Free Pick: Emerald Bowl

The 7-5 Miami Hurricanes travel west to take on the 8-4 California Golden Bears in this year’s 2008 Emerald Bowl in San Francisco, California.

Our team of writers and handicappers break down the matchup and hand out a Emerald Bowl Free Pick, which takes place Saturday December 27 at 8:00PM ET.

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Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made California -8 point spread favorite. The over/under for this game has been set 50.5 total points.

Top Public Betting Trend: California is 5-1 against the spread in its last six games, while Miami is just 3-6 against the number in its last nine games. The total has also gone over in five of California’s last seven contests.

Key Stat: The Golden Bears are averaging 33.3 points per game, while Miami is allowing 24.2 PPG. The Bears also averaging a whopping 183.7 yards per game on the ground, while the Hurricanes have surrendered an average of 144.0 rushing YPG.

Game Outlook: Cal heads into this game with momentum after trouncing Washington 48-7 on December 6 and Stanford 37-16 on November 22. Before that, they hung tough with a talented USC program, losing 17-3 in Southern Cal. Miami, meanwhile, has lost its last two games, dropping a 38-28 contest to North Carolina State, and a 41-23 match to Georgia Tech. While the Hurricanes have been excellent against the pass this season, limiting opponents to just 169.3 passing yards per game, they’ve struggled mightily in stopping the run, which happens to be what Cal excels at. Look for the Golden Bears to keep things on the ground in this game and then try play action over the top to see if they can catch the Cane safeties cheating up to stop the run. And while Miami is averaging 27.9 points per game, we just don’t think they’ll have enough offensive firepower to beat the Bears in their own backyard. We like Cal and the over in this battle. For the rest of our College Football Free Pick, see below.

Check out the 2008 Emerald Bowl Preview

Our Free College Football Bowl Pick for the Emerald Bowl matchup between the Miami Hurricanes and California Golden Bears game is

CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS -6

TheSpread.com Projected Final Score

California Golden Bears 31

Miami Hurricanes 20

We also predict that this game will GO OVER THE TOTAL (50.5 Sports Interaction.com) SET BY ODDSMAKERS

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Posted: 12/27/08 11:00AM ET

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