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Eastern Michigan vs. Central Michigan Odds, Picks & Predictions: Michigan MAC Trophy on the Line in Friday College Football MACtion (Nov. 26)

Eastern Michigan vs. Central Michigan Odds, Picks & Predictions: Michigan MAC Trophy on the Line in Friday College Football MACtion (Nov. 26) article feature image

Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Trey Bess III.

  • The Michigan MAC Trophy will be up for grabs on Friday afternoon when Eastern Michigan (+8.5) and Central Michigan kick off at 12 p.m. ET.
  • Neither the Eagles nor the Chippewas boast strong defenses, and both offenses are capable of running it up in a hurry. So, should we expect rivalry-game jitters, or an offensive ballista on Friday?
  • Below, check out our full college football betting preview for Eastern Michigan vs. Central Michigan with updated odds, picks, and predictions for Friday's game.

Eastern Michigan vs. Central Michigan Odds

Friday, Nov. 26
Noon ET
Eastern Michigan Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-108o / -112u
Central Michigan Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-108o / -112u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The greatest trophy in college football will be up for grabs this weekend. No, not the Land Grant Trophy, or the Apple Cup, or the Governor’s Cup, or even the Platypus Trophy. We’re talking about the prestigious Michigan MAC Trophy.

Awarded to the winner of the directional Michigan schools in the Mid-American Conference, Central Michigan has not won the trophy since 2017, and Eastern Michigan has not held it since 2012.

With both schools beating Western Michigan already this year, Friday’s winner will claim the trophy.

Eastern Michigan Eagles

Eastern Michigan Offense

The Eagles offense has certainly been high-flying this season, averaging 32.9 points per game. They rank second in the MAC and 34th in the country in scoring.

Eastern Michigan does a great job punching the ball into the end zone, ranking 24th in Finishing Drives.

Quarterback Ben Bryant transferred in from Cincinnati and took the starting job away from Preston Hutchinson early in the season. Bryant is averaging 245.5 yards per game with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions.

He’s completing 69% of his passes — the best in the MAC — and helping lead this Eastern Michigan passing attack to the 28th-best Passing Success Rate. Prior to last week’s game, Bryant had thrown for over 325 yards in four straight games.

While he didn’t even top 200 yards passing last week, he didn’t need to with EMU racking up 247 yards on the ground. Jawon Hamilton went for 179 yards, and while the Eagles have not consistently run the ball well this year, it’s nice to see they’re capable of it.

Eastern Michigan Defense

Part of the reason the Eastern Michigan offense has put up so many points is that it has to score a lot to have a chance because this defense has been a problem.

The Eagles have given up 434.1 yards per game, good for 103rd in the country, and 6.24 yards per play. In the last three games, they’ve allowed 550.7 yards and 34.7 points per game.

It’s hard to find anything to like about the EMU defense, although technically, it’s been better against the pass. It ranks 117th in Passing Success Rate on defense but 127th in Rushing Success. It gives up a ton of big plays and doesn’t create much Havoc.

Last year against Central Michigan, the Eagles gave up a season-high 553 total yards, getting torched for 318 yards on the ground. Opponents have racked up over 200 yards on the ground in six of the 11 games this year.

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Central Michigan Chippewas

Central Michigan Offense

I mentioned that Eastern Michigan is second in the MAC in scoring. Well, that’s because Central Michigan is first.

The Chippewas are averaging 33.2 points per game, which ranks 29th in the nation. Over the last four games, CMU is averaging 42.8 points and 490.3 yards.

Quarterback Daniel Richardson has been slinging the ball this year, helping lead the Chips to the top passing offense in the conference and 21st-ranked Passing Success Rate. Richardson leads the conference with 21 touchdowns passes and has thrown just four interceptions.

A veteran receiving room has three stud receivers for Richardson to throw to. Kalil Pimpleton, Dallas Dixon and JaCorey Sullivan are all averaging over 62 yards per game and over 14 yards per catch.

Move over Kenneth Walker III, Lew Nichols III is the nation’s new leading rusher with 1,516 yards, averaging 137.8 yards per game.

Nichols is running like a man possessed right now. Over his last four games, he has 11 rushing touchdowns and is averaging 197.3 yards over that stretch.

Central Michigan Defense

Central Michigan’s defense has sat middle of the pack in the MAC this year, ranking fourth in scoring defense and fifth in total defense.

It’s coming off its best defense performance, allowing 17 points and 329 total yards to Ball State.

Unlike EMU, it’s clear that the strength of the Chips defense is defending the rush. They rank third in the conference in rush defense and have not allowed over 200 yards on the ground since Week 1 against Missouri.

Defending the pass has been a different story, however. Central Michigan has allowed 270.4 yards per game through the air, the second-most in the conference. The Chips rank 84thin the country in Pass Success Rate and are outside of the top 100 in big plays.

Eastern Michigan vs. Central Michigan Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan match up statistically:

Eastern Michigan Offense vs. Central Michigan Defense
Rush Success 90 63
Line Yards 80 62
Pass Success 28 84
Pass Blocking** 44 48
Big Play 107 102
Havoc 66 19
Finishing Drives 24 78
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Central Michigan Offense vs. Eastern Michigan Defense
Rush Success 53 127
Line Yards 33 127
Pass Success 21 117
Pass Blocking** 51 22
Big Play 56 109
Havoc 56 115
Finishing Drives 74 87
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 67 38
Coverage 112 51
Middle 8 20 71
SP+ Special Teams 13 72
Plays per Minute 64 27
Rush Rate 50.8% (91) 52.4% (84)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Eastern Michigan vs. Central Michigan Betting Pick

The #FireUpChips offense is absolutely rolling right now, scoring at least 37 points in each of the last four games. The two-headed monster of Richardson and Nichols have been dominant, with each racking up multiple touchdowns in the last four games.

Eastern Michigan has been torched on the ground this season, ranking in the bottom three in the country in both Rushing Success and Line Yards. On the back end, it grades out at 112th in coverage and will struggle to keep these dynamic Central Michigan receivers in front of it.

For the Chips, their biggest weakness has been stopping the pass, and Bryant and this Eastern Michigan passing attack will be able to throw the ball on them. The Eagles are top-30 in Passing Success and Finishing Drives.

They also could be gifted a couple of short fields with the issues Central Michigan has had punting the ball.

Both of these teams have proven to have dynamic offenses, and each team’s biggest weakness on defense is the other team’s strength.

With the Michigan MAC Trophy up for grabs in this rivalry showdown, expect both teams to keep their foot on the gas until the end.

Pick: Over 64 (Play to 65.5)

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