Six consecutive winning weeks. Six! It's been said before, the margins are slim, but that's why you need to make sure you are betting on each and every one of these games. Entertainment purposes only? Sure, but what's more entertaining than winning money? Week 9 of MAC play was 3-2 for Hustle Belt against the spread, running 2013 to 26-23. This week's slate of games is lean, just three on Saturday, but we all know what that means MAC fans. Weeknight MACTION is right around the corner. Finally Wednesdays have meaning again. Your Week 10 picks:
Northern Illinois (-23.5) at Massachusetts
Northern Illinois knows it can't afford to have this be a close game. The Huskies still have eyes for the BCS, and if that's a real possibility, they're going to need to add some style points on top of last week's big win against Eastern Michigan. I'm mildly surprised this line is so small, if NIU is going to leap frog bigger schools, huge wins against the likes of UMass are necessary. After UMass, NIU has Ball State and Toledo, so this game is the best opportunity to run up a lot of points until the season finale at home against Western Michigan on November 26th. Last week UMass elected to go for two after scoring a touchdown to pull within 31-30 with 22 seconds left. The ensuing two point conversion pass fell short, and UMass kept being UMass. The Minutemen simply don't have the horses to run with the explosive Husky offense. Take Northern Illinois, lay the points.
Kent State (+2.5) at Akron
I'm still shocked Kent State is this bad. 2-7 on the season sure, but they've hung with MAC West leaders Ball State and Northern Illinois. Everytime we think we see the Dri Archer of old, there's some regression. October 19th against South Alabama Archer rushed for 114 yards, caught two passes for 85 yards, and scored twice. Last week against Buffalo 35 yards rushing, 35 yards receiving. The good news is that Colin Reardon returned against Buffalo, who gives the Golden Flashes a better shot at winning than David Fisher. Last week Akron was able to get on the board early against a the notoriously slow starting Ball State Cardinals. Akron trailed just 14-10 before Ball State blew the game open in a 42-14 victory. Akron's played some close games. We're all familiar with the Michigan game that went down to the wire, and the Zips played Northern to within one score. Kyle Pohl and Jawon Chisholm will put up some points, but Kent State just has more talent. Take the Golden Flashes and the 2.5.
Eastern Michigan (+28.5) at Toledo
My goodness this is a lot of points. And don't get me wrong, Eastern Michigan is bad. Laughably bad. The Eagles have lost their last seven games by an average of 24 points. A week ago Eastern faced their toughest opponent of the season and responded in typical fashion, being blown out 59-20 at Huskie Stadium. In that game the Eagles were blistered for a staggering 658 yards of total offense. Brogan Roback got the start for Eastern Michigan, completing 7 of 17 passes for 109 yards. Tyler Benz threw for another 64, Bronson Hill rushed for 65, you get the idea. Toledo on the other hand is rolling. Ever since a 31-24 loss at Ball State on September 28th, the Rockets have won three in a row. Last week's win was especially impressive, knocking off MAC East power Bowling Green 28-25 at Doyt Field. MAC leading rusher David Fluellen was hurt, didn't matter. Introducing Kareem Hunt. The freshman carried the ball 21 times for 114 yards. Toledo has plenty of incentive. The Rockets are still very much in the MAC West race and have their eyes set on advancing to the conference championship game in Detroit. This will be a Toledo win. Still, 28.5 points is entirely too much to leave on the table. Expect a big Rocket win, but take the points.
More from Hustle Belt:
- Mid-American Conference Bowl Outlook: One Month To Go
- Kent State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Season Preview
- Mid-Major College Football Top 10, Week 10: Northern Illinois Is Gaining Ground On Fresno State
- Charley Molnar Went For Two and UMass Football is Stuck on One Win
- 2013 MAC Bowl Projections Week 10: Buffalo's Lonely Trip To Idaho