Mid-American Football Conference Odds - NCAA Betting Lines

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Mid-American Football Conference Odds

Mid-American Football Conference Odds

There are four teams in the MAC that figure to have the best shot of winning the conference in 2019-20 according to the current futures betting odds at online sportsbooks. Those teams are the Toledo Rockets (+300), Ohio Bobcats (+350), Northern Illinois Huskies (+450) and Western Michigan Broncos (+450). Northern Illinois went on to win the conference a season ago which bodes terribly for new head coach and former player Thomas Hammock considering no school has won successive league titles since 2011-12. Toledo and Western Michigan look to be the cream of the West Division crop, but don’t sleep on Ball State who returns the most experience in the division. As for the East, Frank Solich’s Ohio Bobcats look to far and away be the team to beat with Nathan Rourke back under center and the defense getting seven starters back from a stop unit that’s routinely one of the best the conference has to offer on a yearly basis.

Mid-American Championship Betting Odds

Toledo +300

Ohio +350

Northern Illinois +450

Western Michigan +450

Buffalo +900

Eastern Michigan +900

Miami Ohio +1000

Kent State +3300

Ball State +5000

Central Michigan +5000

Akron +10000

Bowling Green +10000

Though the Buffalo Bulls failed to win a second all-time MAC title last season, they were still the toast of the league. However, it’s going to be incredibly tough for Lance Leipold’s squad to match its 10 wins from a season ago let alone represent the East Division in the title game with so many integral parts to the team’s overall success having since departed. No longer is Tyree Jackson under center or wide receiver Anthony Johnson around to catch passes from the new quarterback. The heart and soul of the defense – Khalil Hodge – has since moved on as well. Buffalo won’t fall off the map so to speak, but they won’t challenge Ohio for division supremacy either.

Making that last statement even easier to swallow is the fact that Ohio gets the benefit of having the MAC’s top quarterback in Nathan Rourke navigate the offense while the new personnel gets familiarized with the system. His ability to hurt opposing defenses with his arm or legs will go a long way in getting the offense up to snuff while the defense makes up for the shortcomings early on. We’re talking about a team that smashed the Bulls 52-17 and closed the 2018-19 season winning six of seven games which included the 27-0 shutout of San Diego State in the Frisco Bowl.

It’s surprising to see Ohio rated out as the second best choice of the linemakers, but that speaks volumes for just how impressed they are with what Jason Candle’s Toledo Rockets bring to the table in 2019-20. The program has done nothing but succeed since he took over for Dan Campbell who bolted for Iowa State. Since then, the Rockets have gone 27-13 overall by way of marching out one of the conference’s best and most potent offensive attacks. This is a team that was a couple big plays away from beating out Northern Illinois for West Division bragging rights, and it gets the Huskies and Western Michigan in the comforts of the Glass Bowl this season.

Western Michigan took baby steps in the right direction a season ago in winning seven games even though it killed sports bettors’ bankrolls by managing just four pointspread covers in those matchups. Regardless of the fact that it closed the year getting its doors blown off by BYU in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, there’s plenty of optimism brewing in Kalamazoo. Tim Lester’s squad returns Jon Wassink at quarterback along with playmakers D’Wayne Eskridge and LeVante Bellamy. While the defense has a new shot caller in Lou Esposito who needs to find a way to help the Broncos cut down on the near 35.0 points it allowed per game, there is some talent returning on that side of the ball. A tough non-conference slate that includes running up against Michigan State and Syracuse should have it ready for the rigors of the MAC schedule that finds it being forced to play a number of tough games on the road; most notably at Toledo, Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois in division play.

Nobody foresaw Buffalo having the type of season it ultimately did a short season ago. With that, anything can happen when it comes to the MAC. If you’re looking for a sure thing however, it would be a wise investment to purchase futures in some way, shape or form to ultimately win the conference. The Bobcats have been nothing if not consistent under Solich evidenced by the team’s 106-75 record under his watch since taking over the program back in 2005. This is a team that’s won eight games each of the last four seasons, and that should be more than enough to at the very least get it back in the MAC title game.

Mid-American Football Format

The MAC has always been competitive and its teams don’t back away from playing Power 5 conference schools. Western Michigan brought the spotlight back on the league in 2017 with an undefeated season and MAC title game win to get the Group of Five berth to the New Year’s Six game. The Broncos hung tight with Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl, but it was the league’s second loss in four years in a major bowl game. The Buffalo Bulls took the nation by storm a season ago, mostly because of a 9-5 ATS record, but sputtered down the stretch and closed the year out with a disappointing 42-32 loss to Troy in the Dollar General Bowl.

The MAC is one of the most stable conferences in college football with all its current members in place since 1998 when Buffalo joined. The conference is divided into two six-team divisions, the East and West, based on geographic relationships. Each team plays its division rival and three cross-over games with the other division for a total of eight league contests.

