Tuesday MAC Betting Preview: Odds, Tips for Bowling Green-Kent State, Miami-Buffalo
USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tyree Jackson and Gus Ragland
We’re in the midst of 27 days of football — live college or NFL games for nearly an entire month straight. Of course that features some midweek #MACtion.
We’ve got two MAC games on Tuesday night. One good, one not so good. Is there betting value on either? Let’s dive in.
>> All odds as of Tuesday at 9:45 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAF odds and track your bets
Kent State at Bowling Green Betting
- Odds: Bowling Green -1
- Total: 66
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPNU
Two of the worst teams in the country in a near-pick’em game? Count us in.
Trends to Know
By John Ewing
The forecast is calling for wind speeds ranging from 13 mph to 16 mph during the game. Since 2005, the under is 275-201-8 (58%) when the wind is blowing 15 mph or stronger.
By Evan Abrams
Both Kent State and Bowling Green enter this game 1-7 straight up, but it’s Bowling Green that may be the true worst of the worst.
The Falcons are allowing 47.8 points per game this season and have been outscored by 22.1 points per game.
But according to our Bet Labs data, teams that fit this profile have been undervalued by the betting market.
Since 2005, teams that are allowing at least 45 PPG and being outscored by at least 21 PPG in October or later are 105-78-3 against the spread (57.4%), including 53-31-3 ATS (63.1%) over the last five seasons.
MACtion Going Under
MAC games are known for weirdness. But more often than not, that hasn’t resulted in points.
The under is 97-79-5 (55.1%) since 2005 in MAC games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. And of those 181 games, only 24 have had more bets on the under than the over.
These lines are shaded to account for the public’s tendency to blindly bet overs in standalone games.
Attacking Bowling Green’s Porous Defense
I don’t know if I can adequately detail how bad Bowling Green’s defense has been against the run in a concise manner. The Falcons defense ranks…
- 127th in yards per carry (6.61)
- 126th in rushing S&P+
- 130th in opportunity rate, stuff rate and efficiency
And — surprise, surprise — every Bowling Green opponent has attacked the Falcons on the ground.
Per Football Study Hall, teams have run on standard downs against Bowling Green 75.9% of the time, the highest rate in the country. And that’s filtering out garbage time, so it’s not just because they have leads.
But Will Kent State Run the Ball?
Kent State coach Sean Lewis is from the Dino Babers/Art Briles coaching tree. The Golden Flashes like to spread the field and throw the ball, ranking 114th in run rate on standard downs.
But KSU has run the ball really well this season, spearheaded by quarterback Woody Barrett, who is averaging more yards per carry than yards per pass attempt (if you count sacks against passing yards, which everyone should).
With the wind, and how you want to attack Bowling Green, I think Kent State relies on Barrett’s legs to carry it.
It’s gross — so gross — but I think the under has value here.
Miami Ohio at Buffalo Betting
- Odds: Buffalo -7
- Total: 53
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
This is a pivotal MAC East game. A win would put Buffalo in the driver’s seat to win the division. The Bulls are projected to win the rest of their games and go 11-1.
Miami Ohio continues to slightly underachieve, and while the RedHawks are 3-1 in conference play, they’re 3-5 overall and need help to become bowl eligible.
Trends to Know
By Evan Abrams
Miami Ohio enters this game on a five-game ATS winning streak after starting 0-3 ATS to kick off the season. Teams on a five-plus game ATS winning streak facing a conference opponent are much more profitable in the role as the favorite than the underdog.
Favorite: 115-85-8 ATS (57.5%)
Underdog: 48-58-4 ATS (45.3%)
Buffalo’s Defense Deserves More Credit
The Bulls came into this season with high expectations thanks to quarterback Tyree Jackson and wide receiver Anthony Johnson — and they’ve both been good.
But it’s the Buffalo defense that is responsible for much of its success. It ranks 34th in S&P+ on defense, tied for 26th in yards per play and 31st in points per possession. The only time it allowed more than 30 points was against Army, which isn’t really applicable to projecting future performance against normal offenses.
Miami’s defense has also been solid, ranking 43rd in S&P+. The RedHawks offense is another story (101st overall).
Miami Continues Losing Close Games
There’s this stat from Football Outsiders that we like to cite here often. It’s called Second Order Win Total, and it tries to capture how many games a team should have won based on its statistical measures. Teams with a positive Second Order Win Total got unlucky; teams with a negative Second Order Win Total got lucky.
Miami Ohio has been positive in this measure in every season since Chuck Martin took over as coach in 2014. One season of bad luck is just that — luck. But constantly underachieving in the results column is poor coaching.
Miami has lost all three of its one-possession games this season, including two by one point each.
But Can Miami Cover?
The money continues to pour in on Buffalo (71% of bets), but the line has remained at -7. It’s easy to look at each team’s record and assume the Bulls can win by a score.
But these are two good defenses, and Miami has the special teams edge. The RedHawks can hang within a score (but don’t count on them to win if it comes down to the wire), and I think points will be at a slight premium, so I like the under, as well.