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Belk Bowl Betting – Belk Bowl Matches Two 7-5 Teams In Search Of A Spark

Posted by Blake Frazier on 12/20/2011 4:08:00 PM
belk bowl betting

The 2011 Belk Bowl offers a team that almost made the Orange Bowl – the Louisville Cardinals – against a team that very nearly missed a bowl game outright, the N.C. State Wolfpack.

Louisville Cardinals vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack - Tuesday, December 27

Sports betting line: North Carolina State -2

Why Louisville Will Win

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this game, you have to enter at your own risk. Louisville might be the percentage choice, but it’s not a sure thing. So many bowl games are coin flips each and every year, but that’s usually because it’s hard to gauge the level of emotional interest each team carries into the fight. With this matchup between Louisville and N.C. State, the guesswork is not focused on these teams’ mindsets or attitudes. The hard project here is to assess the level of quality possessed by coach Charlie Strong’s Cardinals and coach Tom O’Brien’s Pack Attack. These are two unknown, unproven quantities, two programs whose futures are very uncertain.  
Louisville lost to Florida International and Marshall at home this season, and it also endured a painfully bad offensive performance in a 14-7 loss at North Carolina in which UL’s one touchdown was a late garbage-time score. The Cardinals’ offense simply went nowhere in the first half of the season, leading Strong to fire offensive coordinator Mike Sanford and replace him with Shawn Watson. This move proved to be instrumental in improving Louisville’s season. Under Watson, UL scored a stunning 38-35 win at West Virginia, enough to give the Cardinals a season-ending share of a three-way tie for the Big East championship.
Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, just a freshman, showed enormous promise by lifting the Cardinals to the top of the Big East, but he is far from mastering the nuances and challenges of the quarterback position. This game represents an important moment in his career; Bridgewater needs to show that he can apply the lessons of his first regular season to his first postseason go-round. A strong performance will encourage everyone in and around the program, building the belief that 2012 can be a breakout season in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It could very well be that Bridgewater’s hunger, as much as anything else, will power Louisville in this contest. Louisville certainly has every incentive to want to play well in this game. The Cardinals have an uncertain situation on their hands in the Big East and need to make a statement to the college sports community.

Why North Carolina State Will Win

The college football betting  experts who are looking at this contest will tell you that North Carolina State can be brilliant at times. When the 6-5 Pack fell behind Maryland by 27 points (41-14) late in the third quarter of their season finale (needing seven wins to be bowl eligible because of two wins versus FCS teams), it seemed that their season was going to end in disgrace and humiliation, but quarterback Mike Glennon rallied his team to 35 straight points for a 49-41 lead before a pick-six from NCSU’s defense put the finishing touches on a rousing 56-41 win which made this Belk Bowl bid possible. North Carolina State can be brilliant, and it can be awful… sometimes in the same game. If the brilliant version shows up, Louisville will get blown out.

Who Will Win

It’s just too difficult to pick North Carolina State. Louisville is likely to be the more motivated football team, and in bowl games, willpower is usually a determining factor. Take the Cardinals even if the raw talent on both rosters might lead you to a different conclusion.



College Football Betting Pick: Louisville

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