Kent State Golden Flashes (3-6 SU, 3-6 ATS) vs. Ohio Bobcats (5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS)
College Football Week
Date/Time: Tuesday, November 10, 2015, 8:00 pm EST
Where: Peden Stadium, Athens, Ohio
TV: ESPNU, DirecTV 208
by Badger, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: KENT +7/OHIO -7
Over/Under Total: OFF
The Mid-American Conference (MAC) gets back in the national spotlight again this week with another dose of Tuesday Night MAC-tion on ESPNU, when the Kent State Golden Flashes travel to Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio, to take on the Ohio Bobcats.
Both the Flashes and the Bobcats enter the mid-week tilt in the middle of some struggling times, with Ohio in the midst of a three-game losing streak and Kent State having lost three of their last four games in conference play.
Kent State lost a heartbreaker their last time out, giving up the go-ahead score in the final minute of the game in a, 18-17, loss at Buffalo last Thursday. The Flashes only had 261 yards of offense against the Bulls, but a pick-six as part of a strong defensive effort kept them in the game until the very end. With only three games remaining on the schedule in 2015, if the Golden Flashes want any chance to get back to .500 they will have to win-out starting with this weeks game on the road in Athens.
Surprisingly Ohio is playing for a chance for that sixth win to become bowl eligible, but the Bobcats have been playing god-awful these past few weeks. Last week they gave up 62 points in a, 62-24, loss at Bowling Green on Wednesday night MAC-tion, and the week before that they totally slept-walked through a 41-17 loss at Buffalo, they same team that the Flashes took to the wire last week. The Bobcats defense better show up Tuesday, because they have allowed 50.6 points per game during the current losing streak.
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Despite their recent struggles on the field, oddsmakers in Las Vegas opened the Tuesday Night college football game with Ohio as full touchdown 7-point favorites at home. The point spread hasnt been live long enough to even read any early steam trends or line movement, and the over/under total hasnt been released yet either.
This game on Tuesday will feature near opposites on the field, with Kent State bringing their 23rd-ranked defense and a run-heavy mix of struggling offense into the game against the Bobcats who feature a pass-happy spread attack on offense and a defense that hasnt showed up for weeks. Ohio quarterback Derrius Vick was hurt in the Bobcats loss at Bowling Green last week, and is listed as questionable for Tuesdays game, so the Bobcats may have to turn to junior JD Sprague. Sprague has good tools and a strong arm, but like most young QBs his decision making is questionable at times. Kent State is 19th in FBS against the run, so a strong game out of Sprague could be critical if the Bobcats want any chance at covering the number.
The Flashes havent really found an identity on offense yet this season, which is a bad omen because we are talking about week 11 of the college football regular season already. Freshman QB George Bollas is getting most of the playing time behind center currently, as he and Colin Reardon have taken turns playing and not really doing much for the Flashes at the teams most important position. The teams leading rusher, Trayion Durham only has 346 yards thus far, and the leading receiver (Antwan Dixon) only has 263 yards so its really been a struggle to move the chains for the Flashes this season. The good news is that Ohios defense has been crushed the last few weeks, its just a question of whether the Flashes have enough on offense to even take advantage of the Bobcats trend of weak-ass defense.
The good news for gamblers is that there are some strong betting trends worth noting in recent Kent State-Ohio matchups in MAC conference play. Kent State is 7-0 ATS in their last seven visits to Athens and Peden Stadium, and if thats not enough, the Flashes are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings overall; the road team is 12-3 ATS in the last 15 meetings and the underdog is also 5-1 ATS going back through the last six overall. The under is also a strong trend wager, going 6-1 in the last seven meetings in the series.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Kent State will keep this one close because they can play defense. You may want to get to the window on this one with the Golden Flashes are still getting 7-points, because Id expect the number to drop a little before kickoff. Im taking Kent State plus the points.
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