MetroBet takes a look at two college football games on the slate for Wednesday night.
Ohio Bobcats (-3.5) at Miami (OH) Redhawks
The Ohio Bobcats (6-3) have won nine of their last 10 against the in-state rival Miami (OH) Redhawks (3-6), and they are 3.5-point favorites at most sportsbooks heading into their Wednesday night meeting (7 p.m., ESPNU). The betting total for this MAC showdown is 63 points.
Ohio thoroughly dominated Western Michigan as the visiting team last week, forcing six turnovers en route to a 59-14 victory. Dynamic quarterback Nathan Rourke tossed three TDs and ran for another two in the Thursday blowout of the Broncos. The Bobcats offense has been virtually unstoppable of late, averaging 53.3 points over their last three tilts. It seems unlikely that the Redhawks, 77th in points per game and 80th in yards per play, will be able to match scores.
The Bobcats have not just trended well against Miami (OH), as they’ve covered in six of their last seven overall and are 14-6 against the spread in their last 20 on the road. By contrast, the Redhawks are 3-8-1 against the spread in their last 12 at home.
Points shouldn’t be at a premium, as Ohio’s defense has been nothing to write home about in 2018 (65th in points per game allowed), so give the Over a gander. But the more solid selection is the Bobcats to cover the 3.5-point spread.
The Toledo Rockets (5-4) face the Northern Illinois Huskies (6-3) in what is essentially a must-win game for the Rockets if they want to take the MAC West (8 p.m., ESPN2). The Huskies are nominal three-point favorites in this contest, and the betting total is 55.5 points.
Neither Toledo nor Northern Illinois get by on quarterback play. Rockets’ second-stringer Eli Peters has seen more action in recent games as Mitchell Guadagni has been nursing a shoulder injury. Peters’ TD-to-INT ratio is a lackluster 11 to 6, and his completion percentage is a wanting 53.7 percent. The Rockets will likely try to get a big game out of halfback Bryant Koback, but the Huskies’ defense shuts down the run very effectively (14th in yards per game allowed).
Toledo brings a defense ranked in the bottom third in almost all important metrics into Northern Illinois, but the Huskies’ offense has topped 24 points just twice all season. Marcus Childers has struggled even more so than his opposite number, completing only 56.7 percent of his passes and averaging a dismal 4.76 yards per attempt. His TD-to-INT ratio is 9 to 5. Tre Harbison leads a pedestrian rushing attack (71st by yards per game).
The kicking game has been letting these teams down too. Rockets place kicker Jameson Vest is just 12-for-16 this year, while the Huskies’ Andrew Gantz is 9-for-14. All signs point to the Under being the best bet in the contest. It would be the seventh time in a row that the Under cashes in a meeting between these two programs.
Prediction: Northern Illinois wins, 28-21
The play: Toledo vs. Northern Illinois Under 55.5 points