MACtion Odds, Picks: 2 Bets for Tuesday’s College Football Games (Nov. 22)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Ohio quarterback Kurtis Rourke.
Tuesday night marks a historic day in the 2022 college football season. As sad as it is, this is the last midweek MACtion slate of the season.
We’re ready to give it our all one more time — can’t hold anything back now.
Tuesday’s midweek MACtion slate features plenty of intriguing storylines. First, 5-6 Ball State and 5-6 Miami (OH) meet in a battle for bowl eligibility in Oxford. Then, Bowling Green travels to Athens to face Ohio in a game that has major MAC Championship implications.
So, let’s make the most of this final Tuesday college football slate. Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.
Tuesday MACtion College Football Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our writers are targeting from Tuesday’s games. Click the team logos for one of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.|
Ball State vs. Miami (OH)
By Cody Goggin
Neither Ball State nor Miami (OH) are in the running for a berth in the MAC title game, but this game still has huge implications for these two programs.
The winner of this game will move to 6-6, while the loser will be done for the season at 5-7. For these MAC schools, making a bowl game appearance can be a huge deal and go a long way in determining the future of the program.
In these MAC games, the programs are typically on such a level playing field in terms of talent that it’s hard to find a difference between them. The close margin is what makes MACtion enjoyable.
But there’s one specific unit in this game that stands out enough to be a difference-maker in this matchup.
Neither its running nor passing games are particularly successful, which may cause problems against a stout Miami (OH) defense.
Ball State passes at the 27th-highest rate in the nation, ranking 78th in Passing Success Rate, 103rd in PPA and 129th in explosiveness through the air. Quarterback John Paddock has 449 attempts this season for just 2,606 yards, an average of just 5.8 yards per attempt.
They also come in at 97th in Rushing Success Rate and 92nd in Rushing PPA. That won’t cut it against Miami, which may have the toughest run defense in the MAC.
This Cardinal defense’s main strength is preventing explosive plays. They rank 18th overall in explosiveness allowed, including 16th against the pass and 56th against the run. This will help counter the one strength of Miami’s offense.
Ball State’s ability to keep opponents out of the end zone also stands out. Despite ranking 79th in Defensive Success Rate, the Cardinals come in at 46th in Points Allowed per Opportunity.
As far as ways to attack this Cardinals defense, they’re about equal. This team ranks 83rd in Rushing Success Rate compared to 76th against the pass.
Miami is typically a run-heavy team, so I would expect the RedHawks to stick with that approach in this matchup.
It’s safe to say that Miami’s offense is not the unit that got it to 5-6. This offense ranks 122nd in Success Rate and comes in as the 127th-best unit in the country, per SP+.
The RedHawks primarily lean on a run game that can rip off a big play from time to time. However, this unit is relatively ineffective overall.
Miami ranks 128th in Rushing Success Rate and 115th in Rushing PPA. Yet, it runs the ball at the 40th-highest rate in the nation.
The best part of this offense is clearly its explosiveness on the ground. The RedHawks boast the eighth-most explosive rushing offense in FBS.
Passing the ball has not been a strong suit for Miami either, ranking 83rd in Passing Success Rate and 101st in Passing PPA. It’s somewhat explosive through the air as well, sitting 53rd in passing explosiveness.
This RedHawks defense has been legitimately good this season, especially against the run. Overall, this unit ranks 46th in Success Rate and 14th in Points per Opportunity. It generates a great deal of Havoc for opposing teams, ranking eighth nationally in that area.
This is the 37th-best defense in the country, according to SP+, which far exceeds what the typical mark for a MAC school.
The RedHawks rank just 83rd in Defensive Passing Success Rate and 101st in PPA, but they haven’t faced many pass-heavy offenses this season.
The rushing game is where this defense truly stands out. Miami ranks 27th in Rushing Success Rate and 12th in Rushing PPA. They’re also the 10th-best defense in the country at limiting explosive rushing plays.
Ball State vs Miami (OH) Betting Pick
Without a doubt, the best unit on the field on Tuesday night will be Miami’s defense. Because of that, I think it will find a way to edge out Ball State at home to become bowl-eligible.
Three is such a key number, especially in a low-scoring game, so I wouldn’t bet this over that number.
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Bowling Green vs. Ohio
Bowling Green heads to Athens on Tuesday to match up against Ohio to determine the MAC East Division.
