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Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Ole Miss Rebels vs. TCU Horned Frogs Predictions, Picks, Odds and NCAA Football Betting Preview – December 31, 2014

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Ole Miss Rebels vs. TCU Horned Frogs Predictions, Picks, Odds and NCAA Football Betting Preview – December 31, 2014

TCU’s national championship dreams may have been dashed when they were left out of the College Football Playoff but they still have a fantastic opportunity to cap their successful season on a high note with a win in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl this coming New Year’s Eve. Standing in their way, however, are the Ole Miss Rebels who are coming off a thrilling upset victory over arch-rivals Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl.

Read on for a preview of this New Year’s Six showdown and while you’re at it, you can check out our CFP previews of Alabama vs. Ohio State and Florida State vs. Oregon.

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Ole Miss Rebels vs. TCU Horned Frogs 2014 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Betting Preview

Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta

When: Saturday, December 31, 2014, 12:30 PM ET

Line: Ole Miss Rebels (+3.5) vs. TCU Horned Frogs (-3.5); total: 56.5 – view all NCAA Football lines

Betting on the Ole Miss Rebels

He just wouldn’t be denied.

Bo Wallace made sure that his final game as a Rebel will come in a significant bowl game after leading Ole Miss to a stunning 31-17 win over arch-rivals Mississippi State in the 111th edition of the Egg Bowl last Sunday.

[sc:NCAA240banner ]Bucking a sprained ankle, Wallace completed 13 of 30 passes for 296 yards and had a one-yard running score to help the Rebels win the Egg Bowl for the second time in his three seasons as the starting quarterback. More importantly, though, he helped Ole Miss secure a spot in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl game where they will face Big 12 co-champions TCU.

It’s only fitting that Wallace will get to end his illustrious college career in such a big game. Wallace helped resuscitate Ole Miss’ flagging program which finished 2-10 in 2011. In his three years as a starter, Wallace has managed to compile a school-record 10,411 yards of total offense. Together with head coach Hugh Freeze, they led a once-struggling program to two consecutive Bowl victories.

Those Bowl appearances, however, pale in comparison to the one they will contest against TCU. A victory here would cement Wallace’s legacy as one of the greatest Rebels of all-time. It won’t be that easy, though, as the Horned Frogs have proven to be one of the best teams this season, going 11-1 this year in a tightly-contested Big 12 conference.

Of course a growing concern for Ole Miss is Wallace’s ankle injury which clearly bothered him in their game against the Bulldogs. Fortunately for Wallace, he has three more weeks to get healthy before that big clash against TCU.

A healthy Wallace is vital for the Rebels if they are to take advantage of TCU’s shaky secondary which is only 84th in the FBS in passing defense, allowing 242.4 yards per game. One guy who’s hoping for a quick Wallace recovery is Evan Engram who’s stepping up big time in the absence of Lamar Treadwell. He caught five passes for 176 yards in the game against Mississippi State and may need to assume a much greater role if Ole Miss’ leading receiver Vince Sanders fails to recover from the knee injury he suffered in that same game.

For all the talk on Wallace and his legacy, though, what sets this Ole Miss team apart from other sides this season is their amazing play on the defensive end. The Rebels have allowed a measly 13.8 points per game this season, the best mark in the entire FBS.

That will come in handy against a TCU side which is averaging 47.6 points per game during their current seven-game winning run. Ole Miss’s secondary will be up for the fight, though, as they have allowed just eight passing touchdowns this year, second-best in the entire nation.

The Rebels are 2-3 in their last five games.

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Betting on the TCU Horned Frogs

Let’s just say this hasn’t been a good week for the TCU Horned Frogs.

First, they missed out on the season-ending College Football Playoff with Ohio State taking their spot in the Final Four. Then, Trevone Boykin, who was named first-team All-Big-12 just last Monday, was surprisingly left out in the list of Heisman Trophy finalists for this season.

Fortunately, for Boykin and the rest of the Horned Frogs, they have one more game to prove the CFP committee and all the doubters wrong.

Just like they have done all season, TCU will bank on their offense to carry them through their biggest game of the year. The Horned Frogs have turned into an offensive juggernaut this season, averaging 46.8 points per game, second-best in the entire FBS.

Key to their great run this year has been the outstanding form of Boykin. The ex-West Mesquite standout has thrown for 3,714 yards and has rushed for 642 more this season. He has also recorded 30 passing touchdowns to only seven interceptions in addition to his eight rushing scores this season.

Another player who has contributed mightily to TCU’s 11-win campaign this year is Josh Doctson. Doctson has flourished in TCU’s spread offense as he has posted career-highs in receiving yards (959), receptions (59) and touchdowns (9).

The duo have steered the Horned Frogs to the seventh-best passing attack in the nation with TCU averaging 346.0 yards per game via the aerial route this season. They will have a battle in their hands, though, against an Ole Miss team that is 16th in passing defense this season, allowing an average of just 187.6 yards per game.

The Horned Frogs are 5-0 in their last five games.

Writer’s Prediction

TCU (-3.5) edges past Ole Miss, 34-27.

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Written by Joel

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