Last Updated Nov 15, 2022, 7:27 AM

Tuesday's MACtion Tip Sheet

Midweek in November means MACtion, and all 12 teams in the MAC are playing on either Tuesday or Wednesday this week. There will be three games on Tuesday and three games on Wednesday, so let's take a look at these Midwest showdowns.

Eastern Michigan Eagles vs. Akron Zips

Date: Tuesday, November 8
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Venue: InfoCision Stadium
Location: Akron, Ohio

Line: Eastern Michigan -7, O/U 56.5
Best Bet: Akron +7

Akron has been the worst team in the MAC this year. The Zips are 0-5 in conference play and 1-8 overall, and that lone win was against an FCS team. That has the Zips ranked 130th nationally in SP+ (only ahead of UMass in the FBS), but there is reason to believe they will stay within the number this week.

The Zips are 1-3 at home and two of those losses were by seven points or less. Their one sizeable home loss came in a game where they were mistake-prone throughout, leading to Miami (OH) winning 27-9. Akron had three turnovers (including a pick-six in that game), but the RedHawks had just 268 total yards of offense.

Eastern Michigan doesn't blow teams out. Only one of the Eagles' five wins this season was by double digits, and they have lost two of their last three games. Their quarterbacks have been turnover prone with 10 interceptions against 13 touchdowns, and the Eagles are averaging just 3.7 YPC because Taylor Powell can be a statue in the pocket.

Akron isn't great (or even good) on offense, but dual-threat signal caller D. J. Irons should keep this close provided he gets a little protection. Irons has been sacked 41 times in nine games, yet Eastern Michigan only has one pass rushing threat. Defensive end Jose Ramirez is responsible for eight of the Eagles' 14 sacks, and his presence can be mitigated.

Tuesday's MACtion Best Bets

Ohio Bobcats vs. Miami (OH) RedHawks

Date: Tuesday, November 8
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Yager Stadium
Location: Oxford, Ohio

Line: Ohio -2.5, O/U 51
Best Bet: Over 51

Ohio has won the Battle of the Bricks against Miami of Ohio in 12 of the last 15 seasons (2020 excluded). The Bobcats are already bowl eligible this season, and they are looking to win the MAC East over Buffalo and Bowling Green. On offense, they are led by quarterback Kurtis Rourke. His older brother Nathan Rourke was a star in Athens for years, but the younger Rourke brother might be even better. Kurtis Rourke is completing 68.5% of his passes for 2,725 yards (9.0 YPA) with 21 touchdowns and four interceptions this season. He is also a mobile threat, and the presence of top receiver Sam Wiglusz has the Bobcats ranked 71st in Offensive SP+.

The RedHawks are ranked much worse on offense. Miami (OH) is currently 126th in Offensive SP+ as this offense struggled to move the ball with backup quarterback Aveon Smith under center. Fortunately, another younger quarterback brother is back, as Brett Gabbert finally returned to action two weeks ago. Gabbert was injured in the season opener against Kentucky, and he didn't play again until Miami took on Western Michigan on October 22. He largely shook off the rust in that game, but he looked better last week against Akron. Gabbert was the MAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2021, completing 59.5% of his passes for 2,648 yards (8.9 YPA) with 26 touchdowns and six interceptions, so this could be a breakout game for him.

Ball State Cardinals vs. Toledo Rockets

Date: Tuesday, November 8
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Glass Bowl
Location: Toledo, Ohio

Line: Toledo -11, O/U 50.5
Best Bet: Toledo -11

Toledo is the best team in the MAC by a mile. The Rockets may be only one game ahead of the Ball State Cardinals in the MAC West Division race, but there's a reason they are a double-digit favorite by the college football betting odds. They would be 8-1 right now if not for a four-turnover performance in a three-point loss to San Diego State and a six-turnover performance that allowed Buffalo to score 24 unanswered points in the fourth quarter for a 34-27 loss.

Starting quarterback Dequan Finn didn't play in last week's victory over Eastern Michigan, but Tucker Gleason was just fine in his absence, throwing for three touchdowns in the win over the Eagles. Even if Finn doesn't play, the Rockets still have the edge as Jason Candle has done an excellent job with this offense. Jerjuan Newton is averaging 18.5 YPR and has seven touchdowns as a big play threat, while Jacquez Stuart is averaging 6.1 YPC on the ground.

Ball State hasn't posted bad numbers on offense. Carson Steele is now over 1,000 rushing yards after four straight games of 100+ yards, and Jayshon Jackson has 64 receptions for 735 yards and three touchdowns. However, this offense is pretty formulaic as John Paddock can't stretch the field and is turnover prone. Paddock is averaging 6.1 YPA and has a long of just 43 yards in 366 passes this season. Paddock has thrown 10 interceptions and isn't a real mobile threat, so Toledo should be able to shut down the RedHawks' offense.

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