2008 GMAC Bowl: Bowling Green Falcons (8-4) +4.5, 76 O/U vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane
(9-4) -4.5, 76 O/U, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama, 8 PM
by Badger of Predictem.com
If youre a fan of passing offense then youll no doubt want the
watch the GMAC Bowl Sunday, as the Bowling Green Falcons take on the
Tulsa Golden Hurricane in what oddsmakers in Las Vegas are expecting
to be shootout.
Tulsa enters the game Sunday fresh off a loss to Central Florida in
the Conference USA Championship game, 44-25, back on December 1st.
Prior to that though the Hurricane reeled off five wins a row during
the heart of the season, with their pass-happy offense averaging 46
points during the stretch.
Bowling Green turned it on toward the end of the season, winning four
games in a row to close out 2007. The Falcons dropped Toledo in their
season finale, 37-10, back on November 23rd. They also beat Buffalo,
Eastern Michigan and Akron during the winning streak.
Las Vegas oddsmakers opened the game with Tulsa as a 4-point
favorite, with the highest total in all of bowl season at 75.
Tulsas offense goes as quarterback Paul Smith goes. Smith finished
second in the country in passing with 4,753 yards and 42 touchdowns.
The Hurricane were the No. 1 team in the NCAA with 542.5 yards of
total offense, 3rd in passing yards (374.6) and 8th in scoring with a
39.5 points per game average. Tarrion Adams (1,113 yds., 7 TDs) is a
solid running threat as a change-up, and both Brennan Marion and Trae
Johnson went over 1,000 yards in receiving and scored 11 touchdowns.
One thing the Hurricane does not lack is offense.
Bowling Green also features a chuck-n-duck passing style of offense,
with quarterback Tyler Sheehan leading the way. Sheehan (3,123 yds.,
23 TDs) has a bevy of receivers to throw to (11 different players had
double-digit receptions) led by Freddie Barnes (891 yds., 9 TDs). The
Falcons are heavy on the passing too, as running back Anthony Turner
(509 yds., 9 TDs) only had 101 carries all season. Overall Bowling
Green was 41st in yardage (416.9 ypg), 20th in passing yards (286.8
ypg) and 38th in scoring with a 32.1 points per game average.
Defensively both teams are so bad, it almost isnt even worth
mentioning them at all. Tulsa finished 111th overall in yardage (469
ypg) and 106th in points allowed (35.4 per game), while Bowling Green
was only slightly better at 79th overall (413 ypg) and 80th in points
allowed at 29.5 per game. The Falcons 79th overall ranking is
deceiving though, as their 108th-ranked pass defense is surely going
to be tested often against Smith and the Hurricane.
These two teams played once before back in 1989, a game Tulsa won
going away, 45-10, as a 17-point favorite.
Bowling Green was a strong play for sports bettors this season, going
7-4 ATS including covering the number in all four games during the
end of the year winning streak. They were also a strong over play,
going over the total in seven of their 12 games and in 9 of their
last 13 non-conference games.
Tulsa on the other hand was a terrible bet this season, ending just
4-9 ATS. Take away two covers to start the season (wins over UL
Monroe and BYU) and the Hurricane have covered just twice in their
last 11 games overall and one of those games was a pick (vs.
Houston). With a high-powered offense and a porous defense you would
think they would be a lock to go over the total every week, but that
is not the case. The Hurricane went over just six times all season,
although their lowest total all year was 51 (vs. BYU) with an average
total of 67.5 in their games.
Interest in betting on this game must be low, since neither the
spread nor the total have moved much all month. Tulsa went from a 4-
point favorite to a 4.5-point fave, with the total moving up a point
from 75 to 76 at most offshore sportsbooks. Without much movement the
numbers were either right from the start, or the public is waiting
for the BCS title game the next night, with the latter scenario as
the likely reason.
The Falcons are a +170 on the moneyline for this game, while the
favorite Hurricane are a -200 on the moneyline.
Badgers Pick: Like most of the world, I will be waiting for the big
game the next night. Sorry, but a Tulsa-vs.-Bowling Green matchup
wouldnt capture my attention on December 6th, yet alone in a bowl
game on January 6th. Whoever moved this game to the night before the
BCS title game should lose their job. If you are going to wager on
this one, take the over 76 and watch the football fly all night long
as these two teams air it out over 150 times in the game.