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Ohio U vs. Bowling Green Wednesday Night MAC Football Pick

11/16/11

Bowling Green hosts Ohio University under the bright lights of Wednesday Night football in a game that can be seen on ESPNU at 8pm est. Ohio U is currently a -6.5 point road favorite at 5 Dimes with a few -7's scattered across the board.

Ohio U comes into the game at 7-3 overall and in first place in the MAC East standings with a 4-2 conference record. They are on their way to a bowl game and may very well find themselves in the MAC title game if all goes well in their next two games. Averaging 33 points per game and giving up 22, Ohio U might just have a good football team here. But, the key word here is, "might".

Truth is, we just don't know how good, or bad, the Ohio University Bobcats are. That's thanks to the weakest schedule of all 120 college football teams that we track and handicap. They own just one win against a team with a winning record (Temple) and count among their 3 losses a loss to 2-8 Buffalo.

Bowling Green beat Temple as well. They also beat Miami Ohio and somehow managed to hold Toledo to just 28 points in a 28-21 loss. They also lost by 1, 28-27 to 6-3 Wyoming.

It's safe to say that Bowling Green has been tested much more than Ohio and has at least responded to those tests favorably. One of the things our model does very well is that it takes into account strength of schedule (among many other factors). One of it's strong points it's sniffing out false favorites. On paper, Ohio looks to be the better team, statistically speaking and certainly in the won/loss column. But they may very well not be. Our model predicts a 27-25 Bowling Green win.

Using yards per point numbers (both teams average), these two teams look relatively even. Ohio owns a slight advantage, 1 point, on each side of the ball, or a 2 point favorite on a neutral field. Throw in home field for Bowling Green and the game would be a pick. However, that's before factoring in schedule strength. The Bowling Green schedule has been as much a touchdown or more stronger than that of Ohio U's.

The public is all over Ohio U here in the early betting (this is being written Monday afternoon). They see a team with a better record, a winning record, outscoring opponents by 10 points on average going up against a team with a losing record, getting outscored on average 25-29. A team going places against a team likely going nowhere.

The public is not always wrong. They are going to be right 45-50% of the time and this may very well be a spot where they get a win. But we don't see it that way. Win or lose for us here, this is a picture perfect example of coming up with a true line on a game rather than looking at a line put out by oddmakers that reflects public perception. Bowling Green +7

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