Tuesday College Football Betting Odds & Picks: How to Bet EMU-Akron & WMU-Ohio
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: De’Montre Tuggle
- How should you be betting Tuesday night's two college football games? Our experts analyze the latest betting odds for both Eastern Michigan at Akron (6 p.m. ET, ESPNU) and Western Michigan at Ohio (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
- Be sure to read all of the analysis before locking in your picks.
You know the only thing better than betting on Tuesday college football? Betting on Tuesday college football when weather is supposed to play a factor.
The forecast for both Eastern Michigan at Akron (6 p.m. ET, ESPNU) and Western Michigan at Ohio (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) calls for some cold and windy conditions.
With that in mind, how should you be betting Tuesday night MACtion?
Our experts go in depth on both matchups below.
Odds via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
Eastern Michigan at Akron Betting Odds
- Spread: Eastern Michigan -17
- Over/Under: 46.5
- Time: 6 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPNU
Both of these reeling teams should be motivated on Tuesday night. Eastern Michigan needs to win out to qualify for a bowl game and Akron is trying to avoid a winless season.
The primary question for this game is determining just how bad Akron is?
Not only is Akron winless, but the Zips have yet to cover a game. If they fail to beat the number on Tuesday night, the Zips will become the first team in our database to start a season 0-10 Against the Spread (ATS). They didn’t even cover against UMass, who is 0-8 ATS against teams not named Akron.
It gets even more comical. The Zips are so bad that they have only covered one first-half spread.
Unfortunately, I’ve watched a lot of Akron games. Which is to say I’ve lit a lot of money on fire. It’s been painful but the one positive thing I will say is, relatively speaking, the defense isn’t terrible.
On the season, Akron is only allowing 5.4 yards per play, which ranks in the top-60 nationally, and 4.3 yards per rush. Compared to Eastern Michigan, that’s a good defense. The Eagles surrender 6.2 yards per play and 4.8 yards per rush.
The Zips don’t get any pressure on opposing quarterbacks but possess a solid group of linebackers, which can go a long way in a game in potential blizzard-like conditions.
The primary problem in Rubber City is the offense. The Zips are a disaster when they have the rock. Akron’s offensive line ranks 130th in line yards and standard line yards, so it should come as no surprise that the Zips have the worst rushing attack in the country, averaging 1.9 yards per carry.
Things don’t get all that much better in passing situations. The Zips give up way too many sacks and they turn the ball over on a regular basis.
Trying to win with an offensive line that ranks 130th in stuff rate and 124th in sack rate is almost impossible, especially when your quarterbacks are forcing throws into coverage. It basically means they are getting no push up front, stopped in the backfield and then either throwing a pick (or hopefully incompletion) or getting sacked.
That’s pretty much as bad as it gets on offense. And that, in turn, eventually wears down the defense, which is spending the entire game on the field.
Now for the silver lining. Akron’s best, and only, effective running option is dual-threat quarterback Kato Nelson, who can have some success on the ground. That could help them move the ball against a poor Eastern Michigan defense. The lack of footing should also help Nelson, as the defense is always at a disadvantage in these types of conditions.
Akron has, arguably, the worst offense in the country. However, Eastern Michigan’s defense is right there, too. The Eagles’ defense ranks 128th in line yards, 129th in stuff rate and 130th in standard down line yards. If Akron was ever going to run against any team, it would be Eastern Michigan.
I think the windy and snowy conditions will ultimately help Akron on Tuesday night. That kind of weather will put an emphasis on the run game and Akron has the better front 7 on defense and the legs of Nelson on a slick field could keep the chains moving.
The Zips played a pure running team in Buffalo a few weeks ago at home and lost 21-0, but they were without Nelson in that game and gave the ball away four times — including two scoop-and-score fumbles. Besides horrible fumble luck, the Zips played the Bulls pretty evenly. I think you get a similar effort here in worse conditions with Nelson back.
I didn’t want to play Akron after being burned this season but I know better than to hold grudges in this gig. Having a short-term memory is a key to surviving any college football season.
I will be waiting for an updated forecast in the morning, but as of now, I’m leaning toward playing Akron +17. Pray for me.
Western Michigan at Ohio Odds
- Spread: Ohio -1.5
- Over/Under: 61.5
- Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN 2
Collin Wilson: Can Ohio Bounce Back?
Ohio may be the most motivated team in Week 12. After losing to Miami of Ohio last week, Frank Solich’s team will need a minor miracle to make it to the MAC Championship. Ohio will now focus on getting to seven wins to qualify for a bowl game. Remaining games against Bowling Green and Akron should be wins, but the Bobcats must get a win against Western Michigan to have a shot at the postseason.
Unfortunately, motivation alone can’t turn Ohio’s defense around. The Bobcats are outside of the top 100 in opponent rushing and passing success rate, so Western Michigan running back LaVante Bellamy could have a big game on Tuesday night.
Ohio’s defense may be a mess, but its talented quarterback, Nathan Rourke, can be a difference maker in this game. Rourke’s ability to extend drives with his legs could limit Western Michigan’s offensive possessions. Ohio’s offense will have a big advantage on third down. The Bobcats are the seventh-best team in the nation in converting third downs while the Broncos rank 102nd in opponent third down conversion rate.
Ohio ranks 14th in rushing success so the Bobcats should control the clock and move the ball. Western Michigan can also move the chains, ranking 41st in rushing success and 36th in passing, but the Broncos have had issues putting together long drives that come up empty. The Broncos had three different drives of at least nine plays that ended with no points.
Western Michigan has yet to win on the road this season and it will have its hands full with a highly motivated Ohio.
The Bet: Ohio Moneyline -125 or better [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Kyle Miller: A Unique Betting Opportunity
Bettors have a unique opportunity on Tuesday night that wouldn’t be available to them if this were a Saturday in early October. Midweek games have a reputation of going under the total so they are typically shaded a bit in that direction. Additionally, the weather in Athens, OH is supposed to be very cold and a little windy. Here’s why you should still look towards to over in this matchup.
Western Michigan and Ohio rank 17th and 44th respectively in yards per play. These are two of the most high-powered offenses in the group of five, and they have massive advantages against the opposing defenses in this game. While both teams lean on the run more than the average team, Ohio is a little more extreme in that direction. That should bode well for the Bobcats’ offense as they rank 30th in average yards per rush while Western Michigan is 116th in defending it.
The Broncos are 51st in points per play allowed, but just 86th in yards per play allowed. That shows that they’ve been fortunate on the defensive side of the ball this year. Ohio will be able to control the line of scrimmage on offense as their line ranks 22nd in line score versus the 85th defensive line in the country. In order to hit an over in the 60’s, you’ll need some explosive plays. Ohio has been quite explosive on the ground and Western Michigan is 102nd in defending it.
Much of the same can be said when Western Michigan has the ball. The Broncos rank 8th in average yards per carry, 18th in rushing explosiveness, and 23rd in offensive line score. Ohio is 122nd, 123rd, and 115th at defending those categories respectively. There should be plenty of huge plays from the Broncos’ offense in this game.
It can be tough for a game to go over a total this high when neither team wants to press the tempo and they rely on the run. The clock will be running because of all the rushing plays and both teams are content with letting it run. This is a special scenario where both offenses have huge advantages over the defenses, though.
If this game were played on a typical Saturday in early October, this total would be closer to 70 so I’m happy to take the over once this number hits it’s floor.
The Bet: Over 61.5