With the help of ESPN the MAC brought major college football to weekdays. Otherwise known as “MACtion” it’s been a staple of the league’s schedule for several years and in the month of November, no MAC game will be played on a Saturday. That’s right, the day that belongs to college football during the fall doesn’t include the MAC. It’s safe to say that no team will have a competitive advantage down the home stretch of the season.

The division winners will square off in the MAC Championship Game, which has been played since 1997 when the league first split into a division format. The game was played at campus sites through 2003 then moved to Ford Field where it will be played this year on December 7. The winner is guaranteed a spot in one of the MAC’s bowl tie-ins, which include the Dollar General Bowl, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Bahamas Bowl and the Camellia Bowl.

List of Mid-American Champions

SEASON CHAMPIONS EAST WEST
2018 Northern Illinois Buffalo Northern Illinois
2017 Toledo Akron Toledo
2016 Western Michigan Ohio Western Michigan
2015 Bowling Green Bowling Green Northern Illinois
2014 Northern Illinois Bowling Green Northern Illinois
2013 Bowling Green Bowling Green Northern Illinois
2012 Northern Illinois Kent State Northern Illinois
2011 Northern Illinois Ohio Northern Illinois
2010 Miami (OH) Miami (OH) Northern Illinois
2009 Central Michigan Ohio Central Michigan
2008 Buffalo Buffalo Ball State
2007 Central Michigan Miami (OH) Central Michigan
2006 Central Michigan Ohio Central Michigan
2005 Akron Akron Northern Illinois
2004 Toledo Miami (OH) Toledo
2003 Miami (OH) Miami (OH) Bowling Green
2002 Marshall Marshall Toledo
2001 Toledo Marshall Toledo
2000 Marshall Marshall Western Michigan
Full List
1999 Marshall Marshall Western Michigan
1998 Marshall Marshall Toledo
1997 Marshall Marshall Toledo
1996 Ball State N/A N/A
1995 Toledo N/A N/A
1994 Central Michigan N/A N/A
1993 Ball State N/A N/A
1992 Bowling Green N/A N/A
1991 Bowling Green N/A N/A
1990 Central Michigan/Toledo N/A N/A
1989 Ball State N/A N/A
1988 Western Michigan N/A N/A
1987 Eastern Michigan N/A N/A
1986 Miami (OH) N/A N/A
1985 Bowling Green N/A N/A
1984 Toledo N/A N/A
1983 Northern Illinois N/A N/A
1982 Bowling Green N/A N/A
1981 Toledo N/A N/A
1980 Central Michigan N/A N/A
1979 Central Michigan N/A N/A
1978 Ball State N/A N/A
1977 Miami (OH) N/A N/A
1976 Ball State N/A N/A
1975 Miami (OH) N/A N/A
1974 Miami (OH) N/A N/A
1973 Miami (OH) N/A N/A
1972 Kent State N/A N/A
1971 Toledo N/A N/A
1970 Toledo N/A N/A
1969 Toledo N/A N/A
1968 Ohio N/A N/A
1967 Ohio/Toledo N/A N/A
1966 Miami (OH)/Western Michigan N/A N/A
1965 Bowling Green/Miami (OH) N/A N/A
1964 Bowling Green N/A N/A
1963 Ohio N/A N/A
1962 Bowling Green N/A N/A

It’s a good thing for the remaining teams in the league that Marshall left the conference because that gave others a chance at winning the East Division and the MAC title. The Herd rejoined the conference in 1997 and rattled off a record four straight championships. They tacked on their fifth and final MAC championship in 2002, giving them five in a six-year span. They left the conference in 2005.

The MAC has held its championship game since 1997, making it one of the longest running games of its kind in college football. And the success has been spread around. Every current team has appeared in the game, except Eastern Michigan, though they did win a league championship before the title game was added. Marshall appeared in a record six straight title games before Northern Illinois tied the mark in a run that ended last year.

Most Mid-American Conference Championships

WINS TEAM LAST WON
11 Toledo 2017
9 Bowling Green 2015
9 Miami (OH) 2010
7 Central Michigan 2009
5 Ball State 1996
5 Marshall * 2002
5 Northern Illinois 2018
3 Ohio 1968
3 Western Michigan 2016
1 Akron 2005
1 Buffalo 2008
1 Eastern Michigan 1987
1 Kent State 1972

There really hasn’t been a dominant team in the MAC, except for maybe Marshall, which rattled off all five of its league titles in a six-year run before leaving the conference in 2005 after a nine-year stay. Northern Illinois won six straight West Division titles from 2010 to 2015 but won only half of their conference championship games before claiming another last year in a hard fought 30-29 win over Buffalo.

Akron, Eastern Michigan and Kent State have each won one conference title and combined to play in three MAC title games. The Zips won their only appearance in the championship while the drought continues for Kent State. The Golden Flashes made it to the 2012 championship game, but lost to NIU and haven’t won the league’s title since 1972.

The one thing about the MAC is that it is ultra-competitive and you never know who the next Western Michigan or Buffalo is going to be. Could it be Ball State in 2019-20? That explains plenty about why we’ve seen a bunch of different winners and very few dynasties through the years.

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