Utah State takes on Ohio University in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl this Saturday. See where we have decided to lay our money in this matchup and start you bowl season betting off with a winning pick.
Free College Football pick on Utah State as they take on Ohio University in
the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl set to start at 5:30 PM ET. Utah State finished
second in the Western Athletic Conference and will be competing against the
best team from the Mid-American East Division. Ohio posts a 9-4 record while
Utah State has attained a 7-5 season record.
College football odds makers opened with Utah St. favored by 3 points, but early NCAAF betting action has pushed that number down to -2 at most sportsbooks with the total of 57.
Utah State Bowl History
This marks the first time the Aggies have played in a bowl game
since 1997 where they lost 35-19 to the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Humanitarian
Bowl. They have been to five bowl games winning only one bowl 42-33 against
Ball State in the 1993 Los Vegas Bowl. In the other three bowls they lost 24-9
to Baylor in the 1961 Gotham Bowl, lost 20-13 to New Mexico State in the 1960
Sun Bowl, and lost 20-0 to San Jose State in the 1947 Raisin Bowl.
Ohio University Bowl History
The Bobcats have never won a bowl game, going 0-5 in these games.
They last appeared in last years’ New Orleans Bowl losing to Troy University
48-21. In the other four bowl games they have lost to Marshall 21-17 in the
2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, lost 28-7 to Southern Mississippi in the 2007
GMAC Bowl, lost 49-42 to Richmond in the 1968 Tangerine Bowl, and lost 15-15
top Texas A&M in the 1962 Sun Bowl.
My college football handicapping database and simulator show a
high probability that Utah State will win this game by four or more points. The
simulator further shows that Utah State will score 28 or more points in this
game. In past games where the Aggies have scored 28 or more points they are 4-2
ATS this season, 10-4 ATS over the past three seasons, and 37-12 ATS since
Utah State ranks sixth in the FBS gaining 278 rushing yards per
game. The simulator shows they will have a big day on the ground gaining
between 200 and 250 rushing yards. In past games where Utah State has gained
between 200 and 250 rushing yards they are 1-0 ATS this season, 4-1 ATS the
past three seasons, and 10-3 ATS since 1992.
I strongly believe that the Ohio University defense will have
immense difficulty defending the Utah State running game and the competing
against a vastly more athletic and stronger Aggie offensive line. In past games
where the Bobcats have allowed 28 or more points they have gone 2-3 ATS this
season, 5-8 ATS over the past three seasons, and 23-50 ATS since 1992.
Strength of Schedule
Another significant factor is that Utah State has played a far
more difficult schedule than Ohio University did this season. Moreover, Utah
State lost in Week 1 to then No. 23 Auburn 42-38 and it required one of
Auburn’s come-from-behind victories. They led the WAC in scoring offense, averaging 34.5 points per game and rushing offense averaging 5.81 rushing yards
Ohio University ranked fourth (combining both divisions) in the Mid-American Conference, scoring 31.0
points per game and ranked second allowing 22.1 points per game. The best
defense in the conference by way of comparison was Temple, who allowed just
13.8 points per game in conference games this season. The MAC was a weak
conference, especially on the defensive side of the game.
Supporting this graded play is a system that has produced a
record of 30-4 using the money line for 88% winners since 2005. Play on neutral
field favorites using the money line after one or more consecutive losses
against the spread. The Aggies won their last game 24-21 at New Mexico State
and failed to cover the 14 point favorite spread.
The Bobcats under head coach Slouch’s leadership are just 5-13 ATS, losing 9.3 units per one unit wagered in one or more road
games that consecutively fell 'under' and is just 5-15 against the money
line losing 26.2 units facing very good offensive teams scoring 34 or more
points per game in all games he has coached since 1992.
My Pick: Take
the Utah State Aggies