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NCAAF – Mid-American Conference Preview: July 26

By Rally Kapz

Who’s ready for some MACtion?  While the MAC won’t necessarily give you a national champion contender, the level of parity in the conference makes each and every week compelling and keeps the fanbases of MAC schools engaged, which is always a good thing.  A quick look at the preseason odds shows Central Michigan, Miami (OH) and Toledo as the favourites to take the conference title, with each school at +500 odds (BetMGM), while last year’s champion, Northern Illinois slotting in at +700.  However, the level of parity and unpredictability of MAC games makes handicapping this conference all the more difficult. 

Instead, let’s focus on a couple of schools at opposite ends of the spectrum but with the potential to surprise.  First, the Akron Zips are trying to right the ship and have hired Joe Moorhead as head coach.  Moorhead previously served as offensive coordinator for high-profile programs in Penn State and Oregon and will try to reinvigorate a program at Akron that has won just three games over the past three seasons.  Expect the Zips to be much better at running the ball, having brought in RB Cam Wiley via transfer from Minnesota and a mobile QB in DJ Irons.  The Zips will be a better team but wins may still be hard to come by.  However, with the wins total set at 2.5, the over may be worth a look.

In my view, the best bet in the MAC is the Toledo Rockets.  On paper, the Rockets should be the class of the conference.  They have recruited well and last year they posted 33.4 points per game on offense and were stellar on defense, ranked first in points allowed and second in overall defense.  Their won-loss record?  7-6, with several close losses.  Tough luck for sure but I think they will be better this year.  The team returns eight starters on defense and the offense will benefit from the maturing of QB Dequan Finn, who threw for 2,549 yards and 27 touchdowns in his freshman campaign.  Besides a sure loss on September 17th, when they face powerhouse Ohio State, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Toledo being a favourite in each of their other eleven games.  The win-loss total has been set at eight.  I like the over.

Pick:  Toledo Rockets over 8 wins (-110 DraftKings Sportsbook)

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