Rutgers Scarlett Knights (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. North Carolina Tarheels (6-6 SU, 5-7 ATS)
Quick Lane Bowl Game
Date and Time: Friday, December 26, 4:30pm EST
Where: Ford Field - Detroit, MI
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: RUT +3/UNC -3
Over/Under Total: 66.5
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Friday, December 26th, the Rutgers Scarlett Knights will take on the North Carolina Tarheels in the very first Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, Michigan. Rutgers comes into the bowl with a 7-5 overall record and a 3-5 final record in Big Ten play. The North Carolina Tarheels finished right at .500 with a 6-6 overall record, and also a .500 mark in the conference play in the ACC. This should be a very competitive game and it is hard to say which team has the edge.
The Quick Lane Bowl betting line opens with UNC as the three point favorite over Rutgers. The total points are expected to be high, with the over/under set at 66.5. Rutgers record against the spread was identical to their overall finish at 7-5, while UNC did not fair so well, only covering the spread in five games in 2014. However, even with Rutgers having the better overall record, and the more success against the spread, UNC has nearly 70% of the action riding on them to cover the three.
Favored by three, North Carolina is looking to finish the 2014 season with a win and an overall winning record. The Tarheels have come a long and improves as the season continued. Winning four of their last six games is what saved the season and allowed UNC to even make it to a bowl game. The main problem with the Tarheels this season was the fact that when they showed up, they usually won games, but when they lost….boy did they lose big. With final scores like 70-41, 35-7, and 50-35, i is evident that they had issues on both sides of the ball at times. The statement game however was when they upset a then ranked Duke team that was primed to make their second straight ACC Title game. UNC took down the Devils 45-20 changing the landscape of the ACC championship game. If North Carolina wants to get a bowl win, and their seventh win of the season, the defense needs to show up in a big way. UNC is ranked 119th in scoring defense, allowing 38.9 points per game to their opponents. There really is not much more to say, UNC has a decent offense, but if they allow Rutgers to score nearly 40 points, the Tarheels will not win.
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Rutgers came out early in the season and were winners of five of their first six games. Since that time, they have dropped four of six and find themselves as underdogs to UNC. Statistically, Rutgers is not really impressive in any area. They are 92nd in points allowed, 89th in points for, and have allowed 30 or more points in half their games this season. Rutgers just needs to make this game a shootout. Averaging just 25 points a game, I could still see the Scarlett Knights putting up points on this bad UNC defense. And that my friends is the main key to this game for Rutgers…score score score. They need to get the offense clicking and if they can force UNC to battle to the end, Rutgers could not only cover the spread, but win the game.
Bowl games are always so tough, especially the ones between two teams that were hit or miss all season. Well, I am basing my pick off something simple. Underdog only has 30% of bettors believing in them, I will take the dogs. Give me the three points and lets pray for a shootout to the very end. I predict a final score of 37-35. Who will win? I do not know, nor do I care.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: PICK THE RUTGERS SCARLETT KNIGHTS +3