Florida Atlantic vs. Ohio Betting Odds & Picks: Back Saturday’s Short Favorite
Photo by Aaron Gilbert/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: N’Kosi Perry (FAU)
- Florida Atlantic and Ohio meet in Week 1 of the college football season on Saturday.
- The Owls cruised to a Week 1 victory over Charlotte and now enter as small favorites.
- Check out odds, picks and predictions for this Week 1 matchup below.
Florida Atlantic vs. Ohio Odds
I'm high on the Bobcats this year. I believe they're a dark-horse candidate to win the MAC. I think they should go over their win total, and I think they've got a good chance to win this game.
Ohio is 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS against Conference USA opponents since 2009. Ohio is also 9-3 SU and 7-5 ATS hosting non-conference FBS opponents since 2003, although the Bobcats have lost two straight.
But Ohio is still going through organizational restructuring since former head coach Frank Solich stepped down.
And don't overlook the Owls.
Their 6.5 Offensive TARP is one of the best in the nation, led by two studs in quarterback N'Kosi Perry and Johnny Ford.
The market opened at FAU -2.5, but has quickly been bet to -4. The total has taken some sharp money and crept up slightly, and that might be worth a look, considering the combined Defensive TARP of FAU and Ohio is -7.
FAU returns four offensive line starters with a combined 125 career starts. They also picked up transfers from Rutgers (Brendan Bordner) and Middle Tennessee (Dorian Hinton) to boost the depth of a line that should improve significantly.
That line will protect Perry and Ford, the two guys who should produce most of the yards this season.
Well, given Ford gets back on the field, which seems likely.
Taggart said that #FAU RB Johnny Ford missed last game due to "personal reasons," not injury. Says he's probable for Saturday against Ohio.
— Zachary Weinberger (@ZachWeinberger) August 29, 2022
Although, maybe the Owls don't need him. Larry McCammon III took over starting back duties and ran for 118 yards on just 14 carries against Charlotte. FAU went in and produced a 51% Success Rate on Standard Downs while putting up 218 rush yards and three scores.
Perry looked superb in his season debut, too. He threw just 22 passes, but completed 16 of them for over 250 yards and a score. He finished the game with 12.5 adjusted yards per attempt, and FAU put up a Passing Downs Success Rate of over 60% in the first half.
It must be nice having your top two pass catchers back.
While there were questions on the defensive side, the Owls overwhelmed Charlotte. After posting a 42% Success Rate on Standard Downs in the first quarter, the 49ers put up a rate below 20% in the final 45 minutes.
While it was just Charlotte, FAU looked very impressive on both sides of the ball. The efficiency was there, the volume was enough and a 30-point statement win ensued.
Ohio is going to see a big increase in defensive production. Nine starters return, alongside 17 defensive players with starting experience, including five of the top six tacklers from last season.
The Bobcats added two Big Ten transfers on the defensive line and look poised to have the strongest linebacker group in the MAC.
After going 2-4 in one-possession games and finishing 110th in turnover margin, expect more pressure, Havoc and interceptions to flip those close losses into wins.
Ohio also poached defensive coordinator Spence Nowinsky from Miami (OH), which should provide a boost to the unit overall.
However, there is a lot of production to replace on the offensive side. The offensive line should be good, but the top two running backs are gone, alongside four of the top-five pass catchers.
Plus, what can we expect from Kurtis Rourke? He sure doesn't sling it like his brother, who earned himself a job with the BC Lions because of his stellar final two years in Athens.
Kurtis has made 19 big-time throws to 15 turnover-worthy plays in his career, including a 12:11 ratio last season. He's not uber-efficient either, compiling just 6.6 adjusted yards per attempt last year. He barely broke 1,800 yards on 170 completions.
Rourke also just makes mistakes. Plays like this:
Kurtis Rourke tosses up a prayer to try and spark an Ohio comeback, but instead finds the hands of BGSU's Deshawn Jones Jr. to end the game!
BGSU (4-8) collects the 21-10 win over rival Ohio (3-9)! pic.twitter.com/U2turMy6Xl
— Hustle Belt (@HustleBelt) November 26, 2021
🗣 FUMMMMMBLEEEEE (AGAIN)
Kurtis Rourke loses the ball evading pressure and CMU LB George Douglas recovers! pic.twitter.com/3Ue9HSeTQs
— Hustle Belt (@HustleBelt) November 5, 2020
Rourke should be protected well, which could lead to an uptick in production. Plus another year in the Tim Albin system could do the same. But he'll need a receiver to step up because the room looks bleak at the moment.
Florida Atlantic vs. Ohio Betting Pick
The ceiling for Ohio is high. The defense could be the best in the MAC. Rourke could mature. New weapons could develop behind a formidable offensive line.
But it's too early to put all the pieces together, especially against an FAU team that looked superb in Week 0. The Owls didn't even need their top backfield weapon to completely destroy Charlotte.
The Bobcats need more time. FAU is in win-now mode. It's that simple.
I'd make this spread closer to a touchdown than a field goal. I'm fine with two points of value, so I'd play the Owls short of five points.