We’ve got the biggest Wednesday of the year! And no I am not talking about waiting to hear the election results. I’m talking about everyone’s favorite shitty football. We finally have MACtion. We’ll see 6 games across the ESPN networks and CBS Sports starting at 6 pm EST. These are not lock picks, but we’ll dive in to a little preview and lean for each game. Check out our Twitter later today to see our picks.
We start with a game between two teams that aren’t expected to compete for the MAC championship as Western Michigan takes on Akron. Akron was the only team in the FBS to not get a victory in 2019. They do return their quarterback from last year which is promising but outside of that, you only see two players on the offensive line, and a running back group that only average 1.8 yards per carry a year ago. On the other side, Western Michigan was right on the doorstep of the MAC West Title last year. However, losing LeVante Bellamy will be a huge loss. They also have to replace their quarterback, tight end, and one of their specialists/WR. The offensive line still should be good enough to push around the Akron defensive line. I think that they may come out of the gates slow, but Western Michigan will not lose this game.
Lean – Akron +19.5
Next up, we go to Kent where Eastern Michigan comes to town. These two teams have been pretty evenly matched throughout the years with Kent State leading the series 18-14. Kent State returns their quarterback. Eastern Michigan still has a decision to make at that position so I give the slight edge to Kent State but I think both teams get into the 30’s.
Lean – Eastern Michigan/Kent State over 66.5
Buffalo is the early pick to win the MAC and they get their season started by heading west to face the Northern Illinois Huskies. Led by one of the league’s top coaches, top running backs, and a defense that returns 7 starters from a good 2019 defense, this should be an easy victory for the Bulls. Northern Illinois finished 5-7 in Thomas Hammock’s first season at his alma mater. The offseason was not kind to him either as he lost four key players to the transfer portal. Hammock will turn this team around but it won’t be this year.
Lean – Buffalo -13.5
Ohio and Central Michigan will be another tight battle; something we just expect from the MAC. Ohio will see younger brother to last year’s starter Nathan Rourke. Will Kurtis be able to replicate the 61.0 completion percentage with 2,820 yards and 20 touchdowns that we saw in 2019. Both teams ranked in the top half of the MAC in total defense last year which I think plays out with a little bit of chaos that we all want to see. A low scoring MAC game isn’t something you expect but that’s what I’m predicting.
Lean – Ohio/Central Michigan under 55.5
The late games see Ball State take on Miami Ohio. The returning MAC champs return 16 starters from a year ago. I don’t have much of a read on Ball State but I think Miami will once again be at the top of the east and compete for the title so we’re rolling with them in this one.
Lean – Miami Ohio +1.5
The last game of the night sees Bowling Green head to Toledo to take on the number one team in the West. Toledo struggled last year after an injury at quarterback. Three other guys stepped under center after Mitchell Guadagni went down with an injury. All three are back but they will depend heavily on running backs Bryant Koback (1,187 yards) and Shakif Seymour (741). The Bowling Green Falcons are in full rebuild mode so I don’t see them putting up much of a fight in this one. I expect Toledo to run it up a little bit but Bowling Green will still get a few scores to help rack up the points.
Lean – Bowling Green/Toledo over 62.5