns - nine of those coming in the Mountaineers' final four games.

Boyd isn't the only draft-eligible QB looking to make a splash in Alabama. Fresno State's Derek Carr will have the attention of scouts from across the NFL as he looks to cap an incredible season that saw him lead the NCAA in passing yards (5,082) and touchdowns (50) while finishing with just eight interceptions on the way to an impressive 11-win season. Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews is the other offensive weapon to watch after erupting for 1,477 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in what was an otherwise mediocre Commodores offense.

Edge: South

Defense

The North boasts an explosive defensive duo in defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman and safety Jimmie Ward. Hageman, at 6-foot-6 and north of 310 pounds, was a standout for the Minnesota Golden Gophers this past season and is listed as a projected first-round pick in the majority of early mock drafts. Northern Illinois' Ward is on the opposite end of the size spectrum - standing just 5-foot-11 - but was one of the top defensive backs in the nation with 77 tackles - 50 solo - and six interceptions, one returned for a touchdown.

The South lacks the defensive difference-makers of the opposition, but still has players who will impress scouts. Washington State strong safety Deone Bucannon has one of the widest wingspans of any defensive back in the game, and hits like a freight train. The Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist led the Pac-12 in tackles (109) while tying for fourth with five interceptions and adding three forced fumbles. Versatile linebacker Christian Jones should also make an impact after racking up 56 tackles for Florida State, including seven in the national title game.

Edge: North

Special Teams

The North boasts Rice placekicker Chris Boswell, who struggled this season after posting an 80 percent success rate over his previous two seasons combined. Boswell connected on just 14-of-21 attempts for the Owls in 2013, including just 8-of-15 attempts from 40 yards and beyond. Iowa State senior Kirby Van Der Kamp led a Cyclones special teams attack that finished sixth in the nation in punting yards, 50th in average and 46th in net yardage.

Auburn placekicker Cody Parkey continued his solid collegiate career with a respectable 2013 campaign for the national finalists. Parkey hit 15-of-21 field goal attempts, but that ledger includes a pair of misses from less than 39 yards and a 1-of-4 success rate from 50 yards and longer. Punting duties will be handled by Alabama's Cody Mandell, whose booming leg helped the Tide average the third-highest yardage in the NCAA (46.9) and the highest net (42.4).

Edge: South

Notable Quotable

"Obviously, I think I can throw. I want to go out there an answer every question possible. There's nothing I feel I can't do. I have nothing to prove to myself, but some people may question the system or how I understand certain things. I want to show that I can go out here and do whatever they need me to do." - Boyd

"I get so mad when I miss a throw because I expect to make every throw. That's not realistic, but I put unrealistic expectations on myself because I think I can do it. I kinda get upset with myself, but I know the next one is going to be on point." - Carr

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