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Scott Spreitzer | today's note
Free Pick: North Carolina at Duke
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Tue, 12/31/13 - 4:00 PM King Creole | CFB Side
double-dime bet 244 Rice 7.0 (-110) Hilton vs 243 Mississippi St
Results: L, -$220
Analysis:
2** RICE OWLS plus the points (+7 or more) vs the Mississippi State Bulldogs / LIBERTY BOWL / #244 / 4:00pm ET - 1:00pm PT

One can almost make a case that the WRONG team is favored in this game between a 6-6 SEC team and a 10-3 CONFERENCE USA team. The favored Bulldogs were 'on the ropes' in late November with a 4-6 SU record. They had to win EACH of their last two games just to make themselves Bowl-eligible. They DID win those two games (by only 7 points each) over Arkansas and Mississippi. But this is a team that's historically a BAD favorite. And not only that, but when asked to step up their game (against fellow Bowlers), the Bulldogs have gone 4-18 SU and 6-16 ATS in the last three seasons. Mississippi State has also gone 7-22 ATS since 1995 as non-conference favorites of -6 > pts... including an almost-PERFECT 1-11 ATS mark when they are a .500 team or better. They've gone 0-2 ATS in their last two Bowl games. And as Bowl FAVS, they've gone a perfect 0-3 ATS when laying more than a field goal.

Meanwhile, the RICE OWLS have gone 2-0 ATS in their last two Bowl games. That includes a clear-cut 33-14 win last year over Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl. Rice easily dispatched Marshall in the recently-concluded Conference USA title game (on December 7th). In that game, the Owls were underdogs of +6.5 points... and won OUTRIGHT 41 to 24. They've also been one of the better underdogs in ALL of college football in the last 15+ seasons when playing off a win. RICE has gone 23-6 since 1996 as underdogs of+8 < pts off a SU win. That includes 13-1 ATS since 2003 in GAME FOUR or greater of a season. From a statistical standpoint, we're getting a FULL touchdown with the better overall offense... the better RUSHING offense... the better defense... and the better RUSHING defense.

Conference USA teams are currently enjoying great success in the Bowls. In the last 4 seasons, CUSA teams like RICE have gone 10-3-1 ATS in the Bowls. And since the 2008 season, CUSA Bowl underdogs of > 3 pts playing off a SU win (RICE) have gone 9-1 ATS.

As mentioned above, that last win for Rice (against Marshall in the Conf USA Championship Game) was as an UNDERDOG.
9-1 ATS since 1996: All BOWL underdogs of > 4 points playing off 3+ Su wins in a row (RICE)... if the last win was as an underdog.

We also ran a database query for .500 Bowl teams like Mississippi State.
1-7 ATS: All .500 Bowl favorites of -3 > pts (Miss St) playing off a SU win.

With this Liberty Bowl game being played in Memphis, the ONLY way to go is with the 'HOUND DOG'!

Pick Made: Dec 30 2013 2:06PM PST
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