I’ve been studying the ‘total’ for the Gator Bowl odds for quite some time, and I’m ready to make my Gator Bowl picks for the clash between the Northwestern Wildcats and the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Mississippi State vs. Northwestern kickoff is set for 12:00 p.m. ET at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, FL, and I’m going to show you which way to bet on college football to make your CFB pick on for this great game.
2013 Gator Bowl
Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-4, 6-6 ATS) +1.5
Northwestern Wildcats (9-3, 11-1 ATS) -1.5
The Wildcats were one of the best ATS teams in the country this year at 11-1, and the common thought is that they should be the team to back in this game. This is about the ‘total’ though, and I know that I have a tough time justifying taking the ‘over’ in this one. The Wildcats are going to try to run the heck out of the football, and though they to operate at a breakneck pace when they can and do all sorts of goofy things with two quarterbacks and a slew of men rushing the ball, the Bulldogs have the defense to string things out and use speed to get to the football.
This is an MSU team that I think is severely underrated this year. The club allowed just 22.4 points per game this year, and if you take out the four losses, that average comes scream down into the low-teens. It was a defense that just didn’t relent this year, and hindsight 20/20, even holding QB Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies’ offense down 38 points this year is quite the accomplishment. Head Coach Dan Mullen is going to want to run the heck out of the football, and he is going to do so even though his reserve back, RB Nick Griffin tore his ACL in preparation for this game. I expect to see a lot out of RB LaDarius Perkins on Tuesday afternoon, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he touched the ball 20-25 times.
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Northwestern played some scary good defense this year as well, and most probably didn’t even realize it. The 38 points allowed to the Michigan Wolverines was aided by overtime, and the 39 points allowed to the Penn State Nittany Lions seemed to be a bit of an anomaly. The rest of the season since Week 1, the club was holding teams all over the place in the teens and the low 20s, and that’s what I expect to see once again in this one. I don’t think that neither club touches 30, and if that’s the case, it should be a game that stays beneath the number.
Mississippi State vs. Northwestern Picks & Tips: Under 53.5