Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAA Football, EPL, NCAA Basketball and NFL Preview

by Big Al Staff

The Monday sports card offers a busy slate of action with NFL Monday Night Football, the English Premier League, college basketball, and the kickoff of the 2020-21 college football bowl season.

The inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl starts at 2:30 PM ET on ESPN, with North Texas playing Appalachian State. The game takes place at Brooks Stadium at the home stadium of Coastal Carolina in Conway, South Carolina.

Appalachian State concluded their regular season with a 34-26 win against Georgia Southern on December 12th. The Mountaineers are 8-3 on the season, with their three losses coming against opponents who combined for a 27-2 record. This program has won all five of their bowl appearances after defeating UAB in the New Orleans Bow last year by a 31-17 score. Senior quarterback Zac Thomas makes his final career collegiate start with a 31-6 career record.

North Texas defeated UTEP on the road by a 45-43 score to raise their record to a 4-5 mark. This contest is the Mean Green’s fourth bowl game opportunity in the last five seasons after missing out on a postseason game last year under fifth-year head coach Sean Littrell.

Appalachian State is a 21-point favorite with the total set at 64.5 (all odds from BetOnline).

The college basketball schedule tips off a noon ET with Clemson hosting Morehead State as a 23-point favorite with an over/under of 126.5. The Tigers rank 24th in the Associated Press poll.

The nationally-televised schedule begins at 7:30 PM ET on FS1, with Butler playing at home against Southern Illinois. The Bulldogs are a 9-point favorite with a total of 133.

Tulsa visits Memphis at 8 PM ET on ESPN2 in an American Athletic Conference clash. The Tigers are an 8.5-point favorite with an over/under of 137.5. Murray State plays at Austin Peay in an Ohio Valley Conference game at 8 PM ET on ESPNU. The Racers are a 4-point road favorite with the total at 145.

The English Premier League concludes Matchweek 14 with two games. At 12:30 PM ET on the NBC Sports Network, Wolverhampton plays at Burnley as a -0.25 goal line road favorite with an over/under of 2. Chelsea hosts West Ham United at 3 PM ET on NBC as a -1.25 goal line favorite with an over/under of 3.

Monday Night Football features a rematch of the Steelers’ 36-10 victory at home over the Bengals on November 15th. Pittsburgh would go on to win two more games in a row for an 11-0 start. But the Steelers have since lost two games in a row after their 26-13 loss at Buffalo last Sunday night. Pittsburgh gained only 224 yards in that game, with the Bills outgaining them by 110 yards. 

The Steelers are currently the second seed in the AFC playoff race with their 11-2 record. A loss would drop them to the third seed in the AFC since they would lose the head-to-head tie-breaker with the Bills after their loss to Buffalo last week.

Cincinnati lost their fifth games in a row with their 30-7 loss to Dallas last week as a 3-point favorite. The Bengals outgained the Cowboys by 37 net yards by holding them to just 272 yards. A 78-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the first quarter helped Dallas overcome that edge to cruise to the victory in quarterback Andy Dalton’s return to Paul Brown Stadium.

Pittsburgh is a 14-point road favorite with the total set at 40.5. ESPN broadcasts the game with the kickoff at 8:15 PM ET.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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