MAC Week 7 Overview: Northern Illinois Defense Too Tough for Visiting Ohio

Swinging Johnson

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 10:21 AM UTC

Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018 10:21 AM UTC

Northern Illinois will host Ohio on Saturday after securing a 24-16 win on the road at Ball State while their guests edged Kent State 27-26 last week. Let’s analyze this game as well as the rest of the action around the MAC this weekend.

Swinger’s 2018 MAC ATS Record: 3-3

MAC Spotlight: Ohio (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) at Northern Illinois (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS)Saturday, 3:30 PM ET on ESPN+Free NCAAF Pick: Huskies -3½Best Line Offered: Bovada

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3449461, "sportsbooksIds":[999996,93,19,1096,1275], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

The Bobcats never led until there was just 1:28 left in the final quarter and held on for a 27-26 win over cellar-dwellers Kent State as 11 ½ point road chalk. It was not a convincing victory and for a team that has prided itself on an explosive offense, there was little of that to be seen last week when Ohio scored nearly 10 points below its seasonal average against a team that ranks 116th in the nation in points allowed. Despite the narrow margin of victory, Ohio’s quarterback Nathan Rourke was surgically precise, connecting on 18 of 20 passes for 284 yards and one touchdown with one pick.

Northern Illinois may not posses the most potent attack but their defense has held strong all season. Last week was more of the same as the Huskies’ Tre Harbison scampered for a pair of touchdowns and quarterback Marcus Childers passed for 143 yards, including one touchdown and an interception, while the defense contained the Ball State attack. What resulted was a 24-16 victory and a Huskies’ cover as 2 ½ point road chalk for all those who included Northern Illinois in their college football picks.

Saturday will feature a prolific offense against a sound defense but Northern Illinois has rattled off two consecutive wins and covers over quality conference opponents Eastern Michigan and Ball State while Ohio seems content to just get by over weaker competition. The college football odds board is reflecting Northern Illinois as anywhere from 3 ½ to 5-point favorites but we will gladly lay the lumber at a nice number found at Bovada in this early week writing. Watch a stout Huskies’ defense prevail over an Ohio offense that may have already seen its best days this season. Lay it with the home favorite in this one.

[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "

Peters. Gilliam. Touchdown Rockets. 🚀🚀🚀#LiftOff #MACtion pic.twitter.com/ZwK5CzDVPx

— #MACtion (@MACSports) October 6, 2018
\n\n"}[/]

Around the MAC (Saturday Games Unless Noted)

Akron at Buffalo (-11), 12 PM ET, on ESPN +: The Zips had two weeks to prepare against Miami-O last week but fell flat as a board in their 41-17 home loss as 4 ½ point home faves. Meanwhile, the best team in the MAC at this point in the season happens to be their opponents this week as Buffalo is coming off a solid 34-24 win over Central Michigan. The Bulls will have revenge on their minds after dropping a 21-20 decision to Akron last season.

Toledo (-1 ½) at Eastern Michigan, 12:00 PM ET: Toledo’s junior signal caller Mitchell Guadagni may be back after missing last week’s 52-36 destruction of Bowling Green. Either way, his backup Eli Peters tossed for three touchdowns and 184 yards while the Rockets’ rushing attack was unstoppable, chewing up 288 yards and four rushing TD’s.

Kent State at Miami Ohio (-10 ½), 2:30 PM ET: Kent State has dropped their last four while Miami Ohio has won two of their last three and covered in all three contests. The RedHawks suffered a 17-14 setback to the Golden Flashes last year as 8 ½ point road chalk and have some negative trend mojo working against them in this contest. Miami-O is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 home games, 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a straight up win, and 0-5 ATS in their last five games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game.

Western Michigan (-14) at Bowling Green, 3 PM ET: Western Michigan has reeled off four consecutive wins while Bowling Green has dropped their last three. The underdog Falcons are a woeful 1-14 ATS over their last 15 home games and have allowed a whopping 48.5 points per game this season.

Ball State at Central Michigan (-2), 3 PM ET, on ESPN 3: Both teams suffered conference losses last week but Ball State is 1-7 ATS over their last eight October contests and in 2-8 ATS in Weeks 5-9 over the last three seasons. Oh, and they got clobbered 56-9 in last season’s matchup with Central Michigan.

comment here