Three football games on a Tuesday night is exactly why MACtion is one of the greatest ideas of the modern 21st century. Week two of MAC midweek action kicks off tonight with three games as the stakes continue to rise for these schools as they try to make it to the conference championship or become bowl eligible. We will break down the games and go over which two games I’ll be betting on tonight.
The first game to kick off tonight will be the (5-4) Eastern Michigan Eagles taking on the (1-8) Akron Zips at 7:00 PM ET. The last-place Zips look to pick up their first conference win of the season tonight at home and the Eagles will be trying to get to .500 in conference play and move out of sixth place.
Akron has yet to win a game since the first week of the season and is ranked at the bottom of college football in both offense and defense. To say the Zips struggle to run the ball is an understatement as they come into this week ranked 127th in the country in rushing yards per game. Demarcus Irons Jr. is the quarterback for Akron and is struggling with limiting the turnovers coming into tonight with 9 touchdown passes but 6 interceptions as well.
The Zips inability to run plays to the Eagles strengths on defense as EMU has struggled to stop the run all season but has been dominant when it comes to pass defense. Offensively this is an opportunity for the Eagles to get their running and passing game on track against an Akron defense that is allowing 38.8 points and 440.8 yards per game.
Running back Samson Evans has been having a nice season so far for the Eagles entering today with 722 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns. Evans and wide receiver Tanner Knue have the chance to rack up a lot of yards tonight with the Zips defense who allows 9.7 yards per pass.
This matchup opened with Akron being (+9) point underdogs but that number has been bet down to (+7) where it currently sits across most sportsbooks. Despite being 1-8 this season the Zips have a 4-5 record ATS entering tonight’s match-up. The point total for this game opened at 55 points but is now up to 57.5 across the board. The under is 4-1 in the last five games the Eagles have played in. As for Akron, the under is 35-16-1 in their last 52 home games.
As far as history in this match-up the road team is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 matchups between these two teams. EMU has also gone 5-0 ATS the last five times they’ve made the trip to Akron.
My first play of the night will be Eastern Michigan (-7). The Eagles have been inconsistent all season but they are far and above the better team in this matchup. EMU dropped a tough game to Toledo last week and I think they come out this week and put it on the Zips.
It’s difficult to feel comfortable betting on a team with one win on the season and I just don’t think the Zips can score enough points to stay in the game. They have been able to cover the spread a few times this season but I like this number for EMU and think they can easily win by more than a touchdown.
This “Battle of the Bricks” kicks off at 7:30 PM ET with the (6-3) Ohio Bobcats taking on (4-5) Miami Ohio. The Bobcats are currently sitting in first place in the conference after beating up Buffalo last week. The Redhawks will be looking to get their third conference win tonight and make one final push in the standings.
Miami Ohio beat up on Akron last weekend and finally has starting quarterback Brett Gabbert back and healthy. Gabbert had missed most of the season after an injury in week one so the Redhawks offense has lacked production in the passing game and relied heavily on the running game. Having Gabbert back under center sets up an advantage for the Miami Ohio offense as the Bobcats defense has been horrid this season at stopping the pass.
Despite struggling to stop the pass on defense the Ohio offense can certainly rely heavily on their ability to pass behind quarterback Kurtis Rourke. The Bobcats quarterback is putting up numbers that put him in the conversation for conference player of the year. Rourke enters tonight with 21 touchdown passes and 4 interceptions and the Bobcats will need another strong performance tonight since the Redhawks strength is run defense. Rourke might get all the credit but wide receiver Sam Wiglusz is certainly a big reason why the Bobcats are in first place. The Ohio State transfer has caught 9 touchdowns already this season so Rourke and he will need to connect early and often if they want to beat the Redhawks defense only allowing 22.4 points per game.
This game opened with Miami Ohio being (+1.5) point underdogs at home but has been bet up to (+2.5) where it sits across the board right now. The Ohio Bobcats have been a cover machine this season so far going 6-3 ATS up to this point.
As far as the point total that number opened at 50.5 and is currently moving up rapidly in some sportsbooks. Right now on FanDuel Sportsbook, this total is sitting at 52.5 but could return to 52 or 51.5 the closer we get to game time.
Miami Ohio has struggled to cover this season against teams with winning records as they are 1-4 ATS when facing a team with a winning record. Ohio has been the exact opposite as they are 4-0 ATS when they play a team with a losing record.
My second play of the day is going to be the over on the point total in this one. I was able to get it early this week at 50.5 and depending on the book this number might still be available. However, it is only available at 51 or 51.5 I would feel comfortable taking that as well.
The Ohio Bobcats offense is playing at an incredibly high level right now and can get it done on the ground and through the air. The main reason I like this play though is Miami Ohio has a healthy Brett Gabbert under center for them. Gabbert threw for 5 touchdowns last season against this Bobcats defense and I don’t think he’ll produce the same numbers tonight but he will be able to move the ball downfield often and keep pace with the Rourke and the Bobcats.
The last game to kick off tonight will be at 8:00 PM ET and feature the (5-4) Ball State Cardinals heading to Toledo to take on the (6-3) Rockets in the "Glass Bowl". Toledo is tied for first place and looking to solidify a spot in the conference championship game, as for the Cardinals they look to become bowl eligible with a win.
The Rockets offense has lived up to their nickname and has been explosive all season. Coming into tonight's game Toledo is averaging 35.8 points per game which is tied for 17th in the country. Quarterback DeQuan Finn is the center point of the offense and has the ability to produce with both his legs and arm. Finn has 8 rushing touchdowns and 18 passing touchdowns so far this season which means he’ll be able to attack the Cardinals defense in a plethora of ways. Finn is questionable tonight so if he can't go then Tucker Gleason will get the start. Gleason has a strong arm and can be trusted to run the offense.
Ball State’s defense has been one of the worst teams in college football at stopping the run as they allow an average of 202.6 rushing yards per game. Offensively the Cardinals rely on the hard-nosed rushing attack of running back Carson Steele. The Ball State running back is over 1,00 rushing yards this season and should be able to take advantage of a Toledo defense allowing 4.2 yards per carry.
If Toledo comes out with an emphasis on stopping the run game at all costs then it will be up to quarterback John Paddock and his favorite target Tanner Koziol to step up and provide the offense. Paddock has been able to connect with the star tight end for a team-high 6 receiving touchdowns so far this year.
FanDuel Sportsbook had the opening line for this game at (-16.5) points in favor of Toledo but almost every other sportsbook had Toledo open as (-12.5) point favorites. The current number across the board has the Rockets favored by (-11.5) but this game has seen a lot of movement so that could easily change again before kick-off.
The point total has had a lot less movement as the total opened at 51.5 and now sits at 50.5 points. The under is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings between these teams.
Historically the road team has had the most success when it comes to covering the spread in this match-up as the away team is 11-3 ATS in the last 14 games between the two teams. Ball State comes into tonight’s game 7-1 ATS in the last 8 games they’ve traveled to Toledo.
Unlike the first two games, I don’t have any current plays on this game. The movement of the spread makes me want to avoid taking a chance on betting the spread for either side.
My best piece of advice and current thinking is to live bet the total after seeing how the game opens up. Toledo has been solid this season but has also been inconsistent so I would like to see what type of night it is going to be before jumping on board. I think there is a chance to get a better number on the total by waiting until the game is live.
Eastern Michigan (-7)
Ohio @ Miami Ohio Over 50.5
No pre-game play in Ball State @ Toledo, a possibility for a live bet on the total