The college football bowl season continues the day after Christmas as the Missouri Tigers and the North Carolina Tarheels face off in the Independence Bowl. Both teams will invade Shreveport, La, in hopes of leaving with a bow victory.

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The college football bowl game spread opened with Missouri has 4.5 point favorites. The early line movement in this game has shown money coming in on Missouri. With 71% of the public on the Tigers the line has moved to five points in most offshore sportsbooks.

Both of these teams have had their share of off-the-field distractions on the season. For North Carolina it started early as head coach Butch Davis was relieved of his duties after the program was engulfed in controversy. The Heels had to endure suspensions for numerous NCAA violations. After a mid season winning streak, they have limped down the stretch.

For Missouri, they had a problem with their head coach as well. Coach Gary Pinkel was suspended following his arrest for drunken driving, and a dark cloud was cast over the program. The last thing the Tigers need is a distraction heading to the bowl game as they enter this bowl game on a two game postseason losing streak.

If the Tigers want to snap that streak they will need a big game from quarterback James Franklin. Franklin leads an offensive that is ranked high in yards per game among other teams in the country. Franklin is a touchdown machine and the nucleus of the offense, but goes up against a tough defense in North Carolina. Luckily for Franklin, the Heels defense is better against the run than the pass.

The Tigers are excited to be playing in this game, and it becomes a home-game for a Missouri team that has connections to nearby Texas. The Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a loss against the number and 6-2 ATS in the last eight games on grass. The Tar Heels are 7-25 ATS in their last 32 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game and 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a win.

The Tigers want to break the postseason losing streak and gain momentum as they head to the SEC next year.

Independence Bowl pick against the spread: Missouri Tigers -5