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Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Virginia vs. No. 25 Auburn

Bowl Game Betting
Virginia Cavaliers +3

Saturday’s bowl action concludes from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta when Virginia, one of the nation’s bigsurprises this year, faces defending national champion Auburn in the Chick-Fil-A-Bowl. The Tigers are 3-point college football bets favorites on WagerWeb.com.

Auburn will end the 2011 season in the Georgia Dome and then open the 2012 season in the Georgia Dome. It’s also a chance for the Tigers to build some momentum heading into the offseason after being blown out in three of their last four SEC games this season by LSU, Georgia and Alabama. Virginia is also looking to get a bad taste out of its mouth after being routed 38-0 by Virginia Tech in the regular-season finale.

After losing a great deal of the roster including Heisman Trophy winning junior quarterback Cam Newton, the Tigers have endured an inconsistent season, finishing 4-4 in SEC play. The Tigers’ five losses this season have all come against ranked competition (four away from home).

While the Tigers were lifting a trophy last season, Virginia went 4-8 to finish outside the bowl picture for a third year in a row. It’s been a different story in 2011 for the Cavaliers, who nearly reached the ACC title game before getting crushed by then-sixth-ranked Virginia Tech in their regular season finale. Despite the loss, London was named the ACC Coach of the Year, as his team had been picked by the media to finish fifth in the division this year.

The Cavaliers’ strengths are their front seven on defense, which is a veteran group, and an offensive line that has had the same lineup all season. The Hoos have been able to run the ball well for most of the season.

Auburn still hasn’t found its replacement for Newton. Junior Barrett Trotter began as the starter, but saw highly touted true freshman Kiehl Frazier take more and more snaps. But everything changed in Auburn’s 17-6 win over Florida, when sophomore Clint Moseley took the starting job after a solid second-half performance against the Gators.

Moseley remained the starter, but Auburn never really looked like the same team that opened the year. Outside of solid play from running back Michael Dyer, the Tigers’ offense struggled along, ranking 10th in the SEC (328.2 yards per game), while the defense stayed near the bottom of the league, giving up 405.8 yards and 29.3 points per game.

However, Dyer has been suspended for this game. That left 20.2-carry, 103.5-yard-a-game hole for freshman Tre Mason and junior Onterio McCalebb to fill against Virginia. Mason has spent most of his time on special teams this year and carried 19 times for 97 yards all year. McCalebb has never rushed more than 22 times in a game in his Auburn career and has averaged 8.2 carries a game.

Virginia’s running back duo — junior Perry Jones and redshirt freshman Kevin Parks — are more battle-tested than their Auburn counterparts. They have combined for 1,544 yards and 13 touchdowns on 317 carries this year, or nearly 80 percent of the Cavaliers’ rush output.

Virginia and Auburn have met twice, with each winning by double digits on the opponents’ home field in 1997 and 1998. For the second time in school history (also 1974 to 1984), the Tigers have won four consecutive bowl games, including last season’s BCS National Championship game. The Cavaliers, winners of three of their last five bowl games, have allowed at least 31 points in three consecutive bowl games.

SportsbookAdvisor.com Pick: We are on UVA +3 in this game. We are going against the public and against conventional thinking.  People are scared of SEC teams but Auburn has proven that they are a mediocre team and Virginia can catch fire and is a team to be feared right now.

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Saturday, December 31st, 2011 College Football Betting 2011

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