Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Kent State +10 over Bowling Green
Dix Stadium, Kent, OH
Streaming: ESPN U
7:00 PM EST. The Golden Flashes are 1–8 and the perception in the market is that they have “nothing” to play for. We’ll get to that absurd observation in a moment, but first, we are going to continue to focus on just how low Kent State is on the pecking order these days. Where it matters most, at the pay window, the Flashes are a very non-profitable 2-6-1 Against the Spread (ATS). While that mark is more than enough to drive away the market, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that it’s actually worse than it looks for Kent State in the ticket cashing department, as it has not covered a number since mid-September. That's six straight games without a pay, and depending on where one shopped last week, one would have ripped up that ticket, too, as the Flashes lost 31-27 at Akron in a game where the line closed at Kent State +4.
We were on the Golden Flashes last week, and we picked them to pull off the upset in Akron. We’d make that bet 100 times out of 100, as Kent State had a 27-10 going into the fourth quarter. That is a scenario where the win probability is well over 90%. You know what happened next, and if you don't, we’ll spare you most of the gory details, as the Zips would post three unanswered touchdowns, including two in the final 3:32, to steal that win from Kent State. The point is, the Flashes were in a similar situation last week with “nothing” to play for and they brought the kitchen sink to Akron and gave the Zips all they could handle.
The role of spoiler is one to be relished, and while we acknowledge that the odds of Kent State winning this game outright are not in its favor, we also acknowledge that the Flashes are taking back inflated points on top of inflated points here in a game they can keep a MAC rival from becoming bowl eligible. Misery loves company, and Kent State is at home, so motivation is not going to be an issue here. If the Golden Flashes didn’t care, they would not be trying to put their best foot forward at quarterback with Tommy Ulatowski taking over the starter’s role from Michael Alaimo, who was awful early in the year. Ulatowski has six touchdowns to just one interception in his limited time this season, but he started last week and took every snap, and it was by far the best game the Flashes have played in two months.
As for Bowling Green (BG), it is 5-4, and it has three chances to lock up a bowl game with dates at home versus Toledo next week, and then a trip to Western Michigan to close out the season. The Falcons have won three straight and four of their last five, while also posting a respectable 3-2 record ATS in those games. We’d like to note that BG was a +3-point pooch at Buffalo (win, cover), a -7-point favorite at home to Akron (win, cover) and a -5-point favorite at home to Ball State (win, no cover). The Falcons have no business laying double-digit road points. This line opened with the Falcons favored by -8 or thereabouts but the inefficient market has struck again and driven it up to the price you see here. Indeed, inflated points are on the table so grab 'em up.
Kent State +10 +103 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.06)