Point spread: Rutgers -1.5
The Big East’s Rutgers Scarlet Knights take-on the Iowa State Cyclones, out of the Big 12 in this year’s New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Friday, Dec. 30. The kick-off for this clash is set for 3:20 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Rutgers rallied for three wins in its last four games to become bowl eligible, but closed the season out on a sour note with a 40-22 loss to Connecticut as a 3.5-point road underdog. It finished the season 8-4 both straight-up and against the spread. The total stayed ‘under’ in nine of its 12 games.
The reason so many games stayed ‘under’ the total this season was because of a defense that was ranked 12th in the nation in points allowed; giving-up an average of just 18.8 points a game. The Scarlet Knights’ offense could be considered average at best with 336.5 total yards and 26.3 points a game. It was especially sketchy running the ball with less than 100 yards a game.
Iowa State needed every one of its six wins to qualify for this bowl, but this team played better than its 6-6 SU record (7-5 ATS) would indicate. The Cyclones played seven games against teams that were ranked in the BCS top 25 at the time and came away with upsets over Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. The win over the then-No.2 Cowboys as 26.5-point home favorites was probably the biggest upset this season in college football.
The Cyclones’ main problem was an inconsistent defense that ended the regular season ranked 82nd in the country in points allowed; giving-up an average of 29.6 points a game. Their offense was ranked 86th in scoring; averaging 23.5 points a game.
Rutgers is 4-0-1 ATS in its last five bowl games and 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven non-conference games. The total has gone ‘over’ in four of its last five bowl games.
Iowa State is 6-2 ATS in its last eight non-conference games and 5-1 ATS in its last six games overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in four of its last five bowl games.
The Pinstripe Bowl’s venue definitely favors the Scarlet Knights, but it will not be enough to help them from getting past a battle-tested Cyclones’ team that is looking to finish the season above .500.
The Free New Era Pinstripe Bowl Pick: Iowa State 28 Rutgers 10
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.