The Tulsa Golden Hurricane will face the Central Michigan Chippewas in the Miami Beach Bowl. The game is scheduled for Monday, December 19th. Kickoff is set for 2:30 EST at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida. The game will be televised on ESPN. Oddsmakers have Tulsa listed as a 11.5-point favorite with the total at 68 points.
Miami Beach Bowl Vegas Odds Preview: C Michigan vs Tulsa
The Golden Hurricane (9-3) finished 2nd in the American Athletic West with a record of 6-2. Tulsa’s only two conference losses came against powers Navy and Houston on the road. The Hurricane lost 52-55 to Virginia Tech in last year’s Independence Bowl. That was Tulsa’s only bowl appearance under current head coach Philip Montgomery.
The Chippewas (6-6) went just 3-5 in the MAC, which had them finishing 5th in the loaded West division. It was a disappointing result, given Central Michigan’s 3-0 start. Especially given they had that big 30-27 road win over Oklahoma State. This will be the Chippewas 3rd straight bowl appearance. Last year was their first under head coach John Bonamego. Central Michigan lost 14-21 to Minnesota in the Quick Lane Bowl.
Miami Beach Bowl Free Betting Pick & Predictions: Over 68
If I had to take a side here, I would lean towards the points with Central Michigan. However, I think the real value here is on the total. This has all the makings of a shootout, with both teams putting up big offensive numbers.
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All you really have to do is look at Tulsa’s results this season to see why the over should be a good play. The Golden Hurricane feature one of the most explosive offenses in the country. They rank 6th in the country in total offense (522.6 ypg) and 11th in scoring (41.3 ppg). Tulsa has scored at least 30 points in all but one game this season. That being an early season road game against a superior Ohio State team.
I look for Tulsa to score 40+ here against the Chippewas. Central Michigan’s defense has been exposed on a number of occasions. They allowed 49 to both Virginia and Western Michigan. They also gave up 31 to Toledo and 37 to Miami (OH).
Not only have the Golden Hurricane been putting up a lot of points, they have allowed quite a few as well. Tulsa defense ranks 80th in total defense (432.4 ypg) and are T-89th in points allowed (31.5 ppg). They are equally as bad against the run (184.1 ypg, 73rd) as they are against the pass (248.3 ypg, 89th).
I’m aware that Central Michigan’s offense has struggled of late. The Chippewas didn’t score more than 28-points in a single conference game. I’m not concerned. This Tulsa defense has made bad offenses look great all season long. Just look at their regular season finale against Cincinnati.
Tulsa allowed the Bearcats to score 37 points and rack up 534 yards of total offense. Note that Cincinnati scored 20 or fewer points in 7 of their 12 games. They had scored a mere 26 in their previous 4 games combined before exploding against Tulsa.
It’s also worth pointing out the Chippewas have a legit QB in senior Cooper Rush. He’s a potential late round NFL draft pick, who can sling it. He completed 61.1% of his attempts for 3,299 yards and 23 touchdowns. He averaged 338.0 passing yards/game in Central Michigan’s 4 non-conference games. In those contests, the Chippewas averaged 39.5 ppg.