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2010 Champs Sports Bowl: Wolfpack vs. Mountaineers Predictions

Champs Sports Bowl Preview- North Carolina State Wolfpack vs West Virginia Mountaineers

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Date/Time: Tuesday, Dec. 28   6:30 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Florida Citrus Bowl Orlando, FL.
Broadcast: ESPN
Wolfpack at Mountaineers Lines by SI
Pointspread: Mountaineers -2 ½
Over/Under: 48 ½

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The North Carolina State Wolfpack, out of the ACC will face the West Virginia Mountaineers from the Big East for the first time in over 30 years in the Champs Sports Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 28. Kickoff from the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando is set for 6:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.

North Carolina State still had a chance to play in the ACC title game right up until the final week of the regular season, but a 38-31 loss to Maryland as a one-point road favorite tip the scales in Florida State’s direction to capture the Atlantic Division. Regardless of the loss, the Wolfpack still have to be thrilled with this year’s turnaround after only winning five games last year.

They finished the 2010 season with an overall record of 8-4 straight-up and went 9-3 against the spread. NC State’s biggest wins included a 28-24 victory over the then-No.16 Seminoles as a 4 ½-point home underdog and a 29-25 win over North Carolina as a 2 ½-point road underdog to help finish with a 5-3 SU record in the conference.

The Wolfpack were led by a passing game that averaged 281.7 yards per game, which was ranked 19th in nation. They were also proficient at putting points of the board; averaging 32.6 points per game. QB Russell Wilson finished the year with 3,288 passing yards and 26 touchdown throws. WR Own Spencer led the team with 57 receptions for 868 yards. NFL Betting

West Virginia let a conference title slip through its hands as well with back-to-back losses to Syracuse and Connecticut. The Mountaineers lost to the Orange 19-14 as a 13 ½-point home favorite and dropped a 16-13 overtime decision to the Huskies as a 4 ½-point road favorite.

They did finish the season with four straight victories including a 35-10 win over archrival Pittsburgh as a three-point road underdog. West Virginia ended up 9-3 SU and 7-4-1 ATS. It did finish tied with UConn at 5-2 SU in Big East play, but the title and BCS bowl berth went to the Huskies because of the earlier head-to-head loss.

The strength of this Mountaineer team lies in a defense that knows how to keep teams out of the end zone. It finished the year ranked second in the country in points allowed; giving up an average of just 12.8 points per game. The offense was led by QB Gino Smith, who threw for 2,567 yards and 23 TD’s and RB Noel Devine, who ran for 886 yards on 201 carries.

Bowl Game Trends:

North Carolina State is 4-1 ATS in its last five games and the total stayed ‘under’ in four of these games as well.
West Virginia is 7-2-1 ATS in its last 10 games and the total has stayed ‘under’ in five of its last seven games overall.

This game will come down to the Mountaineers’ ability to slow down the Wolfpack on defense as well find a way to put some points on the board. They scored 35 or more points in three of their last four games and could very well need that many again to get a win in this one. The ‘over’ could be the best play in this game, but take the Wolfpack to come away with an outright win as well.

The Pick: North Carolina State +2 ½ and OVER

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David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.

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About Dave Schwab

David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog at www.eaglesinc.com. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.


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