Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl 2012 predictions: Ball State over UCF is popular opinion

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

The Ball State Cardinals are getting more love in predictions for Friday's Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl. Why are people selecting the Cardinals over the Central Florida Knights?

Entering Friday's Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla., the Central Florida Knights are favored by seven points according to Oddsshark.com. Despite this, many people are leaning towards selecting the Ball St. Cardinals to win at Tropicana Field.

Yahoo! Sports has both Pat Forde and Graham Watson selecting the Cardinals to win the game. Along with that, Yahoo users, who on average got more picks right than Forde or Watson this season, also selected the Cardinals.

On College Football Talk, Joey Johnston believes that the Knights, playing 120 miles from their Orlando campus, should be well-represented. Despite that, he gives the edge to the Cardinals with the momentum they have entering the game and how solid they are on offense:

The Cardinals enter with a six-game winning streak. They have scored 30 or more points in 10 of 12 games...Ball State is ultra-sound on offense with precise quarterback Keith Wenning, powerful runner Jahwan Edwards (1,321 yards, 6.1-yard average, 14 TDs) and game-breaking receiver Willie Snead (82 catches).

Aside from that, the staff at The Sporting News predicts that the Knights will win this game. The staff there believes that the big edge in this game goes to the Knights' defense:

Both teams can move the ball, but UCF's 29th-rated defense has allowed about nine points less per game (22.5) than Ball State's and should provide the difference.

The Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl will be on Friday night with kickoff at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.

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