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Rebels vs Mean Green: Heart of Dallas Bowl Betting preview

UNLV RebelsNorth Texas Mean Green
7-5January 01, 2014, 12:00 | Cotton Bowl8-4

UNLV will hit the gridiron against a profitable North Texas team on January 1 as those two schools meet for the Heart of Dallas Bowl at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

Formerly the TicketCity.com Bowl, this matchup pits two schools returning to bowl action after lengthy delays.

North Texas is 1-3 ATS in bowls and plays in its first since 2004. They were favored by 6.5 in early wagering at BetOnline.

It’s the first UNLV bowl game since winning Las Vegas Bowl in 2000.

The Mean Green sport a record of 8-4 and 9-3 ATS heading into this matchup, while the Rebels sit at 7-5 and 8-4 ATS on the season. The over under records are 4-8 for the Mean Green and 6-5-1 for the Rebels.

View UNLV Rebels vs North Texas Mean Green Odds and Stats.

Heart of Dallas betting odds: North Texas was favored early at TopBet with a total sitting near 54.5 as of mid-December at GTbets.eu.

This game matches up the No. 21 (Mean Green) and the No. 63 (Rebels) teams in the league, according to our current NCAAF Power Rankings at OddsShark. A 38-26 result in favor of the Mean Green is predicted by handicapping models.

UNLV won its last outing, a 45-19 result against San Diego State on November 30. UNLV covered in that game as a 3.5-point underdog, while the 64 combined points took the game OVER the total. Brandin Byrd went over the 100-yard mark (251) in his team's latest effort as North Texas defeated Tulsa by a score of 42-10 on Saturday.

How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up North Texas's No. 50-ranked offense (31.5 PPG) against a Rebels defense that ranks No. 94 at 31.5 PPG. The Mean Green passing attack has averaged 227.58 yards per game, more than the Rebels give up through the air (214.5 YPG on average).

Defensively, the Rebels feature the league's No. 116-rated road run defense, allowing 256.4 yards per game. North Texas, meanwhile, ranks No. 37 in rushing offense at home.