Saturday, January 8, 2011

Boston College - Nevada Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Prediction

The Eagles and Wolfpack play Sunday Night in the appetizer to the BCS Championship Game on Monday in the appropriately named Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.  If these two teams ever dreamed of lining up on the same sideline in a football game then their dream has come true in 'frisco.  

When: Sun 9 PM ET
Where: 'Frisco, CA
Line: Nev -7.5 (open -9.5)

Through the Cotton Bowl, I am 23-8 in bowl games including an 8-4 mark in ACC and SEC games.

Here are the three main areas I look at when making my bowl picks.

Who Has The Better Team?
Nevada at 12-1 ranks 18th in the Sagarin ratings despite the 86th ranked strength of schedule.  They faced just one top 30 team all year (Boise St).

BC ranked 54th in the latest Sagarin facing the 59th ranked schedule.

Nevada scored 43 points per game and averages 536 yards per game ranking near the top nationally in rushing offense with 307 on the ground.  BC is much less potent on offense scoring just 19 ppg and gaining 313, but the the Eagles also do it mostly on the ground averaging 138 yards per game behind Montel Harris.

Where the Eagles have excelled is on defense giving up 20 ppg and 303 ypg.

The crux of this game will be BC's rush defense giving up just 73 ypg against the pistol offense of Nevada.
Edge: Nevada

Which Team Will Be Better Prepared?
As many games as he has won at Nevada, Chris Ault is just 1-6 in bowl games losing his last four.  Nevada has been favored in their last two bowls.

Frank Spaziani is 1-1 in bowl games at BC.
Edge: Slight Boston College

Which Team Is More Motivated?
The Eagles won their final five games to become bowl eligible, but find themselves in the same spot as last year where they lost to USC (yes the Trojans were in this bowl last year)

Nevada won its final six games and found itself on top of the college football world after their improbable upset of Boise State Thanksgiving weekend.  Now the Wolfpack find themselves in a lower tier bowl game.
Edge: Even

Prediction
Nevada 31 Boston College 17
Confidence: 29

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