Ohio Bobcats (5-6 SU, 5-6 ATS) vs. Miami (OH) RedHawks (2-9 SU, 7-4 ATS)
NCAA Football Week 14
Date and Time: Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 7:00 pm EST
Where: Yager Stadium, Oxford, Ohio
TV: ESPN2, DirecTV 209
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Ohio -1/Miami (OH) +1
Over/Under Total: OFF
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The Ohio Bobcats will have one more shot to reach the magic number of six wins to try and become bowl eligible, and in order to get to that win total theyll have to do it on the road in their regular season finale at Yager Stadium in Oxford, Ohio, when they take on the Miami (OH) RedHawks in ESPN2s final MAC-tion Tuesday night game of the 2014 season.
The Bobcats put up a good fight in their battle at home against first-place Northern Illinois last week during MAC-tion, before finnaly bowing to the Huskies by a 21-14 score. In the game Ohio actually had more first downs and more total yards than the Huskies, but the Bobcats lost the turnover battle 2-to-1 and a late fourth quarter touchdown pass put the Huskies ahead for good spoiling their chance at scoring the upset in the final home game in Athens in 2014.
Its been another one of those seasons for the RedHawks along their sideline, as theyve struggled to get to the two-win mark and will be looking to close out the 2014 season as the spoiler and build for tomorrow in their finale on Tuesday. Miami hasnt played on the field in 10 days, when they dropped a tough one on the road at Central Michigan, 34-27. But with the exception of a 31-point blowout loss at home to Western Michigan in early November, the RedHawks have been competitive in every game this season (part of the reason they at 7-4 ATS), which is something head coach Chuck Martin and his staff can build on for the future in Oxford.
When the oddsmakers out in Las Vegas put the point spread for this game up on the board they listed Ohio as slim 1-point favorites on the road on Tuesday. But after just a few short hours most sportsbooks had already moved the number up to Bobcats minus -1.5 points, with a few even moving the line up a full point to minus -2. As of press time, an over/under total hasnt been released yet, so a total will likely be put up later today as the kickoff draws near.
The point spread could continue to move up in Ohios favor because not much I expected out of the RedHawks, primarily because of their 100th-ranked defensive unit that has had major troubles stopping the run (allowing 202 ypg 100th in FBS) and opponents from running up the score on them every week (allowing 32.5 ppg 102nd). Ohio is no juggernaut on offense, but they do have a solid running game with running back A.J. Ouellette and QB Darrius Vick and they will likely get plenty of opportunities to gouge the RedHawks with the run.
When Miami is on offense their approach is the opposite, relying on the arm of quarterback Andrew Hendrix to power the RedHawks attack. Hendrix has already thrown for over 3,000 yards on the season, and considering the top runner for the RedHawks is Dawan Scott with only 381 yards, to say their offense lacks balance is an understatement. Luckily for Miami, the weakest part of the Ohio defense is their pass defense, allowing 265 yards a game (108th in FBS), so on paper this game looks like it could be another classic MAC shootout on Tuesday.
Ohio has won seven of the last eight meetings between these two schools over the years, including a, 41-16, trouncing of the RedHawks at home in Athens last year. However, that one lone win for Miami came the last time these two played in Oxford in Yager Stadium, a 23-20 upset when Ohio came into the game as 6.5-point favorites.
Ohio has been a terrible wager on the road in the MAC (0-4 ATS in L4), and they have also failed bad when they play under the hot spotlight of Tuesday night going 0-5 ATS in early-week games.
The under has been a solid betting trend play with these two teams. Not only is the under 4-1 in their last five head-to-head meetings, but its also 6-1 in Ohios last seven MAC games and 4-1 in Ohios Tuesday night tilts as well.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: If the line continues to climb upwards most of the value in taking Ohio on the road will be gone. I still think Ohio is the better team, and they certainly have more to play for than the RedHawks in this game. But motivation is a tricky variable to measure, and these mid-week MAC games are crazy sometimes. Im going to wait until just before kickoff, and hope the number gets up to 3 points, then Im going to hop on the side of Miami (OH) and hope the RedHawks spring the upset. Im taking Miami (OH) plus the points.