San Diego State Aztecs (7-5) at Ohio Bobcats (8-4)
NCAA Football: Wednesday December 18th 2018 at 8:00 PM ET (Toyota Stadium)
Line & Odds: Ohio Bocats -2.5
Free NCAA Football Pick San Diego State Aztecs vs. Ohio Bobcats
The 7-5 San Diego State Aztecs roll into their Frisco Bowl matchup against the 8-4 Ohio Bobcats. San Diego State comes into the matchup with 11 previous consecutive bowl games whereas Ohio comes into this with 3 previous consecutive bowl games to their name.
Although San Diego State finds themselves in their 12th consecutive bowl game, they find themselves in a relative down year compared to the previous successes of the program. Having eclipsed the 10 win mark for the previous 3 seasons, a 7-5 season is without a doubt a step back for this Aztec program. Moreover, the Aztecs have dropped their last 3 games (albeit against quality opponents) and seem to be reeling. One aspect of San Diego State’s prior successes that has continued to translate into this season has been their staunch defense. The Aztecs boast one of the strongest run defenses in the nation allowing under 100 yards per game in their 2018 campaign. However, their offense has struggled on the year to keep up pace with their elite defense. The Aztecs have traditionally relied on an elite run game coupled with an outstanding defense, yet show up this year with only one of those two pieces to the puzzle. The Aztec defense will have their hands full with an electric Ohio offense, so to have any shot at winning this game they need a vintage San Diego State performance from the running game. If the Aztecs can control the clock and keep the Bobcats offense on the sidelines, that will be their path to an upset.
The Ohio Bobcats quietly have put together an extremely strong season out of the MAC. Finishing the regular season at 8-4 behind a high-powered offense, the Bobcats look to make a statement against one of the most respected non power 5 conference programs. The Bobcat rushing attack has been the catalyst to their successes on the season as they average 262 yards per game on the season that powers the 16th ranked offense in the nation. Even against quality defenses, the Bobcats offense never failed to show up on the year, even in the team’s 4 losses. On average, the Bobcat’s 4 losses have come by 5.75 points showcasing that they keep games competitive, even while not at their best. Beyond their gaudy offense, the Bobcat defense has sneakily had a fantastic season in its own right; ranking 5th in turnover margin, 14th in interceptions, and 15th in fumble recoveries. If the Bobcats want to cap off another strong season with a bowl win, they need to establish their vaunted run game early and not let the staunch Aztec run defense disrupt their offensive flow.
Trends by Cover The Spread 365:
San Diego State Aztecs
San Diego State is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games
San Diego State is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
Ohio is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
Ohio is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
Free NCAA Football Prediction Ohio Bobcats vs. San Diego State Aztecs
On paper, the Bobcats are by far the better statistical team and should run the Aztecs out of the building. That said, the Aztecs tend to face slightly stiffer competition week-in, week-out in the Mountain West Conference. However, the Aztecs are simply not the same Aztec team from years past and while the defense is there, the inability of the San Diego State offense to find the endzone is highly concerning when lining up against one of the most well-rounded and dynamic offenses the nation has to offer. Despite playing in a slightly weaker conference, expect Ohio to keep up their strong offensive play and come away with some key defensive takeaways as they cover this thin spread.