The Toledo Rockets are the favorite in the MAC West as this division includes three of the conference’s top four teams. The MAC West has won five out of the last six and eight out of the last ten championship games as No. Illinois has posted five of those wins.
Toledo (+190) is the favorite to win the west with Central Michigan (+300) and then the Huskies are third (+350). The Rockets were able to score from anywhere on the field last season and oddsmakers now project them with the top MAC betting odds at (+300) and also the MAC Championship Game Contender (+360) to win the league outright.
At the best College Football betting sites, sportsbooks give Miami (Ohio) the favorite’s role in the MAC East (+110) over Kent State (+350). Like Toledo, the Redhawks have a powerful offense that can score from anywhere on the field. Miami is at (+450) with MAC conference odds to make it to the MAC championship game.
MAC Odds to Win Conference Championship:
Here’s the full update on kick times, TV assignments that were announced today. #GoRockets https://t.co/y5wK9bcJOC
— Toledo Football (@ToledoFB) May 26, 2022
Finn Leads Toledo Pass Offense as Rockets Ready For Potential Championship
Quarterback Dequan Finn leads Toledo’s MAC odds of (+360) thanks to a solid pass offense where he threw 18 touchdown passes and only two interceptions in his 250 attempts in 2021. Devin Maddox and Isaiah Winstead are a solid one-two punch at wide receiver as Maddox led with 41 receptions and 567 receiving yards while Winstead had 520 yards on 38 receptions.
Finn returns as the top rusher where he had 501 yards and nine touchdowns while leading rusher Bryant Koback gained 1,400 yards and 15 rushing TDs and is now the property of the Minnesota Vikings. Jacques Stuart and Micah Kelly will be joined by Maryland’s Penny Boone as coach Jason Candle will try to find a running back who gives the Rockets a solid rusher. Defensively, the Rockets have a pair of solid playmakers in linebacker Jonathan Jones and safety Maxen Hook. Linebacker Jonathan Hines led Toledo with 10 sacks and is a playmaker at the position.
They follow a stellar defensive end in leading tackler Desjuan Johnson, who posted 70 stops with 4.5 sacks last season. The Rockets only allowed 21.8 points per game and led the league, so the return of key defenders makes them much more of a favorite. Toledo has an OVER/UNDER on wins at 8.0 as both are set with (-110) odds.
Huskies Looking to Continue MAC Dominance Again This Season
Northern Illinois (+500) welcomes back a solid quarterback in Rocky Lombardi, who is not known for his passing numbers, but he runs the Huskies’ rush offense to perfection. Jay Drucker was the running back who led NIU and was third in the MAC with 98.7 yards per game, but he transferred to Memphis. Harrison Waylee and Antonio Brown will get the call to solidly themselves as the Huskies’ top rusher.
On defense, NIU gave up 33.7 points and 452.7 total yards per game, so the key is to cut back on giving up 8.2 yards per pass play and 214.4 rushing yards per game. Northern Illinois’ leading tackler was a freshman in safety CJ Brown. He posted 107 stops and had double figures in total tackles in three of the last four games. Linebackers Lance Deveaux, Jr., and Nick Rattin are a pair of playmakers who were the second and third leading tacklers.
Their athleticism will be a key to playing with a defensive line that will have solid depth. Northern Illinois (+350) had the third-best MAC betting odds to win the western division. The Huskies have been given 6.5 wins by the oddsmakers with the OVER at (-150) and the UNDER (+130).
Great to get some in-stadium work done to wrap up Week 2 of fall camp! #FireUpChips 🔥 ⬆️ 🏈 pic.twitter.com/HzJT1C5szD
— CMU Football (@CMU_Football) August 14, 2022
Chippewas Look to Solidify Title Berth with Depth on Offense
Central Michigan (+425) running back Lew Nichols, III, led the MAC in rushing as he totaled 137.6 yards per game and scored 17 TDs. In his last eight games, he has over 100 yards on eight occasions, over 190 yards on four those times, and over 200 yards in two games.
Nichols was the MAC Offensive Player of the Year by leading the nation with 1,888 rushing yards. QB Daniel Richardson is a solid signal caller who had 24 TD passes against only six interceptions. His experience will help push the Chippewas forward as they haven’t won a MAC championship game since 2009. A year ago, CMU led the league in stopping the run at 114.6 yards per game but allowed 248 yards passing (11th/MAC) per night.
The Chippewas have plenty of depth up front on defense and they have a leader in defensive back Alonzo McCoy, who picked off four passes and forced three fumbles. Sportsbooks have CMU’s MAC odds at a solid 7.5 wins with the OVER at (-120) and an UNDER sitting at (+100).