Ohio dropped its opening conference matchup against Kent State back in early October. Since then, the Bobcats have ripped off six straight victories over conference opponents. The 6-1 record has the program atop the MAC East heading into the final game.
But Bowling Green sits a game behind the Bobcats with its 5-2 conference record. The Falcons are coming off a historic win over Toledo as 14.5-point underdogs.
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) November 16, 2022
If Bowling Green can find a victory in this matchup and Buffalo loses to Kent State, it will be the representative from the East Division. If Ohio wins, it will solidify its spot in the MAC Championship.
With plenty on the line in this matchup, can the Falcons continue their unprecedented upset run?
Bowling Green has caught fire toward the end of the season, winning four of its last five games over some stiff competition. The Falcons have defeated Miami (OH), Central Michigan and Toledo all as underdogs of a touchdown or more.
That has led the Falcons to bowl eligibility for the first time since 2015. Though, the program has its hopes on a potential MAC Championship berth starting with a victory Tuesday night.
Bowling Green is being outscored by an average of nine points per game against FBS opponents. The offense ranks 99th in scoring, putting up 21.5 points per game, while the defense ranks 95th and allows 30 points per contest.
The metrics don’t do the Falcons much justice, as the program just finds ways to win.
The Falcons have recovered 14 fumbles, which ranks second in the nation. They’ve also blocked four punts, including two for touchdowns, most recently against Toledo last week.
Defensive lineman Karl Brooks ranks third in the nation with 10 sacks and fourth with 17 tackles for loss.
Quarterback Matt McDonald has carried the Bowling Green offense. He’s tossed 21 touchdowns to only five interceptions this season. McDonald is in the good company of Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud as the only three quarterbacks who have 10 passing touchdowns on third down this season.
If the Falcons want to find an upset in this matchup, they need McDonald to light up the Ohio secondary that has been suspect this season.
Ohio has been the cream of the crop in the MAC this season and is certainly the more deserving team based on its recent success.
The Bobcats have now won six straight games against conference opponents with all by one victory coming by double digits. The program has been a cash cow for bettors, covering the spread in all seven of its matchups against MAC foes.
The program’s success can be directly attributed to quarterback Kurtis Rourke, who has put together one of the best seasons in Ohio football history. Rourke has thrown 25 touchdowns to only four interceptions while averaging 296 passing yards per game. He’s completing 69% of his passes on 9.2 yards per attempt.
The only issue is Rourke missed the second half last week against Ball State with an injury. At the time of writing, he’s questionable to play against Bowling Green, which would be a loss of epic proportions.
At @CoachAlbin's weekly press conference Albin seems to be in good spirits about Kurtis Rourke
Rourke has another visit with the doctor today but is optimistic with the lack of swelling and the fact he is walking with no crutches. Said he'll know more tomorrow@BobcatShowcase
— Ayden Crowley (@aydencrowley4) November 17, 2022
Backup quarterback CJ Harris entered the game with a 14-point lead. The play-calling was very conservative, and Harris finished 5-of-8 for 34 yards through the air.
The defense carried the Bobcats to the finish line in that matchup and may need to recreate that effort against Bowling Green if Rourke is out.
Bowling Green vs Ohio Betting Pick
Ohio has been the best team in the MAC East this season. It’s covered the spread in all seven conference matchups and has won six in a row by an average margin of 16 points per game.
But that has all been thanks to the incredible play of Rourke.
Rourke is only 43 yards away from breaking the single-season passing yards record for Ohio. It would be heartbreaking if he doesn’t play and misses out on the record while the Bobcats lose their chance at a MAC Championship.
But for us bettors, that’s an opportunity to make some money.
Bowling Green is coming off a massive upset over Toledo in the Battle of I-75. McDonald lit up the Rockets for 395 yards while averaging 11 yards per attempt. He’s poised for a similar performance against an Ohio secondary that ranks 116th in Passing Success Rate.
Defensively, Bowling Green will find ways to pressure whichever quarterback is under center for Ohio. The Falcons rank 12th in generating pass rush and will now match up against an offensive line that ranks 104th pass blocking.
Bowling Green will keep this game close with or without Rourke in the lineup thanks to its passing attack. I’m taking the points in a matchup that will come down to the wire.