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2012 New Era Pinstripe Bowl: West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Syracuse Orange Free Gambling Prediction & Preview

Mountaineers vs Orange NCAA Football Spread/Handicapping

Although West Virginia jumped ship to the Big 12 this season, a vintage Big East match-up takes place in the (new) House that Ruth Built after Christmas this bowl season with the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
West Virginia Mountaineers (7-5) vs. Syracuse Orange (7-5)
Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, 3:15 pm EST
Yankee Stadium, Bronx NY
Betting Information Courtesy Sportsbook.com
West Virginia -4, Syracuse +4
Over/Under: 73.5

ATS Matchup Stats | Gambling Insight!

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The clash in New York City pits Big East representative Syracuse against the Mountaineers, long a Big East power before moving to one of aspiring “superconferences.”

The Orange upset West Virginia in a Friday night game last season and one can only speculate what type of Mountaineers team will come to play at Yankee Stadium on the 29th. Earlier in the season, WVU looked near invincible, on the strength of QB Geno Smith’s unbelievably prolific passing attack and a 5-0 start.

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However, a subsequent five-game losing streak turned West Virginia’s first Big 12 campaign into an utter train wreck. It seemed like the Mountaineer defense got used to the offense scoring hordes of points and hence forgot how to do their job. When the vaunted WVU attack slowed down, the team was doomed. West Virginia finished the season ranked 116th out of 119 in the FBS in points allowed, yielding nearly 40 points per contest!

That is absurd no matter how you slice it. Surrendering nearly 40 points to Marshall and nearly 50 points to Texas Tech shouldn’t be happening to a team with elite aspirations.

Still, bowl viewers should keep an eye on the WR duo of Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin, which is one of the more compelling tandems in the country. They have combined for 2,760 receiving yards and 35 TDs.

Syracuse, long in the Big East basement, is improving into a contender in this limping AQ conference. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

The Orange finished a respectable 5-2 in Big East play in 2012 and are led by an excellent veteran QB in Ryan Nassib (3,619 passing yards, 24 TDs) and a duo of skill-position players in the form of RB Jerome Smith (broke the 1,000-yard barrier) and senior WR Alec Lemon.

Unlike the Mountaineers, the Orange have at times played some reasonable defense, though they’ll be hard-pressed to find an opposing offense as fast-paced as West Virginia’s.

The Mountaineers’ season was a lost cause and was surely disappointing for a Morgantown faithful flock that was hoping for a big splash in the inaugural Big 12 season.

Yet, WVU got its act together over the last two games of the season, and surely wants to finish on a positive note. It has been a nice story watching Syracuse’s gradual improvement into bowl eligibility and relevance, but I’ll predict that the West Virginia offensive scheme is just too wild to contain for the Orange, in their home state.

Score Prediction: West Virginia 48, Syracuse 35

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