Return of the MAC: Week 3 Preview & Best Bets

By: Austin Moehn & Trent Pruitt

Austin and I broke out the brooms last week and went 3-0 last week on the MACtion slate. That moved us to 4-1 on the season for these midweek thrillers! We’re back at it again this week and looking to keep running it up as we have two games on Tuesday and three on Wednesday!

Tuesday’s MACtion

Buffalo vs. Bowling Green

Spread: BUF -31.5 (-109)

Total: 59.5 (O -109, U -109)

Kickoff: 7:00 ET, Doyt L. Perry Stadium, Bowling Green, OH

The Buffalo Bulls ran a pretty dynamic offense last time out as they pulled away for a 42-10 win over the Miami RedHawks last Tuesday. They racked up 558 offensive yards thanks to a healthy split of Kyle Vantrease’s 353 yards and four TD’s and the running game led by a two-headed monster of Kevin Marks and Jaret Patterson which added 193 on the ground. Buffalo moved to 2-0 on the young MAC season but as for the Bowling Green Falcons, they’re now 0-2 out of the gate after losing 62-24 to Kent State last week. Quarterback Matt McDonald was only 6/20 for 105 yards last week and 8/30 for 128 in the opener. 28% completion percentage – yikes. Scot Loeffler’s offense was able to establish a solid run game which added 260 yards on 42 attempts in the beatdown by the Golden Flashes. 

As for tonight’s game, I’m going to lay the 31 points (-110) and take Buffalo to cover on the road. Buffalo’s offense is averaging 45.5 points through two games and they’re absolutely dominating the 2020 campaign. They’ll continue their success tonight against a Bowling Green defense that was torched for 62 points and 667 yards last Tuesday. No doubt to me that the Bulls put up 49+ points tonight. Defensively, I like this matchup for Buffalo as well. They’ve allowed 139 and 156 on the ground through two games which is where Bowling Green is going to have to beat them. With truly inferior quarterback play from Matt McDonald, expect Buffalo to be able to get away with stacking the box and creeping the safeties up to help stop the run. From what I’ve seen from the Falcons so far in 2020, this game is lining up to be a disaster for them. I’ll take a guess and say 56-13 is the final.

-Trent Pruitt (@trentbets)

Wednesday’s MACtion

Northern Illinois vs Ball State

Spread: BSU -14 (-110)

Total: 62.5 (O -109, U -109)

Kickoff: 7:00 ET, Scheumann Stadium, Muncie, Indiana

Ball State looks to get back into the race for the MAC as they face off against the Huskies of NIU. Both teams came into the season with moderate expectations and that has proven to be true. NIU has struggled to this point being outscored 89-40 in two games, however those games were against CMU and Buffalo who are two of the toughest teams in the MAC. The Huskies haven’t shown a lot on either side of the ball because they are young and in a rebuilding phase. Ball State is coming off a 38-31 victory over Eastern Michigan. The Cardinals are averaging 34 points due to good quarterback play and great production out of running back Caleb Huntley. The Cardinal defense has been the weak link for the Cards by allowing over 400 yards 31 or more points in both games.

Based on how these teams have played so far and the line of 62.5, my best bet for this game is going to be the under (62.5). Yes, I just said the Cardinals defense isn’t too good but the Huskies haven’t shown an ability to score on a consistent basis. In the game against Buffalo, NIU scored 30, most of which came in garbage time. Ball State has a good offense and will be able to score on NIU. The thing is 62.5 is a large line and I don’t see this being a shootout. I think Ball State will comfortably win but (-14) is a big spread for an average team. As I said before I like the under at 62.5 for (-109).   

-Austin Moehn (@austin_moehn22

Western Michigan vs Central Michigan

Spread: CMU -1.5 (-110)

Total: 61 (O -110, U – 110)

Kickoff: 7:00 ET, Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Mount Pleasant, Michigan

If anyone was crazy like me and stayed up till midnight last Wednesday to watch MACtion saw a gem of a game. The Broncos of Western Michigan were down 38-28 with only 2:54 on the clock and one timeout. They were able to nickel and dime their way down the field to score with 54 seconds left. Then, in traditional MAC style, they missed the PAT. The Broncos were able to get the onside and converted on a fake spike that even Dan Marino would be proud of to get the win. In the game, Toledo was able to move the ball easily which has me undecided on if the Broncos defense can slow down their opponents. WMU is off to a good start at 2-0 and looks to keep their perfect record versus fellow undefeated CMU.

The Chippewas have been very good this year. Coming off a 40-10 beatdown over NIU, they look to beat WMU at home. The offense has been good by being able to run the ball with a duo of running backs and a talented freshman in quarterback Daniel Richardson. Not only has the offense looked good, the defense has been as equally as impressive. They did allow Ohio to 27 points in week one, but they’ve forced three turnovers and are allowing only 294 yards a game.

Over the past few years WMU has taken advantage of the Chippewas however this team is much better than they have been recently. Former Gators coach Jim McElwain has built a talented team in Mount Pleasant and they will contend for MAC West. WMU was able to overcome Toledo which is impressive but that had some luck in play. I see this being a tightly contested game with CMU coming out on top. Give me CMU (-1.5).    

-Austin Moehn (@austin_moehn22)

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