Previewing the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. UCLA
This is the preview for the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl:
Date: Friday, December 30, 2:00 p.m. ET
Sun Bowl Stadium (El Paso, TX)
Betting splits: 81% of handle, 76% of bets on UCLA -6
Sportsbooks have the UCLA Bruins as 6-point favorites over the Pittsburgh Panthers in Friday’s Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.
The big question has been whether UCLA star QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and RB Zach Charbonnet would play in the game or opt out. They were both practicing with the team–with Thompson-Robinson taking most of the first-team snaps while Charbonnet was in-and-out, according to practice reports.
When the bowl matchup was announced on Sunday, Dec. 5, the Bruins opened as 4-point favorites, lower than expected but understandable due to the uncertainty. The line has been steadily bet higher, up to UCLA -6 at DraftKings sportsbooks, which reports that 76% of the bets and 81% of the money have been on the Bruins. This would appear to be an indication that “someone knows something.” For current figures, see the VSiN Betting Splits Page.
Pittsburgh, which won its last four regular-season games, has its own issues as former USC QB Kedon Slovis is back in the transfer portal after playing 11 games for the Panthers this year with 2,397 passing yards, 10 TDs and 9 INTs. Pitt will also be without top RB Israel Abanikanda.
The Over/Under has been set at 53.5 points, which seems a little low with UCLA averaging 39.6 points per game and Pittsburgh 30.8, though the Panthers have the better defense, allowing 23.4 ppg. UCLA’s Achilles’ heel was giving up 28.3 ppg.
The betting market seems to think points won’t be a problem as 77% of the bets and 56 percent of the money were on the Over 53.5 at Draftkings as of early Wednesday. – Dave Tuley
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