2006 Outback Bowl Preview and Pick

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Penn State Nittany Lions (8-4) +4, o/u 41 vs. Tennessee Volunteers (9-3) on Monday, January 1, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern on ESPN
by Ultimatecapper.com Staff

The Penn State Nittany Lions come into this game on a 2 game winning streak and winners of 4 of their last 5 games. They have only allowed 5.6 points per game during that stretch.

The Tennessee Volunteers started out the season with a 7-1 record and National Title aspirations before dropping 2 of their last 4 games.

The Nittany Lions, tied for 4th in the Big 10, will be playing in their 2nd straight bowl game. They defeated Florida State last year in a very exciting 3 overtime game.

The Volunteers, 2nd in the SEC East Division, will be returning to the bowl season after missing out last year. Prior to last year’s disappointing season they had been to 17 consecutive bowls.

The last time these teams met was in 1994 when Penn State won 31-13. They had no common opponents this year.

Penn State was 4-6-1 against the spread this season. Tennessee was 7-5 against the number this year.

The Nittany Lions are led by Junior QB Anthony Morelli. He is completing 53.7% of his passes and has thrown for 2,227 yards this season. He has thrown for 10 touchdowns and 8 interceptions this season.

The Volunteers are led by Junior QB Erik Ainge who has a 66.9% completion rate and has thrown for 2,722 yards this season. He has 19 touchdowns and has thrown 8 interceptions.

Penn State averages 147 yards rushing per game and their defense allows 88 yards rushing per game. Tennessee is being outrushed by their opponents by a margin of 110-144.

The Nittany Lions rank 72nd in scoring offense in Division 1 (out of 119 teams) by averaging 22.5 points per game. Tennessee is ranked 27th in scoring offense by averaging 29.3 points per game.

Penn State is ranked 55th in total yards per game with 347.4 yards per game. Tennessee is ranked 34th with an average of 374.3 yards per game.

The Nittany Lions defense is ranked 11th giving up an average 14.8 points per game. The Volunteers’ defense is ranked 38th giving up an average 19.5 points per game.

Penn State’s defense is ranked 16th in total yards by giving up an average of 279.0 yards per game. Tennessee is ranked 50th giving up 323.2 yards per game.

Penn State averages 5.1 yards per play while giving up an average of 4.3 yards per play. Tennessee averages 6.1 YPP while giving up 5.3 YPP.

The Over/Under is 4-7 in Penn State games this season, 5-6-1 in Tennessee games.

The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com rank the Nittany Lions #23 at 82.26. Tennessee ranks #10 at 87.04.

The opening line on this game was Tennessee -4.5 with a total of 41. The line has moved down to Tennessee -4 and the total has stayed the same. At the time of this writing the betting public was backing Tennessee by a margin of 77%-23%.

The Ultimatecapper Prediction: We suggest small wager on Tennessee as we don’t expect a lot of productivity from the Penn State offense.

Tennessee 24 Penn State 14

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Jay has been watching and following sports since he could walk and turned to betting in his late teens. His favorite sport is MLB and has been producing winners on UltimateCapper for over 15 years. Follow Jay's free sports picks and enjoy the winners.