Mid-week college football returns on Wednesday in the Ohio at Central Michigan pick. This matchup features two of the better teams in the MAC from a season ago, with the Chippewas winning the West and Ohio finishing 2nd in the East. Both squads went to Bowl games in 2019 as well.
Central Michigan opened as a PK, but have been bet up to +2.5 home underdogs for this meeting. Both teams are replacing QBs from a year ago, but the Chippewas at least have somebody with experience in the system to step in, which makes this line seem strange. 61% of the betting public still likes Ohio, let’s see why:
Ohio Facing QB Questions
The Bobcats ranked 4th in the MAC in rush yards/game last year and 5th in passing offense. Frank Solich’s biggest task heading into the shortened 2020 campaign is replacing QB Nathan Rourke, who threw 20 TD to just 5 INT a year ago. The most likely candidate to take over at signal caller is Armani Rogers, a dual-threat transfer from UNLV.
Rogers is a load at 6’5, 225, and threw for 1,400+ and ran for 780+ in 2017 before seeing his playing time dwindle the last two years. Freshman Kurtis Rourke, brother of Nathan, could also see time at QB but expect the Bobcats to lean towards the run in the Ohio at Central Michigan pick. O’Shaan Allison and De’Montre Tuggle both return after averaging over 6.0 ypc last year.
8 of the top 11 tacklers return for Ohio in 2020, but the secondary will miss Javon Hagan who was the last line of protection with 102 tackles a year ago. The Bobcat defense was a respectable 4th in the MAC vs. the rush and 5th vs. the pass in 2019.
Who Goes at QB For Central Michigan?
There was hopes for CMU that David Moore would be able to return at QB. Moore started four games for the Chippewas last season, but was suspended for testing positive for a banned substance last October. Although the year is up, there were some discrepancies on if the suspension was served since the games were moved back because of COVID.
The way the line is moving away from CMU, it means the team is likely going with redshirt freshman Daniel Richardson for the Ohio at Central Michigan pick. Richardson has to replace 2,300+ yard passer Quentin Dormady, but the Chippewas have the returning skill players to have success.
Kobe Lewis is set to be the featured back in 2020 after splitting carries with Jonathan Ward last season and still gaining 1,074 yards while scoring 12 TDs. The top two Chippewa pass catchers from last year return as well, with Kalil Pimpleton (82 catches, 894 yards) and JaCorey Sullivan (57-808) having the ability to put pressure on the Ohio secondary.
Ohio at Central Michigan Pick
Recent trends aren’t really relevant for this matchup as the two teams haven’t faced each other since 2017. The line is moving towards Ohio, but CMU is underrated with the return of three major skill players as well as 19 of the top 22 tacklers from a unit that ranked 2nd in the MAC in total and rush defense a year ago.
Central Michigan 28 – Ohio 24
Free Pick: Central Michigan +2.5