My 2012 Beef O’Brady’s Bowl picks between the UCF Knights and the Ball State Cardinals are all set and ready to go here at Cappers Info. The Beef O’Brady’s Bowl kickoff starts at 7:30 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL, and I’m going to be your expert college football handicapper that points you towards the winning bet for the UCF vs. Ball State game.
2012 Beef O’Brady’s Bowl
Ball State Cardinals (9-3, 9-3 ATS) +7
UCF Knights (9-4, 6-7 ATS) -7
Statistically speaking, the Knights and the Cardinals are really the same team. UCF would rather run the football, but a lot of its running comes out of the shotgun and other spread out formations with multiple receivers on the field. Ball State, like so many teams in the MAC, utilizes a pair of outside receivers to go with a quarterback that has some mobility, but would rather give it off to one of many backs in the system.
History doesn’t necessarily bode well for Cardinals in bowl games. They haven’t been to a bowl since 2008, and even when they have gotten to their five postseason games, they’re 0-5 to show for their work. In those games though, include some real high scorers, including an 82-point International Bowl against Rutgers and a 57-point GMAC Bowl against Tulsa. Historically, this Ball State defense has been run right through, but the team has done a significantly better job over the course of the last four games of the year, allowing no more than 27 points in any of those games. It’s going to take UCF getting into the 30s to have a shot at this ‘over’, and that just doesn’t seem all that likely to happen when push comes to shove.
Remember that Head Coach George O’Leary preaches to his team good defense and running the football. It’s a team that allowed 22.5 points per game this year and didn’t allow any of its final seven foes to score more than 24 points against it. With as badly as the Ball State defense has played this year though, this ‘total’ has been pushed artificially high. Yes, this is a game that is going to be played on turf in a fast tracked dome, and the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl has historically been a game that features plenty of offense, but when push comes to shove, this one just isn’t getting into the 60s.
Ball State vs. UCF Picks & Tips: Under 61.5