Wednesday, December 26, 2012

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2012: Belk Bowl

The Belk Bowl is the perfect gift for that special football fan in your life.

The When/Where:
Belk Bowl, Bank of America, Charlotte, NC, December 27th 2012, 6:30 pm ET, ESPN

The Who:
Cincinnati Bearcats (9-3, 5-2 Big East) @ Duke Blue Devils (6-6, 3-5 ACC)

The Why:
Southern. Modern. Style. I can't think of three better words to describe a match up featuring the #2 Big East team and the #8 ACC team. Can you?

Cincy enters their 14th bowl game. Where they are 7-6 all time and are looking for their fourth straight bowl win. The Dukies are in their first bowl game since 1995 and 9th all time. They are looking to get their first bowl victory since 1961.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:
Looking solely at the numbers this games looks pretty lopsided. The Bearcats have the edge in almost every category except passing and scoring offense. They are the 44th ranked total offense, 32nd rushing, 64th passing and 47th scoring. And they are one of the more efficient teams at 32nd. Duke's offense focuses on passing as they are 32nd in the nation. But, they are just 64th in total, 107th rushing and 46th in scoring.

Defensively is where we see larger differences. Cincy is 43rd, 28th, 74th and 12th in total, rush, passing and scoring defense. Not too shabby. Duke on the other hand is 105th, 103rd, 97th and 104th in the same categories. Comparing the defensive efficiency numbers we're looking at the 13th vs the 112th ranked defenses. That is a stark difference.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
I was a Bearcat in college. Not one of these Bearcats, but still a Bearcat. So there you go. Once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat.

The Vegas Edge:
Vegas has Cincy as a touchdown favorite in this game. The over/under is set at 60. Neither of these teams scream sure bet. The Bearcats at 8-4 ATS and Duke is 6-6 ATS. Looking deeper, Duke is just 2-5 ATS against winning teams and Cincy is 6-2 ATS in it's last 8 non-conference games. That starts to point you in the right direction.

The Sweatpants Verdict:
I think Cincinnati is the better football team in this game. Duke faded down the stretch going 1-4, where Cincy surged at 4-1. And once Duke hit conference play they went just 3-5, that's not so good. I do think there is a chance for points in this game if Duke can get it's passing game going, because they're certainly not going to stop Munchie and the Bearcat offense. Nothing about this games appeals to me, but since I have to make a pick, I will. I think the seven isn't enough points and Cincy will win by a couple scores.

Cincinnati 38 - 24

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