Fenway Betting Preview: SMU Mustangs vs. Virginia Cavaliers – Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021

by Spooky Express | December 23, 2021 |

The Fenway Bowl will take place on Wednesday, December 29th, from Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts with the kickoff scheduled to take place at 11:00 AM ET. BookMaker has set the point spread for this game at Virginia -3 and has set the total for the over/under plays at 71.5 points.

Bowl History and Conference Tie-Ins

This year, the Fenway Bowl will be played for the 1st year. The Fenway Bowl features teams with tie-ins from the American and the ACC. This year, the SMU Mustangs will represent the AAC and the Virginia Cavaliers will be the representative from the ACC.

Previous Matchups

This will be the first time in the history of the two programs that they’ve played each other.

SMU Mustangs Preview

The SMU Mustangs enter this game with a record of 8-4 but have lost four of their last five games including a 31-34 loss to Tulsa to end the regular season. SMU played in five games against bowl-eligible teams and went 1-4 in those contests with the lone win coming against UCF and the four losses coming against Houston, Memphis, Cincinnati, and Tulsa. The Mustangs finished the regular season going 6-6 ATS which includes going 1-1 ATS as an underdog.

Offensively, the SMU Mustangs enter this game averaging 35.46 points per game which is tied for 11th in college football. They feature a balanced offense that is averaging 35.17 rushing attempts per game and 36 passing attempts per game. However, they are a far superior passing team than a rushing team as they are averaging 281.08 passing yards per game which ranks 17th in the nation. Tre Siggers leads the team in rushing with 727 yards and 9 touchdowns while Tanner Mordecai leads the team in passing with 3,628 yards for 39 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Defensively, the Mustangs are allowing an average of 26.23 points per game which is slightly above the national average of 25.55 for the rest of college football.

Virginia Cavaliers Preview

The Virginia Cavaliers enter this game with a record of 6-6 putting them in 3rd place in the Coastal Division of the ACC. They played in eight games against bowl-eligible teams and went 2-6 in those contests with the wins coming against Miami (FL) and Louisville while losing to North Carolina, Wake Forest, BYU, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, and Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers finished the regular season going 7-5 ATS which includes going 4-2 ATS as a favorite.

Offensively, Virginia enters this game averaging 31.92 points per game which is above the national average of 27.48 for the rest of college football. They are a pass-heavy team that is averaging 42.54 passing attempts per game compared to 28.25 rushing attempts. The Cavaliers are also one of the best passing teams in college football as they enter this game averaging the 2nd most passing yards per game in the nation with 362.36 yards. Wayne Taulapapa leads the team in rushing with 324 yards and 2 touchdowns while Brennan Armstrong leads the team in passing with 4,449 yards for 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Virginia has been a below-average team defensively in terms of points allowed per game as they are giving up 29.38 points which is higher than the national average of 25.55 for the rest of college football.

Handicapping Breakdowns

In this game, we like SMU plus 3 points. Virginia just isn't a very good team this year and the defense is certainly not very good. The system is calling for SMU to get the outright win here by just over 9 points. With SMU getting 3 points, with a heavy line movement, we have to side with the system and take the Mustangs +3.

Spooky's Official Pick: SMU Mustangs +3

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