1-1 now after a nice, lopsided SU and ATS win for the Dawgs last night. Wasn’t the nailbiter I was expecting, but you woulnd’t have caught me complaining. Today marks the first time we have more than one bowl being played during our 11 Days of Bowling feature, but I’ll just be covering one, because I’ve been having connectivity issues on the road. I also simply didn’t have the strength to do any research for the UCLA-Temple game, but, nevertheless, frump it here for a quick gaze into what Frumpzilla’s crystal ball holds for Miami and Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl. ESPN, 8:00 pm ET.
Current Line: Miami -3.5, O/U 57
Very evenly mathced game here that features one of the more prolific passers in the country, in Miami’s Jacory Harris, set off by the ground force that is Big 10 Player of the Year John Clay. These teams are scary close on paper, Frumpsters. Miami is averaging 31.7 points a game while allowing 22.3; Wisconsin is putting up 32.8 and giving up 22.4. How about yardage, you ask? The Hurricanes go for about 413 per, while Bucky and the Badgers are piling up 416. On the other side of the ball, there’s an 11 yard difference between the two defenses, advantage a Wisconsin D allowing 310 yards per game, and just 90 of those coming on the ground. Like I said, kinda scary. Good news is that we should expect a really good, closely fought ACC-Big 10 challenge tonight, of sorts.
Vegas history gives us a bit more in this game compared to the past couple days, but still not much. The Canes and Badgers, while both 9-3 SU, are just 6-6 and 5-6 ATS this year, respectively. There isnj’t much of an angle on the Total front either. I did find this interesting, however: This year Wisconsin is just 1-3 ATS when playing a team with a winning record, and actually a lousy 5-14 over the last three years.
Also of note is the fact that the Badgers don’t seem to fare particularly well ATS on grass for some reason, going just 2-10 over the past three seasons. Maybe not the strongest trends I’ve ever seen, certainly not a lock, but I’m gonna go ahead and give this one Frump’s paw stamp of approval. ATS Edge: Miami (barely).
LT Jason Fox not being there to protect Harris’ blind side tonight is a bit worrisome, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Jacory, despite his many positives, has some lapses that move him out of that tie he’s currently in for most Int’s in college football. Overall, however, I think the Canes have enough, including what is arguably a substantial “home field” advantage (Miami to Orlando isn’t quite Madison to Orlando, after all), to squeak one out here.
Whatever you do, don’t expect a repeat of Wisconsin’s trip to the same bowl last year, which saw them get hammered by Miami’s ACC cohort, Florida State, 42-13. Assuming the Badgers can get Clay going for at least some semblance of what produced over 1,300 yards and 16 TD’s for him this year, this one could be closer to an instant classic. Both of these teams finished the year very strong, winning 4 of 5 each, and I expect that momentum to carry over tonight. Miami covers (barely), and if totals are more your thing, just note that the Canes and Badgers have hit the over in 7 of their last 10 combined games.