Texas A&M Aggies (8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS) vs. Louisville Cardinals (7-5 SU, 6-6 ATS)
Music City Bowl
Date/Time: Wednesday, December 30, 7:00pm
Where: Nissan Stadium Nashville, Tennessee
by Bob, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TAM +5 / LOU -5
Over/Under Total: 47
The Music City Bowl began in 1998 and has been an annual bowl game between a representative from the SEC and one from the ACC. On a few occasions, teams from the Big Ten and the Big East were brought in to play but overall this is an ACC/SEC game. The first ever Music City Bowl featured Alabama and Virginia Tech in a game that saw the Hokies take down the Crimson Tide by a score of 38-7. Since that time there have been many great showdowns between proud programs. This season, we will see the Texas A&M Aggies of the SEC taking on the Louisville Cardinals from the ACC. Texas A&M comes into this game at 8-4 overall while the Cardinals are 7-5. Both teams considered their seasons let downs and to go out on a positive note would be a great boost for either program heading into 2016.
The line opened with Louisville as the five point favorite over Texas A&M and it has not shifted from that at all. The total points are set at 47 combined. As of Monday, December 21st, 57% of the action was on Texas A&M to cover the five points and there are many who are taking Texas A&M on the moneyline as a high value play. I could see this game going either direction so lets take a moment to discuss each team.
Texas A&M is becoming a dumpster fire. Quarterbacks are leaving, players are not happy, the program is putting restrictions on the kids who want to transferit just isnt pretty right now in College Station. The Aggies were actually picked by some experts not only to beat out Alabama and LSU in the SEC West, but some even had them in the College Football Playoff. Well, that was not even close to happening and if things continue to get worse for this program in the next 365 days, head coach Kevin Summlin may be shown the unemployment line. Being a team that started 5-0, this was not the way they saw this season ending. The key to covering this spread and potentially winning the game for the Aggies is just to put all that behind them and play football. I do believe that Texas A&M is the more talented of the two teams but we are still dealing with college kids that are easily rattled. This team needs a pep talkbadly.
Louisville, like Texas A&M, had much bigger dreams heading into 2015. They dropped their opener in the Georgia Dome to Auburn by a score of 31-24. At that time many people thought that was actually a good performance seeing as how Auburn was the preseason #6 team in the nation. Well, guess what bowl game Auburn is playing in nowThe Birmingham Bowl. That should tell you how great of a season Auburn had, right? Anyhow, Louisville dropped their first three games to Auburn, Houston, and Clemson. Houston and Clemson both had great seasons, but Louisville did not find a win until they played Samford in week four. In 2015, the Cardinals did not win one game against a ranked opponent. Many fans and much of the public thought the return of Bobby Petrino was going to put the Cardinals back on the map, so far, it has not looked good. The key to this game for Louisville is to get the offense rolling quickly. With all the mess surrounding A&M right now, if Louisville can get out to an early 14-0 or 17-0 lead, the Aggies may just pack it in and call it a season.
I realize that normally when I do these picks, I use statistics, trends, and players performances during the season to determine my pick. This game just has a different feeling to me. This game is more about attitude and team morale to me. I do not like what is happening with Texas A&M. Maybe, just maybe, they come together as one and put together a great performance, but I just cannot make myself place a wager on a team that half their star players do not want to play for anymore. I think Louisville wins a good game by a 27-20 score and gets the cover and the Music City Bowl win.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: PICK THE LOUISVILLE CARDINALS -5 POINTS
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