Hawaii Bowl Picks & Predictions – Nevada vs. Southern Miss 12/24/11

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The WAC is usually represented in the Hawaii Bowl by the Hawaii Warriors, but for the third time since 2005, the Nevada Wolf Pack will be here, and they will look to try to beat the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl odds against the winners of Conference USA, the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

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Hawaii Bowl Matchup: Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles
Hawaii Bowl Date/Time: Saturday, December 24th, 8:00 ET
Hawaii Bowl Location: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI
Hawaii Bowl Odds: Southern Mississippi -6
Hawaii Bowl Total: 61.5
Hawaii Bowl TV Coverage: ESPN, ESPN3.com

It’s usually an oddity to see us backing an ‘under’ in the college football bowl season, but that’s precisely what we are going to do in this game.

The first issue that we know that we have in this game is that the Southern Miss defense is going to want to play its hearts out for the final time for Head Coach Larry Fedora. Fedora, a defensive guru by Conference USA standards, will be heading to the North Carolina Tar Heels as soon as this game is said and done with. That being said, he was able to devise a scheme to take care of the Houston Cougars, led by QB Case Keenum and their odd full out passing attack, and we have no doubt that with three weeks of preparation, there is no reason why he wouldn’t be able to do the same against Nevada’s Pistol.

Which brings us to our next point… Nevada’s offense has been incredible over the course of the last few years with QB Colin Kaepernick and a slew of experienced backs in the backfield. That being said, Head Coach Chris Ault has turned the ball over to QB Cody Fajardo, who is just a freshman. In due time, he could be as dominating as Kaepernick was by the end of his career, but for now, though he is a great passer and a solid runner, he still has a lot of questionable decisions that he has made with the football.

On top of that, Nevada, again, which is a team that generally scores at least 30 points per game on average, has been held to 20 or fewer in four of its last five bowl games. We think that these gimmicky offenses run by teams like Houston, Tulsa, Nevada, Navy, etc. all take a lot of time to figure out how to beat. On a week’s notice, it’s tough. On three weeks of notice, it is a heck of a lot easier, and a lot of teams figure out how to do it. There is no doubt that Southern Miss has the athletes to get the job done in this game, and in the end, this is going to be one of the few games in which we are calling for an ‘under’ result in this bowl season. Gun to our head, we’d take the Golden Eagles and lay the TD, but we have few doubts about the fact that the ‘under’ is the right play, especially at this high of a number.

Free Hawaii Bowl Pick: Nevada/Southern Miss Under 61.5

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Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Cappersinfo.com Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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