Free Taxslayer Bowl Prediction: Yellow Jackets vs Wildcats Odds
Looking for Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Kentucky Wildcats free picks? Taxslayer Bowl betting sees the Yellow Jackets taking on the Wildcats Saturday, December 31st at the Everbank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions.
2016 Taxslayer Bowl
(8-4) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Kentucky Wildcats (7-5)
Date: Saturday, December 31st
Time: 11:00 am EST
Venue: Everbank Field in Jacksonville, Florida
NCAA Football Spread: Yellow Jackets -3
NCAA Betting Total: 60.5
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This matchup between two run heavy offenses will feature units that combine to average nearly 500 rushing yards per game.
Kentucky is one of the SEC’s surprises from this season and they capitalized on some other teams in the conference having down years.
Georgia Tech on the flipside capitalized on some weak non-conference opponents as well as some strong road performances to work their way to an 8-4 record.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
The Yellow Jackets won their last 3 including impressive road wins at Georgia and Virginia Tech.
The make-or-break for Georgia Tech every year is their rushing attack and this year, the attack worked very well for most of the season.
After last season’s disappointing 3-9 campaign, quarterback Justin Thomas led them back to their 2014 form when they went 11-3 including an Orange Bowl victory.
While this team isn’t quite as good as the 2014 squad, Thomas’s play has been almost as good and that has been the difference.
In 2014, Thomas rushed for 1086 yards and 8 touchdowns while throwing for 1719 yards and 18 more.
Last season, those numbers dipped as Thomas averaged only 3.4 yards per carry and threw 8 interceptions with only 13 passing touchdowns.
This season, Thomas is completing his highest percentage of passes in his career while bringing his yards per carry up to 4.4 and only throwing 2 interceptions on the season.
Expect Thomas to try to end his nice career on a positive note while using his experience to take advantage of a Kentucky team playing in their first bowl game since 2010.
Kentucky may not have the bowl experience or pedigree that Georgia Tech is carrying, they have Stanley Williams and Benny Snell, Jr – arguably the best running back duo in the nation.
Both backs exceeded the 1000 yard mark for the season while combining for 20 rushing touchdowns between the two of them.
They led the way for an offensive unit that ran the ball nearly twice as much as they threw it and averaged 5.5 yards per carry – even though it was clear their plan was to run it down your throat.
What stopped Kentucky from being even better this season was their defense. They allowed 31.2 points per game and were particularly poor against the run.
That could present some problems against a Georgia Tech offense that relies more than Kentucky does on the run game.
Kentucky allowed 225 rushing yards per game this season. Given, that was against the tough rushing offenses in the SEC.
But still, this game will feature lots of runs for both teams and it will come down to who can get red zone stops and force field goal attempts.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Over is 11-1 in Kentucky’s last 12 non-conference games.
- Over is 8-3-1 in Georgia Tech’s last 12 non-conference games.
Free Taxslayer Bowl NCAA Football Prediction
I think both teams are going to have a tough time stopping each other’s rushing attacks. But, rushing attacks burn the clock so it will take some big plays for this game to go over the total.
I will expect by the second half both teams will be breaking off those big plays.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: OVER 60.5
I think the leadership and experience of Thomas and some of Georgia Tech’s other veterans will prove to be the difference. Neither defense has been great so it will come down to which offense makes the fewest mistakes.
I like that to be Georgia Tech in a relatively high scoring affair.
Taxslayer Bowl Free Score Prediction: Georgia Tech 38 – Kentucky 34
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