Friday Night Championship O/U POWER-BOMB ~ 4-1 Thursday! 31-18 Overall Run!
Western Michigan vs. Ohio,
12/02/2016 19:00 EDT,
Score: 29 - 23
Total: -110/+59 Over
8* Over Ohio/Western Michigan (7:00 ET): For the first time in six seasons, Northern Illinois will NOT represent the MAC West in the Conference's Championship Game. That distinction instead belongs to Western Michigan, who is unbeaten and a monster favorite to win tonight against Frank Solich's Ohio University Bobcats. A case can be made that the favored Broncos are among the strongest MAC teams ever fielded. They have outscored their conference bretheren by almost 27 points per game and just became the first MAC team to beat Toledo by at least three scores since 2010. Only one time this year has WMU NOT won a game by at last 14 pts. So the price range is justified here, though Ohio is 7-1 ATS its last eight times as a dog and will certainly be playing w/ "house money" at Ford Field. Therefore, I'm turning to the total instead.
Ohio has lost four games this season, three by a TD or less and the other by nine at Tennessee. So they don't get blown out very often. But the one loss I want to focus in on to start the discussion is what happened in the first game of the season. In Athens, the Bobcats lost 56-54 to Texas State, the worst team in the entire country, in triple overtime. It was a game they led by 10 in the fourth quarter and by three w/ less than a minute to go in regulation. The game obviously went Over the total. But since then, NO Ohio game has managed to go Over the total! They are the top Under team in the nation at 10-1-1. But the defense figures to be challenged here like no other game this season. Case in point, the Over has cashed each of the L4 times these teams have met w/ WMU topping 40 each of the last three.
Obviously, for this game to go Over, Western Michigan will have to do most of the "heavy lifting." Fortunately, they come in averaging a healthy 44.7 points per game. They've topped 40 in seven of the last nine games overall. Even in one of the two they did not (vs. Buffalo), they still scored 38 and put up over 600 yds total offense. Ohio's defensive numbers have been built up at the expense of some of the MAC's more anemic offenses. Against Toledo, they allowed 560 yards. With WMU poised for 40+, we likely only need two TD's from Ohio, which is certainly "doable." Remember that this game is also being contested indoors on the fast track at Ford Field. 8* Over Ohio/Western Michigan