The beloved midweek MACtion is no more. Still, the league carries on, albeit on the more traditional college football weekends.
All three Michigan MAC teams play this weekend, with the Central Michigan Chippewas (2-1) visiting the Eastern Michigan Eagles (0-3) on Friday, and the Western Michigan Broncos (3-0) hosting the Northern Illinois Huskies (0-3) for a Saturday showdown.
Central opened at -4, but sports bettors have moved the line to -7 in the Chippewas’ favor. Similar line movement has come in on Western Michigan, with the Broncos moving from the initial -18 to current 20-point favorites.
Central, Eastern total moving up
The biggest jump in line movement from the Michigan MAC teams has been on the Central and Eastern total. The total points opened at 52.5 but has moved a full touchdown and extra point up to 59 and even 59.5 at some sportsbooks.
The steam on the over can be attributed to both offenses having displayed moments of explosiveness. Central is fifth in the MAC in scoring offense, averaging 38 points per game, while Eastern is seventh at 27 points per contest.
Central is also coming off a 44-point output which wasn’t enough in a 52-44 loss to rival Western Michigan. Central jumped out to a 14-0 lead before Western scored 38 unanswered points en route to securing the victory.
The Central offense has the potential to go off again against a weak Eastern Michigan defense. The Eagles allow 36.7 points per game, ranking 107 out of 127 teams in the country in scoring defense.
As a whole the MAC has a few bad defenses. Akron is last in the nation in scoring defense (50.3), while Bowling Green is 125th (47.3) and Northern Illinois ranks 123rd (40.0).
After two losses where Eastern blew fourth-quarter leads against Kent State and Ball State, the Eagles were blown out in a 45-28 loss to Kent State. The defeat to the Golden Flashes was the first time Eastern failed to cover a spread this season.
Western could light up Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois’ bad defense may be in for a rough outing against a Western Michigan offense that’s averaging the second-most points per game in the country (50.3). The Broncos may be able to cover the over on the total points of 64.5 by themselves considering how efficient they’ve been on offense and how bad the Huskies are on the defensive side.
In the win over Central, Western posted 628 yards of offense. The Broncos averaged 19.1 yards per pass for 382 yards passing and gained 246 yards rushing on 55 carries (4.5).
In addition to being efficient, the Broncos displayed their explosiveness. The team scored on four plays of 30 yards of more including passing plays of 33, 72, 85 and 43 yards.
Northern Illinois is also vulnerable on the ground. The Huskies surrender 5.2 yards per carry, ranking 103 of 127 teams in that category.