Belk Bowl Preview
Thursday, December 27th
Belk Bowl - Bank of America Stadium Charlotte, NC 6:300 PM ET
Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Duke Blue Devils (+7/60)
How Cincinnati got here
Cincinnati is one of a number of teams that will be playing a bowl without the coach that got it there. Butch Jones turned down an offer from Colorado amid speculation that he was staying with the Bearcats only to find out the next day he was heading to Tennessee. The Bearcats hired Tommy Tuberville away from Texas Tech but defensive line coach Steve Stripling will coach the team, as announced following Jones' departure. Cincinnati claimed a share of the Big East title with a 5-2 record and it is 9-3 overall with a chance to win 10 games for the fifth time in six years. All three losses were by a touchdown or less including a setback at home against Rutgers that ended the chance of an outright championship. Conversely, seven of the nine wins were by double-digits.
How Duke got here
Duke became bowl eligible in Week Eight of the season to head to the postseason for the first time since 1994. While that was a great accomplishment, the Blue Devils took the remainder of the season off as they lost their last four games albeit against some pretty strong competition. The good news is that Duke will have had a month to forget about that horrible ending and focus on its first bowl game in nearly two decades. The Blue Devils are excited about playing this game just over two hours from their campus and there will be two forms of motivation here. Duke will be out to avoid a losing season and not head into next year on a five-game losing streak while at the same time, win the programs first bowl game since 1960.
Duke has allowed an average of 49.5 ppg and 593.3 ypg during its four-game losing skid.
Cincinnati is buoyed by a strong rushing attack that was second in the Big East, averaging 199.8 ypg. The passing game was not nearly as efficient but a change at quarterback made that unit stronger down the stretch as Brendon Kay replaced Munchie Legaux with five games left. While the offense is not explosive, the Bearcats should have success against a Duke defense that is 104th overall and 103rd in scoring. The Blue Devils offense will have to perform at a high level to stay in this one and while they struggled down the stretch, rumor has it that some new wrinkles have been added for this game. Cincinnati is 41st in total defense but 12th in scoring defense thanks to an opportunistic defense that had 24 takeaways. Duke gave it up only 17 times though. The Bearcats allowed 17 points or less in each of their last four games and seven of 12 on the season.
Cincinnati is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 games away from home after allowing 17 points or less in two straight games.
Duke went over the total in nine of its 11 games this season and is 7-0-1 to the over in its last eight games against teams with a winning record.
- Tampa Bay
- Larry Ness
- June 29, 2015 - 7:10 PM
- Offered at:
- carbonsports @ -127 Tampa Bay
Anderson was terrific in his debut, but MLB history is littered with excellent pitching debuts followed by a pitching ‘nightmare...’
My free play is on the TB Rays 7:10 ET.
Cleveland rookie Cody Anderson was scheduled to pitch at Baltimore on Saturday but that game was rained out. Cleveland and Baltimore played a doubleheader on Sunday but Cleveland manager Terry Francona decided to skip Anderson and let him start Monday, as the Indians begin a four-game series with the Rays in Tampa. It makes sense, as while Anderson did not factor in the decision in his major-league debut against Tampa Bay on June 21, he turned in a stellar performance
The 24-year-old tossed 7.2 innings of scoreless ball, allowing six hits while striking out four and walking one. "Any time you're in a big stadium for the first time, the adrenaline takes over and you don't get as fatigued," Anderson told reporters of his longest outing as a professional. However, while Anderson was terrific in his debut, MLB history is littered with excellent pitching debuts followed by a pitching ‘nightmare.’ That will be the bet here; go against Anderson.
The Indians are off one of the franchise's worst single-day performances in four decades and Cleveland will look to avoid matching its longest losing streak of the season tonight. The Indians were shut out in BOTH ends of Sunday's doubleheader (losing to Baltimore 4-0 and 8-0), something which last happened to Cleveland back on September 26, 1975. The Indians lost for the SEVENTH time in nine games. "Today was not a pretty day for us," manager Terry Francona said. "I don't see guys grinding the at-bat. We're not doing the things we're capable of doing." Cleveland has scored three runs and gone 1 for 13 with RISP while striking out 24 times in the three-game skid.
Tampa Bay has dropped two of three in each of its last two series, after falling 5-3 to Boston on Sunday. The Rays have lost a little momentum in the last eight days and look to begin turning things around against the struggling Indians. Tampa Bay has lost FIVE of its last seven games overall, to fall into a virtual tie with Baltimore atop the American League East. Nathan Karns (4-3, 3.28 ERA) takes the mound for the Rays, seeking his fourth consecutive solid start. The right-hander has posted a 1.04 ERA in 17.1 innings over his last three outings, including 5.1 innings in a 4-1 win at Cleveland on June 19.
Karns has fared far better away from Tropicana Field this season (2.25 ERA in road games) than at home (3.79) but he's given up two or fewer runs in 11 of his 15 starts, which is pretty solid pitching. The play here is to go against the struggling Indians plus I'm calling for the Tampa Bay bats to have MUCH MORE success the second time around against Cleveland rookie Cody Anderson.
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