Kent State Golden Flashes (1-8 SU, 3-6 ATS) vs. Bowling Green Falcons (6-3 SU, 4-5 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date and Time: Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 8:00 pm EST
Where: Doyt L. Perry Stadium, Bowling Green, Ohio
TV: ESPN2, DirecTV 209
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Kent +13/B.Green -13
Over/Under Total: 51.5
Bowling Green will try and clinch the Mid-American Conferences East division title Wednesday night when they host the team at the bottom of the divisions standings, Kent State, when the Golden Flashes and Falcons hook up for a mid-week primetime game in Doyt L. Perry Stadium on ESPN2.
Bowling Green currently sits with a full two-game lead in the MAC-East, ahead of Ohio with three conference games remaining on the schedule. Last weeks 27-10 victory over Akron on Tuesday put them on the doorstep of a second straight MAC-East title, and with the Golden Flashes struggling to recapture the magic of their 2012 title season, theres little doubt the Falcons would like to take care of business on their home turn of Doyt Perry Stadium in front of the national audience.
Kent State also played in one of the MACs early weekday games last week, losing a 30-20 decision to Toledo at home in Dix Stadium. But the good news for the Flashes is that they may have found themselves a quarterback in last weeks loss, as redshirt freshman Nathan Strock came in to replace starter Colin Reardon and nearly rallied Kent State back from a 23-point deficit in the second half. Strock, the nephew of former NFL QB Don Strock, threw for two touchdowns and ran the option for 71 yards on five carries (14 ypc) to get the Golden Flashes within 10 points before an interception and three straight three-and-outs stopped the storybook comeback dead in its tracks.
Oddsmakers and the betting public are expecting the Falcons to take care of business at home on Wednesday too, since the opening point spread was set with Bowling Green as rather large 13-point favorites late on Sunday night. Within 24 hours bettors have pushed sportsbooks to move the number up, as several books are now listing the spread with Bowling Green at minus -13.5 or even -14 point favorites currently.
The sportsbooks that are already listing an over/under total for this game are opening it at 51.5.
Bowling Greens offense features a well balanced attack, with QB James Knapke feeding off of play action behind the two-headed duo at running back of Fred Coppet and Andre Givens. Both Coppet (113 yards, 6.3 per carry) and Givens (101, 7.2) both crossed the 100-yard mark in last weeks win over Akron, and considering the Flashes yield 218 yards per game on the ground (12th in the 13-team MAC) you can bet your bankroll the Falcons will give both running backs plenty of touches on Wednesday.
Kent States offense has been challenged all season, scoring an average of just 14.8 points a game, which is why the spark that Strock provided last week was so eye opening. On paper the Bowling Green defense doesnt look like a very formidable one statistically (allowing 526 yards per game), but those numbers are severely skewed due to the teams the Falcons played before the MAC season started (Indiana, Wisconsin, Western Kentucky). The Falcons forced five turnovers in last weeks win over Akron on the road, so momentum is certainly on their side as the season draws to a close.
It should be noted that Kent State usually plays Bowling Green really tough, in fact, prior to last years win by the Falcons early in the season (41-22 as 6.5-point road favorites, the Golden Flashes actually held a three game win streak against them in the years 2010 through 2012. That streak included wins at Bowling Green in 2012 (31-24) and in 2010 (30-6). The Golden Flashes are even a stronger wager in this series, going 7-3 ATS against the Falcons over the years including a strong 5-1 ATS mark on the road in the series against the Falcons.
The over has also been a pretty strong trend play of late, going 5-1 in the last six head-to-head games, but historically these teams play under (4-0-1 in Kent States five MAC games this year; under is 4-0 in Bowling Greens last four Wed. night game) total more often than not.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The insertion of Strock at QB is the wild card in this game. Do I think it will inspire the Golden Flashes to the huge upset doubtful. But I think hes good enough to keep them within the two-touchdown point spread. All of that said, the safe play here is the under. If I play anything on this game, Ill take the under of 51.5.