Bahamas Bowl UAB vs. Ohio Prediction
Two years after the school shut down its football program, will UAB pull off an upset today when it takes on Ohio in the Bahamas Bowl?
ODDSMAKERS LIKE: Ohio. According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Bobcats are 6.5-point favorites to knock off the Blazers, who opened as a 7-point underdog for this matchup. The total, meanwhile, sits at 58.5 points after hitting the board at 60.5.
THE PUBLIC LIKES: UAB. As of Friday morning, 62% of the betting tickets for this game were on the Blazers and 64% of the money is also on UAB to cover the point spread.
INJURY REPORT: The Blazers have several players listed out for the year - Blake McClain, A.J. Brooks, Skyler Clinton, Thair Blakes - but none of the injuries happened recently. For the Bobcats, howeve,r running back A.J. Ouellette is doubtful with a shoulder injury but quarterback Nathan Rourke (undisclosed) is probable. Receiver Brendan Cope, meanwhile, is questionable with an ankle injury.
WHO WE LIKE: UAB. You know how some bettors handicap bowl games almost purely on motivation? Well, nobody has to worry about motivation when it comes to the Blazers, who had their football program shut down two years ago due to financial concerns. Following a rebirth, they won a school-record eight games to earn their second-ever bowl berth so this game means more to them than it would any other program just taking a trip to the Bahamas.
It's not just motivation that compels me to take UAB, either. This is a solid football team. They're 45th in the nation in points allowed, surrendering just 24.3 points per contest while holding opponents to 188 yards rushing per game (22nd in the nation). They're also a sound running team, gaining 190.2 yards per game (37th) thanks to Spencer Brown.
The Blazers are a perfect 5-0 against the spread in their last five games versus a team with a winning record and are 7-2-1 at the betting window in their last 10 games overall. I'll hedge and say UAB at least covers the 6.5 points but I wouldn't be surprised if this fairy tale season ended with an outright upset.
BAHAMAS BOWL PREDICTION: UAB BLAZERS +6.5