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Washington State vs. Minnesota: Holiday Bowl - 12/27/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-4) at Washington State Cougars (8-4)

College Football: Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Qualcomm Stadium)

The Line: Washington State Cougars -7 -- Over/Under: 60 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Minnesota Golden Gophers and Washington State Cougars clash Tuesday night in the college football Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium on ESPN.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers hope to win nine games for the first time since the 2003 CFB season. The Minnesota Golden Gophers have lost seven of their last eight bowl games. Mitch Leidner is completing 56.4 percent of his passes for 2,040 yards, seven touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Leidner has one or less touchdown pass in nine straight games. Drew Wolitarsky and Rashad Still have combined for 1,098 receiving yards and five touchdowns while Brian Smith has 13 receptions. The Minnesota Golden Gophers ground game is averaging 186.4 yards per contest, and Rodney Smith leads the way with 1,084 yards and 15 touchdowns. Defensively, Minnesota is allowing 22.9 points and 352.6 yards per game. Jonathan Celestin leads the Minnesota Golden Gophers with 79 tackles, Steven Richardson has seven sacks and KiAnte Hardin has two interceptions.

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Washington State vs. Minnesota: Holiday Bowl  - 12/27/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Washington State Cougars look for back-to-back bowl victories and another nine-game winning season. The Washington State Cougars have won six of their last nine bowl games. Luke Falk is completing 71 percent of his passes for 4,204 yards, 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Falk has three or more touchdown passes in five of his last six games. Gabe Marks and Tavares Martin Jr. have combined for 990 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns while River Cracraft has 53 receptions. The Washington State Cougars ground game is averaging 126.8 yards per contest, and James Williams leads the way with 573 yards and six touchdowns. Defensively, Washington State is allowing 27.2 points and 416.5 yards per game. Peyton Pelluer leads the Washington State Cougars with 89 tackles, Hercules Mata'afa has four sacks and Shalom Luani has four interceptions.

The under is 4-0 in Golden Gophers last 4 games following a straight up loss. The under is 4-0-1 in Cougars last 5 games following a double-digit loss at home and the over is 3-0-1 in Cougars last 4 games following a ATS loss.

This is a lot of points to give the Minnesota Golden Gophers, a team that has a top-25 defense and is very well coached. Besides Washington, Minnesota may be the best defensive team Washington State is going to see all season. I know Washington State is the sexy team with its quarterback and this is close to a home game with it being played in San Diego, but Minnesota is a tough team that usually controls the trenches and we know how smaller Pac-12 teams usually perform against physical, big teams. The Cougars won’t be able to just lineup and throw for eight touchdowns in this game.

I'll gladly take the Golden Gophers and the fre touchdown.

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