Military Bowl Preview
Thursday, December 27th
Military Bowl - RFK Stadium Washington, DC 3:00 PM ET
Bowling Green Falcons vs. San Jose St. Spartans (-7/47)
How Bowling Green got here
Bowling Green finished second in the MAC East behind Kent St. with a 6-2 record and 8-4 overall. The Falcons won seven of their last eight games but they were still not guaranteed a bowl invite and they made it here based on the fact not enough ACC teams qualified for the postseason. While the run at the end of the season was nice, the Falcons defeated only one team, Ohio, that had a winning record. It was still a very successful season for Bowling Green as it was coming off consecutive losing campaigns and this can be a year to build on with a lot of players returning next season. The Falcons have not won a bowl game since 2004 so there will be plenty to play for here.
How San Jose St. got here
After winning only eight games the three previous season, San Jose St. surpassed that total 10 games into this year and won 10 games overall, its most wins since 2006 when it went 9-4 which was also the last year it was in a bowl game. The two losses came against Utah St. and Stanford which went a combined 21-4. The Spartans will not have the coach that turned the program around with them though as Mike MacIntyre left to take the same position at Colorado. Defensive coordinator Kent Baer will be the team's interim coach for this game and it will be interesting to see how the players respond as there was a mixed reaction to MacIntyre's departure. Considering San Jose St. has not won 11 games in a season since 1939, motivation should be high.
San Jose St. lineman Travis Johnson and Bowling Green tackle Chris Jones were Defensive Players of the Year in the WAC and MAC respectively.
San Jose St. was solid all over the place statistically as it ranked in the top one or two in the WAC in 12 of 17 major categories. Overall, the Spartans were 30th in total offense and 28th in total defense in the country and the scoring rankings on both sides were even better. Eight of their 10 wins came by double-digits. Bowling Green finished the season with an even better defense as it was ranked seventh overall and ninth in points allowed in the nation. It helped that the Falcons played the 136th ranked schedule in the country, the second easiest of all FBS teams. That didn't help the offense much though as Bowling Green struggled on that side of the ball as it was ranked 85th in total offense and 91st in scoring offense. A big intangible for San Jose St. is kicker Austin Lopez who finished the season 15-15 on field goals.
Bowling Green went Under in 10 of 11 lines games this season.
San Jose St. is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 games following a win against the spread.
- AAA Sports
- August 9, 2015 - 8:00 PM
- Offered at:
- bookmaker @ -2.5 -110 Minnesota
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Minnesota Vikings -2 1/2 8:00 EST
1* Free Play Minnesota Vikings.
What you see is what you get each year from Pittsburgh, which builds through the draft, doesn’t sign a lot of free agents and basically comes at you. How much Ben Roethlisberger has left is a question asked every September given the number of hits he takes. The biggest change will be at defensive coordinator, where legend Dick Lebeau is gone – which may mean the LBs will be freer to attack the pocket.
The Vikes have Adrian Peterson back and things seem to have calmed down a bit in Minnesota. But then again, Mike Wallace has been on board for only a few months. Vikes are looking for a huge Year 2 improvement from Teddy Bridgewater and if they get it they can make things sticky in the North.
In 2014/15 the Steelers were 1-3 SU/ATS in the preseason and in 2013/14 they were 0-4 SU/ATS. After missing the playoffs in 2013/14, Pittsburgh returned last year only to lose 30-17 to the Ravens in the Wildcard round. Mike Tomlin has clearly not been very worried about winning in the preseason the last few years.
Last year the Vikes went 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in the preseason, after going 1-3 SU/ATS in 2013/14 and 1-3 SU/ATS in 2012/13. For a team which is desperately trying to get back to the playoffs, the preseason suddenly becomes a lot more important.
There are many players on Minnesota which have something to prove, while Pittsburgh will surely be happy to just go through the motions and leave Canton without any significant injuries.
Minnesota would seem to be the more motivated team in this one, consider laying the short points.
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