Tuesday’s Boca Raton Bowl and Wednesday’s Frisco Bowl feature a pair of intriguing matchups. MetroBet breaks them down here.
Northern Illinois Huskies vs. UAB Blazers (-2.5)
Moneyline: Northern Illinois +120, UAB -140
Betting Total: 43 points
Time (Eastern), TV: 7 p.m., ESPN
FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, FL is the site for Tuesday’s fifth annual Boca Raton Bowl. The Northern Illinois Huskies (8-5), upset winners of the MAC championship game over Buffalo, will face the UAB Blazers (10-3), the C-USA champions.
The Huskies’ anemic offense faces an uphill battle against the Blazers’ 10th-ranked defense by points per game allowed. The numbers for NIU are staggeringly poor, as they’re 118th in points per game and 125th in yards per play. Quarterback Marcus Childers averages just 5.42 yards per attempt with a mediocre 15-10 TD-INT ratio. Meanwhile, Huskies ball carriers are averaging just 4.0 yards per attempt in 2018.
By contrast, UAB’s offense goes through running back Spencer Brown, who’s touched the ball nearly 250 times this season. He averages 4.7 yards per attempt and has accounted for 16 of the Blazers’ 32 rushing TDs. Northern Illinois’ 14th-ranked run stoppers should hold him from having a monster game, but he looks too tough to tame entirely.
UAB backers have enjoyed a nice run lately, as they’ve covered in eight of their last 11 games. The trend should continue on Tuesday.
Prediction: Blazers win, 24-17
The play: Blazers -2.5
San Diego State Aztecs vs. Ohio Bobcats (-2.5)
Moneyline: San Diego State +110, Ohio -130
Betting Total: 54 points
Time (Eastern), TV: 8 p.m., ESPN
Wednesday’s Frisco Bowl (at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX) between the San Diego State Aztecs (7-5) and Ohio Bobcats (8-4) should see some offensive fireworks, particularly from Ohio, runners-up in the MAC East this season. They catch a fourth-place Mountain West opponent that’s limping into this contest, losers of four of their last five (1-4 against the spread).
Nathan Rourke is the efficient Bobcats signal caller; he completes over 61 percent of his passes and averages nearly 8.8 yards per attempt. Rourke also sports a 22-7 TD-INT ratio. He can also tuck it and run, as he’s done 125 times this season for an average of 6.5 yards per carry. Rourke is the team leader in rushing TDs, one ahead of the brilliant A.J. Oullette (6.2 yards per carry on 184 attempts). They should be able to take advantage of an Aztecs defense that’s allowed 26.4 points per game over their last five tilts.
SDSU’s offense, meanwhile, has scored just 22.3 points per game this year. Ohio’s obliging defense (62nd in points per game allowed) will keep the Aztecs in the hunt, but the Bobcats should prevail here.
Prediction: Bobcats win, 35-27
The play: Bobcats -2.5