College Football Belk Bowl Betting Picks: Cincinnati Bearcats vs Duke Blue Devils
2012 Belk Bowl
Thursday, December 27, 2012, 6:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Cincinnati Bearcats vs Duke Blue Devils
Bank of America Stadium – Charlotte, North Carolina
Opening Line: Cincinnati -10
Current Line: Cincinnati -7 (-115)
Opening Total: 58
Current Total: 60
Opening Money Line: Cincinnati -290 / Duke +240
Current Money Line: Cincinnati -290 / Duke +240
The 9-3 Cincinnati Bearcats take on the 6-6 Duke Blue Devils in the 2012 Belk Bowl in Charlotte. This would actually be one heck of a college basketball game, as both teams are undefeated this season. However, the two teams are playing in a mediocre college football bowl game. This is the first ever meeting in football between the two schools.
Duke is 3-5 all-time in bowl games. The Blue Devils haven’t played in a bowl since the 1995 Hall of Fame Bowl where they lost 34-20 to Wisconsin. Cincinnati is 7-6 all time in bowl games. They are playing in their 7th straight bowl game. The Bearcats beat Vanderbilt in the Liberty Bowl 31-24 last season.
Cincinnati coach Butch Jones left to become the head coach at Tennessee. Steve Stripling will be the interim coach for the bowl. Cincinnati hired Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville for next season
Cincinnati finished in a 4 way tie for the Big East title at 5-2 with Louisville, Rutgers, and Syracuse. Louisville won the tiebreaker and the Big East’s BCS bid by being the only team ranked in the BCS standings. The Bearcats started off the season 5-0 but went 4-3 down the stretch. Cincinnati did go 4-1 in the last 5 games including two wins in a row to end the season. The only losses for Cincinnati came at Toledo 29-23, Louisville 34-31 in overtime and 10-3 at home against Rutgers. All three losses were by a total of 16 points to teams that had at least 9 wins. The Bearcats have home wins over Pittsburgh 34-10, Delaware St 23-7, Virginia Tech 27-24 in Landover, Maryland, Miami-(OH) 52-14, Fordham 49-17, Syracuse 35-24, and South Florida 27-10, along with road wins at Temple 34-10 and Connecticut 34-17 to close out the regular season. The Bearcats are 8-3 ATS and the total is 5-5 this season.
Duke finished 3-5 in the ACC under David Cutcliffe, the ACC coach of the year. After a 6-2 start, the Blue Devils have lost 4 straight games to end the season. Duke has losses at Stanford 50-13, Virginia Tech 41-20, Florida St 48-7, and Georgia Tech 42-24, along with home losses to Clemson 56-20 and Miami-(FL) 52-45 to close out the regular season. Duke has home wins over Florida International 46-26, North Carolina Central 54-17, Memphis 38-14, Virginia 42-17, and North Carolina 33-30, along with a 34-27 road win over Wake Forest. Duke is 6-6 ATS and the total is 8-2-1 this season.
Cincinnati is averaging 430.8 yards per game on offense, including 231 passing yards and 199.8 rushing yards. The Bearcats are outscoring teams 31-17. The Bearcats are +5 in turnovers this season with 19 giveaways. They are averaging 53 penalty yards per game and have allowed 13 sacks. Cincinnati is 74/169 on third and fourth down conversions and 40/48 scoring in the red zone with 30 touchdowns. On defense, the Bearcats are allowing 373.8 yards per game, including 243.5 passing and 130.2 rushing yard. Cincinnati is #28 in rush defense and #12 in points allowed. The Bearcats have forced 24 turnovers and 31 sacks. Cincinnati opponents are 84/216 on third and fourth down conversions, and 24/34 scoring in the red zone with 14 touchdowns.
Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux has completed 120 of 230 passes (52.2%) for 1,716 yards with 13 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, along with 55 carries, 335 yards, and 4 touchdowns. He was benched with 4 games to go in the regular season in favor of back-up Brendon Kay. Kay has completed 70 of 113 passes (61.9%) for 966 yards with 6 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 38 carries, 220 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kay has 2 catches for 44 yards and a touchdown catch as well. Kay will start the bowl game.
Running back George Winn has 227 carries, 1,204 yards, and 12 touchdowns, along with 12 catches for 116 yards. He also has a touchdown pass Ralph Abernathy has 69 carries, 366 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 25 catches, 297 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Receiver Travis Kelce has 40 catches, 599 yards and 7 touchdowns. He also has a touchdown pass. Kenbrell Thompkins has 33 catches, 523 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Anthony McClung has 31 catches, 429 yards and a touchdown. Damon Julian has 27 catches, 377 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is questionable with an ankle injury. Danny Milligan has only 8 catches, but 2 of them went for touchdowns. No other Bearcat has more than 9 catches.
Duke is averaging 396.6 yards per game on offense, including 277.6 passing and 119 rushing yards. The Blue Devils are #32 in passing but #107 out of 124 teams in FBS. Duke is being outscored 35-31 this season. The Blue Devils are +6 in turnovers with 17 giveaways. Duke averages 49 penalty yards and has allowed 19 sacks this season. The Blue Devils are 76/211 on third and fourth down conversions and 41/48 scoring in the red zone with 28 touchdowns. On defense, Duke is allowing 462.1 yards per game, including 261.8 passing yards and 200.2 rushing yards. The Blue Devils are 99th or worse in all defensive categories. Duke has forced 23 turnovers and 23 sacks. Blue Devil opponents are 87/199 on third and fourth down conversions and 41/45 scoring in the red zone with 29 touchdowns. Duke has 4 defensive/special touchdowns this season.
Quarterback Sean Renfree has completed 260 of 392 passes (66.3%) for 2,755 yards with 18 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He has been sacked 18 times this season but does have a rushing touchdown. Back-up Anthony Boone usually takes a few snaps a game. He started the Virginia game when Renfree was injured, but Boone hasn’t seen any action in the last two games against Georgia Tech and Miami. Boone isn’t listed on the injury report and could see some action in the bowl game. He has completed 49 of 95 passes for 531 yards with 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 26 carries, 82 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brandon Connette has thrown 2 touchdown passes. He also has 7 rushing touchdowns and has a touchdown catch
Running back Jela Duncan has 99 carries, 516 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 14 catches for 62 yards. Josh Snead has 82 catches, 389 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 9 catches, 41 yards and a touchdown. Juwan Thompson has 71 carries, 322 yards and a touchdown, along with 23 catches, 92 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Receiver Jamison Crowder has 70 catches, 1,025 yards and 8 touchdowns. Conner Vernon has 75 catches, 955 yards, and 7 touchdowns. Desmond Scott has 61 catches, 606 yards and 2 touchdowns. Issac Blakeney and David Reeves will also get a few carries. Eight Duke defensive players are out Thursday, including 6 defensive backs.
Cincinnati is 5-1 ATS overall, 4-1 after rushing for less than 100 yards, and 4-1 on grass, 6-2 after a cover, and8-3 in Thursday games, in non-conference games, 1-4 in bowl games, after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, and after passing for more than 280 yards.
Duke is 5-1 ATS in non-conference games, 13-4 after allowing 450 yards or more, 18-7-1 after passing for more than 280 yards, 2-5-1 after scoring more than 40 points, 2-5 against teams with winning records, 1-4 after gaining more than 450 yards, 1-6 after rushing for more than 200 yards, 0-4 overall and on grass.
The Blue Devils barely qualified for a bowl after 18 straight years of missing a bowl. They aren’t playing very well right now having lost 4 straight games. The defense is in shambles, especially the secondary which is ravaged by injuries. I know Duke is playing in nearby Charlotte but Cincinnati should roll in this game.