The Wisconsin Badgers (7-5, 2nd Big Ten – West) play the Miami Hurricanes (7-5, 3rd ACC – Coastal) in New York, NY on Thursday, Dec. 27 at 5:15 pm ET in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. Our Pinstripe Bowl free pick and preview has the Hurricanes favored by 2.5 points. The over/under ranges from 45.5 to 46.5. This is the second of two bowl games being played today. Our pick for Walk On’s Independence Bowl with Temple and Duke is right here. Plus, we have another New Era Pinstripe Bowl free pick from one of our other analysts. You’ll also find our Texas Bowl pick here.
The Hurricanes dropped their first game 33-15 to #25 LSU. After a string of five wins, including two in-conference, they lost four in a row. Miami salvaged their season with two late-season wins, including a 24-3 victory over #24 Pittsburgh. After two early wins, the Badgers could not find consistency. They lost their third game to BYU and then won their first two Big Ten games against Iowa and Nebraska. Wisconsin then alternated wins and losses.
Miami – Analysis
The Hurricanes averaged 30.9 PPG. They ran for 197.3 YPG and passed for 177.4 YPG. Our Pinstripe Bowl free pick and preview notes that despite the fact that freshman N’Kosi Perry (51.6 COMP%, 13 TDs, 5 INTs) played well down the stretch, that senior QB Mailk Rosier will get the start in this game. Rosier had major issues with picks this season. Malik connected on 51.6% of his passes, throwing six TDs and five INTs. Freshman TE Brevin Jordan, who has 30 catches with four for TDs, and junior WR Lawrence Cager, who grabbed 20 passes with six resulting in scores, will be major targets. Miami WR Jeff Thomas leads the team with 35 catches. He’s scored three times. Rosier offers some decent rushing chops. Two running backs, DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer, who have a total of 10 TDs and over 1,500 yards, will be the primary rushers.
The Miami defense held teams to 18.2 PPG. They were exceptionally tough against the pass, holding opponents to 140.8 YPG in passing. Opponents also averaged 127.5 YPG on the ground. The Hurricanes comes to this game with 15 INTs, 38 PD, and 36 sacks. They have posted over 100 TFL. This is a very tough defense. We expect them to put a lot of pressure on the Wisconsin offense and to create confusion and neutralize the Badger attack.
Wisconsin – Analysis
The Badgers averaged 29.3 PPG, and averaged 268.4 YPG on the ground and 164.8 YPG in the air. The big news for our Pinstripe Bowl free pick and preview is that junior QB Alex Hornibrook will not play due to reoccurring concussion symptoms. We expect sophomore Jack Coan, who’s tossed 82 passes and completed 50 this season, to get the call. Coan has thrown four TD passes and two picks. He’ll have plenty of targets to toss to, as the Badgers have five pass catchers with 20 or more receptions. Sophomore RB Jonathan Taylor (280 ATT, 1,989 YDs, 7.1 YPA, 15 TDs) will be an essential part of this team’s attack.
The Badgers defense allowed 24.3 PPG. They gave up 157.9 YPG in rushing and 200.8 YPG in passing. The Wisconsin D has defended 40 passes and picked 10. Their sacks total 17. They have over 50 TFL. We expect the Hurricane QBs to have time in the pocket, and the running game to have some room to do what it wants to do.
Five Keys to the Game
- Miami defense versus Wisconsin rush
- QB Hornibrook won’t play for Badgers
- Miami has two experienced QBs
- Hurricane attack will feature run
- Can Badgers stop Miami ground game?
Our Pinstripe Bowl Free Pick
It’s ironic that these two unranked teams meet in this bowl game. The Hurricanes were ranked seventh in the nation and many predicted they would win the ACC Coastal. The Badgers were ranked eighth in the country and were projected to take the Big Ten West Division. Neither team came close to meeting expectations. Our Pinstripe Bowl free pick for 2018 is the Hurricanes at -2.5. We’re going with over 45.5. You can get more bowl picks, in fact every spread and totals bet for every game, right here.