Michiganders who bet on the state teams during Week 1 of MACtion had a profitable week to open the season. Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Central Michigan all covered the spread, while Western and Central each won outright.
Western Michigan bettors never had to sweat the Broncos’ -20.5 spread, as they handled Akron 58-13 and led by 38 going into the fourth quarter. The outcome wasn’t surprising considering Akron is coming off an 0-12 season and was voted last in the MAC East preseason coaches poll.
The Broncos scored on their first seven drives and torched the Zips for 484 yards. Starting QB Kaleb Eleby completed 12 of 16 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns, while four different running backs scored touchdowns on the ground as the team averaged 5.6 yards per carry (30-218).
Central Michigan earned a 30-27 win over Ohio despite being a 3-point underdog. The Chippewas quarterback situation was in flux until the opening kickoff. Senior David Moore was the team’s starter at the position to begin last season before he was suspended for testing positive for an NCAA-banned substance on Oct. 7, 2019. Moore has yet to receive a waiver from the NCAA to lift his suspension, which meant redshirt freshman Daniel Richardson made the start against Ohio.
Richardson was 23 of 41 for 243 yards and orchestrated the 15-play, 70-yard drive that set up the game-winning 22-yard field goal from Marshall Meeder with 9:05 left in the game. Central Michigan trailed 27-20 early in the fourth quarter after giving up a 93-yard kick return touchdown before scoring the final 10 points of the game.
Eastern Michigan covered the +4.5-point spread with its 27-23 loss to Kent State, but if it weren’t for a sideline interference penalty, the Eagles might have won outright.
With Kent State facing a third-and-15 trailing 23-20, the Golden Flashes attempted a deep pass in the middle of the field that fell incomplete. But a sideline interference penalty on Eastern Michigan kept the drive alive and Kent State would score the go-ahead touchdown.
The Michigan MAC teams will look to continue their perfect mark against the spread on Wednesday as the league continues its weekday slate of games.
Eastern Michigan opened as +7.5-point underdogs to Ball State, but that number has risen to +8.5. Ball State fell to Miami 38-31 as the RedHawks scored a touchdown in the final seconds that was set by a late Ball State interception.
The Chippewas were initially listed at -6 in their matchup with Northern Illinois, but action on Central Michigan has seen that number rise to -7.5. Northern Illinois was trounced by Buffalo 49-40 in its debut.
The closest spread of the week in the MAC is between Western Michigan and Toledo. Western opened as 2-point favorites and the spread currently sits at -2.5.