Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Preview
Wednesday, December 26th
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl - Ford Field Detroit MI 7:30 PM ET
Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (-5.5/59)
How Central Michigan got here
After consecutive 3-9 seasons, the Chippewas are bowling once again but it wasn't easy. Central Michigan opened up 2-1 which included a big upset (at the time, not anymore) at Iowa but then it dropped four straight, all by double digits, and five of its next six games to fall to 3-6. The Chippewas can thank the schedule makers as they finished with three cupcakes to close out the season and were able to win them all even though they were outgained in two of those. The final game against Massachusetts was the only game this season that Central Michigan outgained its opponent and that was only by 27 total yards. The Chippewas are here only because the Big Ten failed to have enough teams qualify and they come in with no wins against teams with a winning record.
How Western Kentucky got here
Western Kentucky made a significant hire with Bobby Petrino taking over as head coach although defensive coordinator Lance Guidry was named interim coach and will coach the team in the bowl game. This is the first bowl game in the history of the program so there will certainly be no lack of motivation on the Hilltoppers sideline especially considering they were 7-5 last year and were passed over on a bowl. They opened the season at 5-1 with that loss being against Alabama but a slow finish of 2-4 killed any SCB Championship hope. Those were not horrible losses however as they came by an average of just 4.75 ppg but a home loss against Florida Atlantic was inexcusable. Western Kentucky can claim however to be the only team to defeat conference champion Arkansas St.
Western Kentucky running back Antonio Andrews led the entire country in all-purpose yards with 2,977.
Central Michigan should have the edge with the crowd with this game taking place in Detroit as well as its familiarity with the venue as this is its fourth time here. Still, that intangible may not be enough as the Chippewas do not possess a great offense and have a below average defense. They are ranked 67th in total offense and 94th in total defense, both of which are good for seventh in the 14-team MAC. The Hilltoppers offense is slightly better but it is their defense that could be the difference as they come in 23rd in total defense which was tops in the Sun Belt Conference. Western Kentucky possesses the sixth best rusher in the country in Andrews and he can put a hurting on the Central Michigan rushing defense which is just 99th overall. The Hilltoppers also have a significant edge in the return teams.
Central Michigan is 0-7 ATS against teams with a winning record over the last two seasons.
Western Kentucky is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games following a straight up victory.
- O (CLE at GS)
- Will Rogers
- June 2, 2016 - 9:00 PM
- Offered at:
- 5dimes @ Over 210 -103
1* free play on CLE@GS to go OVER....
The NBA Finals get underway Thursday, and we'll see a rematch of last year's Finals when the Warriors defeated the Cavs to win the Championship. Last year the Cavs were short-handed, with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving both sidelined due to injury. With Cleveland at full strength, we could see some higher scores than we saw in the Finals a year ago.
Here are my keys to the game:
1. Three-Point Shooting - The Cavs were not a three-point shooting team during the regular season, but they've been launching a ton of three-point shots in the playoffs. They broke an NBA record for made three-pointers in their series versus Atlanta, and averaged over 40 attempted three-pointers per game against the Raptors. The Warriors live and die with their long range shooting, as evidenced by Klay Thompson's heroic performance with 11 made threes in Game 6.
2. Previous History - The Warriors failed to reach the total in five of seven games versus the Thunder, but the number in those games was an average of 10 points higher than the number for Game 1 versus the Cavs. The last time these teams met, the Warriors won 132-98 at Cleveland. The Cavs have gone over in eight of their last 11 road games.
3. X-Factor - LeBron James is coming off his highest scoring game of the playoffs, totaling 33 points in 41 minutes in Game 6 versus Toronto.
Selection: This is a play on the Cavs@Warriors to go OVER the total (Free)