NCAAF Picks - Expect Thrilling Army-North Texas Rematch In Heart Of Dallas Bowl

North Texas Mean Green   player in action

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 2:36 PM GMT

Army plays North Texas (again) in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Both teams with combined 11-13 SU records get together December 27 at the Cotton Bowl Stadium. With the Mean Green getting blown out by an average of 21 ppg in their L5 games, is backing the Black Knights the logical pick here?

Army Black Knights vs North Texas Mean Green

Army (6-5 SU/ATS) and North Texas (5-7 SU, 6-5-1 ATS) meet at the Cotton Bowl Stadium (Grass) in Dallas for the Heart of Dallas Bowl in a matchup which already happened in the regular season, with North Texas winning 35-18 as Jeffrey Wilson and his electric boots had 160 yards and 3 rushing TDs in the rain as 17½-point underdogs. NCAAF odds have Army 9-point favorites with the total not up yet. The money line odds have the Black Knights healthy -345 chalks with the Mean Green +275.

Army Black Knights Key Players

Army and its triple-option offense is led by QB Ahmad Bradshaw and the Chicago native prefers running the pigskin to passing it like most Army QBs in days past and Andy Davidson gets the bulk of the carries. When the Black Knights do pass the football, 6-4 WR Edgar Poe is the main man but Army is 128th in total passing and can get in trouble if it falls behind as it did at North Texas. In this game, the Black Knight had more 1st downs, 15 more minutes time of possession and more total yards but still lost by 17 points and suffered from an embarrassing un-military-like 7 Turnovers. Yep, 7.

Andrew King and the Army Defense look incredible statistically but it's important to remember the Black Knights play a patchwork schedule of schools like Rice, UTEP, Wake Forest, North Texas, Morgan State, Buffalo, and Lafayette. Army is 7-22 ATS L29 after a Bye Week, 19-39-1 ATS L59 after SU Win and 5-2 ATS L7 Neutral Site games while the Under is 14-2 L16 Neutral Site, 20-7 the L27 after a Bye, 23-7 the L30 vs. a Team With Winning Record and the Under is 9-4 L13 Black Knight games overall.

North Texas Mean Green

The sputtery North Texas Offense is led by QB Mason Fine (Questionable), but the Mean Green signal caller is suffering from a shoulder injury but will have time to heal with the game almost three weeks away still. The Mean Green's leading rusher is the aforementioned Wilson who Army won't let run wild like the first meeting but the Confidence gleaned from that individual as well as that North Texas team performance should help the Conference USA side in this spot.

WR Thaddeous Thompson (40 receptions, 524 yards, 2 TDs) is the top North Texas receiver while Nate Brooks (4 Interceptions) spearheads the Mean Green Defense.

Final Thoughts

The Dallas Site should give some small theoretical edge to North Texas here, but it's hard to imagine the attendance large enough to really help the Mean Green. This is as good of a season as Army has had and proudly seeing their fellow soldiers end it with a rare Bowl win—this is Army's first Bowl game in 20 years—sort of even gives the Black Knights some sentimental edge larger than any Lone Star State Site. And remember, North Texas is a 5-7 football team.

One common opponent, UTEP, was buried by Army, 66-14 while North Texas got drilled by the Miners, 52-14 (NT -4). So schizophrenia runs deep in the lower ranks of the FBS and sometimes tossing all this crap (numbers) out may be a handicapper's best bet. Although not out yet, the total may be worth a look Under with the 4 of 5 Black Knights Road games going Under this season and Army remembering those 7 TO's in the first meeting. Their mindset may be not to get behind, and that a very defensive way to play the game of football.

Predicted Final Score: Army 26 North Texas 22

Free NCAAF Pick: North Texas +10

Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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