Miami (OH) vs Mississippi St Spread Pick, St. Petersburg Bowl 12-26-2016
Miami (OH) vs Mississippi St – St. Petersburg Bowl Pick
Date: December 26th
Game Time: 11am EST
NCAAF Odds: Mississippi St -13.5, 58.5
College Football Pick Against the Spread by Julian Dread of ATS Experts
Miami (OH) RedHawks (6-6 SU, 8-4 ATS, 4-8 O/U) vs Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS, 7-5 O/U)
The St. Petersburg Bowl kicks off the day after Christmas and the MAC takes on the SEC. Miami (OH) RedHawks take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs. This may not be an ideal matchup that was highlighted by the bowl committee but ATS Expert Julian Dread provides his take and an opportunity to profit.
This is an unusual matchup and in fact the first time these two schools have met. Miami (OH) played Jekyll and Hyde this season starting (0-6) and then proceeded to win 6 straight games to bring their record to .500. The RedHawks became the first team to start a season 0-6 and win their next six games to become bowl eligible.
The RedHawks don’t really do much that will impress you on the offensive side ranking 73rd in the FBS in passing offense (227.9 YPG), 114th in rushing with 134.3 yards per contest and over all they are 111th in scoring offense as they average a measly 23.4 points a game. They will find it tough to get a running game going vs the Bulldogs who concede 178 yards per game which was vs some of the top running backs in the country.
Miami (OH) ushered in sophomore QB Gus Ragland after their starter, Billy Bahl, went down in October. Ragland took over and has hit 93 of 149 for 1,274 yards with 15 touchdowns against no interceptions. Ragland is certainly a quarterback that will have the RedHawks staff excited to start the 2017 season. Miami (OH) has a nice defensive unit that allowed just 139 rushing yards per game, 354 total yards and just 24.3 PPG. In their final six games they didn’t allow more than 26 points and averaged just 19 PPG. This defense will certainly be tested by Mississippi State.
The Bulldogs (5-7, 3-5 SEC) had a strong finish to the season, as Dan Mullen’s squad had a shockingly easy time in the Egg Bowl with a 55-20 win over Ole Miss. In a year in which the Bulldogs fell to Sun Belt foe South Alabama in Starkville, MSU is still able to go bowling.
It can’t be easy following in the large footsteps of Dak Prescott, arguably the best quarterback in Mississippi State history. However, Nick Fitzgerald appears to be coming into his own. The sophomore leads the SEC in total yards (3,524) and has really put himself on the national map over these past few months. The past five games Fitzgerald has thrown for 12 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. It won’t be easy vs the RedHawks defense but he hopes if he can’t get it done with his arm he can get it done on the ground. To go with his 21 passing touchdowns this season, Fitzgerald rushed for 1243 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is a legit dual threat quarterback that will be a force next season.
For Mississippi State, this should feel like bonus football. I feel this team will be very motivated to prove they are a good team that played in a very good college football conference. Miami (OH) is coming in playing very good football but their six wins were not over teams with the caliber of talent that the Bulldogs posses. Look for the RedHawks to hang around for the first half due to their defense but their offensive woes will not help vs an SEC team. The Bulldogs will pull away with this game in the second half and win straight up and cover the spread. I see the Bulldogs winning by at least 17 points.