Heart of Dallas Bowl: UNLV vs. North Texas

Jeff Grant

Friday, January 3, 2014 2:00 PM GMT

The North Texas Mean Green and UNLV Runnin’ Rebels are both ecstatic about their postseason draw, which could lead to a competitive game in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.Let’s take a closer look at the college football betting lines.

Properly motivated

North Texas finished the 2013 college football regular season with an 8-4 SU record, including wins in six of its final seven games.

Mean Green head coach Dan McCarney was a little concerned about this locker room being motivated for this game due to remaining in the Lone Star State, but a poll of his seniors clearly demonstrated that it won’t be an issue.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 12-2 SU and 10-4 ATS as a favorite in the college football odds, with the UNDER going 10-3-1 in that situation.

Finishing with a flourish

UNLV scored 86 combined points in winning its final two games of the season against San Diego State and Air Force, which helped the school secure its first bowl bid in 13 years.

The Runnin’ Rebels have 10 players returning to their home state for this affair, including star running back Tim Cornett and wide receiver Devante Davis.

College football handicappers will find that the team is 1-4 SU and 3-2 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points since the 2011 campaign.

College Football Bowl Picks & Predictions

Defending the run

The Mean Green finished the regular season ranked 18th in the country in rush defense—allowing just 125.1 yards per game.

It’s important to point out that the Runnin’ Rebels surrendered an average of nearly 100 yards more than that figure (221.8), while allowing opponents to run for 25 touchdowns.

Capable signal-callers

Sports bettors may find some value in playing the OVER in this matchup, considering both teams possess capable quarterbacks.

North Texas signal-caller Derek Thompson ranks second on the school’s all-time list with 7,191 career passing yards, while UNLV’s Caleb Herring threw for 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Runnin’ Rebels, as I developed a handicapper line favoring the Mean Green by 3.5 points, which provides the underdog three points of value. Let's take the Runnin' Rebels for our college football picks.

College Football Pick:  UNLV Runnin’ Rebels +6.5

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