𝐖𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐞𝐝 😤#RiseUpRedHawks | 🎓🏆 pic.twitter.com/NDZg7CyH23
— Miami Football (@MiamiOHFootball) August 17, 2022
RedHawks Look For Gabbert’s Capabilities in MAC Championship Quest
Miami (Ohio) (+450) quarterback Brett Gabbert led the MAC last season as he connected through the air for an average of 264.8 yards per game. Indiana transfer Miles Marshall will join Mac Hippenhamer at wide receiver where Hippenhamer is the leading returnee with 786 yards on 48 catches.
The RedHawks are deep at running back where Keyon Mozee led with 556 yards on 122 carries last season. On defense, Miami lost linebacker Ivan Pace, Jr., to Cincinnati after he posted 125 tackles with four sacks in 2021. The Redhawks also lost four defensive linemen and defensive backs, so a defensive rebuild with linebacker Matthew Salopek, who was second in tackles with 112, is in the offing.
Miami sits at (+110) to win the eastern division, according to MAC betting odds. Miami is poised with 6.5 wins from the oddsmakers as the OVER is set at (-135) and the UNDER at (+115).
Broncos Still Could Be Tough Outs in Restructure
Western Michigan (+1000) lost its top three offensive threats in quarterback Kaleb Eleby, wide receiver Skyy Moore and running back Sean Tyler, so the likelihood of WMU striking for 473.5 yards and 33.7 points per game once again is not likely.
WMU’s most major offensive threat is running back La’Darius Jefferson, who was a nice change-up to Tyler as he rushed for 836 yards and ten touchdowns. The challenges in training camp for quarterbacks and wide receivers should be interesting heading into the opener at Michigan State. The Broncos’ top three tacklers are Zaire Barnes, Corvin Moment, and Ryan Selig. Barnes was the leading tackler as the three combined for ten quarterback sacks.
Western Michigan gave up only 330.9 yards per game as this is a leading unit although it somehow only posted four interceptions last season. The Broncos have been handed 6.5 wins by the sportsbooks with the OVER at (+125) and an UNDER sitting at (-145).
🚀🚀🚀#TheHUNT🐺 | #BeTheA1pha🦅 pic.twitter.com/9WS2EmNZ01
— Kent State Football (@KentStFootball) August 17, 2022
Kent State Scanning For Back-to-Back MAC Championship Game Appearances
The Golden Flashes’ (+1000) tie Western Michigan in MAC betting odds and they appeared in their first MAC Championship game since 2012, dropping a 41-23 decision to Northern Illinois. The loss of quarterback Dustin Crum will be a tough assignment as the backup, Collin Schlee, will step in and work to progressively handle the position.
The Flashes could be more of a running threat with Marquez Cooper and Xavier Williams as Cooper carried 241 times for 1,205 yards and 11 TDs. Williams averaged 6.5 yards per carry with 812 on the ground. Dante Cephus should be able to help Schlee rise and give him confidence as he posted 1,240 receiving yards and nine TDs for the MAC’s top offense.
This was also the bottom defense in the conference as it allowed 471.4 yards per game but took home a league-high 16 interceptions. The 36.3 points per game were 121st among the D-1 teams. Kent State has roadies at Washington, Oklahoma, and Georgia, and the oddsmakers have set them with 5.0 wins and an OVER at (-145) with the UNDER at (+125).
Offensive Consistency Will Be Major Key for Ohio
The Bobcats (+1200) had a tough time formulating an offense where consistency ended with a myriad of scores. They only scored 22.6 points per game (10th/MAC) and 371.4 yards (9th/MAC).
Ohio University has to find a passing attack behind Kurtis Rourke, who threw for only 132.3 yards and 11 touchdowns. Ohio needs players to step up right away at skill positions where Cameron Dollar is slated as the leader at wide receiver with O’Shaan Allison, last season’s fourth-leading rusher, as a key on offense. The Bobcats return their top three linebackers as Bryce Houston and Cannon Blauser were the top two tacklers.
The team only posted six interceptions as safety Tariq Drake had three of those. Ohio University has been given 5.5 wins by the sportsbooks with (-110) on both the OVER and the UNDER.
Eastern Michigan Looking To Figure in as a MAC Challenger
The Eagles weren’t ready for quarterback Ben Bryant to return to Cincinnati so now EMU has to develop quarterback play after Bryant averaged 254 yards passing per game. Troy transfer Taylor Powell completed 66.1 percent of his passes for the Trojans, but never found a rhythm or became much of a downfield threat.
Therein lies his transfer to Eastern Michigan where he could conceivably find his game inside of this offense. Running back Darius Boone had a team-high 120 carries with 451 yards, so he could be of the featured back variety. The Eagles were able to work the transfer portal and then convince defensive end Jose Ramirez to stay in Ypsilanti, Mi., where he led the defensive attack.
