- Mizzo -5, 53.5
- @ JustBet
- Mizzo -3
- @ 3DW
This is a great reward for the juniors and seniors at North Carolina (7-5, 6-6 ATS), after two tumultuous seasons in Chapel Hill. Between last year’s suspensions and the firing of coach Butch Davis just before fall practice started, Tar Heels players have had to endure. North Carolina’s defense was second in the conference in rushing yards permitted (106.2), led by sure-fire NFL prospect in DE Quinton Coples, who can play inside or outside with near equal effectiveness. The Tar Heels offense was run of the mill in finishing 52nd in total offense, tallying 28.2 points per contest. Redshirt freshman TB Giovani Bernard made the running game respectable at 147.4 yards a game and QB Bryn Renner had the best completion percentage (68.8%) among ACC quarterbacks during the regular season. The Heels are 19-9 ATS as underdogs.
Missouri (7-5, 6-6 ATS) officially heads to the SEC after this matchup and wants to arrive in style, having lost their last two bowl appearances. Shreveport is a special place for coach Gary Pinkel, as in 2005 the Tigers overcame a 31-3 deficit against South Carolina to win this bowl 38-31. Since that inconceivable comeback, Missouri is 55-24. Sophomore QB James Franklin had his share of shaky moments, but led his squad to three consecutive wins to secure winning season. Franklin will be the catalyst without RB Henry Josey, who’s out for the year. The Tigers play an aggressive up-field defense, designed to make mayhem and create bad decisions by opposing quarterbacks. Misso is 0-7 ATS vs. teams averaging eight or more passing yards per attempt.
The Tar Heels are 13-15 in bowls with a 5-4-1 ATS record as the underdog. Missouri is making their third Independence Bowl appearance in nine years and is 12-16 overall and 2-5 ATS as favorites. The Big 12 squad is 3-7 ATS in past 10 showings.