MACTion Picks: Trust Central Michigan, Northern Illinois to win


Welcome to the final full week of MACtion.

What a ride it's been over the last two weeks on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

We don't have the full complement of MAC teams in action over the next two days (Shame on you, Kent State and Akron), but we do have a quintet of solid matchups and lines worth taking advantage of.

Last week, I went 5-1 in the six MACtion games thanks to a lot of overs hitting. I'm riding the Overs trend again, but I'm also riding with a few sides in matchups that can be exploited.

MACTion Picks

Overall Record: 76-61

Toledo at Ohio (+6.5) (Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+) 

Ohio is one of the liveliest underdogs in the FBS right now. 

The Bobcats won outright as an underdog against Miami (Ohio) and Eastern Michigan in the last two weeks. 

In fact, Ohio is 4-1 against the spread as an underdog in the last five games. Toledo is 2-3 ATS in its last five. 

Although Ohio is 3-7 overall, it still has a chance to advance to the MAC Championship Game since it is 3-3 in MAC play. Miami (Ohio) and Kent State are tied on top of the MAC East with a 4-2 conference record. 

Ohio has looked better in the last two weeks and I expect the Bobcats to stay within a touchdown with something still to play for. 

Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan (Over 66.5) (Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Oh, like I'm really going to take a MACtion under after the last few weeks.

There's actually good reason behind supporting the high Over in the directional Michigan battle on Tuesday night.

The Over is 4-1 in the last five Western Michigan contests. Three of those four games featured a total in the 60s.

The Broncos defense allows 336.4 total yards and 30 points per game, while the Eastern Michigan defense concedes 431.4 yards and 28.2 points per game.

I'll live and die with the trends in favor of the over in this matchup.

Bowling Green at Miami (Ohio) (Over 51.5) (Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPNU) 

Bowling Green is 5-0 to the over in its last five games. 

The Falcons gave up 34 or more points in each of their last five contests. If that pace keeps up on Tuesday, we will be more than halfway to the over.

Miami (Ohio) hit the over in three of its last four games as well and it should feast on the lackluster Bowling Green defense. 

The lowest total on Tuesday’s board should clear with ease. 

Central Michigan (+102) at Ball State (Wednesday 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Every year there is one player that emerges from MACtion to become a favorite of college football fans.

Last year, Buffalo running back Jaret Patterson was far and away that player. Another running back, Central Michigan's Lew Nichols, fits that role perfectly in 2021.

Nichols has eight rushing touchdowns in the last three weeks and he is coming off a 215-yard performance against Kent State.

Ball State's rushing defense allows 160.1 yards per game. That is a recipe for disaster for the Cardinals .

Northern Illinois (-118) at Buffalo (Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Speaking of Buffalo, the Bulls just do not have the same magic as last season.

Buffalo's defense could not stop anything Bowling Green's offense threw at it and Miami (Ohio) trounced it for 45 points last week.

Northern Illinois has won four of its last five games and it needs a win to remain one game clear of Central Michigan on top of the MAC West.

NIU earned three of its last four wins by two points or less and who could forget its kicker's memorable celebration last week?

I'm paying up for the NIU money line because of the team's propensity to play in close games. The Huskies can finish, but those results can be hard to get to sometimes.


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