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2009 Hawaii Bowl – SMU vs. Nevada

2009 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl – SMU Mustangs vs. Nevada Wolfpack

SMU Mustangs (7-5 SU, 6-5 ATS) vs. Nevada Wolfpack (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS)
Thursday, December 24 – 8:00 p.m.
College Football Bowl Betting Odds: Nevada -14, Total Points 73

Here are some bowl game betting trends which may impact this game:

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SMU: 22-3 SU in their last 25 games
SMU: 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games
SMU: The total has gone UNDER in 7 of their last 9 games
Nevada: 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games
Nevada: 8-1 SU in their last 9 games
Nevada: The total has gone OVER in 5 of their last 7 games

Folks, if high-scoring offenses and questionable defenses are the way you prefer your football, than this is the game for you. There simply will not be a more exciting game this bowl season than when two of college football’s most potent offenses get together on Christmas Eve.

Let’s start with Nevada Wolpak. They are a statistical anomaly this year, and did several things that we’ve never seen before in the college game. For starters, they rank No. 1 in college football in rushing yardage, No. 2 in total yardage and No. 5 in scoring offense. Oh, and did I mention that they also became the only team in the history of college football with three 1,000 yard rushers?!?!

The Wolfpack don’t just put up points, they do so in bunches, having scored at least 31 points in their last nine games, topping 60 points three times and hitting 70 points against Idaho earlier in the year. Nevada is literally the type of team that can score on any single play from scrimmage.

Not to be outdone, June Jones has brought his highly successful run-and-shoot offense to SMU Mustang, after years of success in Hawaii (where Jones will be making his return in this game). While the numbers don’t tell the entire story, the Mustangs did have the No. 28 passing attack in college football, and came on strong of late winning four of their last five games. During that streak of games Kyle Padron stepped in for Bo Mitchell, and SMU hasn’t looked back.

So now that we know both these offenses can score, will anybody stop the other team? Your guess is as good as mine. Especially when breaking down the stats. SMU has just the 88th ranked run defense in college football, and is ranked 90th in points allowed. However, Nevada has the 119th ranked pass defense, an ominous sign if I’ve ever seen one. In other words, both team’s strengths on offense, play right into the other teams weakness.

Again, the busiest guy in this game will be the scoreboard operator. But in the end, I think that SMU covers the college football betting odds. While both teams have played well of late, Jones is one of the truly underrated coaches in the sport, and has his Mustangs rolling into their first bowl game in two decades. Even though Nevada will put a lot of points, let me repeat, A LOT of points, they will also give up quite a few as well.

Because of that, take Nevada to win straight up, but take SMU getting two touchdowns in the Hawaiian islands.

Winning Pick: SMU +14

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