15* UNC/Missouri Independence Bowl ATS ANNIHILATOR on North Carolina +6.5
North Carolina vs. Missouri,
12/26/2011 17:00 EDT,
Score: 24 - 41
Point Spread: +6½/-115 North Carolina
The North Carolina Tar Heels are not getting any respect heading into their Independence Bowl showdown with Missouri. This line has jumped from 3.5 all the way to 6.5 in some places. I believe the Tar Heels will use this as motivation coming in, and I fully expect them to beat Missouri.
This is a very evenly-matched game between two 7-5 teams, but I like North Carolina a little better. Giovani Bernard has rushed for a North Carolina freshman record 1,222 yards, becoming the first Tar Heel to top 1,000 rushing yards since 1997. With 13 rushing touchdowns, he needs one more to tie the school's freshman record.
The Tar Heels got some good news when leading receiver Dwight Jones was reinstated to the team. Jones was originally declared ineligible after allowing his name and image to be used to promote a party in his hometown of Burlington, N.C. Jones hauled in a school-record 79 passes for 1,119 this season with 11 going for touchdowns. Bernard and Jones are the first duo in school history to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season.
Missouri became a lot less dynamic when they lost leading rusher Henry Josey for the season with a knee injury on 11/13. Josey had rushed for 1,168 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging a ridiculous 8.1 yards/carry before going out with the injury.
The Tigers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games in December. Missouri is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a win. Missouri is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0. The Tigers are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 vs. good passing teams averaging 8 or more passing yards/attempt. Mizzou is 0-6 ATS in their last 6 after having won 3 out of their last 4 games. These five trends make for a perfect 26-0 system backing the Tar Heels. Take North Carolina Monday.