MACtion Picks: Take Central Michigan, Northern Illinois at home

The return of MACtion last week brought us the chaos we expect from the midweek games in the midwestern United States.

Nine of the 10 teams that played last Tuesday and Wednesday scored at least 30 points and that taught me a hard lesson to not bet any MACtion unders.

I don't hate fun enough to bet unders for a second straight week, and in fact, the defensive totals in certain matchups suggest the overs are the right plays.

Each of the 12 MAC teams are in action this week (Welcome to the party, Buffalo and Bowling Green) and there are a handful of favorable matchups on paper for home teams, especially Northern Illinois and Central Michigan.

Below is a look at one pick for each of the six MACtion games. Let's hope the picks are much better than my bad decisions to bet the unders last week.

MACTion Picks

Overall Record: 64-53

Buffalo at Miami (Ohio) (Over 56.5) (Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

I don’t know what to make of Buffalo right now.

The Bulls looked like they got it together with back-to-back wins over Ohio and Akron and then they laid an egg at home against Bowling Green in Week 9.

Buffalo has a few extra days of rest going into Tuesday’s game against Miami (Ohio), but I’m not sure that matters for the over.

Buffalo allows 413.9 yards and 29 points per game. Its offense averages 33.6 points and 427.1 yards per contest.

The RedHawks were forced into a shootout with Ohio last week and lost. They do not have the most impressive defense, which is why I believe Buffalo can put up points on them.

Akron at Western Michigan (Over 62.5) (Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET, CBSSN)

I almost bit the carrot dangling in front of me with Akron at +25.5.

Akron fired head coach Tom Arth after its loss to Ball State, but I don’t trust myself to go back to the well for another week on the Zips covering as an underdog.

Western Michigan has a very good offense, led by quarterback Kaleb Eleby, and they should use Tuesday as a get-right game after losing to Toledo and Central Michigan.

Eleby has 2,253 passing yards , 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. He should feast on an Akron defense that allows 38 points per game.

Ohio at Eastern Michigan (-6.5) (Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Ohio has not been great on the road this season.

The Bobcats lost by one to an up-and-down Buffalo team and were blown out by Louisiana and Northwestern. Their only road victory is over Akron, which does not count for much here.

Eastern Michigan survived a wild 52-49 shootout with Toledo last week and it could have a big week ahead of it against the Bobcats.

The Eagles are averaging 12 more points per game than Ohio and they just hit the 50-point threshold in back-to-back weeks.

I’ll take the more consistent, high-powered offense in this spot.

Toledo at Bowling Green (Over 50.5) (Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET, CBSSN)

I fell into my own trap last week with the Toledo total.

Toledo has a great defense, but not even a strong defensive unit is immune to the powers of MACtion. The Rockets allow 22 points per game and were gashed for 52 points by Eastern Michigan.

Bowling Green is a step down in competition, but the Falcons come into Wednesday’s home game with some confidence after literally running all over Buffalo.

Bowling Green put up at least 20 points in each of its four losses prior to the win over Buffalo, so even if it loses against Toledo, it should put up some points to aid the lowest MACtion total on the board.

Ball State at Northern Illinois (+2.5) (Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

MACtion Game of the Week.

Northern Illinois and Ball State sit atop the MAC West and a NIU win would put it in the driver’s seat to reach the MAC Championship Game.

The Huskies are due for a bounce-back performance after they lost to Kent State last week.

Ball State struggled to put away Akron in what could have been a look-ahead spot to NIU last week.

NIU has the more explosive offense, but Ball State has better defensive totals. The game should be a toss-up, but I like what I’ve seen out of the Huskies offense enough to ride them as a home underdog.

Kent State at Central Michigan (-2.5) (Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Kent State hasn’t showed up in most of its road contests this season.

The Golden Flashes gave up 64 points in their trip to Western Michigan and struggled to put up points at Maryland and Iowa.

The MAC East leader also had a hard time putting away Ohio in its lone road victory.

Central Michigan is battle-tested from the last three games. It beat Western Michigan and Toledo and fell one point short against Northern Illinois.

The Chippewas are playing more consistent football and should keep up that run at home on Wednesday.

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