Music City Bowl: Momentum Gives Edge to Louisville Over Texas A&M

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, December 17, 2015 2:39 PM GMT

Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015 2:39 PM GMT

Our handicapping professional does an early breakdown of the Music City Bowl matchup between Louisville and Texas A&M. Go inside to find out what his college football pick is.

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College Football Pick: Louisville PK
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Louisville vs. Texas A&M  7:00PM  ET
In yet another meeting of ACC and SEC teams this 2015 Bowl season, we find the Louisville Cardinals matching up with the Texas A&M Aggies. This matchup is in the Music City Bowl at LP Field in Nashville, TN. Louisville of the ACC and Texas A&M of the SEC meet for this 7:00 ET kick. 

 

Betting Preview 
This is the 6th consecutive Bowl appearance for Louisville and 2nd straight in the return of HC Bobby Petrino, who also led the Cards for 4 years in the early party of the millennium. For Texas A&M, under 4th year HC Sumlin, this is their 7th consecutive Bowl game. In the 3 years under Sumlin, the Aggies are a perfect 3-0 SU (2-1 ATS),including a (45-37) win over WVU last year as 3 point underdog. Last year’s Bowl action for the Cards witnessed them losing (37-14) to Georgia.

At this writing, QB Kyle Allen is expected to miss the game vs. Louisville. He is expected to be replaced by QB Murray, who has been upgraded to the starter. In the 4 previous seasons under HC Sumlin, the Aggies were known as an explosive offensive team. They averaged over 40 PPG combined in those 4 seasons. This year, their output slipped to 28/423. Great improvement, however, came with the hiring of former LSU DC Chavis. The Aggies went from allowing 28/451 to just 21/367 on the stop end. The results, however, were similar with an 8-4 SU regular season. The 4 losses were to Alabama, Ole Miss, Auburn and a season-ending defeat by a score of 19-7 to Louisville. Their quality wins came in the first 5 weeks of the season against Arizona St., Arkansas and Mississippi St. The 3-4 SU, 1-6 ATS finish was most disappointing.  Now, a season which had much promise with 15 returning starters must be saved by this Bowl victory. 

For Louisville, only 11 starters dotted the roster at the beginning of 2015. In the previous 2 seasons, 8 Louisville players went into the first 3 rounds of the NFL draft.  Last year, they lost 10 players to the NFL. In the face of those losses, a drop in wins from 12 to 9 to 7 (this year) in the previous 3 seasons was to be expected. The offensive and defensive numbers each declined a bit. Among their 5 losses were a 0-3 SU start against Auburn, Houston and Clemson. Following that shaky start, the Cards went 7-2 SU, but only 4-5 ATS with their lone defeats coming against Florida St. and Pitt.  Only a victory vs. NC State could be considered a quality win. This Bowl game will provide plenty of opportunity for extra practices and be used for a springboard into next season.

 

Final Analysis 
I see a picture of 2 teams headed opposite directions with a young Louisville team continuing their growth throughout the season, while the Aggies underperform expectations. Let’s follow that momentum by putting the college football odds in our favor with my college football pick with Louisville in this year’s Music City Bowl.

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