Our college football handicapping professional examines Thursday’s game between Ohio and Idaho. Join us in reading this insightful betting preview article which culminates with a pick on the total.
Idaho seeks Revenge against Ohio on Thursday Night
The Ohio Bobcats and Idaho Vandals open their seasons on Thursday night. The opening kickoff at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho is set for 9:00 PM ET. According to current betting odds at our most reliable major sportsbooks, Ohio is a 7.0 point favorite across the board, and we’re seeing a total ranging from 57.5 to 58.0. These teams met last season in Athens, Ohio, and the Bobcats defeated the Vandals 36-24.
Bobcats an Experienced Team
Ohio returns 18 starters from a team that went 6-6 a season ago. That’s the most returning starters that head coach Frank Solich has ever had as he begins his eleventh season at Ohio. They return 10 starters on offense and 8 on the defensive side of the ball. Their two quarterbacks that shared duties in 2014 are back again. Derrius Vick and J.D. Sprague combined to pass for 2392 yards, and added an additional for 738 rushing yards as well. The Bobcats 2014 leading rusher A.J. Oullette will also be part of the mix. Oullette rushed for 785 yards and 7 touchdowns in his freshmen year (2014).
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Nowhere to go but up for Vandals
Since 2011, the Idaho Vandals football program has reached the depths of futility. During that four year stretch, they’ve gone an abysmal 5-42. As a matter of fact, they had exactly 1 win in each of the previous three seasons. However, despite going 1-10 in 2014, the Vandals did show noticeable improvement compared to their 1-11 campaign the season before. Idaho was -28.6 point per game differential in 2013, and improved to -12.3 last year. They also somehow managed to amass 258 first downs last year compared to just 225 by their opponents. In actuality, the Vandals had some pretty decent offense numbers last year despite their seemingly never ending struggle to win games. They averaged a respectable 25 points scored and 417 yards of total offense per contest. If they can correct their poor -11 turnover differential, and reduce the 41 times their quarterbacks were sacked, it’s very possible we’ll see a spike in the already respectable offensive numbers produced last season.
When these teams met last year, they combined to score 60 points, and accumulate 923 yards of total offense. Both teams are likely to have no problem moving the ball tonight. Idaho returns last year’s starting quarterback Matt Linehan who threw for 353 yards in that previously mentioned game versus Ohio. The experienced and mobile Ohio quarterbacks should have a plethora of success when facing Idaho defense that allowed an average of 37 points and 463 yards per game in 2014.
I’m calling for this game to be a high scoring affair, and one of my college football picks on Thursday will be indicative of that prediction. According to current college football betting odds, TheGreek.com is the only major sportsbook that has a total of 57.5, and the rest reside at 58.0.
College Football Pick: Play on Ohio and Idaho over 57.5 (-110) at The Greek