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Missouri vs. Minnesota - 1/1/15 Citrus Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-4) at Missouri Tigers (10-3)

College Football: Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 1:00 pm (Florida Citrus Bowl)

The Line: Missouri Tigers -5 -- Over/Under: 47.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ABC

The Missouri Tigers and Minnesota Golden Gophers play Thursday afternoon in the Citrus Bowl at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

The Missouri Tigers have won six of their last seven games and are playing in their ninth bowl in the last 10 years. Maty Mauk is completing 52.9 percent of his passes for 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Mauk has two touchdowns and one pick in his last two games, and Missouri has 25 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Bud Sasser and Jimmie Hunt have combined for more than 1,600 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns while Marcus Murphy has five receptions in his last two games. Missouri’s ground game is averaging 4.4 yards per carry, as Russell Hansbrough leads the way with 970 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Defensively, the Missouri Tigers are allowing 21.4 points, 343.8 yards, and they’ve forced 40 sacks and 22 turnovers. Kentrell Brothers leads the Tigers with 117 tackles and Shane Ray has 21 tackles for loss.

Missouri vs. Minnesota - 1/1/15 Citrus Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have split their last six games and are playing in their third straight bowl. Mitch Leidner is completing 49 percent of his passes for 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Leidner has four total touchdowns and zero picks in his last two games, and Minnesota has 21 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Maxx Williams and Isaac Fruechte have combined for more than 700 receiving yards and eight touchdowns while KJ Maye has five receptions in his last two games. Minnesota’s ground game is averaging 4.8 yards per carry, as David Cobb leads the way with 1,545 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Defensively, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are allowing 23.4 points, 362.7 yards, and they’ve forced 24 sacks and 28 turnovers. Damien Wilson leads Minnesota with 111 tackles and Cameron Botticelli has nine tackles for loss.

The Tigers are 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 non-conference games and 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 games overall. The Golden Gophers are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 non-conference games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall. 

You guys know I've been backing Minnesota all season long and it's paid off in a big way. No reason to change that here. The Golden Gophers are an SEC style team in terms of physicality and will be hungry to win the programs first bowl since 2004. I think Minnesota wins this game outright but the five points is the smarter bet just incase. 

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Minnesota Golden Gophers +5

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