After starting the season 7-0, the Ohio Bobcats have now lost two of their last three games. Last week’s home loss to Bowling Green hurt the team’s chances of playing for a MAC title, but they still have an outside shot. They clearly can’t lose any more games, so the Bobcats must step up this week. Ohio will be in action in the middle of the week for the third straight week. They travel to take on the 7-3 Ball State Cardinals Wednesday night.
All year long, the mid-major betting report is focusing on the Ohio Bobcats. I’m reading reports from Bobcats beat writers, following players and staff on Twitter, and going through all the team’s press conferences. The goal is to become an expert on this Ohio Bobcats team. This report is designed to show how specialization is a profitable betting strategy.
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Last year’s mid-major betting report, which followed the Rice Owls, made $100-per-unit bettors $1,280 in profit based on a record of 7-2-1. At the end of each article this season, I will make a selection for that week’s Ohio Bobcats contest. Doc’s Sports Unit Betting System will be used for every pick, which should help readers follow along and track the results of these weekly college football picks.
What went wrong for the Bobcats last week in their crucial matchup against Bowling Green? Ohio had only two scoring drives all game long. The Bobcats scored a touchdown on their opening possession of the game and then on a possession in the third quarter. In all, Ohio finished with just 244 yards of total offense. The Bobcats running attack finished with just 99 yards on the ground. Bowling Green’s defense was the best in the MAC coming into the game, and they showed how dominant they can be last week in shutting down the powerful Bobcats offense.
Bowling Green Coach Dave Clawson said the Falcons game plan was to spy Tyler Tettleton and make someone else beat them, and they did a great job of doing precisely that. Defensively, the Bobcats secondary did a terrific job against Bowling Green’s passing game. Unfortunately, the front seven didn’t perform well against the run. Bowling Green ran for 197 yards in the game, and they averaged 5.5 yards per carry. The final score was 26-14, which means my selection of “under” 49 for last week’s game was a winner.
Notes of Interest
-The Bobcats backfield will look a bit different this weekend. Beau Blankenship and Ryan Boykin had been splitting the tailback duties about 50/50, but it was announced on Monday that Boykin will miss the rest of the season due to knee surgery. Freshman Daz Patterson, who has been great on kick returns, will get some action in the backfield this week.
--In this week’s press conference, Coach Solich was asked if he believes the team needs another win to feel comfortable about getting to a bowl game. Solich responded, “Right now I don’t feel comfortable about anything. The only way to make me feel comfortable is to win.”
--Ball State, the Bobcats opponent this week, is averaging 37 points per game in MAC action so far this year. The Cardinals have a third-year starter at quarterback who makes good decisions with the football. Ball State has picked up the tempo in a big way over the past year or so, and this is an offense that wants to get off as many snaps as possible.
--To say that Ohio’s kicking teams were a problem last weekend is a major understatement. Four punt team mistakes ended up leading to 19 of Bowling Green’s 26 points last week. Coach Solich said after the game that this was the thing he and the coaching staff would be looking at most in the game film. Clearly, the Bobcats must shore up the special teams play if they are going to win on the road at Ball State.
--Ohio is 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall.
--Ball State is 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games overall.
--The “over” is 11-3-1 in Ball State’s last 15 home games.
Ohio vs. Ball State College Football Odds
Ball State opened as a 3.5-point favorite according to BetOnline. Money has edged in on the home team, and Ball State is now set as a five point favorite in this one. The posted total opened at 59 points, but it has quickly jumped to a current level of 63 points.
Ohio vs. Ball State College Football Picks
Ball State knocked off Ohio as a huge underdog last year, so the Bobcats will be looking for some revenge here. More importantly, the Bobcats really just need to get back on track after some poor play of late. Ball State’s three losses this year have come against Northern Illinois, Clemson, and Kent State. Clearly, the Cardinals are a solid team that Ohio cannot take lightly.
Ball State’s weakness is their run defense, and I believe Ohio will commit itself to the running game in this one. Look for Blankenship and Patterson to both have big games on the ground. Ohio’s defense has been better the last couple weeks now that they are getting healthier. It’s hard to predict a winner in this one, but getting five points I’ll take the Bobcats for a small play here. My selection is on Ohio +5 for a one-unit play.
Pick: #301- Take Ohio +5 for 1 Unit (Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. EST on ESPNU)
Season Results: 5 Wins 4 Losses= +0.4 Units ($40 Profit)
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