Wednesday's MAC Action
November 7, 2017
By Brian Edwards
Editor's Note: Brian Edwards owns a 46-27-1 record (63.0%, +16.8 units) in college football for the season. Brian is ranked second in overall money and third in winning percentage out of 37 college-football handicappers on VI! Don't miss out on any of his pay-if-they-win-only selections for Week 11!
There are three games on tap in the MAC on Wednesday night. That means college football bettors have six options with sides and totals. Let’s get you ready for the action with in-depth previews of two games and some notes on the other.
**Toledo at Ohio**
-- In what might be a preview of the MAC Championship Game, Ohio (7-2 straight up, 7-2 against the spread) will play host to Toledo in a battle between division leaders. The Bobcats were in a first-place tie with Akron (pending the Zips’ Tuesday night result at Miami (OH) in the East with identical 4-1 league records. Meanwhile, Toledo holds a one-half game lead over Northern Illinois in the West. The Rockets are 5-0 in conference play, while the Huskies are 4-1.
-- As of Tuesday night, most betting shops had Toledo (8-1 SU, 5-4 ATS) listed as a four-point road ‘chalk’ with a total of 65. The Bobcats were +155 on the money line (risk $100 to win $155).
-- Toledo took its only loss at Miami by a 52-30 count as a 13.5-point road underdog. However, this was a misleading final, as the Rockets led 16-10 at halftime and trailed by only eight midway through the fourth quarter.
-- Jason Candle’s team is 3-0 both SU and ATS as a road favorite this season. The Rockets are 4-1 ATS in five such spots since Candle took over for current Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell going into the 2016 campaign.
-- Toledo has ripped off five consecutive wins since the loss at Miami. The Rockets have covered the number in four straight, winning each of those games by double-digit margins. They’re off last week’s 27-17 win over No. Illinois last Thursday as 7.5-point home favorites. Senior quarterback Logan Woodside completed 23-of-31 passes for 361 yards, while senior RB Terry Swanson rushed for 116 yards and three TDs on 29 carries. Sophomore WR Diontae Jonson had 10 receptions for 166 yards, while sophomore TE Jordan Fisher brought down six catches for 102 yards.
-- Woodside, a first-team All-MAC selection in 2016 when he threw for 4,129 yards with a stellar 45/9 TD-INT, hasn’t missed a beat despite losing his favorite target Cody Thompson to a season-ending injury. Thompson, a senior WR who was also a first-team All-MAC pick in ’16, went down in early October. He had 28 catches for 537 yards and four TDs in the team’s first four games (and change; he was injured early in a 20-15 home win over Eastern Michigan). Woodside has connected on 64.3 percent of his throws for 2,656 yards with a 19/2 TD-INT ratio.
-- Diontae Jonson has a team-best 46 receptions for 859 yards and eight TDs. Jon’Vea Johnson, a second-team All-MAC selection last season, has 24 grabs for 354 yards and three TDs.
-- Toledo is three-deep in the backfield. Swanson gets the bulk of the touches and he’s rushed for 844 yards and 11 TDs, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Shakif Seymour has run for 468 yards and six TDs with a 6.6 YPC average, while Art Thompkins has rushed for 466 yards and one TD with a 5.5 YPC average.
-- Toledo is sixth in the nation in total offense, averaging 519.7 yards per game. The Rockets are ranked 19th in the country in passing offense, 23rd in rushing and 14th in scoring with a 39.0 points-per-game average.
-- Since losing 26-23 to Central Michigan as a 10.5-point home favorite on Oct. 7, Frank Solich’s 13th team at Ohio has won three consecutive games both SU and ATS. Solich’s squad has won those three games by margins of 17 points or more, including last Tuesday’s 45-28 win over Miami (OH.) as a 6.5-point home favorite. The 73 combined points soared above the 54-point total to provide the Bobcats with their third straight ‘over.’ Nathan Rourke completed 21-of-33 passes for 294 yards and three TDs without an interception. Rourke absolutely dominated the game, rushing for 54 yards and three TDs on 10 attempts as well. RB A.J. Ouellette added 80 rushing yards on 20 carries, while senior WR Brendan Cope had five catches for 80 yards and one TD. Papi White contributed five receptions for 80 yards and one TD.
-- Ohio’s only other loss of the year came in Week 2 when it dropped a 44-21 decision at Purdue. The Bobcats hosted Kansas in non-conference play, defeating the Jayhawks 42-20 as 7.5-point home ‘chalk.’
-- Rourke has completed 56.7 percent of his passes for 1,517 yards with a 13/3 TD-INT ratio. He has also run for 548 yards and 16 TDs, averaging 6.2 YPC. Ouellette has run for a team-best 832 yards and six TDs with a 5.9 YPC average. Dorian Brown has added 458 rushing yards, four TDs on the ground and a 5.7 YPC average.
-- Cope has been Rouke’s favorite target, making 31 catches for 436 yards and three TDs. Andrew Meyer has 25 receptions for 361 yards and two TDs, while White has 17 grabs for 312 yards and two TDs.
-- During Solich’s tenure, Ohio has compiled an 11-5 spread record in 16 games as a home underdog.
