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Spread Offense: Week Seven MAC Football Odds

Hustle Belt is officially in the black. You're welcome.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

I was 4-2 a week ago which has me at 17-16 for the season.  That forgettable 2-10 week significantly skewed our earnings, so hopefully you're closer to even.  Because I have no doubt you read this article, disregard all bills, and turn your wages into spectMACular winnings.  To this point, I've only picked MAC games against the spread, but if anyone is interested in talking over/unders, please comment below.  With Mid-American Conference caliber offenses it's always fun to bet the over and root for points, points, and more points.  Unless you're Massachusetts.  Or Miami if for some strange reason that makes it easier for you to understand.  Have you applied to be the next head coach of the RedHawks?  I have, but we're still going to pick against the spread this week because we need dough in the interim.  Interim like Mike Bath.  Your Week 7 picks:

Eastern Michigan at Army

All resources used for the compilation of this article, including Vegas sportsbooks, off shore sportsbooks, and certain unsavory southern California characters who prefer not to be mentioned here, have yet to release a line on this game.  So we will pick it straight up and monitor the line through the week.  Part of me wonders if a line is yet to be released because this game may not be played due to the government shutdown.  I've heard rumors this is a possibility, so if anyone can shed some light on the topic it is greatly appreciated.  This is Army's second MAC game of the season, the first being a 40-14 road loss to Ball State on September 7th.  The Black Knights, though 2-4 on the season, played Stanford close than expected on September 14th, falling 34-20.  The triple option offense has generated over 325 rushing yards a game, fourth highest in the country.  Eastern Michigan has been especially poor against the run this season, allowing over 212 yards a game.  If we don't get a spread, feel confident betting the money line on Army.

Central Michigan at Ohio (-13.5)

The Bobcats cruised to a 43-3 victory over Akron in their conference opener a week ago.  Most impressive might be the Ohio defense.  The Zips mustered just 157 yards of total offense and quarterback Kyle Pohl was sacked eight times.  Thad Ingol returned a fumble 18 yards for a score and the Bobcats held the Zips to 56 yards rushing on 39 carries.  Central Michigan will have their hands full against that defense.  If the Chips have any chance of keeping it close, they'll need a big game from Saylor Lavallii.  A week ago Lavalli shredded the Miami defense for 151 yards on 25 carries.  That marks the second time this season the sophomore has topped 140 yards.  Cooper Rush has acclimated well to the CMU offense, but the Chips can't beat Ohio on his arm.  Expect this line to grow through the week, so jump on the Bobcats early and lay the points.

Buffalo (-9.5) at Western Michigan

Buffalo is 3-2 on the season after last week's convincing victory over Eastern Michigan.  The Bulls looked to be well served by an ambitious non conference slate that included trips to Ohio State and Baylor.  Buffalo's got their sights set on bowl eligibility after back to back home victories that saw the Bulls top forty points.  Buffalo has utilized a balanced offense in those two wins.  Quarterback Joe Licata has a 2 to 1 touchdown to interception ratio, and running back Branden Oliver is averaging better than four yards a carry.  Most importantly, The Bulls get to start their road schedule with winless Western Michigan.  The Broncos lost their sixth game of the season a week ago at Toledo.  In that game, David Fluellen, get ready for this number, rushed for 220 yards on on 23 carries.  I'm not saying Branden Oliver or Joe Licata are David Fluellen, but I am saying I'm confident Buffalo can be nine and a half points better than the Broncos.  Take the Bulls, lay the points.

Miami (+3.5) at Massachusetts

This game is why sports gambling started.  Think about it, last week fans didn't need any extra incentive to watch the Denver Broncos go in to face the Dallas Cowboys.  On the big time NCAA stage, you don't need a reason to watch Ohio State lock horns with the Northwestern Wildcats.  We all knew Ball State had a legit shot of knocking off Virginia on Saturday.  Miami at Massachusetts?  Two reasons to watch, you somehow got roped into covering the game for Hustle Belt, or you have money on the game.  If you're ever in Vegas do yourself a favor.  Check out the sportsbook Saturday morning and watch the degenerate clutching a betting slip, eyes transfixed on screen showing a game that has positively no impact on the college football landscape.  That man's hopes and dreams may just ride on the leg of a freshman kicker, kicking an irrelevant 38 yard field goal, in a game long ago decided.  Maybe it's me, you could at least buy me a beer.  Miami fired their coach last week, a loss here and UMass may be headed down the same road.  As sad as this may be, I think Miami is in a better spot with their interim leader.  Take the RedHawks and the points.

Kent State at Ball State

Last week the Cardinals tallied the biggest win in recent school history, rolling into Charlottesville and slapping around the Virginia Cavaliers to the tune of 48-27.  History was made as quarterback Keith Wenning toppedthe list for passing yards in school history, and running back Jahwan Edwards has rushed for more touchdowns than any other Cardinal.  The prolific offense exploited a Cavalier defense ranked sixteenth in the country entering Saturday's game.  Wenning has now thrown for more than 300 yards in all six games this season, joining Oregon State's Sean Mannion as the only quarterback to do so.  Kent State went toe to toe with Northern Illinois, the class of the MAC, and gave the Huskies their best shot.  This game was 28-24 in favor of NIU entering the fourth quarter.  The Golden Flashes yielded a staggering 698 yards of total offense against the Huskies, and will need a significantly better defensive effort if they are to hang with the Cardinals on homecoming Saturday at Scheumann Stadium.

(Editors note: The lines currently have BSU as a 16 point favorite in this one, since Keith won't tell you all.)

Akron at Northern Illinois (-21.5)

As stated above, the Northern Illinois offense seems to have a full head of steam.  As if Heisman hopeful Jordan Lynch needed help, Cameron Stingily rushed for 266 yards in the win over the Golden Flashes.  The win marked the fifth time this season the Huskies have scored more than 30 points.  Northern Illinois now averages better than 303 yards on the ground a game.  Akron is back to being Akron.  After the thriller in Ann Arbor on September 14th, the Zips have gotten consistently worse.  MAC play opened with back to back blowout losses against Bowling Green and Ohio.  Despite their ineptitude on offense, Northern Illinois has showed this season that they will give up big points to inferior opponents.  They've also demonstrated they can score at will, and expect that on Saturday.  Take the Huskies and lay the points.

Bowling Green (+10.5) at Mississippi State

Yes.  A good crack at the SEC.  It's hard to pick this one because I do love MAC victories over BCS schools so much.  I would love to knock off the Big Ten, ACC, and SEC in consecutive weeks, and the Falcons may just be able to do it.  Bowling Green has the top offense in the MAC East and utilizes a balanced attack.  Matt Johnson has thrown for nearly 1400 yards and has a 3 to 1 touchdown to interception ratio.  Travis Greene rushes for a hair under six yards a carry and has topped 130 yards in four games this year.  Last week Mississippi hung with LSU for a half before being blown out at home by the Bayou Bengals, 59-26.  The Bulldogs don't have an impressive win on their schedule.  Dominating victories against Alcorn State and Troy are the only two wins this season for the Bulldogs.  Nevertheless, this is still an SEC defense, and Mississippi State will look to keep this game as low scoring as possible.  They won't win a shootout with Bowling Green.  Take the Falcons, and the points, and even better if we can add the SEC to the list of victims.

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