“Beat The Spread,” Week 5: Hello, conference playWritten by Matt Sussman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s time again to play “Beat the Spread” with UT and BG football. For a refresher on the rules, consult the introductory article.
Slight improvement. Baby steps. Come November I’m going to be a pro at this.
Week 4 Results
Toledo 41, Florida International 31
Actual margin of victory: UT by 10
Sportsbook’s prediction: FIU by 1 (off by 11 points)
Sussman’s prediction: Toledo by 16 (off by 6 points)
Boise State 49, Bowling Green 14
Actual margin of victory: Boise State by 35
Sportsbook’s prediction: Boise State by 16½ (off by 18½)
Sussman’s prediction: Boise State by 13 (off by 22)
For the week, I just barely out-guessed the bookies, 29½-28, but they continue to lead 125-104½. Clearly I need to stop having faith in the Falcons, but that goes against everything my diploma says to do. So I just have to put additional faith in UT football. Not a problem.
And hey, isn’t it about time these guys finally face off against their MAC friends?
Toledo at Ball State, 12 noon Saturday
These are not the Cardinals that the nation (and David Letterman) came to know and love last year. They lost two games all of 2008, but this year they’re already 0-4. It’s a painful rebuilding year for a team that finally scored more than 20 points in a game last week against Auburn. But by the time they reached that mark, the Tigers already had 47 of their own. Ball State’s 267.8 yards on offense a game is fourth worst in the Bowl Subdivision.
Meanwhile, UT has the country’s fifth best passing game, by yardage (473.3/game) and has failed to score fewer than 31 points in every game except Ohio State. They’ll score at will, but since UT has given up at least 31 points in every game, the Cardinals will get their points too.
Sportsbook Spread: Toledo by 5
My Spread: Toledo by 22
Ohio at Bowling Green, 4 p.m. Saturday
The Bobcats (2-2) have a better record than the Falcons (1-3), primarily because they’ve played some stiffer competition. Ohio has had a chance to win every game they’ve played, mostly in part to the MAC-best 13 turnovers their defense has forced. While teams like UT and Central Michigan will simply blow away the competition, Ohio plays a very annoying, irritating game (for the opposition).
Still, this is a game BGSU has to win. They played some tough competition but should’ve won at Missouri and Marshall. Tyler Sheehan is second only to UT’s Aaron Opelt in passing yards per game and Freddie Barnes is averaging over 11 receptions a game. The offense is more talented and therefore more capable to score. If the defense can clear the Boise State game from their minds, they still have the ability to make some stops. Ohio’s style of play will dictate the low score, but the home field advantage will push the Falcons over the top.
The Sportsbook Spread: BGSU by 3
My Spread: BGSU by 5
Have any other brilliant insights? Share away in the comments.