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Little Caesar’s Bowl Preview: Pitt vs Bowling Green

Rushel-Shell-Pitt-Spring-PrThe Little Caesar’s Bowl in Detroit features a matchup between the Pittsburgh Panthers from the ACC and the Mid-American Conference Champion Bowling Green Falcons. The Panthers come into the game at 6-6 while the Falcons come in at 10-3. Judging by the records of the two teams this wone should be a blowout. However, this is not necessarily all about the teams’ records.

The Panthers are from the ACC, which means they have played a tougher schedule than the Falcons. Among the teams who they have lost to, the Florida State Seminoles who are ranked #1 and playing for the national championship. The other five teams to beat the Panthers? All bowl bound teams such as the Virginia Tech Hokies, North Carolina Tar Heels, Navy Midshipmen, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Miami Hurricanes. They beat the bowl bound Duke Blue Devils and Notre Dame Fighting Irish as well as the Syracuse Orange and the Virginia Cavaliers.

Bowling Green won the MAC by beating the Northern Illinois Huskies, who went into the contest unbeaten and had a chance at one of the huge BCS Bowls. They also beat bowl teams, the Buffalo Bulls and Ohio Bobcats. They also had a one-point loss to the bowl-bound Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Toledo Rockets who were 7-5, by three points.

As is often the case, a good season by one of the “lower-tier” teams such as Bowling Green means you lose your head coach to a bigger fish. How this affects the Falcons is unknown. That’s just another factor when betting on bowl games that makes it more challenging. Head Coach Dave Clawson left to become the next coach of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons so the guys coming back to play for the Falcons next year will want to play well as they are now audition for the new coach, whomever that might be.

The Falcons are led by quarterback Matt Johnson who has passed for 3195 yards while completing 64% of his pass attempts. He’s thrown for 23 touchdowns and only had seven picks. Leading rusher Travis Green has 1555 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Pitt is led by quarterback Tom Savage, who was nearly as impressive with 2834 yards and 21 touchdowns with only nine picks. Isaac Bennett and James Conner combined to rush for over 1300 yards and each had seven rushing touchdowns.

Top Bet has the odds on the game.

Pittsburgh is +4 -110 and the Falcons are -4 -110 ATS. Moneyline is Pitt +170 and Bowling Green -200. Over/Under is 50 with both over and under -110.

We are going to go with Pitt +170 to win the game and the over -110. The Panthers are battled tested with the tough schedule they’ve played and the Falcons are without the head coach. BGSU also got their big win when they knocked off Northern Illinois. Will they get back up for the Panthers for a game in the same venue? That will be tough.

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