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NCAA Prediction Bowl Game Preview/Pick- Miami (FL) vs. Louisville

ncaa predictions hurricanes vs cardinals

Miami Hurricanes (9-3) vs. #18 Louisville Cardinals (11-1) 12/28- 6:45PM EST

 

RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL- Orlando, FL

 

Line: LOU -3.5

Over/Under: 57.5

 

In what will likely be Teddy Bridgewater’s final game in a Louisville Cardinals’ uniform as he is expected to declare for the NFL draft, he will lead his football team against the Miami Hurricanes in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Saturday night.

 

Saturday’s bowl matchup will also feature two teams that will become conference rivals as #18 Louisville will be moving into the ACC next year to join Miami.. a team that Florida native Bridgewater had originally committed to before deciding on Louisville.

 

With Bridgewater expected to be a sure top 10 NFL pick next April, the junior quarterback who was a leading candidate for the Heisman before falling off is looking to go out on top come Saturday.

 

With a 38-35 defeat to Central Florida back on October 18th and failing to throw for 300 yards in his final four games with only five touchdown passes, he saw his Heisman Trophy chances go by the wayside as he was not invited to New York as a finalist.

 

Despite his lack of production towards the end of the season, Bridgewater still finished with 3,523 yards and 28 touchdowns with only four interceptions to finish as the nation’s fifth-leading passer, but in the end couldn’t get his Cardinals (11-1) back to a BCS bowl after last year’s Sugar Bowl win over Florida.

 

This is a very talented young man. He has great command on the offense,” Miami coach Al Golden said.

 

Miami (9-3) had recruited Bridgewater successfully and had a verbal commitment back in 2010, but after the firing of then head coach Randy Shannon following a 7-6 season, Bridgewater bolted for Louisville.

 

The Cardinals have 23 Miami-area natives on their team and are thrilled to be going back home to face a Miami team of players many have played against growing up.

 

When they found out, it was like ‘We’re playing back at home again, we’re playing basically our teammates and the people that they play in high school,’” said senior defensive end Marcus Smith, a Georgia native who is the AAC defensive player of the year. “Feeling that with them is gonna be great one.”

 

Miami will be playing in their first postseason game since 2010, when the university implemented a self-imposed two-year bowl ban due to improper benefits from a booster. Former Miami assistant Clint Hurtt who was implicated in the scandal is now on the Cardinals staff.

 

Early on, the Hurricanes were a top 25 team but lost three in a row and fell out of the rankings, but now look to post their first double-digit wins since the 2003 season.

 

Our kids are excited, I think they’re grateful.” Golden said. “They’ve been through a lot the past two years, and they have not been able to have this opportunity.

 

They’re practicing with a purpose, they’re excited, and clearly they have a really tough opponent coming up.”

 

The Hurricanes feel they have a great quarterback of their own in the likes of Stephen Morris, who threw for 2,868 yards with 21 touchdowns and looks forward to matching up with Bridgewater.

 

It’d be a great challenge and a great headline for a lot people,” Morris said

 

Louisville will be moving to the ACC’s Atlantic Division next season, while the Canes are in the Coastal but are scheduled to play one another next year.

 

When we go play in the ACC next year, I think (the bowl) will put our stamp on this season, and it will tell the world that we can play with teams in the ACC and we can play with anybody,” Smith said.

 

The oddsmakers feel the Cardinals can play with the Hurricanes now as they have made them a (minus -3.5) point favorite, but get the latest lines on the game up until kickoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

Smith finished second in the nation with 12 ½ sacks and with a Cardinals defense that ranked second in the FBS allowing only 257.9 yards per game and has been dominate against the run allowing just 86.3 yards per contest, I like and predict the Cardinals making it a happy home coming for many of its players.

 

Miami top rusher Duke Johnson suffered a season-ending injury with a broken ankle back in mid-season to make the challenge that much greater against the Cardinals defense, but expect an entertaining bowl game.

 

Prediction/Pick: Louisville

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

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NFL Prediction Week 14 Sunday Game Preview/Pick- Miami vs. Pittsburgh

dolphins

 

Free NFL Pick and Prediction

Miami Dolphins (6-6) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7) 12/08- 1:00PM EST

 

Line: PIT -3.0

Over/Under: 40.5

 

Miami and Pittsburgh will square off on Sunday afternoon with serious playoff implications on the line for both teams and even more a Steelers loss could prove fatal with just a month left in the season after their latest loss to the Ravens back on Thanksgiving Day.

