2017 Mid American Conference Football Predictions

Regular season projected records below including the current over/under win total according to Vegas. Records are not including bowl game or conference championship predictions.

MAC East

1. Miami (Ohio) 8-4, 6-2 (O/U 8 wins)
2. Ohio 8-4, 5-3 (O/U 7.5 wins)
3. Bowling Green 5-7, 4-4 (O/U 4 wins)
4. Akron 4-8, 3-5 (O/U 5 wins)
5. Kent State 3-9, 2-6 (O/U 3.5 wins)
6. Buffalo 1-11, 0-8 (O/U 3.5 wins)

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MAC West

1. Toledo 10-2, 7-1 (O/U wins 8.5)
2. Western Michigan 9-3, 7-1 (O/U wins 8.5)
3. Central Michigan 7-5, 5-3 (O/U wins 6.5)
4. Northern Illinois 5-7, 4-4 (O/U 6 wins)
5. Eastern Michigan 5-7, 3-5 (O/U 4.5 wins)
6. Ball State 4-8, 2-6 (O/U 4.5 wins)

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Best Bets: 

Buffalo Bulls UNDER 3.5 wins

2016 Results 2-10 Overall, 1-7 MAC

Four wins will be a stretch this year for a program that has only seen two winning seasons since joining the Mid American Conference in 1999. The only win I see on the Bulls 2017 schedule is week 3 against Colgate.

Buffalo will face Army on the road on September 9. The Bulls defeated the Black Knights 23-20 last season in overtime, by coming back after trailing 20-6 heading into the fourth quarter. This year I expect Army to avenge last seasons lost. Other winnable games are against Kent State, Akron, Bowling Green, Ball State and Florida Atlantic. However, I can not see the Bulls winning more than two of those games and three games overall at best.

Toledo Rockets Over 8.5 Wins

2016 Results 9-4 overall 6-2 MAC

Toledo should make it’s first appearance in the championship game since 2004. The Rockets non-conference schedule is tough with a trip to Miami Florida and a home game against Tulsa. However, this Rockets team really does have potential for at least 10 or 11 regular season wins. The Rockets scare me a little only because Toledo seems to always have one slip up in the conference each season in a game where they are expected to win. Games against Bowling Green, Ball State and Ohio could be dangerous possible upsets even though Toledo should win each one. Still Toledo has won at least nine games in five of their last six seasons and I like Toledo over 8.5 wins.

Best Sleeper Value to win Conference: Miami Redhawks +700

The Redhawks return 16 starters from last seasons team that won six games in a row and qualified for the St. Peterburg Bowl after getting off to a 0-6 start. In the bow game, Miami lost to Mississippi State 17-16.

Miami has a favorable conference schedule that includes possibly the two weakest teams in the West, Eastern Michigan and Ball State. However improving on offense will be key if the Redhawks want to earn of birth the conference championship. In 2016 Miami ranked 10th in the MAC in scoring, rushing and total offense. Miami however, ranked number one in the MAC and 25th in the nation in total defense.

Miami with travel to South Bend to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on September 30.

Week 1 Game to watch: Western Michigan at USC

Western Michigan is a 28 point underdog despite coming off of a 13-1 season and returning 12 starters. The Broncos are still talented but have suffered the biggest loses of any team in the conference. Head coach P.J Fleck took the job at Minnesota, wide receiver Corey Davis went number five overall in the NFL draft, and four year starting quarterback Zach Terrell is gone as well.

New head coach Tim Lester and quarterback Tom Flacco will immediately be thrown into the fire with games at USC and Michigan State to start the season. The Broncos are still a good value play at +300 to win the conference, which I basically see at this point as a +300 money line bet for the Broncos to defeat the Toledo Rockets.

Mid-American Conference Champion Prediction: Toledo (+160) over Miami

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Atlanta Braves at Colorado Rockies (Free Pick) Aug. 15

Atlanta Braves 52-64 (Newcomb 1-7, 4.45 ERA)  at  Colorado Rockies 66-52 (Freeland 11-7, 3.70 ERA) 8:40pm CST

 

The Colorado Rockies currently find themselves tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks for the two National League Wildcard spots, holding a five game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals. Tonight the Rockies host, the Atlanta Braves, who seem to be well on their way to their fourth consecutive losing season.

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The Braves will be sending rookie south paw Sean Newcomb to the mound tonight. Based on Newcomb’s 1-7 record and 4.45 earned run average, a quick glance at the opening line may lead you to expect him to get shelled tonight by the Rockies line-up.

Coors Field is not just any ballpark, however Newcomb may be up for the challenge since he has pitched much better on the road this season. In his four starts away from SunTrust Park, the rookie is 1-1 with a 3.43 earned run average while holding opponents to .197 batting average, opposed to his 0-6 record and 5.02 earned run average at home.

Alot of other signs point to the under here, including seven of the Rockies last eight Tuesday home games going under the Vegas total. Seven of Sean Newcombs 11 career starts have gone under the total as well and the under is also 9-5-1 in Atlanta’s last 15 games.

The Rockies have a reputation for scoring a lot of runs but only 44% of the Rockies games have gone over this season (49-63-6). The Under is also 8-2 in the Rockies last ten games overall and 15-4-2 in Rockies starter Kyle Freeland’s starts this season.

Once again I see this as an excellent opportunity to take advantage of the inflated 11.5 over/under due to this game being played at Coors Field.

Regarding my prediction on the outcome, I like the Rockies to win against the Moneyline as well. The Braves have lost their last 11 games in Colorado and are 2-9 in their last 11 games as underdog.

The Rockies have won 21 of their last 29 home games with the total going under in seven of the Rockies last eight home games on Tuesday.

I strongly recommend two plays here: UNDER 11.5 RUNS and Rockies Moneyline

Get Strong Sports Prediction: Rockies 7 Braves 3

 

 

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