College Football: MAC Betting Guide
Buffalo and Northern Illinois Huskies squared off in the 2018 MAC Championship game. with Northern Illinois winning a nail biter, 30-29. Both teams lost several key members from 2018. Can we expect either team to make it back to the MAC Championship game in 2019?
Toledo is the favorite to win the Mid American Conference championship as they are listed at +230. Here's a look at the conference title odds, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, for the MAC along with a dive in on two teams that provide the best betting value and one longshot bet worth checking out.
The Favorite: Toledo (+230)
The bad: The Toledo Rockets are coming off a 7-6 season where the defense allowed 30.5 points per game. The Midnight Blue and Gold lost their three top wide receivers to the NFL (Cody Thompson, Diontae Johnson, and Jon’Vea Johnson).
The Good: The Rockets have one of the softest schedules in the country, according to Phil Steele's strength of schedules. Toledo’s toughest West division game is at home against Western Michigan. Additionally, they avoid Ohio (favorite to win the East division) in the conference crossover schedule. Toledo returns their top two quarterbacks, top two running backs, and an All-MAC tight end in 2019.
Best Value: Ohio (+360)
The Bad: The Ohio Bobcats lost their top two running backs, a tandem who accounted for over 2,000 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns, from the 2018 team. They also lost two all-conference linemen, and star wide receiver, Papi White. White was one of the best playmakers in the conference as he caught 62 passes for 987 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2018.
The Good: Ohio returns two-time second team All-MAC quarterback Nathan Rourke. The dual-threat quarterback finished 12th in the country in “points responsible for per game” with 17.5 points per game. Much is expected from the senior quarterback as he was recently named to the 2019 Walter Camp watchlist.
Defensively, the Bobcats return seven starters after holding opponents to 24.6 points per game in 2018. Ohio is the overwhelming favorite to win the East division title and play in the MAC Championship.
Longshot: Ball State (+7000)
The bad: The schedule is brutal for the Ball State Cardinals as three of their four toughest division games in the West are on the road. They also play three of the better teams in the East division in crossover games. The Cardinals lost starting quarterback, Riley Neal, to Vanderbilt as a graduate transfer (three-year starter). They also must replace a former All-Mac performer in James Gilbert at running back (transferred to Kansas State).
The good: It's not all doom and gloom for Ball State as the team returns 17 starters from last season. The offensive line remains intact after returning all five starters. The Cardinals also return six of their top seven wide receivers. Starting Quarterback, Drew Plitt, is not a complete unknown as he started the final three games as Riley Neal was forced to the bench with an injury.