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Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl Betting Odds

Teams: Ball State Cardinals (9-3, 9-3 ATS) vs. Central Florida Panthers (9-4, 6-7 ATS)
When: 7:30 PM ET. Friday, December 21, 2012
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL

US Friendly
US Friendly
Ball State
Central Florida
+7 (-110)
-7 (-110)
+7 (-105)
-7 (-115)
o61.5 (-110) / u61.5 (-110)
o61.5 (-110) / u61.5 (-110)

Handicappers looking for real value will want to keep their eye on this matchup between Ball State and Central Florida in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Cardinals and Panthers match up well on paper, but for UCF, the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl is a consolation prize for coming in second in the Conference-USA. As anyone who follows bowl season closely will tell you, these let-down teams don’t always give 100% on game day, providing great value propositions.

But just to keep things interesting, the game is being played just 100 miles from the CFU campus, making Beef ‘O’ Brady’s practically a home game for them. With just a seven-point line, this could be a very interesting game.

Here’s what bettors need to know about the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl before laying down their money.

Ball State Cardinals Betting Odds and Analysis

Best Ball State Point Spread: +7 (-105) at JustBet
Best Ball State Moneyline: +245 at JustBet and BetOnline

Ball State comes into the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl with six straight wins under their belt, including a 34-27 win over then-#25 Toledo back in November. That kind of momentum, combined with a desire to actually play in the bowl they’ve drawn, gives the Cardinals a real edge in a very competitive matchup.

Besides that great momentum, Ball State is bringing an incredibly productive offensive unit to St. Petersburg. Headed by junior QB Keith Wenning (279-426, 2878 yds, 22 TDs, 10 INTs) they’re putting up an average of 35 points and 471 total yards of offense every game. Against a UCF defense that’s allowing almost 400 yards a game, they’ve got a very good shot.

Ball State’s biggest weakness this season has unquestionably been their lackluster defense. Across the 2012 season they gave up an average of 31.5 points and 459 yards a game (205 rushing, 253 passing).

Relying on a dominant offense only gets you so far, especially during bowl season. If this game stays close, the Cardinals aren’t likely to fly away with a win.

UCF Betting Lines and Analysis

Best UCF Point Spread: -7 (-110) at BetOnline
Best UCF Moneyline: -290 at BetOnline and JustBet

UCF coaches and players are saying all the right things about their interest in playing in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, but it’s hard not to detect the faintest whiff of disappointment. After all, they had their hearts set on the C-USA Championship, but lost it in a 33-27 OT heartbreaker against Tulsa (their second loss to Tulsa over a three-week period.)

If they’re not too troubled by playing in a second tier bowl, the Knights could potentially dominate the Cardinals. UCF’s sophomore QB Blake Bortles (229-366, 2787 yds, 22 TDs, 7 INTs) is very mature and has proven himself a competent field general.

Collectively, the Panthers are mounting a very balanced offense that’s averaging 222 yards in the air and 178 on the ground every game. That versatility could leave the Cardinal defense, which isn’t all that hot, scratching their heads.

Defensively, the Panthers are only allowing around 22 points a game and around 217 passing yards. That should be more than enough to slow down the Cardinals, if UCF truly shows up for this game.

Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl Betting Odds & Free Picks

Attitude is everything in a game like this and if the Panthers aren’t pining over their lost Liberty Bowl bid, they should do well. At the same time, we love seeing teams like Ball State that come in with momentum and are happy to be seeing postseason play, no matter where it is.

Bowl games are an entirely different animal from regular season matchups and motivation is a factor that can’t be ignored. Below are my free picks for each of the Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl betting lines.

Ball State vs. Central Florida Point Spread Pick

Aside from Ball State’s defensive holes, these two teams share a lot of similar traits. I think that a couple weeks of rest and time to focus on a single opponent will be all that the Cardinals need to fill in those holes. That means this could be a very close game.

I think that Ball State has the edge in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl due to their momentum, motivation and high powered offense. Even if they don’t win outright, they’ll keep it close. For that reason I’m recommending bettors stick with the underdog and take Ball State +7 (-105) at JustBet.cx. FYI, JustBet also offers mobile sports betting for iPhone, iPad, Android, and other popular mobile devices.

Beef ‘O’ Bradys Money Line Pick

Money line bets are a perfect opportunity to risk a little to win a lot and I think that Ball State is a risk worth taking. I’m not suggesting that you put a big chunk of your bowl season roll on this play (there’s still more than two dozen games left!). Nonetheless, a small wager here could pay off nicely if Ball State’s D has done their homework.

I like the Ball State money line of +245 at JustBet. I think they’ll keep this game close, with a shot at the win late in the 4th quarter.

Ball State vs Central Florida Over/Under Picks

Both UCF and Ball State are scoring machines averaging well over 30 points a game. There’s every chance that this game could become an offensive shootout with points racked up on almost every drive.

Currently, the Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl over/under is 61.5 (-110) on either side at JustBet and BetOnline. I’m betting that offense with carry the day, and I’m taking the over.

This article was written by Jess

Jess is the editor of MobileSportsBetting.com. His job duties include everything nobody else is doing, and making sure it all gets done on time. When he gets a chance, Jess loves to write about NFL, MLB, Formula 1, and tennis betting.

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