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.
- San Francisco
- Teddy Covers
- October 4, 2015 - 4:25 PM
- Offered at:
- sportsinteraction @ 9.5 -110 San Francisco
Recommendation: Take San Francisco (#270)
Sometimes, the appropriate betting move in the NFL is to hold your nose and bet on the team that nobody wants; a squad offering legitimate pointspread value. That’s the case with the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
This is truly a dismal spot for the road favorite. Green Bay faced divisional rival Chicago in their opener, beating up the Bears. Then they faced a HUGE revenge game on Sunday Night against the Seahawks; a ‘Big Ticket’ winner for myself and my clients with another ATS cover. And then the Packers enjoyed a third straight win and cover in a third straight big game, knocking off KC on Monday Night Football. At 3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS, the Packers now fly across the country to take on a 49ers team that just got annihilated in back-2-back road tilts, losing by a combined score of 90-25. Think Green Bay brings their ‘A’ game here? I don’t!
The 49ers have played one previous home game this season. They covered the spread by three touchdowns in that contest, a dominating win over a Vikings squad that hasn’t lost since. The Niners have been trailing by margin early in each of their last two losses, unable to get Carlos Hyde going as the focal point of the offense. But Green Bay can’t stop the run, ranked dead last in the NFL, allowing a full 5.0 yards per carry. That’s a bad omen for any team facing a desperate foe in this pointspread range! Look for San Fran to keep Aaron Rodgers off the field for extended stretches, grinding out yards and first downs on the ground.
Its surely worth noting that the 49ers said all the right things after last week’s debacle at Arizona. Colin Kaepernick’s quote following his four interception performance took full responsibility: “I nullified all the efforts of every player on the field today." Kaepernick has a stellar track record against Dom Capers defense, averaging more than 100 yards rushing in the last three meetings; games in which San Fran averaged 33 points per game. If we see anything close to that level of offensive production on Sunday and we can expect a competitive game from start to finish. Take the 49ers.
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