post

NCAA Prediction Bowl Game Preview/Pick- Michigan vs. Kansas State

wolverines

Michigan Wolverines (7-5) vs. Kansas State Wildcats (7-5) 12/28- 10:15PM EST

 

BUFFALO WINGS BOWL- Tempe, AZ

 

Line: KSU -5.0

Over/Under: 55.5

 

The Kansas State Wildcats, winners of five of their final six games and feeling confident, head into Tempe on Saturday night in search of their first bowl game victory since 2002 as they take on a Michigan team that has struggled down the stretch and will be without their starting quarterback.

 

The Wildcats (7-5) have been a successful program under coach Bill Snyder, but haven’t tasted a bowl win in five postseason games since beating Arizona State in the 2002 Holiday Bowl.

 

It is obvious that one of my many failings is that I do not have to answer to that,” the 74-year old Bill Snyder said. “It could be a multitude of things, and perhaps it is, or maybe it’s something simple that I am overlooking. …. The bottom line is I really do not know.”

 

Kansas State was eluded victories in its last two major bowl games in the 2011 Cotton Bowl and 2012 Fiesta Bowl, but like their chances this year in the Buffalo Wings Bowl with a Wolverines team without their star quarterback.

 

After a 2-4 start, the Wildcats went on a 5-1 run to put themselves in a great bowl game after Big 12 foes Baylor and Oklahoma wound up in BCS bowls this year. They were headed for the Holiday Bowl, but Saturday’s bowl game is a step up and they plan to take full advantage of it.

 

Nobody on our team has won a bowl game, with the exception of the coaches,” junior linebacker Jonathan Truman said. “We need it. We want it really bad.”

 

Michigan (7-5) started out 5-0, but lost four of five to finish the season with four of those losses by four points or fewer, with its last loss at the heals of their biggest rival Ohio State 42-41 back on November 30th.

 

It was that game that knocked Devin Gardner out of Saturday’s contest with a turf toe injury, a big blow after their star threw for 451 yards and four touchdowns. It was that impressive showing that gave the Wolverines the nod over Nebraska, who had two more wins in the Big 10 than Michigan a spot in Saturday’s game.

 

With Gardner out, the spotlight will be on freshman quarterback Shane Morris to lead the Wolverines as he makes his first career start.

 

Obviously, we recruited him at Michigan to be the quarterback at Michigan,” coach Brady Hoke said. “This is a great opportunity. We have a lot of faith in how he goes about his business getting ready to play.”

 

With a Michigan running game that ranks 112th in the nation with a paltry 3.2 yards per carry, it will be vital for the young Morris to find success through the air to have a chance, so look for Morris to target Jeremy Gallon, who had 80 catches for 1,284 yards with nine touchdowns.

 

Kansas State will counter with Tyler Lockett who had 71 receptions for 1,146 yards and eight touchdowns to lead the Wildcats, who use a two-quarterback approach… junior Jake Walters averages 9.43 yards per attempt and sophomore Daniel Sams, who ran for 784 yards with 11 touchdowns.

 

I’ve never been a fan of having two guys at that position that play equally,” Snyder said. “But both of them are very deserving of having the opportunity to play.”

 

With Gardner out, the oddsmakers have made the Wildcats a (minus -5.0) point favorite on Saturday night, but as always, get the latest spread on the game(s) up until kickoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

On defense, watch for Michigan cornerback Blake Countess tied for fourth in the nation with six interceptions and Kansas State defensive end Ryan Mueller who had 11 ½ sacks and a Big-12 leading 18 ½ tackles for loss.

 

It’s tough to go with a young quarterback without much game experience and without a solid running game for the Wolverines, I like and predict the Wildcats notching their first bowl win in over a decade.

 

Prediction/Pick: Kansas State

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

post

NFL Prediction Week 15 Sunday Night Preview- Bengals vs. Steelers

 

Cincinnati Bengals (9-4) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8) 12/15- 8:30PM EST

large_pickem

Line: CIN -1.5

Over/Under: 41.5

 

The Cincinnati Bengals will travel into Heinz Field on Sunday night with a chance to earn it’s third consecutive postseason berth.. a first for them in the team’s 46-year history.

 

The scenario is simple for the Bengals…. a win Sunday against the Steelers and a loss or tie by either the Ravens or Dolphins and Cincy is in the playoffs. If the Bengals win and Baltimore losses or ties, the NFC North title is theirs.

 

We’re on a roll,” linebacker Ray Maualuga said. “At the beginning of the year, we had three goals. We wanted to be undefeated at home, win the AFC North and eventually be world champions.”

 

But, first things first for the Bengals (9-4) and that’s winning in prime time on Sunday in Pittsburgh in hopes of extending their three game win streak that saw them beat the Browns and Colts by a combined 83-48 score, then use their defense to win at San Diego 17-10.

 

Much of the success for the Bengals has been a combination of a formidable pass rush defense and the offense play of quarterback Andy Dalton and the running backs. Dalton is currently enjoying the highest passer rating of his career—although it’s still a modest 87.7.

 

On the ground, the running back duo of BenJarvis Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard have combined for 1,282 yards with 10 touchdowns. Cincinnati is tied for ninth in the NFL with 25.7 points scored per game.

