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2009 Music City Bowl: Kentucky vs Clemson Preview/Pick

College Bowl Picks – Kentucky vs. Clemson in the Music City Bowl

Kentucky Wildcats (8-4 SU, 6-5 ATS) vs. Clemson Tigers (8-5 SU, 7-5 ATS)

Sunday, December 28: 8:30 p.m.
College Bowl Picks Betting Odds: Clemson -7 ½, Total Points 52 ½

Here are some college football betting trends which may impact this game:

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Kentucky: 2-1 ATS in their last 3 games
Kentucky: 5-2 SU in their last 7 games
Kentucky: The total has gone OVER in 3 of their last 4 games
Clemson: 0-3 ATS in their last 3 games
Clemson: 6-2 SU in their last 8 games
Clemson: The total has gone OVER in their last 5 games

Two teams that exceeded expectations this year will take the field for a rare Sunday night college football game, when the Kentucky Wildcats and Clemson Tigers get to get together in the Music City Bowl just a few days after Christmas.

For Clemson, they were just one game away from winning the ACC Championship, but because of bowl politicking now find themselves headed to Nashville. They are led by one of the most versatile and dynamic players in the sport, senior running back C.J. Spiller. Spiller literally scored a touchdown every way you can this season, rushing for 11, catching four, throwing for one, and also returning kicks and punts for scores. He is joined by freshman quarterback Kyle Parker, who really matured as the season went on. Parker, who also plays on Clemson’s baseball team, threw for 2385 yards this year as well as 19 touchdowns. Like many freshmen though, he got a little turnover happy, tossing 12 interceptions as well.

As for Kentucky, this will be the fourth straight bowl game for a team that hadn’t gone to one for decades before 2006. The Wildcats have overcome some tough injuries to get to an impressive seven wins, including victories over Georgia and Auburn, and a near miss against Tennessee as well.

On offense, the Wildcats are led by quarterback Morgan Newton, who was forced into action in replacement of the injured Mike Hartline. Newton completed just 54 percent of his passes on the year, but doesn’t make many mistakes, throwing just three interceptions in 2009. His top playmaker is Randall Cobb, a receiver who’ll lineup in the backfield and play running back as well, and even occasionally comes in as a Wildcat quarterback.

Defensively, the Wildcats might struggle to compensate for Spiller, as they had just the 100th ranked run defense in college football, allowing 183 yards per game. However, it is important to keep in mind that the Wildcats faced many of the top runners in the sport, such as Tim Tebow at Florida, Anthony Dixon at Mississippi State and Montario Hardesty from Tennessee, not to mention potential Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. Is their rushing defense that bad, or the competition they played that good?

While on paper, Clemson seems to be the safe pick, I’m going to go ahead and select the Wildcats. They really were one of the more underrated teams in the sport this season, and their seven wins were impressive considering their deteriorating health all season long. Also, had they played in a different conference, it seems not only possible, but probable they would have exceeded those seven victories.

Clemson is where the public money will go, but don’t be fooled. You want the Wildcats during this bowl season’s college football odds.

College Bowl Pick: Kentucky +7 ½

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