Welcome to the opening edition of my College Football Betting Picks on Sports Blog Net. Before moving on from the Bleacher Report, I compiled a record of 26-15 ATS (11-2 in my Game of the Week picks). Two days ago I wrote on my Wordpress to take Syracuse to cover the +3.5 spread against West Virginia. Syracuse covered the spread and beat West Virginia 38-14, in a snowy Yankee Stadium.
Let's keep the money train rolling into the New Year, with my five bowl games to make a play on. Have a happy and safe New Year. Pick number three
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl – Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-4) vs. No. 20 Northwestern Wildcats (9-3)
Date: Jan. 1 @ NOON ET
Line: Northwestern favored by -1.5
Northwestern is aiming to abolish their 63-year bowl drought with a win against Dan Mullin’s Bulldogs of Mississippi State.
Without a doubt, Northwestern has more to play for in this interesting SEC Big Ten match-up. First off, the last time Northwestern won was back in 1948, when they beat California 20-14 in the Rose Bowl.
Since Northwestern has lost nine consecutive bowl losses, which is tied for the longest bowl losing streak of all time. Secondly, Northwestern should be undefeated. Three fourth quarter collapses against Penn State, Nebraska and Michigan led to their only defeats of the season
Pat Fitzgerald has turned Northwestern into an annual Big Ten contender. This season Northwestern used an array of tough defense (except against the pass) and average offense to propel them to a nine-win season. Running back Venric Mark had a superb 2012 campaign as he rushed for 1,356 yards with 11 touchdowns. He will be the key factor in this matchup as the Bulldogs have struggled to stop the run all year. In the Bulldogs four losses they gave up an average of 223 yards per game on the ground.
Northwestern averaged 230 yards per game on the ground, which was good enough for 15th in the FBS. Northwestern also carries two impressive quarterbacks on their roster. Kain Colter has rushed for 820 yards and thrown for 796 yards, while raking up 20 touchdowns (12 rushing, 8 passing). Colter will take most of the snaps under center, while sophomore Trevor Siemian will take the other snaps. Siemian has been the Wildcats big arm, as he’s compiled 1,192 passing yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions.
Mississippi State at one point of the season carried an undefeated record, before losing three straight to Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU. Their in-state rival Ole Miss in the season finale also embarrassed the Bulldogs, when they beat MSU 41-24. Riding a 1-3 record in their last four games, the Bulldogs would like to win this game and preserve the Wildcats bowl drought. Currently the Bulldogs program has won five straight bowl games, as Mullin has gone a perfect 3-0 in his first three bowl game appearances.
The keys for the Bulldogs will be to pass, pass, pass and defense. Tyler Russell had a stellar 2012 season, as he broke nearly all Bulldog single season passing records. Russell threw for 2,791 yards with 22 touchdowns. Russell will face off against the Wildcats 101st ranked passing defense. Look for Russell to try to exploit the Wildcats’ weak pass defense.
Mississippi State is 6-6 ATS this season.
Northwestern is 11-1 ATS this season.
Mississippi State is 0-3 ATS as an underdog this season.
Northwestern is 6-0 ATS as a favorite.
Mississippi State is 6-4 ATS in games played on a grass field.
Northwestern is 8-1 ATS in games played on a grass field.
Pick- Northwestern has come so close to breaking the drought under Pat Fitzgerald. I believe this year will be the year the Wildcats put together a victory. The Wildcats and Bulldogs will battle back and forth, but the Wildcats will win and cover breaking the 63-yard old drought. Take Wildcats.
Northwestern 31, Mississippi State 27
All lines are subject to change based on the line movement. All lines are from ScoresandOdds.com.
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