 

The Steelers have been surrounded in controversy since the Baltimore game when coach Mike Tomlin stepped on the field during the Ravens’ Jacoby Jones returning a 73-yard kickoff return. Tomlin was not flagged on the play, however the NFL fined Tomlin this week $100,000 for his antics.

 

I apologize for causing negative attention to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization,” Tomlin said. “I accept the penalty that I received. I will no longer address this issue as I am preparing for an important game this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.”

 

Pittsburgh (5-7) has won five straight meetings against the Dolphins dating back to 1998 and have not lost to them at home since 1990.

 

Former Steelers’ receiver Mike Wallace who signed with Miami in the offseason will be making his first return visit to Pittsburgh and has found recent success in the Dolphin offense the last two games.

 

I’m feeling more comfortable every week in the offense,” Wallace said. “It’s time to hit my stride. No more warming up. It’s time to go. It’s December. You’ve got to make plays now. You don’t have time to wait.”

 

Wallace has 12 catches for 209 yards with two touchdowns over his last two games after having just one touchdown grab in the previous ten, and hopefully a return trip to Heinz field will provide added motivation.

 

It’s going to be exciting,” Wallace said, who was big last week with seven catches for 82 yards in a 23-3 road victory over the Jets.

 

Miami (6-6) is now tied with the Ravens for the sixth and final playoff spot within the AFC, and now have a favorable schedule the rest of the way playing three of their remaining four games against teams that currently have a losing record.

 

We are in the playoff hunt, and we have to win every game,” said linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. “But it’s very important to not look too far down the road.”

 

If Dolphin quarterback Ryan Tannehill can remain hot as he was last week throwing 331 yards with two touchdowns against the Jets, Miami has to like their chances going into Pittsburgh, especially since the Steelers defense is allowing an average of 287.6 yards passing with nine touchdowns over their last five games.

 

If Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell can return to action on Sunday following a concussion he suffered against the Ravens, that will help the Steelers mix it up on offense where Ben Roethlisberger has completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 841 yards and eight touchdowns with no interceptions over his last three games which has accounted for a 105.8 passer rating.

 

Oddsmakers have confidence in the Steelers to bounce back at home against the Dolphins where they made them a (minus) -3.0 point favorite. But, get the latest up to the minute odds for the game up until kickoff right here through Wonder Punter.

 

Miami has gotten to the quarterback 10 times in the past three games with Olivier Vernon accounting for six of those quarterback take-downs.

 

We’ve talked about how the performance level on the field has to be better in December, and part of that now is consistency,” Dolphin coach Joe Philbin said.

 

Another tough pick for me on this one, but will go with the Steelers being at home and winning to get back into the playoff picture.

 

PICK: Pittsburgh

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

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NFL Week 10 Monday Night Recap- Buccaneers No Longer Winless

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

Line: MIA -1.0

Over/Under: 40.5

 

 

 

 

 

Miami Dolphins (4-5)- 19

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8)- 22

 

Line: MIA -2.5

Over/Under: 39.5

 

With Monday night’s victory, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8) joined the Jacksonville Jaguars (who won on Sunday) as the last of the remaining teams to win an NFL game as they held the Miami Dolphins (4-5) to a whopping 2 yards rushing on the night for a 22-19 victory to assure themselves a winless season and avoid their 5th 0-9 start in franchise history.

 

It was rookie quarterback Mike Glennon’s 1-yard touchdown toss to tackle Donald Penn that made the difference as the Buc’s defense held on the final 10 minutes to give them a much deserved victory.

 

Glennon finished 11 of 21 for 139 yards, with one touchdown and one interception in his sixth pro start.

 

Much can be said about the Miami Dolphins mindset coming in with the swirling controversy regarding allegations of daily harassment on tackle Jonathan Martin (who has since left the team) by veteran guard Richie Incognito (who has since been suspended) pending a formal NFL investigation.

 

Nonetheless, the Buccaneers will take it any way they can.

 

It’s good to stand up here after a win,” Bucs coach Greg Schiano said. “We have to build off this.”

 

Miami (4-5) was down early 15-0, before coming back to take a 19-15 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

 

But, Tampa’s defense stepped-up sacking Ryan Tannehill twice on Miami’s final possession before Darrelle Revis picked-off Tannehill’s pass on a fourth-down attempt intended for Mike Wallace with 1:35 remaining.

 

We have good guys on this team who understand adversity and understand how to handle it,” Tannehill said. “This is a good test. I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not saying it’s fun to deal with. But I have faith in these guys.”

