Last Updated Nov 16, 2022, 8:15 AM

MACtion Tip Sheet

First place in the MAC East is still up for grabs, and Tuesday night's games will go a long way to determining who will play Toledo at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on December 3 in the MAC Championship Game.

The Ohio Bobcats are currently in the driver's seat in the MAC East with a 5-1 conference record, but they must go on the road to face a decent Ball State team looking to become bowl eligible. The Bowling Green Falcons are one game behind the Bobcats in the division, yet they face the unenviable task of taking on the Toledo Rockets in northern Ohio and must win in order to keep pace.

Ohio Bobcats vs. Ball State Cardinals

Date: Tuesday, November 15
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Scheumann Stadium
Location: Muncie, Indiana

Line: Ohio -3.5, O/U 55.5
Best Bet: Ohio -3.5

Ohio has been a delight to watch on offense this year. The Bobcats were shut down by Power Five opponents Penn State and Iowa State, but they have scored at least 24 points in their other eight games to come into this tilt with a 7-3 record. Kurtis Rourke has been awesome and should earn First Team All-MAC honors as he is completing 68.8% of his passes for 3,087 yards (9.2 YPA) with 24 touchdowns and four interceptions. Sam Wiglusz has been his top target this season, but he only caught four passes for four yards in last week's win over Miami of Ohio. James Bostic and Jacoby Jones are both big play threats that can stretch the field, and Miles Cross is coming off his best game of the season last week against the RedHawks.

Meanwhile, Ball State has one of the best pass defenses in the MAC. The Cardinals are surrendering just 6.5 YPA, and that's impressive considering they have one of the lowest interception rates in the country. They do have 51 passes defensed with Jordan Riley leading the way in this department, and Cole Pearce and Tavion Woodard have had some success getting to the quarterback with a combined 8.5 sacks.

It's strength vs. strength when Ohio is on offense, but this game might come down to whether Ball State can move the ball effectively. The Cardinals don't have a good offense, but the Bobcats rank 118th in Defensive SP+. Ohio has a bottom five pass defense in the country, surrendering 295.4 YPG through the air, so John Paddock must take advantage of that. However, Paddock and this offense have seemingly been figured out over the second half of the season. In his first five games, Paddock completed 151 of 233 passes for 1,538 yards with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions. His most recent five games have seen him complete just 88 of 168 passes for 795 yards with five touchdowns and five interceptions though.

Tuesday's MACtion Best Bets

Bowling Green Falcons vs. Toledo Rockets

Date: Tuesday, November 15
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Glass Bowl
Location: Toledo, Ohio

Line: Toledo -15, O/U 49.5
Best Bet: Toledo -15

The Toledo Rockets have been the best team in the MAC this season. Toledo locked up the MAC West title last week with Northern Illinois' win over Western Michigan. This program will now make just its second appearance in the MAC Championship Game since 2004 despite its success under coaches like Matt Campbell and Jason Candle over the last decade.

Dequan Finn is one of the most exciting players in the conference when he is healthy. Finn is completing 59.2% of his passes for 1,938 yards with 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and he is the second leading rusher on the Rockets with 530 yards and eight touchdowns while averaging 5.7 YPC. As long he plays well, Toledo should have no problem picking up its eighth win of the season as the Rockets' only two losses against teams not named Ohio State came when Finn threw at least three interceptions. Jerjuan Newton is the leading receiver with 37 receptions for 648 yards and eight touchdowns, while tight end Jamal Turner is someone to watch in the red zone with seven touchdown receptions in his eight games.

Bowling Green might be 5-5, but the Falcons are ranked 121st in SP+. They have greatly benefited from turnovers this season with a whopping 12 fumble recoveries. Quarterback Matt McDonald has had a nice year, completing 62.6% of his passes for 2,027 yards (6.5 YPA) with 17 touchdowns and four interceptions, but this offense is 112th in scoring (19.2 PPG) and 112th in total offense (320.8 YPG). Additionally, McDonald has been sacked 21 times in his last five games. The defense has been just as bad, so it's hard to back Bowling Green here.

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