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Armed Forces Bowl Betting – Armed Forces Bowl Should Be Close And Hard-Hitting

Posted by Blake Frazier on 12/21/2011 4:25:39 PM
armed forces bowl betting

The 2011 Armed Forces Bowl is an intriguing matchup of two teams who have flown underneath the national radar and pride themselves on playing physical football. Let’s see what happens.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. Brigham Young Cougars - Friday, December 30

Sports betting line: Brigham Young -2

Why Tulsa Will Win

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this game, one needs to look at the teams that have beaten Tulsa. They’re all better than BYU without question.  Tulsa comes to the game with a battle-tested 8-4 record. Each of the Hurricanes’ four losses came to an opponent ranked in the top-10 at the time, opponents with the combined record of 43-6 (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Boise State, and Houston). Tulsa’s 7-1 conference record lifted it to the 8-4 season. Quarterback G.J. Kinne has shaken off injury for a solid senior year, throwing for 2,876 yards and 25 touchdowns. But the Hurricanes’ tick not on the pass like in the past, but on the run. Ja’Terian Douglas (884 rushing yards) and Trey Watts (843 yards) lead Tulsa’s 25th-ranked rushing attack.

Defense is where Tulsa has struggled against good competition. While solid against the run, Tulsa’s defense ranks almost dead-last in defending the pass. While this stat is skewed (because of Landry Jones, Brandon Weeden, Kellen Moore, and Case Keenum), it also means against capable offenses, Tulsa has struggled. BYU, though, does not have a formidable offense – it is closer to the ho-hum offenses of Conference USA than (as as point of comparison) Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

Why Brigham Young Will Win

The college football betting  experts who are looking at this contest know that BYU has become a model of consistency in college football, and not in a bad way. BYU finished 9-3 in its first season as an independent and is headed to a bowl game for the seventh-straight season, each year since Bronco Mendenhall took over as head coach. It has been an interesting year for the Cougars, as they were in the middle of both Big 12 and Big East expansion talks. As the Cougars stick with independence, highly-touted recruit Jake Heaps struggled to take hold of Brandon Doman’s new system and lead his team by example. He was benched for junior Riley Nelson mid-way through the season. Despite Heaps later leading BYU to two 42-7 wins with Nelson injured late in the year, Nelson was reinserted as starter for the final game against Hawaii.

Nelson’s ability to run (five yards per carry), or at least prolong plays with his feet, has proven valuable to the BYU offense. Its offense opened up when the run game started working, which coincided with the decision to give converted linebacker Michael Alisa (455 rushing yards) the majority of the carries midway through the season. Sophomore receiver Cody Hoffman is leading the team in receiving yards for the second-straight year with 821 yards. Ross Apo is BYU’s red-zone threat, catching nine touchdowns on the year.
On the other side of the ball, BYU has had a stout defense, especially against the run, against every team except for in the Utah blowout. The Cougars’ total defense ranks 17th in the country, and boasts a number-seven ranking in pass efficiency defense. While the Cougars’ defense did feast on some lower-tier WAC fodder, it did also hold TCU well below its normal yards-per-game average.

Who Will Win

It’s a coin-flip game, but Tulsa – after getting whacked by Houston in its season finale – will probably want to win more than BYU. Intensity and motivation will carry the Golden Hurricane across the finish line first.

College Football Betting Pick: Tulsa

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