Ohio Bobcats vs. Central Michigan Chippewas Pick 11/4/20
Ohio Bobcats (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Central Michigan Chippewas (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
When: Wednesday, November 4, 7 p.m.
Where: Shorts/Kelly Stadium, Mount Pleasant, Mich.
Point Spread: OHIO PK/CMU PK (Bovada - Credit cards work there! 50% real cash bonus! BEST live betting platform, bar none! FAST hassle-free payouts! What more could you ask for!)
Total: O/U Off
It’s hard to find a bigger thorn in Frank Solich’s side than Central Michigan, as only one of the past nine meetings between Ohio and the Chippewas has gone the way of the Bobcats. Ohio’s usually been a reliable offense against MAC competition, but what the Bobcats do well doesn’t seem to work against Central Michigan, as the Chippewas have held Ohio to 23 or less in seven of the past nine meetings and won all of them.
For Central Michigan, this game is a chance to get a bad taste out of their mouths as well as an opportunity to see how they match up with one of their possible foes in the MAC championship game. Central Michigan made it through the West gauntlet at the end by grounding Toledo and surviving Ball State, only to lose its title at the end to an upstart Miami-Ohio team that probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place. The bad feelings carried over to the bowl game, where the Chippewas weren’t even close to competitive against San Diego State. Has Central Michigan picked itself up off the canvas well enough to get itself through the MAC’s six-game sprint and earn a return trip to Detroit?
How the Public is Betting the Ohio/Central Michigan Game
With nothing to choose between these teams on the money line, the public is, of course, going with the home team, backing the Chippewas by 60 percent to 40 percent.
Ohio reports no injuries.
Running back Josh Crawford opted out of the season. Quarterback David Moore has completed a one-year suspension and is expected to be eligible to play on Wednesday. However, he has yet to be reinstated by the NCAA and is questionable.
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When Ohio Has the Ball
It’s a Frank Solich offense, which means that Ohio is going to run the ball, run it well and run it a lot. The offense will actually look a lot like it did last year, as both running backs return from a year ago. O’Shaan Allison and De’Montre Tuggle are both reliable runners who can get about six yards a carry, and both will see their fair share of touches throughout this game. In this game, look for Tuggle to be the featured back, as Allison has struggled with injuries throughout training camp and is not 100 percent.
The key is what’s going to happen under center. Armani Rogers spent last year with UNLV and established himself as a top running quarterback, and he’s arrived in Ohio as a graduate transfer. He’s not a great thrower, but in Solich’s offense, the quarterback’s legs and decision-making are more important than his arm. The Bobcats are likely to give both Rogers and Kurtis Rourke, the younger brother of last year’s starter Nathan Rourke, ample playing time in this game and let one of them prove they deserve the job. When they do throw it, they’ll have some reliable options in receivers Isiah Cox and Shane Hooks, both of whom had over 500 receiving yards last season. But this is definitely a run-first offense, and Ohio will keep the ball on the ground for as long as it can. That might not be as long as the Bobcats want; however, the Chippewas gave up just 3.5 yards per carry a year ago.
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When Central Michigan Has the Ball
The biggest question about the Chippewas’ offense: who is actually going to be under center? David Moore led the team through the first five games of last season before testing positive for a banned substance in October, earning a one-year suspension from football. The NCAA has yet to officially reinstate him, and as of this writing, he remains ineligible to play.
If he doesn’t go, Daniel Richardson, a redshirt freshman who has never thrown a collegiate pass, will be the man under center. Richardson is likely to give the Chippewas a new dimension they didn’t have with Moore, as he has a good amount of mobility in the pocket and can run when needed. However, he was definitely a pass-first quarterback in high school, as he threw for more than six times as many yards as he ran for (and that’s not a knock on his running; he just happens to hold Miami-Dade County’s career passing record with 9,791 passing yards in high school compared to 1,600 rushing yards).
Whoever the starter is, he’ll be surrounded by a lot of experience. 2019’s leading rusher Jonathan Ward is now an Arizona Cardinal, but Kobe Lewis was almost as good last year, rushing for 1,074 yards and 12 touchdowns a season ago. Plus, the Chippewas have an experienced, deep collection of wide receivers, led by Kalil Pimpleton’s 82 catches and six touchdowns from a season ago. CMU returns all three of its top pass-catches from last year, which should allow Richardson or Moore to settle into the offense after a year away.
The reputations of these teams suggest offense, but when they actually get together, the defense has tended to rule the day. In each of the past four meetings, a bettor could have made a nice chunk of change parlaying the Chippewas and the under, as Central Michigan has covered the past four times they met, and not one of those games went over 49 points.
In large part, because Central Michigan seems to have the secret sauce against the Bobcats, the under has been a very reliable bet for years in this series. Since 2001, which predates the Solich era, just two of 10 meetings have seen more than 50 points scored. Given the teams’ reputations, you might want to jump on the under when it goes on the board, as Vegas is likely to put up a fairly high total that might be tough for them to reach.
The MAC couldn’t have picked a better day to return to the field. Temperatures are expected to be in the low 60s, with sunshine in the forecast and winds at 9 miles per hour heading southwest.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
Both teams are in transition as they start the season, with both having quarterback questions and returning a top runner from last season. The difference is that Central Michigan has a solid plan at quarterback, and it’s just waiting to see who it’s able to use, while Ohio isn’t sure which quarterback gives it the best chance to win.
Throw in that Central Michigan had a pretty solid run defense in 2019, and the signs seem to be pointing toward the Chippewas in this opener. I’ll back CMU and the under to hit for the fifth straight game. Are you a college kid pinching pennies? Did you know that you can get on not just football, but basketball and baseball at discounted odds? Stop wasting money! Stop laying -110 on bets! Start betting only -105 odds at BetAnySports!
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