Bowling Green vs Central Michigan Odds, Picks | MAC Betting Guide
Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt McDonald (Bowling Green)
Bowling Green vs. Central Michigan Odds
Bowling Green travels to Central Michigan for its final Saturday game of the season.
This means we’re just one week away from mid-week MACtion.
The Falcons have won two of their three conference games this season after an upset victory over Miami (OH) last week. Bowling Green’s defense carried the way to a 17-13 victory as touchdown underdogs.
Central Michigan has lost all five of its matchups to FBS opponents this season by an average of 14 points. That streak ended on Saturday, as the Chippewas found their first win over a conference foe, defeating Akron 28-21.
Beating the Zips by a touchdown isn’t the most reassuring of victories, though.
These are two programs trending in opposite directions through the first half of the season, and I’m betting that continues in this matchup.
Bowling Green was expected to finish toward the bottom of the MAC this season, owning aregular-season win total of just four games. The Falcons could hit that total before Halloween with a victory over Central Michigan in this matchup.
Scot Loeffler’s defense returned nearly all its production from last season, including the entire front seven. The defense has been spotty — allowing 37 points per game — but the unit put the pieces together last time out against Miami (OH).
The Falcons held the RedHawks to 189 total yards of offense in the clash, including 98 rushing yards on 34 carries (2.9 YPC).
The defensive front has accumulated over 26 sacks (across 14 different players) this season. The Falcons have also tallied 47 tackles for loss, which will be an important factor against a run-heavy Chippewas offense.
The Bowling Green rushing attack hasn’t had much to boast about this season. The group is averaging only 3.4 yards per carry.
But last week, the Falcons rushed for 176 yards against a Miami (OH) defense that ranked ninth in the country in rushing defense.
This matchup likely won’t be won on the ground for Bowling Green — it’ll be through the air.
Quarterback Matt McDonald has been one of the top signal callers in the MAC this season. The senior is averaging 6.2 yards per pass attempt behind the pass-first offensive scheme.
McDonald has tossed 14 touchdowns to three interceptions and should have a field day against a Central Michigan defense that ranks 90th in Passing Success Rate.
Central Michigan was projected to be one of the top programs in the MAC this season.
Through the first month of the season, the Chippewas' backs are against the ropes, owning just a 2-4 record. The two victories aren’t anything to brag about, as they’ve come against an FCS opponent and Akron.
It starts first with a defense that is allowing 34 points and over 400 yards of offense to FBS opponents. The unit has been solid slowing down the run by allowing only 3.8 yards per carry. But the defense has been exposed through the air, allowing 7.5 yards per pass attempt.
The Chippewas' defense ranks 90th in the country in Success Rate and will be going up against one of the top quarterbacks in the conference.
The offense has also taken a massive step back this season.
One of the reasons for this is the Chipps have been reliant on the legs of Lew Nichols III. But the sophomore running back has been bottled up this season against FBS opponents.
Nichols III has yet to rush for over 100 yards in his five matchups vs. FBS defenses while averaging 2.9 yards per carry in such matchups.
His status is unknown for this matchup, and if he is out, this offense will struggle mightily to move the ball.
Central Michigan has been asking a lot out of quarterback Daniel Richardson, as its constantly been playing from behind. Richardson has thrown 13 touchdowns to four interceptions while averaging nearly 250 passing yards per matchup.
But it’s taking him 46 pass attempts per game to reach that number.
Bowling Green vs. Central Michigan Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Bowling Green and Central Michigan match up statistically:
Bowling Green Offense vs. Central Michigan Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Central Michigan Offense vs. Bowling Green Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||95||119|
|Seconds per Play||25.4 (37)||23.6 (21)|
|Rush Rate||48.3% (96)||46.9% (104)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Bowling Green vs. Central Michigan Betting Pick
Year in and year out, the MAC proves to be one of the hardest conferences to predict in the preseason. That has continued this season with these two programs flipping the script on their preseason projections.
Central Michigan has looked horrid through the first six games.
Nichols III averaged 180 rushing yards per game in his final eight matchups last year. This year, he’s yet to exceed 100 yards rushing and is averaging 2.9 yards per carry against FBS competition. His status is still unknown for this matchup, but his loss would be monumental.
Bowling Green has been one of the bright surprises this season despite a few hiccups. The Falcons lost to FCS opponent Eastern Kentucky and were crushed by Buffalo. But it’s won its other two MAC matchups over Akron and Miami (OH). The program defeated Marshall outright as 20-point underdogs.
I’m expecting a big day out of McDonald, who has been extremely efficient all year long. He will be able to expose the Central Michigan secondary and put points on the board to keep Bowling Green competitive.
I’m taking the points with Bowling Green, which will have Central Michigan on upset alert once again. I’ll be sprinkling on the moneyline in some underdog parlays on Saturday.