Weekly CFB Mid-Major Betting Report: UNLV Rebels Bowl Game
by Aaron Smith - 12/19/2013
It’s time for the bowl edition of the mid-major betting report. This year the team in focus is the UNLV Rebels. After lots of disappointment in recent years, the Rebels secured a New Year’s Day bowl berth against the North Texas Mean Green in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. A bowl game on New Year’s Day is a big deal for this program, and it’s a sign of how much progress has been made this season. I’ve been following the UNLV Rebels all year long to have a better understanding of this team. Bettors should consider closely following teams, because specialization is often one of the most profitable sports betting strategies.
At the end of each mid-major betting report, I’ll make a selection on that week’s game. Doc’s Sports Unit Betting System will be used for every pick. This should allow readers to follow along and track the results of these weekly college football picks. In the first two years of the mid-major report, $100 per-unit bettors were up $1,410.
UNLV’s last game came on Nov.30 at home against San Diego State. The Rebels were already bowl eligible, but they needed a win in that game to help them get into a decent bowl. UNLV came through with what I believe was its best performance of the season. The Rebels beat down San Diego State, 45-19. San Diego State came into that contest having won seven of their last eight games.
Senior Quarterback Caleb Herring was the star for the Rebels in that win. Herring threw five touchdown passes in his last game at home. Herring threw for 270 yards, and he didn’t turn the ball over all game long. If that wasn’t enough, Herring also ran for 60 yards and another touchdown. Devante Davis was on the receiving end of four of Herring’s touchdown passes. Davis had eight catches for 171 yards in the game.
The Rebels defense did a nice job against a balanced attack from San Diego State. UNLV forced two turnovers and won the turnover battle, 2-0. Quinn Kaehler completed just 24-of-46 passes for the Aztecs. It was an all-around terrific effort by UNLV to finish out the regular season at 7-5. My selection on the “over” in this matchup was a winner.
Notes of Interest
-Herring wasn’t even the Rebels starting quarterback at the beginning of the year, but it can’t be overstated how good he has been for UNLV this year. Herring has thrown 22 touchdown passes compared to just four interceptions. His excellent decision-making has played a huge role in the Rebels going from a 2-10 team to a 7-5 team. The quarterback spot was once considered a major question mark for the Rebels this year, but Herring turned it into a major strength.
-How big of a deal is this bowl game for the UNLV program? Their trip to the Heart of Dallas Bowl will be UNLV’s first bowl game outside of Nevada in almost three decades. Their destination will be the Cotton Bowl, which is one of the most historic football fields in the nation.
-At a press conference on Dec. 9, UNLV coaches and players talked about what a New Year’s Day bowl game means to the team. The team was caught off guard by being selected to the Heart of Dallas bowl, but all of the players talked about how excited they were to get the news. Herring said, “It was pretty shocking and exciting to be able to participate in one of these bowl games in a historic stadium where a lot of great games have taken place.”
-UNLV is 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall
-The “under” is 4-1 in the Rebels last five games against a team with a winning record
-North Texas is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall
-The under is 12-2 in their last 14 games played on turf
UNLV vs. North Texas College Football Odds
North Texas opened as a seven-point favorite in this one, and the line quickly moved down to 6.5. Since then, the line here has been remarkably stable at North Texas -6.5. The posted total has been steady at 54.5 points as well.
UNLV vs. North Texas College Football Picks
The UNLV Rebels do walk into a difficult spot here. North Texas essentially has a home game because they are so close to home. The Mean Green will be plenty comfortable in this one. Dan McCarney is North Texas’ coach, and he has the Mean Green playing some tremendous defense. UNLV’s run defense still hasn’t proven it can stop a good rushing attack, and I think North Texas has their way on the ground here. UNLV has had a great season, but I don’t like this matchup at all for the Rebels. Look for the North Texas defense and home-field advantage to lead to a comfortable win for the Mean Green. I’ll recommend a big six-unit play on North Texas -6.5
Pick: #250- Take North Texas -6.5 for Six Units
Season Results: 4 Wins 8 Losses (-4.2 Units)
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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