This is all about Kurtis Rourke, the 6-foot-4, fourth-year junior with the cannon arm who is fifth in the nation with 1,944 passing yards, and top 10 with a 70.9 completion percentage.
The Bobcats have been tempered in consecutive games at Penn State and at Iowa State, so Rourke and his teammates are familiar with stingy defensive backs and safeties in rough environments.
However, neither element will rear its fangs here. The Western secondary, in particular, is atrocious, so the ingredients are in place for Rourke to have a career day.
So, here’s a look at Ohio vs. Western Michigan odds and a pick in Week 7 of the NCAAF season.
Ohio vs. Western Michigan Betting Lines: Point Spread, Total, Moneyline
Here are live odds from around the betting market for Ohio vs. Western Michigan at Waldo Stadium.
NCAAF · Sat (10/15) @ 3:33pm ET
|Waldo Stadium, Kalamazoo, Michigan|
Ohio Bobcats (3-3, 3-3 Against the Spread)
Rourke is the legacy Bobcat whose older brother Nathan was first-team All-MAC for Ohio in 2020, its first such player since 1981. Nathan is an Athens legend for having guided the Cats to three consecutive bowl victories over UAB, San Diego State, and Nevada.
The Throwin’ Rourkes hail from Victoria, BC. And in his first season starting for his hometown BC Lions, Nathan is 10-5, tied for second in the West with Calgary with three remaining. The top two teams in each division advance to the playoffs.
He leads the CFL with 3,281 passing yards and 25 touchdowns, and he has an elite double-digit yards-per-pass average.
Back to Kurtis, who emerged last season by throwing for a total of 597 yards in consecutive games for three touchdowns and a single interception in a string of 70 throws.
This season, he pelted Fordham for 537 yards and four TDs, Akron for 427 yards and three scores, and Florida Atlantic for 345 yards and four TDs in the season opener. That’s 111 passes with no picks.
Kurtis is sixth on the all-time school chart with 4,131 yards. Nathan (7,457) is second to top Bobcat Tyler Tettleton’s 9,129 yards, which might be reachable for Kurtis.
Sam Wiglusz, a 5-11 junior who left Ohio State, has emerged from a large receiver corps to be Rourke’s top target with 35 catches, 434 yards, and five touchdowns. Three others have at least 250 reception yards, including one-time Vandy player James Bostic.
Redshirt freshman tailback Sieh Bangura, who sprinted 40 yards for a TD on his first collegiate carry a year ago, averages nearly 5 yards on 72 runs and he has tallied five TDs on the ground, one through the air.
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Western Michigan Broncos (2-4, 2-4 ATS)
The Western secondary will resemble sitting ducks to Kurtis Rourke come late Saturday afternoon.
It allows enemy quarterbacks 9.4 yards per pass, and only six defenses are worse in the country. Over the Broncos past three games, that’s even worse at 10.4 yards per throw; in that stretch, only the Miami Hurricanes (11.7) are worse.
And at home, Western yields 11.2 per throw. The Broncos, with defeats at Michigan State and San Jose State, might get lapped.
Ohio has had its issues on defense, but those were against the Nittany Lions and Cyclones in their yards.
Western redshirt freshman QB Jack Salopek has had a mediocre campaign, not even averaging 170 yards a game through the air with six TDs and five interceptions. Three others have had scrub time back in the pocket.
Corey Crooms has caught 27 passes for 365 yards and three TDs, and that’s about the extent of the Broncos threats. Tailbacks Sean Tyler and La’darius Jefferson don’t even combine to average 100 yards per game.
Ohio vs. Western Michigan Sports Betting Recommendation & Pick
These two last played three years ago in Athens. After halftime, the zany game saw nine lead changes, with the Bobcats winning in overtime, 37-34. The last time these two played in Waldo Stadium, Ohio led at halftime 45-0 and won, 59-14.
A half-unit on this Over, which has eked up about four points from its opening figure, would not be unwarranted. Ohio games are 5-1 to Over this season, but the side is our main focus.
The Broncos opened as slim favorites, and it has flipped. That’s warranted, too, but shouldn’t be a concern as Kurtis Rourke and Ohio are poised to post another rout at Waldo.
Our Pick: Bobcats -1 (-110)