MAC football is always fun to watch. Every game is a question mark, and you never know what to expect in each game. Still, MAC teams can always upset other teams in the country outside of the conference.
While no team has a chance of making the College Football Playoff, there is still plenty of great football to be played. After a year of canceled games and weird outcomes, fans are hoping to return to normalcy this year.
Akron: Over 2.5 Wins (+130)
This is a value play. Akron’s non-conference games include playing Ohio State and Auburn. Expect two wins at most outside of the conference, but they could easily only get one win. Still, they could get an upset or two inside the conference. Things will be tough for a team that went 1-5 last year, but the schedule will be somewhat manageable.
Ball State: Under 8 Wins (-125)
Ball State surprised a lot of people by going 6-1 last year. That being said, they still have an uphill climb to reach nine wins in 2021. Playing Army and Penn State will be tough, and the MAC could go in a variety of words. Don’t expect continued success just because Ball State figured out how to win last year.
Bowling Green: Under 1.5 Wins (-125)
Bowling Green failed to win a single game last year. With or without COVID, their expectations are low this year. Regardless of who they play outside of the conference, they will have plenty of questions that must be answered. Winning two games would be a step in the right direction, but I don’t see them taking that step in 2021.
Buffalo: Over 7.5 Wins (-115)
Buffalo went 6-1 last year, proving that their success wasn’t tied to just one player. After losing Tyree Jackson, they still showed that they can win in recent years. Regardless of roster formation, expect the Bulls to be in contention for the MAC once again.
Central Michigan: Over 6.5 Wins (-110)
CMU is a toss-up. While they should be a solid team in the conference, they have two tough games against SEC opponents that will go a long way in determining their overall success. If they can somehow upset either Missouri or LSU, they should easily reach seven wins. Even if the under hits, expect them to reach a bowl game this year.
Eastern Michigan: Under 6.5 Wins (-115)
Eastern Michigan will have to go 3-1 out of the conference to reach seven wins. There aren’t five wins on their conference schedule unless something wild happens.
For the Eagles, watch out for a few tough road games. If they can prove themselves on the road, they should reach seven wins. However, this is far from a lock. I don’t see them doing so, so I’m taking the under.
Kent State: Over 5.5 Wins (-115)
The tough thing about the Golden Flashes is that they love to play tough teams on the road outside of the conference. Kent State will likely lose to Texas A&M, which is a possible top 10 for us, Maryland and Wisconsin. These three games will lower their ceiling, but top sportsbooks still see Kent State as one of the top teams in the MAC. Their season was cut short last year, but they still played well in their few games.
Miami (OH): Under 4.5 Wins (+135)
This is another value play for you. We don’t really know what to expect from Miami this year because of their canceled games last year. They only played three times, so the sample size was so small. Still, they only have one guaranteed win outside of the conference and we still expect them to be one of the best games for Week 1. While there are more than four winnable games in their MAC schedule, I don’t like the value of hitting the over.
Northern Illinois: Under 3.5 Wins (+120)
The Huskies were winless last year despite playing six games. They have to play solid teams outside of the conference. Getting positive value on the under is surprising, but don’t think twice. Out of all over/under bets, this feels right. You’re not going to see a surge in one year that takes you from winless to competing for a bowl bid.
Ohio: Over 6.5 Wins (-135)
The MAC is filled with a lot of middle-tier teams. Ohio is one of the few teams that has a chance to make it to the top tier. Their non-conference schedule is manageable. They had a solid run game last year, and they proved something in their limited season. If you give them 12 games, they should be able to win at least seven.
Toledo: Under 8.5 Wins (-115)
I think Toledo has a chance to be the best MAC team this year. Still, expecting nine or more wins from a MAC team that isn’t a lock to win every non-conference game is too much for me. This conference is too unpredictable to expect that much in one year.
Western Michigan: Over 6 Wins (+100)
This is strictly because it’s even money. Western Michigan played well in their six games last season, and they have a lot to be hopeful for. Still, there should be regression. Even if that happens, 7-5 is in the cards, and the value dictates the play.