Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green in Little Ceasars Pizza Bowl

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 8:41 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 8:41 PM UTC

Bowling Green is going bowling for a second straight season, the Falcons face the Pittsburgh Panthers at the Little Caesars Bowl. Kickoff at Ford Field in Detroit will come a little past 6 PM (ET), let's take a look at who the handicappers and making our college football picks for this bowl game.
<p style="text-align:center"> <style type="text/css"><!-- br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;} --></style> <span style="font-size:13px;font-family:arial,sans,sans-serif;color:#000000;text-align:left"></span></p> <p>Whether you believe <st1:state>Oklahoma</st1:state> or Clemson benefitted the most, at least one of those schools, along with their respective conferences, owes the Bowling Green Falcons a little love this holiday season. After all, the Falcons have already played the role of Secret Santa to the Sooners or the Tigers.</p> <p>Much of the nation will have forgotten how Dave Clawson's crew helped shape this year's BCS Bowl lineup, and ESPN's announcers will no doubt remind the audience of just how a second team from the Big 12 or ACC made it to their BCS Bowl payout.</p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">The opening spread was -5.5 in favor of the Falcons, and we're already seeing some 6's on </span><a style="font-size:1em" target="_blank" title="Live college football odds for all the bowl games" href="/betting-odds/college-football/">the college football odds</a><span style="font-size:1em"> board.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">It's the fourth time Pitt and BGSU have met on the gridiron, all three of the previous meetings taking place in the last 14 years.</span> <span style="font-size:1em">The Panthers won and covered the first two as favorites of around a touchdown, but the Falcons grabbed the win and cash in the most recent clash.</span> <span style="font-size:1em">Getting 14 on the road in </span><st1:placename style="font-size:1em">Iron</st1:placename><span style="font-size:1em"> </span><st1:placetype style="font-size:1em">City</st1:placetype><span style="font-size:1em">, </span><st1:city style="font-size:1em">Bowling Green</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em"> rallied from a 14-zip deficit for a 27-17 triumph in both teams' 2008 season opener.</span></p> <p><b style="font-size:1em">Panthers Eager To Avoid 3rd-Straight Losing Season</b></p> <p><img style="font-size:1em" src="/picks-pictures/pittpanth.jpg" class="imgSelectedPicture article-image" alt="Image preview" id="ctl00_head_ArticleAdministrator_picturePreview_imgSelectedPicture" />Paul Chryst is taking the Panthers to the second straight bowl on his watch, and sixth straight postseason game overall, the last three having been at the BBVA Compass Bowl. <st1:city>Pittsburgh</st1:city> (6-6 straight up, 4-8 against the spread) lost that bowl rather handily the last two years, to Ole Miss and SMU, to finish those seasons with 6-7 marks.</p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">The Panthers reach Motown <a target="_blank" title="Read our preview and picks from their loss to Miami during that losing streak" href="/college-football/free-picks/college-football-pick-miami-vs-pittsburgh-a-35296/">having dropped four of their last six</a> games to finish sixth in the ACC's Coastal Division, their first campaign in the conference.</span> <span style="font-size:1em">Pitt reached bowl eligibility by the skin of its teeth, a 17-16 win at </span><st1:place style="font-size:1em">Syracuse</st1:place><span style="font-size:1em"> on Nov. 23 to get that sixth victory.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">A big part of Pitt's pedestrian record during the regular season was a rather mediocre offense.</span> <span style="font-size:1em">Ho-hum is probably the best way to describe the unit led by senior QB Tom Savage.</span> <span style="font-size:1em">Isaac Bennett and James Conner combined to rush for more than 1,360 yards, and freshman Tyler Boyd just got over the 1,000 yard receiving mark, but it remains an unspectacular offense.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">That offense could be missing a couple of key pieces for this game.</span><st1:street style="font-size:1em"> Devin Street</st1:street><span style="font-size:1em">, second on the team with 54 catches and 854 receiving yards, has an elbow injury and is listed as questionable, as is starting left tackle Adam Bisnowaty who missed the final two games with a bad back.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center"><span style="font-size:1em"><i><a href="http://www.sportsbookreview.com/" title="Shop around for the bookie that fits your needs" target="_blank">Check out SBR's sportsbook reviews today!</a></i><br /></span></p> <p><b style="font-size:1em">Falcons Close Season On High Note</b></p> <p><st1:city><img style="font-size:1em" src="/picks-pictures/bowlinggggg.jpg" class="imgSelectedPicture article-image" alt="Image preview" id="ctl00_head_ArticleAdministrator_picturePreview_imgSelectedPicture" />Bowling Green</st1:city> got off to a 5-1 start to the season, and 3-0 in conference, but a setback at home to <st1:place>Toledo</st1:place> in late October appeared to put the Falcons (10-3 SU, 10-3 ATS) in a precarious position. They turned on the afterburners from that point on, however, winning and covering their last five capped by the <a target="_blank" title="Read our predictions for this game they were listed as underdogs for" href="/college-football/free-picks/pick-northern-illinois-3-over-bowling-green-friday-a-35582/">47-27 upset of previously unbeaten <st1:place>Northern Illinois</st1:place></a> in the MAC Championship. That derailed any hopes the Huskies had of a second straight BCS Bowl game, helping either <st1:place>Oklahoma</st1:place> or Clemson into the mix.</p> <p><st1:city style="font-size:1em">Clawson</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em"> and his staff have put together a very well-balanced team, ranking in the top 10 in total defense and fifth in fewest points allowed while the offense finished top 30 in yards and scoring.</span><span style="font-size:1em">Sophomore Matt Johnson has a solid offensive line in front of him, and one of the top running backs behind him in Travis Greene.  A sophomore himself, Greene rushed for 1,555 yards (10th in nation), reaching the 100-yard mark in each of BGSU's five victories to finish the season.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">There are rumors that </span><st1:city style="font-size:1em">Clawson</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em"> will interview this week for the </span><st1:place style="font-size:1em"><st1:placename>Wake</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>Forest</st1:placetype></st1:place><span style="font-size:1em"> job, so the Falcons could be facing the task of reshuffling the staff before taking on Pitt.</span> <span style="font-size:1em">That could deflect the spread away from </span><st1:place style="font-size:1em">Bowling Green</st1:place><span style="font-size:1em"> a bit so it's worth keeping an eye on, as are injury updates for Pitt.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">The uncertainty surrounding </span><st1:city style="font-size:1em">Clawson</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em"> concerns me; nonetheless, I'm going to get my <a target="_blank" title="Free college football picks for all the bowl games" href="/college-football/">free college football bowl picks</a> rolling with a play on </span><st1:city style="font-size:1em">Bowling Green</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em">.</span></p> <p><b style="font-size:1em">My pick:</b><span style="font-size:1em"> </span><st1:city style="font-size:1em">Bowling Green</st1:city><span style="font-size:1em"> -5.5</span></p> <p> <b>Reg. Season:</b> 31-15 (+14.5)</p> <p>[gameodds]6/252336/?r3=43-19-349/dec&amp;r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]</p>
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