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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Tuesday Nov. 8 MAC Picks

The Election isn’t the only thing to bet on Tuesday. Two Mid-American Conference match-ups kickoff the week of college football tonight for fans looking for a break from the election.

Eastern Michigan Eagles (5-4, 2-3) at Ball State Cardinals (4-5, 1-4)

The Ball State Cardinals face a difficult challenge in needing to win two out of their last three games to become bowl eligible. Ball State’s last bowl appearance was in the Go Daddy Bowl concluding the 2013 season. The Cardinals can start by defending their own turf in their home finale. The Cardinals are 0-3 in conference home games this season.

 

Eastern Michigan needs one more win to become bowl eligible although one more win alone may not be enough. The Eagles have not played in a bowl game in since 1987 and have dropped five straight in the series against Ball State.

Eastern Michigan is 5-1 against the spread in their last six conference games. Eastern Michigan has also won its last five games as an underdog against the spread and has covered in four straight road games.

While the over is just 3-6 in Eagles’ games this season, the over is 7-1 in their last eight games as an underdog of 0.5-3.0.

Ball State is currently a one point home favorite. Ball State is 1-7 against the spread in their last eight conference games, 1-9 against the spread in their last 10 games as a home favorite, and 0-6 against the spread in their last six home games against teams with a winning road record.

Despite both teams defensive struggles this season, both Ball State and Eastern Michigan are just 3-6 against the over this season.

I am going with Eastern Michigan +1 and predicting Eastern Michigan 34 Ball State 31.

Western Michigan Broncos (9-0, 5-0) at Kent State Golden Flashes (3-6, 2-3) 

This game opened up at Western Michigan -18 and I applaud you if you locked in at that number. Kent State has announced the suspension of star senior safety Nate Holley indefinitely. Holler leads Kent State with 12.3 tackles per game.

Western Michigan is 25-9 against the spread in their last 34 games overall, and 9-2 against the spread in their last 11 games as a favorite. Kent State is 2-8 against the spread in last 10 games against a team with a winning record.

Kent State should have a hard time scoring against the Broncos. The Golden Flashes rank dead last (128th) in the NCAA averaging just 308 yards per game. Kent does however rank 23rd in total defense nationally which is makes them second in the MAC allowing 344 yards per game.

Western Michigan ranks 12th in the nation in total offense which makes them second in MAC (507 ypg). Western Michigan ranks first in the conference in scoring defense and fourth in the conference in total defense allowing 369 yards per game.

This one could get ugly. My pick is Western Michigan -21. Western Michigan 38 Kent State 13.

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