-- Toledo saw its 12-game winning streak over Ohio snapped in a 31-26 loss as a 15-point home favorite in last season’s meeting. Brown was the catalyst for the winners, rushing for 212 yards and one TD on 29 carries. White had three catches for 64 yards and one TD, in addition to five rushing attempts for 54 yards. In the losing effort, Woodside threw for 438 yards and three TDs with one interception. Swanson ran for 58 yards on 10 carries, while J-Johnson had six receptions for 156 yards and two TDs.
-- The ‘over’ is 7-2 overall for the Bobcats, 4-1 in their home outings. They’ve watched their games net combined scores of 66.9 PPG.
-- The ‘over’ is 5-4 overall for the Rockets, 2-2 in their four road assignments. They’ve seen their games average combined scores of 63.4 PPG.
-- Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.
**Eastern Michigan at Central Michigan**
-- As of Tuesday night, most spots had Eastern Michigan (3-6 SU, 7-2 ATS) installed as a two-point road favorite. The Chippewas were +105 to win outright.
-- Eastern Michigan brought its brutal six-game losing streak to an end with last week’s 56-14 bludgeoning of Ball St. as a 25-point home favorite. Presuming you’d like me to define a ‘brutal’ six-game losing streak, here goes: EMU lost three of the six games in overtime, including back-to-back OT setbacks before the win over the Cardinals. The six defeats came by 23 combined points and the OT home loss to Ohio was the widest margin (seven; 27-20).
-- EMU started the season 2-0 both SU and ATS with a home win vs. Charlotte (24-7) and a 16-13 triumph at Rutgers. In the victory over Ball State, senior QB Brogan Roback connected on 15-of-21 passes for 263 yards and three TDs without an interception. Ian Eriksen ran 21 times for 114 yards and one TD, while Sergio Bailey contributed two catches for 110 yards and one TD.
-- For the season, Roback has completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 2,347 yards with a 14/8 TD-INT ratio. Bailey is his favorite target, hauling in 46 receptions for 763 yards and six TDs. Meanwhile, Antoine Porter has 38 catches for 464 yards and four TDs, while John Niupalau has 24 grabs for 328 yards and three TDs.
-- Eriksen, EMU’s junior RB, has produced a team-high 535 yards and five TDs with a 4.4 YPC average.
-- Eastern Michigan has lost four of its five games on the road, but it has hooked up its backers with an incredible 5-0 spread record.
-- This is only the second time Eastern Michigan has been a road favorite during Chris Creighton’s four-year tenure. The Eagles took the cash in the lone prior such situation by beating Charlotte 37-19 last year as three-point road ‘chalk.’
-- Central Michigan (5-4 SU, 4-5 ATS) has won three of its last four games both SU and ATS since dropping three consecutive games. John Bonamego’s squad won 35-28 at Western Michigan last week as a 3.5-point road underdog. The Chippewas rallied from a 28-14 deficit with less than 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Shane Morris threw both of his TD passes in the final stanza, including a 77-yard scoring strike to Corey Willis with 2:37 left. Jonathan Ward rushed for 130 yards and one TD on 18 carries. Morris threw for 243 yards without a pick and he also had a pair of scoring runs. Willis caught five balls for 148 yards and one TD, while Ward added four receptions for 81 yards.
-- For the season, Morris has completed 55.2 percent of his passes for 2,209 yards with an 18/11 TD-INT ratio. He’s also run for 136 yards and three scores. Ward has run for 590 yards and five TDs with a 5.2 YPC average. Willis, a second-team All-MAC selection last season, has 28 receptions for 441 yards and five TDs. He missed four games with an injury, though. Mark Chapman has a team-best 44 catches for 593 yards and three TDs, while Ward has 38 grabs for 326 yards and one TD.
-- CMU has limped to a 1-2 SU record and a 0-3 ATS mark at home. The Chippewas are 2-3 ATS as home ‘dogs on Bonamego’s watch, failing to cover in their lone such spot this year in a 30-10 loss to Toledo.
-- CMU has won four in a row over EMU until losing 26-21 last year. The Eagles prevailed thanks to Roback’s 24-yard scoring strike to Bailey with 21 ticks remaining.
-- The ‘under’ is 6-3 overall for CMU, 3-0 in its home contests. The Chippewas have seen their games produce average combined scores of 53.9 PPG.
-- The ‘under’ is 6-3 overall for EMU, 3-2 in its five road assignments. Their games have netted average combined scores of 45.0 PPG.
-- ESPNU will have the broadcast at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
-- Western Michigan will host Kent State in a third #MACtion game on Wednesday night. This 7:00 p.m. Eastern kick will be on the CBS Sports College Network. As of Tuesday night, most spots had the Broncos installed as 21.5-point favorites with a total of 46.5. The Golden Flashes haven’t scored more than 17 points against an FBS foes all year long. Their team total was 13 at most books as of Tuesday night.
-- Miami junior DE Demetrious Jackson had season-ending knee surgery on Monday. This is a big loss for the ‘Canes, who are poised to take on Notre Dame in South Florida on Saturday. Jackson had recorded 18 tackles, 3.5 sacks, four TFL’s, one interception with a four-yard return, one QB hurry and two passes broken up.
-- 5Dimes.eu has Alabama listed as a seven-point favorite over Georgia for a potential matchup at the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta during the first weekend of December.
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.
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