While many people assume that the college football card starts later in the week, MAC fans know you’d be wrong to make that assumption. We’ve got plenty of MACtion this week with a trio of games on Tuesday and Wednesday. The online betting odds are already posted, so let’s take a closer look at the games and run through all of the MAC contests.
Akron at Ohio
Odds: Ohio -26.5
The Zips and the Bobcats are both winless this season but at 0-1, it’s pretty clear these are still two very different teams. The Zips lost their opener 58-13 to Western Michigan in a game where they gave up 484 yards – including 218 on the ground. Ohio lost a narrow 30-27 on the road to Central in their opener that came down to the wire. Ohio got to the Central Michigan 40 as time wound down but couldn’t get in field goal range. The Bobcats had just 110 yards on the ground in that contest but should do much better in this spot.
Kent State at Bowling Green
Odds: Kent State -20.5
Bowling Green is off a surprising 38-3 thrashing at the hands of Toledo. The Falcons were a complete bust in their opener, totaling just 267 yards of offense. If they want any shot in this one, they’ll have to pass the ball much better. Quarterback Matt McDonald was just 8-of-30 in the opener for 128 yards, no touchdowns and two picks. Kent State edged Eastern Michigan 27-23 last week and is expected to roll in this spot.
Miami (OH) at Buffalo
Odds: Buffalo -9.5
Buffalo’s defense came up huge in their 49-30 win over Northern Illinois last week as they scored three defensive touchdowns. The Bulls played well in all three phases of the game, compiling 397 yards on offense while forcing five turnovers on defense.
Miami is also fresh off a win as they scored a touchdown with 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter to edge out Ball State. Zach Kahn ran one in, which put the RedHawks over the top. This team effectively used two quarterbacks last week as AJ Mayer had most of the reps but Brett Gabbert – the brother of former first-round pick Blaine Gabbert – was also under center at times.
Eastern Michigan at Ball State
Odds: Ball State -8.5
The first game on the board on Wednesday will be the Eastern Michigan-Ball State showdown. Both of these MAC teams lost their openers but it’s Ball State who is favored to get the win this week. Ball State played relatively well in their opener at Miami of Ohio, falling just short on a last-second play. They compiled 478 yards of offense, were nine-of-15 on third downs and averaged 9.7 yards-per-pass. Their defense let them down a little bit. That might not be so much of an issue against Eastern Michigan this week.
The Eagles offense is just OK. They had a paltry 61 rushing yards last week and that won’t cut it if they’re in that range again this week. Quarterback Preston Hutchinson was 21-of-35 last week for 241 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but he also threw a couple of bad picks. It’s pretty clear that he needs help from the ground game to get some balance in this offense.
Toledo at Western Michigan
Odds: Western Michigan -2.5
Toledo rocked out in their opener as the Rockets thumped Bowling Green 38-3. It’s pretty clear that the sportsbook oddsmakers view that as simply beating up on a feeble opponent as they’re now a road dog at Western Michigan this week. Toledo flatted Bowling Green, piling up 524 yards of offense while converting 11-of-20 third downs. They had a whopping 310 yards on the ground.
Western Michigan is going to offer more resistance this week after stomping Akron last week but it’s worth noting they had some issues stopping the run. Akron was blown out but still managed 130 rushing yards on 32 carries (4.1 yards per attempt). That could spell trouble for the Broncos until they tighten things up in that regard.
Central Michigan at Northern Illinois
College Football Odds: Central Michigan -7.5
Central Michigan is coming off a win over Ohio and they’ll now visit Northern Illinois where they’re a sizable road favorite. The Chippewas had 427 yards of offense in the opener with 184 of it coming on the ground. The question is will Northern Illinois be able to slow them down in that regard? NIU hosted Buffalo in their opener and they were run all over. The Buffs produced a healthy 182 rushing yards on the ground while averaging 5.4 yards per carry. That’s likely why we see Central Michigan as such a big MAC favorite here as the experts are expecting them to have similar success on the ground