College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Miami (OH) vs. Eastern Michigan: How To Bet This MAC Duel
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- Eastern Michigan seeks its first MAC win of the season when it hosts Miami (OH) in Ypsilanti.
- The Eagles lost on the road vs. Northern Illinois last week, while the RedHawks defeated Central Michigan.
- Mike Bainbridge breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.
Miami (OH) vs. Eastern Michigan Odds
|Miami (OH) Odds||-2 (-110)|
|Eastern Michigan Odds||+2 (-110)|
|Moneyline||-125 / +105|
|Over/Under||58.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
It’s typically been a one-sided affair when the Miami (OH) Redhawks (2-3) and Eastern Michigan Eagles (3-2) meet even though the former boasts a 19-5 record in the last 24 matchups.
Saturday’s duel will be the first between these two teams since 2017.
Miami (OH) was able to overcome multiple injuries to some key offensive playmakers last week to get past Central Michigan 28-17, posting its highest yardage total of the season (514) with multiple quarterbacks throwing for 170 yards or more.
The Eagles’ brief two-game win streak came to a halt last week against Northern Illinois, as they trailed from start to finish despite outgaining the Huskies 376-326.
EMU’s inability to stop NIU on the ground was its downfall, allowing 242 yards while also committing a pair of turnovers and seven penalties.
Miami (OH) vs. Eastern Michigan Betting Preview
Miami (OH) Offense
We have some injuries to monitor on offense here with quarterback Brett Gabbert and running back Jaylon Bester leaving last week’s contest with injuries.
Bester’s potential absence would be less impactful with Kansas State transfer Keyon Mozee able to step in as the team’s leading rusher. Mozee filled in last week with 83 yards on 13 carries against CMU.
Regardless of who’s been in the backfield, Miami (OH) hasn’t had a great deal of success running the ball in 2021, averaging less than four yards per attempt in three of its five games played so far. The RedHawks are 126th in Rush Play Success Rate.
Gabbert was sidelined midway through the second quarter last week and did not return. Head coach Chuck Martin indicated he would be a game-time decision this week against Eastern Michigan.
Luckily for the RedHawks, they do have an experienced backup in A.J. Mayer, who started two games last season and played well on Saturday with 179 yards passing and two touchdowns while completing 72 percent of his throws.
Through five games, Miami (OH) is nearly mirroring its average passing yards per game (238.8) that it had a year ago (238.3).
Miami (OH) Defense
Last week’s matchup with Central Michigan was eye-opening when seeing how the RedHawks were able to limit star running back Lew Nichols III and the Chips on the ground to just 52 yards total. That was the second time this year they’ve limited an opponent to under two yards a carry.
Meanwhile, Miami (OH) ranks 39th in yards allowed per game through the air (192.6) but is 127th in coverage grades, per Pro Football Focus.
Eastern Michigan Offense
It’s amazing that a team leads the conference in rushing touchdowns, yet ranks just eighth in the MAC, averaging 3.77 yards per carry as a team.
The running game has been very Jekyll-and-Hyde-like for EMU this season.
Against Northern Illinois last week, we saw the Hyde side as the Eagles rushed for just 38 yards on 24 attempts against what is currently the 111th ranked rush defense in the country.
Not being able to settle on a starting running back is part of the issue — EMU has a constant rotation of Jawon Hamilton, Darius Boone Jr. and others — but the offensive line has had its share of struggles as well, ranking 85th in Line Yards.
EMU has been consistently throwing the football this season as it turned the keys over to Cincinnati transfer Ben Bryant. Bryant is completing 66 percent of his throws with six touchdowns and averaging 9.1 YPA.
Eastern Michigan Defense
EMU has been most vulnerable defending the run in 2021, ranking 113th overall and 111th in Defensive Rush Play Success Rate.
The Eagles’ numbers are much better defending the pass, allowing just 181 yards per game through the air. However, the list of QBs they’ve faced is Wisconsin’s Graham Mertz, UMass’ Brady Olson, Texas State’s Brady McBride and Northern Illinois’ Rocky Lombardi.
That’s not exactly a list of future Heisman winners there.
The biggest question for Saturday is if Miami (OH) and its below-average running game can take advantage of EMU’s biggest weakness on defense.
Miami (OH) vs. Eastern Michigan Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Miami (OH) and Eastern Michigan match up statistically:
Miami (OH) Offense vs. Eastern Michigan Defense
Eastern Michigan Offense vs. Miami (OH) Defense
Pace of Play / Other
Miami (OH) vs. Eastern Michigan Betting Pick
The total has hit the under in four of the last five matchups between these two teams and our PRO projections value this line closer to 56.2 currently.
Gabbert potentially missing the contest would help our under play, as he’s the better option of the two quarterbacks. We’ll monitor his status leading up to kickoff.
Finally, the RedHawks’ run game has not shown to be reliable enough to take advantage of EMU’s primary weakness on defense.
Pick: Under 59
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