Three quick MAC handicaps for Tuesday 11/9

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

November 9, 2021 11:13 AM
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Happy College Basketball Season! Our 2021-22 College Basketball Betting Guide is out and it is spectacular. Be sure to check it out today, tomorrow and every day until you have it memorized digital front to digital back.

But, in all seriousness, it is extremely comprehensive and will help you with your college hoops handicapping. The link is below today’s blurb and also down under the college basketball heading.

Let’s get to the quick MAC caps for tonight.

Like I mentioned last week, these are tough handicaps because this conference is all over the map. NFL officiating, melted ice cream and the flight of a fly are all more consistent than the teams in this league. But, I’ll try to provide some insights on today’s games.

Buffalo at Miami (OH) (-7.5, 57)

Giving up 56 points to Bowling Green is bad for a team’s perception. Just ask Buffalo. The Bulls are over a touchdown underdog this week to Miami and the line has inched up slightly over the last couple of days. You look at Buffalo’s recent body of work and you wonder how this team hung with Coastal Carolina and actually played halfway decent against Nebraska.

Miami’s most recent performance wasn’t a good one either with a loss to Ohio, who scored 35 points to end a three-game losing streak. Trusting either one of these teams is tough, but the betting markets are showing at least some mild sharp interest in the RedHawks.

Buffalo’s defense is one of the worst in the country, allowing 6.36 yards per play. Miami’s offense actually ranks 42nd in yards per play, so that seems to be the difference here. I think all three MAC totals are a little bit inflated tonight based on what we saw last week, but if the games do end up tailoring to offense, that helps Miami.

A slight lean to the under here, but nothing more.

 

Ohio at Eastern Michigan (-6, 60.5)

Easily the craziest MAC game last week was Eastern Michigan vs. Toledo, which ended 52-49. Neither offense looked ripe for that kind of performance, as my under bet went down in flames very early. The Eagles may not score a 50-burger for the third week in a row, but their offense has been much better than many expected.

Ohio is 1-3 over the last four games and they’ve been decided by a total of 13 points. Because the Bobcats run the ball so much, they’ve been able to keep games close. EMU’s run defense ranks 109th in the nation. Ohio’s is 111th, but the Eagles are only averaging 3.3 yards per carry. They need to throw the ball to be effective and Ben Bryant has done a nice job of that.

One huge difference between these two teams is red zone success. Eastern Michigan is 22nd in TD percentage and Ohio is 121st. EMU also has a big edge in third-down conversion rate as a top-20 offense in that department. Ohio is 94th. I’m not sure what kind of craziness the second half brings, but I like Eastern Michigan in the first half on the gray turf with some of those advantages on third down and in the red zone likely to play a role early. This is a smaller bet than normal for me.

Pick: Eastern Michigan -3.5 1H

 

Akron at Western Michigan (-25, 62)

Akron fired head coach Tom Arth after last week’s loss. The interim head coach is Oscar Rodriguez Jr., a man that has beaten cancer twice and served as the associate head coach. We always wonder how teams will react to the firing of a head coach. Usually they rally, at least for one game. Rodriguez seems like the kind of interim a team rallies for.

The Zips are not a good football team and look to be outgunned in this game, but they are getting a 25-point head start here in a game with a total of 62. The WMU team that you see now is not the one that somehow beat Pitt earlier in the year. They’ve lost three of four and only led Kent State by six at the half in the 64-31 win, as that game just spiraled out of control quickly for the Flashes.

It’s not a big play by any means, but we should see a really inspired effort from the Zips tonight and I think they can hang within this number. This is a smaller bet for me as well. This conference is just unpredictable, but I think it’s worth a look.

Pick: Akron Zips + 25

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