Ohio vs. Troy
Dollas General Bowl - Mobile, Ala.
Friday, 5 pm PT - ESPN
CRIS Opener: Troy -4 O/U 49
CRIS Current: Troy -4 O/U 49
The Troy Trojans (9-3) have already played in Ladd Peebles Stadium with a late October win over South Alabama, 28-21. The 166-mile drive from Troy to Mobile will likely mean more Trojan faithful in the seats and perhaps a little home field advantage but there are a number of angles that point towards there being value on the underdog Ohio Bobcats.
The Trojans are led by second-year head coach Neil Brown and quarterback Brandon Silvers. Silvers put up respectable numbers in Sun Belt play (264 ypg, 12-6 TD-to-INT ratio) but a closer examination shows he struggled against the league’s better defenses. Against Appalachian State, Silvers finished with a 114.4 QB rating and dismal 85.6 against Arkansas State. Those were by far his two worst performances of the season vs. league foes. The Arkansas State game is of particular significance because the Red Wolves boast one of the better front sevens in the mid-major circuit with 125 tackles for loss and 43 sacks. Against ASU, Silvers completed only 51% of his passes and was picked off twice.
The Ohio Bobcats posted very similar numbers with 43 sacks and 98 tackles for loss. We saw what the Bobcats are capable of in the MAC title game as they held a very potent Western Michigan offense to 29 points and 5.39 yards per play.
Ohio is built to play as an underdog with all five losses decided by single digits including a 28-19 loss at Tennessee and 29-23 loss vs. Western Michigan. Of their four games as an underdog this season, Ohio is a perfect 4-0 ATS with two outright wins. And last season in the Camellia Bowl against Appalachian State, the Bobcats lost 31-29 as a +7 underdog. Take the points with a very live underdog.