 

Pittsburgh (5-8) has had trouble protecting Ben Roethlisberger all year long due to various injuries along the offensive line and with the pass rushing abilities the Bengals posses, it may be a long night once again for the Pittsburgh O-line.

 

Big Ben’” has been sacked 39 times this season… tied for third in the league. Cincinnati got to him twice back on Sept 16 in a 20-10 home win.

 

We didn’t win the first game against these guys,” said Pittsburgh receiver Jerricho Cotchery. We are going to be up for the challenge. Guys are going to be ready to play.”

 

After a pair of close losses, the Steelers understand any chance of making the playoffs is pretty much over, but with a chance to play spoiler, Pittsburgh insists they’ll be ready to play.

 

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says the team is “putting together a plan that is geared toward defeating the Cincinnati Bengals.”

 

Ready or not, the oddsmakers have made the Bengals a slim (minus -1.5) point favorite on the road as they look to strengthen their position for the playoffs. With a close spread for Sunday’s contest, get the latest lines in the game up until kickoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

With a two-game lead in the division over Baltimore and a first-round berth within their reach, I predict the Bengals will be ready and see them leaving Pittsburgh with a big road win.

 

We’ve just got to take care of our business and we’ll be alright,” Bengals cornerback Adam Jones said. ”If we just win out we’ll be OK. That’s all we’ve got to do: win out and everything will take care of itself.”

 

I agree… prediction Bengals.

 

Prediction/Pick: Cincinnati

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

post

Wonder Punter NHL Week 3 Power Rankings

nhl

Wonder Punter NHL Week 3 Power Rankings

 

With about 3 weeks in the books for all the NHL teams this week… let’s take a look at the Power Rankings throughout the league.

 

1) San Jose Sharks (7-0-1)- Plus-23 goal differential thus far and beating teams soundly.

 

2) Colorado Avalanche (7-1-0)- Unbeaten on the road and playing for a coach who truly cares.. Patrick Roy.

 

3) Pittsburgh Penguins (7-1-0)- The early team to beat in the Eastern Conference.

 

4) Anaheim Ducks (7-1-0)- Have won seven straight since being blown out their opening game by the Avalanche.

 

5) Chicago Blackhawks (5-1-2)- Still looking for more offense early on for the defending champs.

 

6) St. Louis Blues (5-1-1)- Beat their division foe Chicago, but still not ready to put them ahead of the Blackhawks just yet.

 

7) Los Angeles Kings (6-3-0)- All the pieces are there, just need Jonathan Quick to get back on track.

 

8) Boston Bruins (5-2-0)- Plus-10 goal differential thanks to goalie Claude Julien.

 

9) Detroit Red Wings (6-3-0)- Need to get back to a more physical style of play.

 

10) Phoenix Coyotes (5-2-2)- Have points in six-straight games (4-0-2).

 

11) Nashville Predators (5-3-2)- Are on a nice little 4-0-1 run.

 

12) Carolina Hurricanes (4-2-3)- Have earned points in seven of their last nine games.

 

13) Montreal Canadians (5-3-0)- The Habs have allowed just 15 goals early on.

 

14) Vancouver Canucks (5-4-1)- Need better improvement from their power-play that ranks 27th in the league.

 

15) Ottawa Senators (3-3-2)- Should have a better record, but have only played two-home games thus far.

 

16) Toronto Maple Leafs (6-3-0)- Have lost two in straight, but goalie James Reimer appears to be ok following collision last week.

 

17) Tampa Bay Lightening (5-3-0)- Goalie Ben Bishop is 5-1-0 between the pipes.

 

18) New York Islanders (3-3-2)- Are underachieving early on.

 

19) Minnesota Wild (3-3-3)- Have scored just 19 goals in the early season.

 

20) Calgary Flames (3-2-2)- Overachieved early, now have slowed down.

 

21) Dallas Stars (3-5-0)- Still without goalie Keri Lehtonen.

 

22) Winnipeg Jets (4-5-0)- Inconsistent play.

 

23) Washington Capitals (3-5-0)- Lack of scoring depth.

 

24) Florida Panthers (3-6-0)- Potential is there, but need to be more consistent.

 

25) New Jersey Devils (1-4-3) Goalie Cory Schneider is solid, but no help defensively.

 

26) Columbus Blue Jackets (3-5-0)- Only 19 goals in eight games.

 

27) Edmonton Oilers (2-6-1)- Goalie Devan Dubnyk having his problems in the nets.

 

28) New York Rangers (2-5-0)- Have given up 29 goals and are injury plagued.

 

29) Buffalo Sabers (1-8-1)- Just a bad team.

 

30) Philadelphia Flyers (1-7-0)- Fired their coach three games in and now are in a four-game losing streak.

By Mario Martinez- WonderPunter

For more NCAA NBA MLB NFL, Scores, Reviews, Previews, and Picks, feel free to check out our sections from the tabs on top of the page where I will be updating on a daily basis

Would you like to show off your writing skills? opinions? for the sports world to see? If so feel free to contribute and we will publish your stories and reviews Info@wonder-punter.net

 

The NEW BetOnline