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MAC Football Week 1 Betting Lines, Tips & Best Bets To Back

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com

Dan Kilbridge  | 19 mins

MAC Football Week 1 Betting Lines, Tips & Best Bets To Back

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It’s time for another glorious, four-month ride on the rollercoaster known as college football betting on the Mid-American Conference.

We love the MAC and will providing picks on it all season long for multiple reasons – points galore, midweek “MACtion,” legal betting in states throughout the conference, etc. – and after a drastically shortened 2020 season, we’re full go to kick things off in Week 1 as another college football betting season gets underway.

This should be an electric year in the conference with at least six teams in serious contention for a MAC title on the college futures market. Toledo is the betting favorite at online sportsbooks at +210, which shows how evenly-matched things look at the top. Ball State is +440 while Ohio and Buffalo are +550 at sports betting sites.

Western Michigan is fifth at +750 and opens its season at Michigan. The Broncos are only a 17-point underdog as bookmakers expect a relatively close matchup in Ann Arbor. That’s just one of the games we have our eyes on this week with a strong nonconference slate in the MAC including Akron at Auburn, Central Michigan at Missouri and Kent State at Texas A&M.

Looking at the latest college football odds. most of these games look like blowouts and learning opportunities on paper. But these teams are extremely frisky – a MAC school has beaten a Big Ten school in 14 consecutive seasons, not counting 2020, which didn’t have nonconference play.

These are not David vs. Goliath wins and opponents should know they can’t let their guard down when MAC teams comes to town – so should fans using sports betting apps.

We’ll see which teams are up for a little early-season chaos as we get our first glimpse of the conference across the country in Week 1.

Week 1 MAC Matchups and Point Spreads

Game SpreadTotal
Western Illinois at Ball State Ball State -32.5 59
Wagner at Buffalo Buffalo -43.5 56.5
Bowling Green at Tennessee Tennessee -35 61
St. Francis (PA) at Eastern Michigan Eastern Michigan -31.5 53.5
Western Michigan at Michigan Michigan -17 67
Miami (Ohio) at No. 8 Cincinnati Cincinnati -23 50.5
Central Michigan at Missouri Missouri -14 60.5
Akron at Auburn Auburn -36.5 55
Syracuse at Ohio Syracuse -2 56
Norfolk State at ToledoN/AN/A
Northern Illinois at Georgia Tech Georgia Tech -18 57
Kent State at No. 6 Texas A&M Texas A&M -28.5 67

Odds via DraftKings and current as of publication. Check out our DraftKings sportsbook review.

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Week 1 MAC Best Bets

Tennessee -35 over Bowling Green

This is a tough opener for a Bowling Green program riding an eight-game losing streak. Unfortunately for the Falcons, they haven’t been competitive in any of those games. Four of those eight losses were by 40-plus points, while the closest was a 28-point loss at Akron in the 2020 season finale. And all eight were against MAC opponents.

Now Bowling Green heads to Knoxville, matching up with a Vols team looking to start the Josh Heupel era with a blowout win. It’s hard to see any way the Falcons keep this within five scores.

The Falcons only scored 57 points in five games last season, with nothing to suggest they’ll take a big leap in 2021. This is a good chance for the Tennessee defense to gain confidence in a new scheme.

Overall, the talent gap is just way too wide here. Neyland Stadium is gonna be rocking and the Falcons aren’t good enough in any area to stay in this one after the first quarter. Take the Vols at FOXBet.

Western Michigan-Michigan Under 67

The total for this one has dipped to 66.5 at a few shops, but you can still get Under 67 at others. We think it’s a wise move. Western Michigan isn’t totally overmatched here and the Wolverines will be in for a four-quarter fight if they don’t come ready to play.

The Broncos should have an outstanding offense again, but they lose their top receiver and starting left tackle from 2020. They should be improved on defense and do a great job getting after the quarterback.

Speaking of quarterbacks, Michigan has a new one in Cade McNamara and plenty of questions on offense after a rough season in Ann Arbor. But defensively, the Wolverines should be much improved with plenty of talent and a fresh set of eyes as former Ravens linebackers coach Mike Macdonald steps in as new defensive coordinator.

We’re still expecting an exciting game with plenty of action, but we like the total to stay Under 66.5 at BetMGM .

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Kent State-Texas A&M Over 67

This one should create a ton of fireworks in College Station. Kent State led the nation in total offense last season at 606.5 yards per game. Granted, KSU only played four games, but quarterback Dustin Crum returns and figures to be the MAC Offensive Player of the Year after passing for 1,181 yards with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions in the shortened 2020 season.

Defensively, Kent State has been inept for a while and the Aggies will likely score at will early.

Texas A&M should have one of the best defenses in the nation, but we expect the Aggies to play some backups throughout the second half and give the Golden Flashes a chance to hit on a few big plays. They move at a very high tempo and present a challenging look for the first week of the season.

We’re expecting some big numbers here and like Over 67 points. Bet it at Caesars .

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About the Author

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com
Dan Kilbridge
Handicapper Dan Kilbridge writes about college football, MLB and other sports for Bookies.com after spending three years covering Tiger Woods’ comeback and the PGA for Golfweek.