Texas Bowl 2013: Odds, pick and trends for Syracuse vs. Minnesota

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota has lost five straight bowl games, but is favored to end that streak. The Gophers face Syracuse in the 2013 edition of the Texas Bowl. This story was provided to SB Nation by OddsShark.com.

Over the last 12 Texas Bowls, the favorite has gone 8-2-2 ATS and the Minnesota Golden Gophers will be victors in 2013 if that trend continues.

They enter the Texas Bowl betting arena in Houston as a four-point favorite over the Syracuse Orange, according to most sportsbooks monitored by SB Nation's lines partner OddsShark.com.

However, Minnesota hasn't won a bowl game since the 2004 Music City Bowl, going 0-5 SU in its five postseason appearances since.

The Gophers had one of the nation's worst passing attacks this season, but a strong rushing game that averaged just over 200 rushing yards per game and a defense that held opponents to just 22.3 points per game kept the team competitive all season long.

[ Texas Bowl betting history, odds updates and matchup trends ]

Minnesota (Big Ten, 8-4 SU, 9-3 ATS, 6-6 OU) ended the season with a 4-2 SU and 6-0 ATS second half, upsetting Northwestern, Nebraska and Indiana outright and then covering the spread in losses to Wisconsin and Michigan State.

Syracuse (ACC, 6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS, 6-6 OU) was also built around the running game (193.8 rushing yards per game) and defense (26.1 points per game against) this season, finishing outside of the top 100 in passing as well.

It was a fairly mediocre season overall for the Orange, but the team did earn a few outright upsets in road wins over North Carolina State and Maryland and a season-ending win at home over Boston College.

Five of the last six Texas Bowls have gone under the total, and this game looks to have the makings of one that could keep that trend alive. Both teams split their season totals at 6-6, but that had a lot to do with high-powered offensive opponents.

This game should look a lot more like an old-fashioned smash mouth football game between two teams that run and defend well. The total was expected to remain low.

Minnesota is favored in this one because both teams play the same style and the Golden Gophers had slightly better results on both sides of the ball and in the win column as well.

But it should end up being a close one, and will likely come down to which team can come up with the big play or win the turnover battle.

Computer Prediction: 26-20 Minnesota (from Texas Bowl betting preview)

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