EMU had only seven interceptions, so the Eagles need to put together a pass rush and find a solid group of defensive backs to execute and play make. Eastern Michigan has been presented with 6.5 wins by the sportsbooks with the OVER at (+135) and the UNDER at (-160).
What would your super power be? 🦸♂️#UBhornsUP | #PoundTheRock pic.twitter.com/S89rkd5ISy
— UB Football (@UBFootball) August 16, 2022
Buffalo Looking to Fight Back after Subpar Season
Losing coach Lance Leopold to Kansas could have been the key issue that figured in Buffalo’s (+1800) struggles last season. The Bulls were able to hire a solid predecessor in Maurice Linguist, but the rebuild is in progress where changing the program’s culture is in the works.
Buffalo lost its top two offensive players to the transfer portal as quarterback Kyle Vantrease left for Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech brought in Bulls leading rusher Dylan McDuffie. Quarterback Matt Myers has some experience as he should be able to take over the role left by Vantrease. Kick returner Ron Cook looks like the starter in the backfield.
Linebacker James Patterson led UB with 116 tackles and should be the focal point of a defense that tallied 38 sacks, but only three interceptions. MAC odds are set with Buffalo hosting 5.5 wins as the OVER and UNDER both have (-110) odds.
Cardinals Get Early Pressure from QB Change, Easily Schedule
Ball State once again has low MAC odds (+2800) as the Cardinals have never been in a MAC title game. They need to survive almost immediately to make themselves a factor in the league. The Cardinals have a solid group of wide receivers and running backs.
But quarterback John Paddock will start his first game at Tennessee in the opening week. Ball State needs solid consistency out of Paddock with a running back in Carson Steele who had 891 yards and six TDs. Wide receivers Jayshon Jackson and Yo’Heinz Tyler are a pair of playmakers who are capable of production on offense.
Defensively, the Cards lost seven starters so the play and leadership of returning linebacker Jaylin Thomas will be important as he led with 112 tackles and four interceptions in 2021. Sportsbooks have stabilized the Cardinals with 5.5 wins as the OVER sits at (+130) with UNDER the 5.5 is (-150).
Falcons Try To Find Path After Lengthy Struggles
The Bowling Green Falcons (+4000) are looking for consistency in some part of their offense. They finished last in the MAC with only 317.2 total yards last season while the 21.4 points per game were 11th in the league.
QB Matt McDonald has to be able to hit a talented wide receiving corp for big plays. He threw only 12 touchdown passes last season although Terion Stewart was the key runner at 5.9 yards per carry. Defensively, linebacker Darren Anders was the leading tackler, but the Falcons need more across the boards from that position.
Bowling Green is spotted with 3.5 wins as the OVER (-150) could be tough with two of the first four games at UCLA and Mississippi State as Marshall will be paying a visit. The UNDER (+135) might be the way to hang out with the Falcons.
Zips Welcome New Head Coach in Trying to Alleviate Struggles
Former Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead takes over the program at Akron with MAC odds at (+10000) to win the conference and to appear in the championship game. The Zips have not had a winning season since 2015 and they have gone 3-27 in their last three campaigns.
Akron will play with more tempo under Moorhead, who showed his offensive acumen as the offensive coordinator at both Penn State and Oregon. Quarterback DJ Irons could benefit from the approach with his athleticism and ability after he completed 65 percent of his passes in his eight appearances in 2021. Defensively, the Zips need to employ a pass rush as they were last in the league with 14 sacks and also had only six interceptions.
Akron is posted with only 2.5 wins as OVER 2.5 sits at (+110) and the UNDER (-130) is probably the most likely. Akron sees road games at Michigan State, Tennessee, and Liberty in three consecutive weeks in September.
Rockets to Pass RedHawks in MAC Championship Game
Toledo, who has odds at (+360) to appear in the MAC Championship Game, hasn’t been there since defeating Akron in 2017. Miami employs the fourth-best odds (+450) for the title game while its last visit was a win over Central Michigan in 2019.
The duo should matchup in December with potentially the two top quarterbacks in the conference going at it in Dequann Finn of Toledo and Miami’s Brett Gabbert. Finn may be the best sleeper in the nation at the position as he threw 18 touchdown passes and ran for nine more scores in 2021. Gabbert threw 26 touchdown passes with eight interceptions behind an offensive line that returns four RedHawks.
Even without running back Bryant Koback, Finn, Micha Kelly and Jacques Stuart can fashion a running game that will balance Isaiah Winstead and Devin Maddox at wide receiver. Miami’s pass rush will have to be consistent vs. Finn as the RedHawks posted 37 sacks last season, 4th in the MAC, while Toledo gave up 36 QB drops, eight in the league.