Central Michigan Chippewas (5-5 SU, 8-2 ATS) vs. Kent State Golden Flashes (3-7 SU, 3-7 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date/Time: Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 8:00 pm EST
Where: Dix Stadium, Kent, Ohio
TV: ESPNU, DirecTV 208
by Badger, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CMU -10.5/KENT +10.5
Over/Under Total: 41.5
The Central Michigan Chippewas need to win one more game in order to qualify for a potential bowl selection and post-season birth, and the Chippewas will look to accomplish the task this Wednesday night in mid-week Mid-American Conference MACtion when they travel to Kent, Ohio, to take on the struggling Kent State Golden Flashes on ESPNU.
Central Michigan had a three-game win streak snapped last week in MACtion, dropping a tough, 28-23, game at home to Toledo last Tuesday night. QB Cooper Rush had a strong game with 349 yards passing and two scores, but the Chippewas were down 21-0 early in the second quarter and it proved to be too big of an early hole for Rush and the rest of the offense to dig out.
Kent State will enter Wednesdays game in the midst of a three-game slide and losers of four of their last five games in MAC play. After nearly pulling off an upset in Buffalo (lost 18-17 on last-second score) two weeks ago and looking like the may have turned the corner on an up-and-down 2015 season, last week the Flashes looked terrible and out of sync and they got shutout to prove it by Ohio, 27-0. So it appears that it will remain a guessing game as to which Golden Flashes show up this week, since they really have shown zero consistency all season long.
It appears that oddsmakers have given up trying to really figure out the Flashes too, since they set the opening point spread for this one with Central Michigan as double digit 10.5-point favorites on the road. The over/under total on the game is on the board at 41.5.
It should be interesting to watch when Rush and the Chippewas offense take the field against the Flashes defense, because defense is one of the few things that Kent State seems to play on a consistent basis. Central Michigan throws the ball for over 300 yards a game, but Kent State defends the pass equally well (allowing only 202.7 ypg), so something is going to have to give in this matchup. Look for Chippewas running backs Jahray Hayes and Martez Walker to have a larger role in the offense if they are going to pull away and cover a double digit number against a tough Flashes defense.
With the exception of a few weeks, the Golden Flashes have struggled on offense all season long. After starting the season with Colin Reardon at QB, now the Flashes have turned to youngster George Bollas and the learning curve for Bollas (2 TD, 6 INT) has come to the forefront at crucial points in the game. Central Michigan boast a strong secondary (allowing 196 ypg), so it wouldnt surprise me one bit to see the Chippewas creep extra players up to the line of scrimmage to confuse Bollas and force the Flashes into more untimely turnovers.
Since these two schools are in different divisions of the MAC, their history on the field is spaced out to a meeting every few years only. The last time they meet was in 2011 in what turned into a, 24-21, Kent State victory during their MAC Championship run of 2011.Central Michigan won the previous two in 2007 and 2004, but overall the series has been enjoyed more by the Chippewas with a 7-3 SU record since 1993. Kent State is 7-3 ATS during the same 10 year period, but they havent been a double-digit underdog in the game since the 1996 season when they closed as 13.5 point home dogs.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: About the only part of this Wednesday night MACtion game in regards to Kent State is the fact its a home game. Dont be confused by their 5-5 record, the Chippewas are good. Especially when you see that their losses have come against quality competition (Okla. St., Syracuse, Mich. St., W.Mich. and Toledo), and they havent really been blown out in any of them either. Central Michigan may have a hard time covering on the road, but I still think they get a late cover in this one when its said and done. Im taking Central Michigan minus the points.
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