It’s easy to get swept up in the Power 5 conferences every year about this time, but college football bettors shouldn’t forget about the Group of 5 where a couple of key MAC clashes are lurking in the shadows of midafternoon marquee matchups.
That’s especially true in this Saturday’s prime-time 03:30 PM EDT time slot when there are three big games pitting ranked teams against one another on collegiate gridirons and these two NCAAF picks are not among them.
Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Toledo Rockets
Saturday, October 15, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at Glass Bowl
Rockets: Best of the MAC and Top Scoring Team
Jason Candle and the Toledo Rockets don’t have enough time to make up the ground necessary to push their way into the conversation as the best Group of 5 team, but they can establish themselves as the best of the MAC against a pretty good Kent State Golden Flashes team.
Those fine folks at the top-rated sportsbooks believe the Rockets will do just that with most shops selling Toledo -9 line while the total for Saturday’s skirmish can be found in the 62-63 range.
Sean Lewis and the Golden Flashes took a big step forward last season by winning the MAC East, but things have been a little tougher this time around, and are coming off a tough 27-24 loss at Miami (OH) last week when Collin Schlee and the offense came up short with a rally.
Toledo’s best offense in last week’s 52-32 win at Northern Illinois was its defense, in particular, sophomore cornerback Quinyon Mitchell who came away with 4 interceptions and returned 2 of the picks for touchdowns.
Recent Dominance From Toledo
Kent State dominated the rivalry from the mid-50s to the mid-70s, but Toledo has owned in since the early-90s by winning 9 of the 10 matchups in the sporadically-played series during that span, including the last five on chalk lines.
The Rockets survived a late scare by the Golden Flashes when the teams last met three years ago, stopping a 2-point conversion to pull off an exciting 35-33 win that had just enough to skip past the total.
Rockets' Huge Task
One of the biggest jobs for Candle and his staff this week will be to keep their Rockets from looking forward to a Week 8 trip to Buffalo, current leaders in the East Division with an unblemished 3-0 MAC mark.
Kent State, however, has to be down after losing its last two games as the favorite, making for a college football pick on the Rockets in a 25-37 final.
Ohio Bobcats vs. Western Michigan Broncos
Saturday, October 15, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at Waldo Stadium
Ohio hits the MAC highway this weekend for a trip over to Kalamazoo to face Western Michigan, and this very well could be an elimination game as far as the conference title goes with the Bobcats and Broncos each looking to avoid their second league loss.
Can Bobcats Win 1st Road Tilt of ’22?
Ohio rebounded from a tough overtime loss at Kent State with a 55-34 win and cover over Akron this past week, using 21 unanswered points in a little more than four-minute during the third quarter to squelch any ideas the Zips had of a comeback.
Western Michigan really stunk up Waldo Stadium last week in a 45-23 loss to Eastern Michigan, a game that closed with the Broncos laying 4 on BMR’s live odds board and the Eagles taking control early with a 35-7 halftime lead.
Road Teams Have Won Last 4 Meetings
Thanks to being zoned in different MAC divisions, along with the interruption caused by COVID-19, this is the first meeting in nearly three years, and Western Michigan has won 4 of the last 5 to build a 34-29 lead over Ohio, plus the infamous 20-20 deadlock in 1961.
The Broncos pulled off a 37-34 decision on the road in 2019, doing so as small underdogs on the NCAAF odds, and the Bobcats’ last trip to Kalamazoo in 2018 was a lopsided 59-14 win, part of the road team winning the last 4 with 3 of the last 4 going past the totals.
Faith in Broncos
This one is basically a toss-up with Bookmaker among the several shops carrying Western Michigan as 1-point home chalk. Scoreboard bettors can find the total listed as 59.5-60.
A porous defense is a big reason behind Ohio’s 5-1 O/U record in the totals, but morning showers have me laying off that and putting my faith in the Broncos to hand the Bobcats their fourth consecutive road loss of the season.
NCAAF Pick: Western Michigan -1 (-110) at Bookmaker
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.