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SMU vs. Pittsburgh 2012 BBVA Compass Bowl Predictions / Preview

BBVA Compass Bowl- SMU Mustangs vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

The SMU Mustangs, out of Conference-USA tangle with the Big East’s Pittsburgh Panthers this upcoming Saturday in the BBVA Compass Bowl from Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

Date/Time: Saturday, Jan. 7    1 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Legion Field, Birmingham, AL.
Broadcast: ESPN
Mustangs at Panthers by BetOnline.com
Point spread: Panthers -3.5
Over/Under: 47

The game is slated to kick-off at 1 p.m. and it will be broadcast on ESPN.

SMU stumbled down the stretch with just two straight-up wins in its last six games and a 0-6 record against the spread. It did manage to close-out the regular season with a 27-24 victory over Rice as a 13-point home favorite. It went 7-5 SU overall and 4-8 ATS and the total stayed ‘under’ in eight of the 12 games.

The Mustangs’ offense finished the year ranked 22nd in the nation in passing with an average of 277.8 yards per game. J.J. McDermott completed just under 60 percent of his passes and was intercepted 16 times, but he did throw for 3,182 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Pittsburgh needed a 33-20 victory over Syracuse as an eight-point home favorite in its season finale just to become eligible for a bowl game. It finished the season a disappointing 6-6 SU and 7-5 ATS overall, but did go 5-0 ATS in its final five games. The total stayed ‘under’ in seven of its 12 games this season.[soliloquy id=”82219″]

The Panthers struggled on offense across the board this season with a passing game that was ranked 75th in Division I-A and a ground game that was ranked 68th. This resulted in an average of just 25.8 points a game to go along with a defense that gave-up an average of 22.4 points a game.

SMU is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games as an underdog and 1-4 ATS in its last five non-conference games. The total has stayed ‘under’ in its last five games as an underdog.

Pittsburgh is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games against a team with a winning record and 4-0 ATS in its last four games following an ATS win. The total has stayed ‘under’ in its last five bowl games.

There is a chance that this could be Pitt’s last game as a member of the Big East, given the school’s decision to move to the ACC, so stick with the Panthers to defend the pride of a tarnished major conference with a victory that covers the 3.5 points.

The Pick: Pittsburgh 28      SMU 23

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