Post-Mortems: MAC – Wk. 1

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My high-volume approach to making picks requires me to watch as many games as possible. Picture-in-picture works overtime and tablets get worn out.

Not every game gets seen as it unfolds, but I have to go back and take a look at what stood out in games I didn’t catch.

This is my post-mortem for Week 1. I can’t divulge all my secrets, so you only get a few lines per game. They’re listed in chronological order (as listed on the board):

Syracuse (-4.5/65.5) at Western Michigan: Eric Dungey dominated as the Orange built a massive 34-7 second-quarter lead before turning to backup Tommy DeVito. Things fell apart with the senior on the sideline to the point where it became a one-score game and Babers later said he wanted to see if his guys could play their way out of it, but that’s too dicey a play on the road, especially for those of us who rode the ‘Cuse. The Broncos have speed to burn with backs Jamauri Bogan and LeVante Bellamy joining recivers D’Wayne Eskridge, Jayden Reed and Michigan transfer Drake Harris, so expect them to light up defenses. That said, the Orange should be worried about their secondary getting burnt to a crisp repeatedly. Result: Syracuse 55-42. ATS: Favorite/Over

Akron at Nebraska (-26/54): Postponed due to awful weather in the Lincoln area, the ‘Huskers get to save any tricks for Colorado, which now has no tape to watch unless you count Scott Frost’s cool entrance, realizing a life-long dream and all of that. Result: Postponed. ATS: No action

Kent State at Illinois (-18/57): In a chicken or the egg conundrum, do we applaud Lovie Smith’s Illini for rallying from a 17-3 halftime deficit or criticize the fact they put themselves in that position in the first place? The expectation here is that the defense would be too much for the Golden Flashes, who were kicking off the Sean Lewis era with a different system and some new personnel. Illinois only held Kent State scoreless in the fourth quarter. Both teams are likely to bring up the rear in their respective conferences. Result: Illinois 31-24. ATS: Underdog/Under

Northern Illinois at Iowa (-10/46.5): The Hawkeyes led just 3-0 at the break here. Despite both quarterbacks having gained experience as starters last season, Iowa’s Nate Stanley and NIU’s Marcus Childers threw the ball erratically. They’ll have better days. The Hawkeyes closed the door on third down and set the defense up to pour it on before finally surrendering a score with just over two minutes remaining. This was one of those games that was a lot closer than the final score indicated. Result: Iowa 33-7. ATS: Favorite/Under

Marshall at Miami, OH (-1.5/51): The Thundering Herd stayed a step ahead of the RedHawks on the road, surviving one last flurry to spoil the earliest Homecoming game I’ve ever been aware of. Redshirt freshman Isaiah Green had a great debut after beating out Wagner transfer Alex Thomson, relying on top target Tyree Brady as a security blanket. Gus Ragland threw for three scores but couldn’t engineer a game-tying drive. The high side did come in due to the attempted comeback after bad weather forced a delay and the slow start had 'under' bettors feeling fortunate. It wasn't meant to be. Result: Marshall 35-28. ATS: Underdog/Over

Central Michigan at Kentucky (-17/50.5): Benny Snell did his thing and roommate AJ Rose added over 100 yards and two scores himself, so the ‘Cats have the potential to be lethal if they can find a way to get some production out of the passing game. Cue Gunnar Hoak, who lost the QB competition to former Oregon recruit Terry Wilson in camp but may have passed him after settling everyone down following Wilson’s three first-half turnovers. I’d expect to see both in Gainesville this weekend as conference play begins. The Chippewas will also be looking for improvement from the passing game with 6-foot-7 sophomore Tony Poljan offering a unique look as a dual threat QB. Result: Kentucky 35-20. ATS: Underdog/Over

Bowling Green at Oregon (-34/71): Justin Herbert was picked off twice, which may just be part of the deal considering the windows he often tries to jam the ball into. That may just be part of the deal with him, but he and West Virginia’s Grier appear to be the most talented QBs available in the next draft. It remains to be seen if big plays are there to be had as the Ducks step up in class, but they’re likely to be involved in a lot of shootouts. The same goes for the Falcons, who will likely feed Scott Miller so much that he’ll be this season’s national reception leader. Result: Oregon 58-24. ATS: Push/Over

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