Thursday, December 26, 2013

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2013: Little Caesar's Bowl

We're all getting "OOOHED" by watching this game.

The When/Where:
Little Caesars Bowl, Ford Field, Detroit, MI, December 26th 2013, 6:00 pm ET, ESPN

The Who:
Pittsburgh Panthers (6-6, 3-5 ACC) @ Bowling Green Falcons (10-3, 7-1 MAC)

The Why:
"The Pizza Pizza Bowl, as it's commonly called 'round these parts, typically gives us thrilling reruns of early season matches when they line up the number one team from the MAC and the number 8 team from the B1G. But this season, since the B1G sucked hairy donkey balls and the MAC produced a BCS team, we're seeing the seventh ranked MAC team and the fifth ranked Sun Belt team. Which actually, at first glance, looks like a pretty decent match up."

That's what I wrote last year. And simply replace the Sun Belt with a crappy ACC team (3-5? Hail Caesar!) and that statement rings true once again.

This marks the Falcons 11th bowl game all time. Where they have amassed a lack luster 4-6 record. As for the Panthers, this is their 30th bowl all-time (12-17) and their 6th in a row. It's also not a visit to the BBVA Compass bowl, where they have been the past three seasons.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:
Looking at the raw numbers this game appears to be a total mismatch. Pitt is the 104th ranked total offense, BG is 24th. Defense is the same story. BG is 8th ranked total defense and Pitt is 42nd. Pitt has the 113th ranked rush offense, BG is 34th.

But looking at the adjusted efficiency rankings the match up becomes more intriguing. The overall efficiency rankings for each are 41 for BG and 59th for Pitt. A little closer. Pitt is actually the higher ranked defense by this metric. But BG still is the better statistical offense.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
That brown and orange on Bowling Green is simply horrendous. I mean, yuck! Panthers all the way. 

The Vegas Edge:
Bowling Green -5.5, O/U 50

Pitt ATS is pretty much what they were straight up, 5-7. Bowling Green pretty much took care of business all season going 10-3 ATS. The under is going to be an attractive play here with these teams combining to go 9-16 to that side. The Falcons went 3-1 ATS when favored by less than 6.5, where Pitt went 2-1 ATS when the dog of the same spread. Pretty even.

The Sweatpants Verdict:
This line hasn't budged since open. Which makes sense, it's pretty fair. You never know how a MAC offense is going to do against an AQ school. The Falcons went 0-2 against the AQ schools this year (Indiana and Miss St). That said they were 6-2 against teams with losing or even records. What worries me is the loss of the head coach. This can often times go great (USC) or horribly wrong (Boise St). But since I must make a prediction, here we go. I actually like BG's defense to keep Pitt in check. Pitt's offense is pretty poor and they can't really run the ball. I think the Falcon's get it done by a touchdown they get off a turnover or something silly.

Bowling Green 24 - 17 

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