UAB Blazers (8-4 SU, 8-3-1 ATS) vs. Ohio Bobcats (8-4 SU, 8-4 ATS)
College Football Bowls
Date/Time: Friday, December 22, 12:30pm ET
Where: Thomas Robinson Stadium - Nasseau, NP
by Bob, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:UAB +7 / OHIO -7
Over/Under Total: 59
The Bowl season is upon us. Of course some match ups are more intriguing than others, but nonetheless, we all love college football and will watch and wager on almost anything…right? However, here we are and this breakdown will be on the fourth ever Bahamas Bowl which takes place in Nassau, New Providence. This year we will see the 8-4 UAB Blazers take on the Ohio Bobcats who also enter this game with an 8-4 record. UAB ended the 2017 regular season as the second place team in the Western Division of Conference USA behind North Texas while Ohio also finished second place in the Eastern Division of the MAC. This should be a rather even match up but the line does not appear that way.
The line for this game now has the Ohio Bobcats as a touchdown (-7) point favorite over the UAB Blazers. The total points on this game is set at 59 points combined. After a week or so of action coming in on the game, the public right now likes this game to be a bit closer. 62% of the documented bets has the money on UAB to cover the points and for the total points, 57% likes this game to go over the 59 total. This one is not easy to predict…bowl games never are, but we will see what we can do to get on the right side of this one.
As mentioned earlier, UAB was the second place team in the Western Division of Conference USA. Before we get started on breaking this team down, lets not forget that this is a program that was shut down two years ago and has not fielded a team in that time. Now, for the first time in thirteen years, they are in a bowl game. Regardless of the outcome, this is a great accomplishment and UAB should be proud. Okay, back to the game at hand. During the season, much of the Blazers success was based on their run game. UAB ranked 38th in the nation in all of FBS while scoring almost 30 points per game. UAB was not a bad team by any means. In two of their losses, the defense let them down while another loss came from an SEC team in Florida. In order to get a win in this Bahamas Bowl over Ohio, they will need to improve on the 174 passing yards per game they are averaging. The run game, led by Spencer Brown, will be the key to open up the passing game. There is no way in this match up that UAB can be one dimensional on offense and expect to win. They have to keep the Ohio defense on their heels to have success to keep up in this one.
The Ohio Bobcats are rather heavily favored in this game but they cannot take the Blazers lightly. Just like UAB, Ohio emphasizes their run game and does not pass the ball often or well. Ohio is ranked 10th in the nation in scoring averaging 40 per game and the run game is sitting in the top 20 tallying almost 245 on the ground. The goal for Ohio will be very simple and to be honest, they are probably going to have a very similar game plan to what UAB is going to try to do. The Bobcats will want to get some early success in the run game to not give the Blazers a chance to control the tempo. Ohio’s defense is not even ranked in the top ten in the nation and if they do not keep drives alive and let UAB get the ball often, I do not trust this defense to keep up. The defense is the reason that this team has lost their last two games and a bad performance on Friday could make that three in a row.
This game is going to come down to which defense can stop the opposition’s run game enough. Bowl games are never easy to predict and I could see this game going either way. With that said, I will take the UAB Blazers, who are VERY EXCITED to be in this game over an Ohio team that could be downplaying this game. I think someone wins this game 31-28 and regardless of who wins, the UAB Blazers will cover.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE THE UAB BLAZERS +7. - Bet your pick for this game using your credit card at an online bookie where it WILL work for deposits and where you’ll receive a generous 50% signup bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $250! (Example: Deposit $250 and they’ll give you an extra $250 FREE!) Find this great offer at Bovada Sportsbook.