Troy & North Texas Kick Off Bowl Season in New Orleans

new orleans bowl 2

Willie Bee

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 1:07 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 1:07 PM GMT

Former conference rivals boot the bowl schedule off on Dec. 16 with Troy a light favorite on the NCAA football odds against the North Texas Mean Green.

NCAAF Season Record: 41-48-6 (-8.30)

Free NCAAF Pick: Under 60Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Troy Trojans vs. North Texas Mean Green

If credit card bills are beginning to mount up from Christmas shopping, that must mean the college bowl season is upon us. Before we get to the real meat of the bowls, we have to wade through some of the minor postseason matchups like the one we get Dec. 16 in Crescent City where the Troy Trojans take on the North Texas Mean Green.

The 1 PM (ET) boot at Mercedes-Benz Superdome pits former league foes now representing the Sun Belt and Conference USA, and it’s the Trojans carrying the first chalk line of the bowl season at -5½. After starting the scoreboard mark at 61½, BetOnline has the scoreboard mark at an even 60 with signs it could drop even more.

Neither School A Stranger To NOLA Bowl

It’s Troy’s second consecutive bowl appearance and fourth trip to the New Orleans Bowl. The Trojans are also looking for their first-ever 11-win season after sharing the Sun Belt title this year with a 7-1 league mark. Their only real stumble came in a 19-8 loss to rival South Alabama in October when the Trojans were favored by 19 in a turnover marred contest. Neal Brown’s troops relied on a strong run defense that ranked 14th in the country (114.7 ypg), that unit behind nine of their 12 games sending ‘under’ bettors back to the pay window.

North Texas is making its fifth New Orleans Bowl appearance after appearing here 4 straight years from 2001-04 when the Mean Green were in the midst of 26 straight Sun Belt wins. Seth Littrell’s lads had a shot at their first C-USA title this season before running into Florida Atlantic last week and being overpowered by the Owls as 10½-point underdogs on the NCAA football odds. The Mean Green were without top tailback Jeffrey Wilson in that contest, and the senior’s status remains up in the air for this clash.

Rivalry Trends, Final Thoughts & Free Pick

It has been five years since the schools last met on the gridiron, but there is a decent amount of history between the teams from when both resided in the Sun Belt. Most of the history belongs in the win column of the Trojans, who have won eight of the 10 matchups, including that 2012 conflict in Denton where Troy posted a 14-7 decision as 1-point chalk. That one never got even remotely close to a 58½-point total to stop a string of three consecutive ‘under’ winners.

Being this far out from kickoff, the good news is we don’t have to concern ourselves with the weather since it will be played indoors. Both teams have shown signs of being susceptible to the pass, but I’ll be banking on the total not being breached with my free college football pick.

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