Bowling Green vs. Minnesota Odds, Picks: Betting Value on Saturday’s Over/Under (Sept. 25)

Bowling Green vs. Minnesota Odds, Picks: Betting Value on Saturday’s Over/Under (Sept. 25) article feature image
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Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Daniel Jackson.

  • The Bowling Green Falcons travel to Minnesota on Saturday to take on the Golden Gophers of the Big Ten.
  • Minnesota is coming off a thrashing of Colorado and enters this game as huge favorites.
  • Tanner McGrath breaks down the game below and shares a betting pick and prediction based on his analysis.

Bowling Green vs. Minnesota Odds

Bowling Green Odds +30.5
Minnesota Odds -30.5
Moneyline OFF
Over/Under 51
Time 12 p.m. ET
TV ESPNU
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

While Bowling Green enters this game with just a 1-2 record, it’s 3-0 against the spread (ATS) — a stat that carries much more weight for bettors.

Minnesota has won two straight and is 1-1-1 ATS, but it’s played an interesting schedule. The Gophers split against Ohio State and Miami (OH) to start the season but most recently dominated Colorado as 2.5-point underdogs.

Since 2006, the Big Ten is just 91-95-1 ATS vs. the MAC, with Minnesota going 5-8 during that time. However, the Big Ten has flipped that script in recent years, going 23-13 since 2017, including 5-1 in the young 2021 season.

Given Minnesota’s status as a Power Five team, the Golden Gophers are laying 31 points at the time of writing. But is Minnesota worth laying that many points against an undefeated ATS team?

Let’s dive in and find the most profitable betting angle for this one.


Bowling Green vs. Minnesota Betting Preview

Saturday, Sept. 25
12 p.m. ET
ESPNU

Bowling Green Falcons

Bowling Green Offense

Despite Matt McDonald completing 72% of his passes, the Falcons’ offense has managed just 17.3 points per game (118th in FBS) through their first three.

There are two reasons for this:

  1. McDonald isn’t throwing the ball anywhere. He currently paces the MAC in attempts (98), completions (70) and yards (716), but he ranks just fourth in yards per attempt (7.2).
  2. The rush game has been abysmal. The offense is getting stuffed at the third-highest rate in the nation and the Falcons are averaging a whopping 2.1 yards per carry.

Add those two together, and you’ve found yourself a team that ranks outside the top 100 in offensive explosiveness.

Bowling Green can dink-and-dunk all it wants, but it won’t stay out of the cellar if it can’t drive the ball.

Against Tennessee, the Falcons strung together two consecutive 11-play drives that both resulted in field goals. It’s easy to see why the Falcons are 117th in Finishing Drives.


Bowling Green Defense

The defense has been fine, specifically in the secondary.

The Falcons have held opposing quarterbacks to just a 55% completion percentage and they currently rank 26th in Defensive Pass Success.

This is good news, considering the Tennessee game was the 10th straight game the Falcons had allowed 30 points or more.

The defense returned 71% of their production from last season, per TARP, so maybe this unit’s on an upwards trend.

The front seven hasn’t been as effective, finishing outside the top 100 in Rush Success Rate, while allowing almost 170 rush yards per game. But they’ve also held their opponents to just 3.8 yards per carry, so it’s not all bad.

What may help the Falcons’ defensive success is their offensive game plan. Bowling Green has currently possessed the ball for 93 minutes to its opponents 87, which also helps explain why it’s thrice covered as underdogs while going 3-0 to the under this season.

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Minnesota Golden Gophers

Minnesota Offense

This offense would be on another level if Mohamed Ibrahim wasn’t hurt. The Gophers are averaging 4.4 yards per carry, but Ibrahim was torching Ohio State to the tune of 5.4 yards per carry in Week 0.

Minnesota’s just 89th in Rush Success Rate and 86th in Offensive Line Yards. A running back is often dependent on the big guys up front.

Tanner Morgan could be better, given he’s only completed 56% of his passes so far this season. However, the Gophers haven’t asked much of him, as he had just 17 passing attempts in both of their last two victories. The Gophers also have rushed at the seventh-highest rate in the FBS (71.6%).

When they do pass the ball, they’ve posted a top-50 mark in Pass Success Rate, and Morgan has recorded 9.2 adjusted yards per attempt through his three games.


Minnesota Defense

The Minnesota defense got destroyed by Ohio State, but who wouldn’t.

The advanced numbers haven’t been excellent, but this is a team that returned 87% of its defensive production from last season, per TARP. I’m looking for some positive regression moving forward.

The progression started last week in Colorado. The Buffaloes entered that game among the top-30 teams in Rushing Success and Finishing Drives, and the Buffs left that game with 63 total yards, two turnovers, and zero points.

This unit should be able to build some more momentum in this game, considering Bowling Green can’t move the ball against anyone.


Bowling Green vs. Minnesota Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Bowling Green and Minnesota match up statistically:

Bowling Green Offense vs. Minnesota Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success
105
67
Line Yards
129
48
Pass Success
85
60
Pass Blocking**
129
64
Big Play
111
36
Havoc
118
96
Finishing Drives
117
97
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Minnesota Offense vs. Bowling Green Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success
89
110
Line Yards
86
95
Pass Success
47
26
Pass Blocking**
65
41
Big Play
79
50
Havoc
78
94
Finishing Drives
44
61
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling
26
72
PFF Coverage
43
83
Middle 8
100
55
SP+ Special Teams
29
101
Plays per Minute
122
127
Rush Rate
46.2% (112)
71.6% (7)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Bowling Green vs. Minnesota Betting Pick

I’ve considered laying the points with the Golden Gophers, but I think the better play is the under.

While Bowling Green only rushes 46% of the time, its main objective is to control the ball. Whether that happens or not, the Falcons won’t be producing many explosive plays.

Actually, the Falcons will be lucky to score at all. The Gophers’ defense is building momentum and I think they provide a shutdown performance in Week 4.

When the Gophers have the ball, they’ll be run-heavy. The offense will have success doing so, but I don’t expect them to drop 50 on Bowling Green with only 15 pass attempts.

I’m expecting the Gophers to score around 30-40 points while holding the Falcons to single-digits. Therefore, I feel very comfortable playing the under at 50 or better.

Pick: Under 50 or better

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