The Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas pits Northwestern against the
Texas A&M Aggies at 12:00pm ET on New Year’s Eve. The College football odds
makers have the Aggies favored by 10 with the total sitting at 66.
5* graded play on Texas A&M as they take on Northwestern in
the Menace Car Care Bowl of Texas set to start at 12:00 PM ET, December 31,
2011. This bowl features two 6-6 record teams, but Texas A&M had much
higher expectations for their season. Northwestern had a solid season, but was
3-5 in Big Ten conference play. Texas A&M played a more difficult schedule
and went 4-5 in the Big-12.
College football betting line
The college football odds for this bowl game opened with Texas
A&M installed as an 11 point favorite with normal 10% juice. Bets are
steadily building in support of Northwestern and have brought the line down to its
current price of Texas A&M favored by 10 -110 at the majority of shops. I
liked Texas A&M at -11 so clearly anything south of ten points is a great
number to bet.
The Total opened at 65 points -110 and has drifted to 65 ½
points. There are a few shops showing a 66 point total line. Better than 75% of
all bets are being made on the ‘over’ and this is the extreme level of public
betting frenzy that triggers a contrarian play. As we know, you want to be, in
most games, on the side of the book and away from the public when these
extremes are hit. If these betting levels are sustained or increase I will more
than likely have the potential for a 10* or greater play on the ‘under’ For now,
there is no play on the total, but check back at the College Football thread for any updates on this and all
My proprietary sports betting database and simulator show a
high probability that Texas A&M will win this game by 11 or more points.
The simulator further shows that Texas A&M will gain better than 500 total
offensive yards and will average 6.5 or more yards per play. In past games
where Northwestern allowed these levels of offensive prowess they have posted
an 0-1 ATS mark this season, 1-4 ATS the past three seasons, and 15-33 ATS
since 1992 when they have allowed 6.5 yards per play; 2-4 ATS this season, 3-10
ATS the past three seasons, and 19-38 ATS since 1992 when they have allowed 6.5
or more yards per play.
Texas A&M has posted a 3-1 ATS mark this season, 10-2 ATS the
past three seasons, and 40-12 ATS since 1992 when they have gained 6.5 yards
per play in past games;
Strength of schedule
These two teams may be equal with 6-6 records, but that is the
only thing equal in this football game. The strength of schedule
was significantly more difficult for the Aggies than the Wildcats. The Wildcats
lost five straight games between September 17 and October 22 and covered just
one of them ATS. They went on to win four of the last five just to become bowl
Northwestern had an ugly 21-14 loss at Army installed as 5 ½
point favorites September 17. Their best win was at Nebraska where they shocked
the Cornhuskers 28-25 installed as 17 ½ point dogs. Two of the four final wins
were against arguably two of the worst teams in the FBS. The Wildcats defeated
Rice 28-6 and covered ATS as 16 ½ point favorites. They also defeated Minnesota
28-13, but failed to cover the 16 ½ point spread. More alarming is that they
were out played in the stats by the Gophers and yielded 269 rushing yards on 51
Texas A&M covered only three games this season, attributed to
big preseason expectations. They had two 4-game ATS losing streaks and one
3-game winning streak and one 3-game losing streak. They capped the
disappointing season losing to Texas 27-25 installed as 7 ½ point favorites.
The Aggies biggest win came with a 55-28 blowout of Baylor and easily covered
the eight point spread October 15.
They enter this bowl losers of four of the last five games, but
were in some unmanageable situations. They lost in OT 38-31 at home to Missouri, installed as 10 point favorites. Not surprisingly they fell flat to Oklahoma
41-25 and failed to cover as 14 point
dogs November 5. Piling on the troubles was the following week where they lost
in four overtimes at Kansas State 53-50 and failed to cover as 5 ½ point
favorites. That was enough misery for the Aggies as they came out and smoked
Kansas 61-7 November 19.
So, although they ended on such a low note, I believe the time
off to get healthy and knowing full well they are the superior team in this
matchup will have the team motivated to play a very strong game.
Texas A&M is getting some great news with their leading
running back Cyrus Gray upgraded to probable for this bowl game. He is 5-10 and
200 pounds and has that rare combination of elite quickness and dominating
power. He is playing his last game as an Aggie, being a senior, and I believe
will be a strong player on Sundays.
The Aggie offensive line has a significant advantage against the
undersized Northwestern defensive front. Texas A&M runs one of the best
balanced offenses in the country and this will be nearly impossible for the
Wildcats to defend. If Northwestern has to bring a safety to help stop the
running game, then the play action pass will lead to big gain plays and scores.
Take Texas A&M