Ohio Bobcats vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers - 11/15/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Appalachian State Mountaineers (9-21) at Ohio Bobcats (25-12)
College Basketball: Saturday, November 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm (Ohio University Convocation Center)
The Line: Ohio Bobcats -2.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Appalachian State Mountaineers take on the Ohio Bobcats in the season opener for both teams.
The Appalachian State Mountaineers hired Jim Fox to lead the Mountaineers in their transition from to the Southern Conference to the more difficult Sun Belt Conference. Jim Fox has a tall task in front of them this year as although he has four returning starters from last year squad, this was a team that ended up with a 9-21 overall record, with just a 5-11 record in the weaker Southern Conference. Returning for the Mountaineers will be senior guard Tab Hamilton who averaged a team-high 12.7 ppg last year, however, only shot 36.4% from the field. Joining Tab Hamilton will be Junior Forward Michael Obacha (5.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg), Senior Forward Tommy Spagnolo (8.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg), and Junior Forward Chris Burgess (7.1 ppg, 2.3 apg). Coach Jim Fox will need to make an immediate impact with the offense to find success in the Sun Belt Conference as Appalachian State ranked near the bottom of the country in PPG (67.8), FG PCT (41.6%), and APG (10.9) last season.
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The Ohio Bobcats are a team that the public has gotten to known over the past few years as one of the better mid-major teams who made a memorible run to the sweet 16 as of 2012. Although the Bobcats managed to put together 25 wins last year, this year’s team will be quite different. Coach Saul Phillips takes over the head coaching duties for the Bobcats this year and will be without last year’s leading scoring Nick Kellogg. Ohio will also have a new face in former top-100 prospect Kenny Kaminski who transferred to Ohio after being dismissed by Michigan State last season and will have the opportunity to shine the MAC conference. Joining Kenny Kaminski for the Bobcats will be Senior’s Maurice Daly Ndour (7.2 ppg, 51.1 FG%, 7.0 rpg) and Stevie Taylor (7.2 ppg, 2.4 apg).
The Mountaineers are 1-5 ATS in their past 6 games, while the Bobcats are 22-10 ATS in their last 32 non-conference games.
Although the Mountaineers have some good experience returning for 1st-year head coach Jim Fox, I agree with many pre-season writers that rank the Mountaineers near or at the bottom of the projected standings in the Sun Belt. Although Ohio is not going to probably as strong as years past, I still think that they have enough talent to cover this small line.
(11/15/2014) Updated - It looks as if the line has jumped quite a bit from the orginial -2.5 and some books have it up to -12. At this point, if I had to pick a side I would still roll with Ohio but have no where near the confidence I did as of yesterday. Brett.