The bowl season is upon us, and the FBC Mortgage Stadium in Orlando, Florida is set to ignite with the clash between the Miami (OH) RedHawks and the Appalachian State Mountaineers on December 16th. While the 6.5-point spread and 44.5-point total offer a starting point, let’s delve deeper with a data-driven approach, combining AI models, historical trends, and injury updates, to uncover the best pick for this bowl game.

Game Information

Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl: Miami (Ohio) vs. Appalachian State

Date: Saturday, Dec. 16

Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

Location: FBC Mortgage Stadium, Orlando, Fla.

Miami (OH) vs. Appalachian State

AI Model Mashup:

  1. BetQL: Known for its strong public betting analysis, BetQL currently projects Appalachian State to cover the spread with a 66% win probability.
  2. ESPN FPI: This ESPN metric, based on power rankings and schedule strength, favors Appalachian State with a 63.7% win probability.
  3. SportsLine: Their simulation model predicts a close game with a slight edge to Appalachian State, winning 52% of the time.
  4. cfb_spread_betting_model: This open-source xgboost model on GitHub, trained on historical data, predicts a 6.6-point win for Appalachian State.

Pythagorean Prowess:

Applying the Pythagorean theorem, which analyzes points scored and allowed, paints an interesting picture:

  • Miami (OH): 23.4 points scored per game, 28.3 points allowed per game (Pythagorean expectation: 3-7)
  • Appalachian State: 35.8 points scored per game, 24.6 points allowed per game (Pythagorean expectation: 8-2)
  • This suggests Appalachian State’s strong offense could overpower Miami (OH)’s slightly below-average defense.

Strength of Schedule:

Strength of schedule (SOS) adds another layer of analysis. According to Jeff Sagarin’s rankings, Appalachian State boasts a tougher SOS (72nd) than Miami (OH) (107th). This implies they’re battle-tested against tougher competition, potentially giving them an edge.

Injury Report:

Key injuries can significantly alter the landscape. Miami (OH) faces significant blows with Joe Wilkins Jr. (out), Kenny Tracy (out), Brett Gabbert (limited), and Maddox Kopp transferred. Appalachian State’s Ryan Burger (finger) is also worth monitoring, but their overall roster appears more intact.

Trend Time:

Historically, Appalachian State holds a slight edge in bowl games, winning 5 of their last 7 appearances. Miami (OH), however, has covered the spread in 4 of their last 5 bowl games.

Weather Wisdom:

The game is played outdoors in Orlando, and the forecast predicts pleasant weather with moderate temperatures and no rain. This removes any potential weather-related advantage.

Model Mashup Scorecard:

  • Appalachian State: 4 out of 5 AI models favor them, including the highly-regarded BetQL and ESPN FPI.
  • Miami (OH): Their Pythagorean expectation suggests a below-average record, and their SOS is weaker.
  • Key injuries could further hamper Miami (OH)’s already struggling offense.
  • Historically, Appalachian State has been more successful in bowl games.

Miami vs appalchian

The Verdict:

Based on the combined data and analysis, Appalachian State appears to be the more likely winner. Their dominant offense, tougher SOS, and historical bowl success give them a significant edge. However, the spread of 6.5 points is relatively narrow, indicating a potential for a close game. Therefore, a cautious approach is recommended.

Final Pick:

  • Appalachian State to win, but keep the bet amount conservative due to the narrow spread.
  • Consider placing a smaller bet on the under for the total points (44.5), given the strong defenses on both sides and potential injury impact on Miami (OH)’s offense.

PICK: Take Appalachian State -6.5