Central Michigan (-3) vs. Troy
7:00 pm ET
I am a big fan of this game. If you have been reading this blog for any time at all then you know that I am very fond of Central Michigan QB DanLeFevour. He’s one of the most exciting and impressive quarterbacks out there, he has set record after record over his four year career, and he deserves far more credit than he has received. This is his last game, and he and his team will be motivated to send him and his explosive offense out on a high note. Unfortunately, Central Michigan has a problem. They have unofficially become Cincinnati’s farm team. Brian Kelly went to Cincinnati from CMU, and now that he has moved on to greener pastures (that’s debatable) the Bearcats have again gone to the same well and hired CMU coach Butch Jones to helm their project. That means that the Chippewas have an interim coaching situation. That worked out okay for Marshall but was a total disaster for Cincinnati.
Troy has a pretty darned good QB of their own who also deserves more attention than he gets – Levi Brown. He’s far more of a pocket presence than LeFevour, but he can get the job done. He has led the Trojans to nine wins in their last 10 games, and they have scored more than 27 in each win, and more than 40 in the last six.
The teams have never played before, so we can’t learn much from that. They did share a common opponent, though, and that could be more illuminating. Central Michigan won at Bowling Green 24-10. Troy lost to them by 17.
The line movement on this one opens some eyes. There are a lot of reasons to like Central Michigan – better QB, Troy’s struggle against strong offenses, common opponent, and so on. The public has noticed – two thirds of bets have been on the Chippewas. Despite that, the line opened at four and has now dropped to three after resting at 3.5 for a while. That’s a pretty clear indicator that smart money is favoring the Trojans. One possible reason for that is that the game is being played in Mobile, Alabama. That’s a heck of a lot closer to Troy, Alabama than Mount Pleasant, Michigan.