Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:30 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Bowling Green +7 over Ohio
Peden Stadium - Athens, OH
7:00 PM EST. The Bobcats have covered seven games in a row and haven’t ripped up a ticket against an FBS team since September 17th. Their three most recent covers were seen by a national audience, as this one will be tonight. At this time of the year, the MAC takes over the mid-week, which raises the conference’s profile significantly. Since the move to prime time, Ohio has whacked Buffalo, Miami-Ohio and Ball State. In those games, the Bobcats were a pooch against the Bulls (+2½), a small favorite at the RedHawks (-2½) and the Cardinals (-3½). Now the Bobcats are spotting a converted touchdown to a better team. That's not right. If we account for a three point home field advantage, the Bobcats would have been barely a coin flip on a neutral field versus the Cardinals last week. This week, they'd be a 4-point favorite on a neutral field against the Falcons. Inflation is a m*******er.
This has been called a “must win” game for the Bobcats because if they fail, their fate will be left in the hands of Kent State and Buffalo, who play on Saturday. Win and Ohio will punch its ticket to the MAC Championship in Detroit on December 3. When you see the “must win angle” being touted by the pick sellers or pundits be aware that you are being played. There is no such thing as a “must win”. It’s a lazy angle that only drives an unsuspecting market to the team that “must win”. What? Bowling Green doesn’t want to win?
It’s a hell of a bold take to assume what motives and drives players, especially student athletes, who at the end of the day are still just kids. There is a perception that it’s “mission accomplished” for the Falcons after they knocked off MAC West champion Toledo to ensure a postseason berth with a bowl bid and a six-win season. If you watched that game, you may have noticed that the Falcons did not celebrate to excess like winning a bowl bid was the most important thing in the world to them. Instead, they went over to the Toledo sidelines, shook hands, and walked off the field in a workman-like fashion, despite what was actually a thrilling finish. Bowling Green is not done. Not by a long shot.
While they need some help from Kent State on Saturday, the Falcons still have a path to the MAC Championship game if they knock off the Bobcats tonight. BG is 4-2 in the East, and Buffalo is 4-1, but the Bulls hold the tiebreaker. If potentially playing the role of spoiler in keeping the Bobcats from that final for at least a few more days wasn’t enough, the Falcons are playing for their own futures.
The Falcons are also playing with house money here, as all of the pressure is on Ohio in this spot. If they do not get by Bowling Green, they have to sit a stew in those juices for four long nights and then root for the Bulls, who are just a -4-point favorite at home over Kent State on Saturday. That’s an eternity in sports. We’ll scoop up these inflated points, but we would not be shocked if the Falcons win outright.
Bowling Green +7 -102 (Risking 2.04 units - To Win: 2.00)