Last Week: 3-2
Lock of the Week: 12-3
Maryland (-1) vs. Boston College
Steve Addazio will take his young and inexperienced team to Detroit the day after Christmas. Can Addazio prepare such a young team for a bowl game? Can a team so young win a bowl game? Is it unprecedented that a team this young has ever made a bowl game?
This game comes down to one thing for me. It has been a tale of two seasons for Maryland as when quarterback Perry Hills has been healthy and played the entire game the Terps are 6-1. When Hills didn’t make it through the game the Terps were 0-5. Hills should be plenty rested for this one and I think he will be the deciding factor in this game.
Old Dominion (-4) vs. Eastern Michigan
If you want a game that has some steam in Vegas look no further than this game. Eastern Michigan opened as a one point favorite and has now swung five points to a four point dog.
ODU is one of the hottest teams in the country as they’ve won five in a row and eight of nine games. Old Dominion has a pretty balanced offensive attack which is a big reason that this squad averages 36 points per game. I think Bobby Wilder is a hell of a coach and I’ll take his Monarchs squad here.
Northwestern (+5.5) vs. Pitt
Contrary to popular belief I don’t have a picture of Pat Fitzgerald above my bed. The Wildcats went 3-1 when I played them this year so we are going to go for it one more time.
I think the Wildcats can move the ball against Pitt because the Panthers are allowing an alarming 343 yards per game through the air and a almost a 4/1 touchdown to interception ratio. Austin Carr must be licking his chops to go up against this defense.
The Wildcats have been pretty good against the run allowing only 3.68 yards per carry on the year so I think they can hold Pitt running back James Connor somewhat in check as well.
Vanderbilt (+4.5) vs. NC State
This is a match-up of two teams with pretty average offenses and good defenses. NC State rolls in with the 88th scoring offense and Vandy the 109th offense. It should be noted though that Vandy put up 38 points against Ole Miss and 45 against Tennessee to end the year, so things might be headed in the right direction.
These two teams look fairly even to me so I think there is a little bit of value in catching 4.5 with Vandy.
Lock of the Week
South Carolina (+10.5) vs. South Florida
I respect what USF has done this year but I’m having trouble figuring out how this is a double digit line. The ‘Cocks have solid wins over Vandy and Tennessee on the resume and have a really good defense that allowed only 21 points per game in SEC play. The Bulls have a really good offense but will it put up points with ease like it did over AAC opponents? I don’t think so.
On the flip side, USF’s defense has been pathetic allowing 482 yards per game and 31 points per game. For the South Carolina offense this will be like going against a 3rd string SEC defense. South Carolina might not win but this game certainly will be within 10 points.