Burns’ 2008 Emerald Bowl Picks

Ben Burns showed yet again just why his college football bowl picks are so sought after in this industry.  If you need a little help in beating the bowl game odds this year then make sure you take a look at the plays that Burns has to offer, such as this 2008 Emerald Bowl winner on the under in the Cal/Miami game:

I’m playing on California and Miami to finish UNDER the total. Both these defenses are more than capable. Miami comes in having allowed just 315.8 total yards per game throughout the season. Cal has almost identical numbers, having allowed only 315.4 total yards per game. Its true that the Bears put up some huge point totals against weaker defenses and that eight of their 12 games finished above the total. However, when matched up against stronger teams, their games weren’t nearly as high-scoring. For example, when facing Arizona State, the Bears won by a score of 24-14. When matched up against USC, they lost 17-3. Including that result, the Bears have held five of their last six opponents to 20 points or less, surrendering seven to Washington in their regular season finale and 16 vs. Stanford the previous week. Looking back a bit further and we find the UNDER at 10-7 (59%) the last three seasons when the Bears have been matched up against a team with a winning record.

Its true that the Hurricanes closed out the season with back to back losses, giving up a lot of points in the process. However, they’ve had a whole month to “right the ship” defensively and I expect a much better effort on that side of the ball. As Coach Shannon said of his defense: “We’re going to be back in the weight room getting stronger, getting ready for the bowl game…” Note that prior to the two losses, the Hurricanes had held Virginia Tech, Virginia and Wake Forest to a combined 41 points with none of those teams scoring more than 17. Additionally, note that the Hurricanes have seen the UNDER go 5-2 the last seven times that they were coming off back to back losses. During the same stretch, including the 16-14 win over Virginia Tech, they’ve seen the UNDER go 4-1 when coming off a bye. The Hurricane have played in four bowl games since 2003 and all of them produced 43 combined points or less. I feel that this evening’s o/u number is generous and I expect the final combined score to prove lower than most are expecting. *Best Bet