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Pinstripe Bowl Betting Predictions – West Virginia And Syracuse Renew Their Big East Days

Posted by Blake Frazier on 12/16/2012 11:07:08 PM

The West Virginia Mountaineers and Syracuse Orange used to get after each other all the time as members of the Big East Conference. They will return to the gridiron with WVU in the Big 12.

2012 Pinstripe Bowl –
West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Syracuse Orange - Saturday, December 29    
Football betting line: West Virginia -4

Why West Virginia Will Win

No bet on this game should discount the potency of the Mountaineers' offense. It is not very hard to figure out where the strength of the 2012 West Virginia University football team lies. When Dana Holgorsen’s “Air Raid’ offense is clicking on all cylinders, it’s a sight to see.  Ask Marshall coach Doc Holliday (West Virginia scored 69 points against Marshall) and Baylor coach Art Briles ( the Mountaineers scored 70 points against Baylor).  The strength of the high powered WVU offense is unquestionably the passing game. 

Led by quarterback Geno Smith (327 yards per game, 37 touchdowns, and five interceptions), the Mountaineer offense is among the best in the country.  They rank sixth in the country in passing yards per game, 14th in points per game (40 per game), and 11th in total offense (506.8 yards per game).  As you can tell, most of the offense comes via the air, when Smith has two of the most dangerous weapons in all of college football to throw to. 

Stedman Bailey (95 catches, 1,342 yards, and 21 touchdowns) and Tavon Austin (106 catches, 1,149 yards, 12 touchdowns) comprise one of the finest receiving duos you’ll ever see.  Bailey is the go to guy near the goal line and Austin is the game breaker that can score from anywhere on the field (521 rush yards, two touchdowns, and a kick and punt return for a touchdown).  If you draw the Mountaineers, you had better be prepared to outscore them.

Why Syracuse Will Win

Even mma betting experts know that it’s been a nice bounce back season for head coach Doug Marrone in upstate New York.  It appeared he had the program back on the rise after getting back to a bowl game in 2010 and opening league play by dismantling West Virginia in early October 2011.  Then, the Orange failed to win another game.  This season was a big one for Syracuse.  With their impending move to the ACC, the Orange needed to start anew after a positive 2012 season.  That’s what they’ve done, thanks to a much improved offense.  Quarterback Ryan Nassib (3,619 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions) has stepped up to become the leader of the offensive unit. 

The Orange ranks 21st in the nation in passing offense and a very respectable 22nd in total offense.  They aren’t just a pass happy offense, either.  They have wonderful balance thanks to breakout running back Jerome Smith (198 carries, 1,055 yards) and sensational wide receivers Alec Lemon (70 catches, 1,063 yards) and Marcus Sales (63 catches, 863 yards).  The Orange have an offense that can beat you at any style you wish to play. 

Who Will Win

Don't think that West Virginia's second-half struggles will matter this time around. The Mountaineers have way too much speed for Syracuse on the edges. Their offense will roll in a big win.

College Football Betting Pick: West Virginia



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