 

Believe it or not, but the Buccaneers have not been all bad this year despite their record.. in four of their losses, they held fourth-quarter leads before losing in the final 89 seconds of regulation or overtime.

 

This time, they learned how to finish.

 

It had the same feeling going down the stretch,” Schiano said. “But our guys bowed up and made some plays.”

 

Miami owner Stephen Ross broke his silence regarding the bullying scandal that has given the Miami Dolphins a black-eye around the nation.

 

We need to look at ourselves. We have to examine everything internally,” Ross said. “This is so appalling to me. I know I’m capable of overreacting. I want to get everybody’s feedback because we all know the football locker room is a different workplace than most of us are accustomed to. I don’t want to make any excuses.”

 

Ross has since formed an independent advisory group to review organizational conduct policies and to make recommendations on areas for improvement. Tony Dungy, Don Shula, Dan Marino, Jason Taylor and Curtis Martin are included in that group.

 

With the lack of a running game, the Dolphins became a one dimensional team.

 

Tannehill went 27 of 42 for 229 yards, two touchdowns and a game ending interception.

 

We moved the ball well through the air but we didn’t have any balance. That caught up to us at the end of the game,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said.

 

There’s a lot of football left to be played. November and December is going to determine who moves forward,” Philbin said. “We have to learn from the mistakes we made and prepare better and play better.”

 

Tough night and an even tougher week for the Miami Dolphins.

 

To be continued….

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

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NFL Prediction Thursday Preview & Free Pick – Bengals vs. Dolphins

bengals-dolphins

NFL Prediction Thursday Night Preview & Pick – Bengals vs. Dolphins

 

Cincinnati Bengals (6-2) @ Miami Dolphins (3-4) 10/31- 8:25PM EST

 

Line: CIN -2.5

Over/Under- 42.5

 

On Thursday night, the Cincinnati Bengals (6-2) travel into Miami on the verge of running away with the AFC North to battle Miami Dolphins team looking to turn it around after losing four straight before the season slips away.

 

The Bengals have put some distance for themselves after winning their last four games with Andy Dalton leading the way with solid performances.

 

We’re very good,” safety Chris Crocker said. “We’re very, very good. But we have to play like it.”

 

Cincinnati has put 103 points on the board over their last three games thanks in part to Andy Dalton’s 11 touchdown passes and at least 325 yards passing in that span.

 

This is were I want to be,” said Dalton. “This is how I want to be playing.”

 

Receivers Marvin Jones and second-year star A.J. Green have benefited the most due to Dalton’s recent play.

 

He’s had the potential since he’s been here,” Dalton said of Green. “I think he’s just comfortable with everything that we are doing and everything that we’re asking him to do.”

 

The Cincinnati defense is also getting it done on their side of the ball with an NFL rank of fifth in allowing 18.0 points per game and eighth with 322.5 total yards given up.

 

Even with the teams late success, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is keeping his team focused on the task in front of them.

 

We’ve got to be the best team Thursday night, plain and simple,” he said. “It’s us and the Dolphins and, we’ve got the best team. There’s no other challenge. We knew the schedule. That’s the way it is. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. You come, be ready to go.”

 

As for Miami (3-4), after winning their first three games to start the season, they are a team headed in the opposite direction.

 

Obviously we aren’t at an all-time high right now,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “But we’ve got to get back on track. That’s the only option we have with a short week.”

 

Much of the Dolphins problems has been their inability to finish games strong where in their last three games they have led or been tied in the fourth quarter of two.

 

We have to do a better job to close out games,” said receiver Mike Wallace. “We just have to step on their throat. We can’t let up, that’s all—the whole team, in all three phases.”

 

Tannehill has struggled at the quarterback position in the last four games, throwing seven interceptions with a passer rating of just 60.9 in the fourth-quarter.

 

He’s also been sacked a league-high 32 times and has lost five fumbles.

 

Miami coach Joe Philben still believes his team has the talent to turn the season around.

 

If you don’t have a strong locker room, of you don’t have good character individuals, I think it could be a concern,” he said. “I have a lot of faith in our guys. I believe in them. I think we’ll get this thing right and fixed. We have to do it quickly; this is a good team coming in here on Thursday night.”

 

Miami has won the last two meetings, but I like the direction the Bengals are going in right now and look for them to win Thursday night.

 

My prediction for the Bengals vs Dolphins game is, PICK: Cincinnati Bengals

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By Mario Martinez – WonderPunter

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