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Western Michigan at Toledo and Northern Illinois at Bowling Green Tuesday Night MAC Football Picks

11/8/11

A couple of MAC games get us started once again this week on Tuesday night with Western Michigan visiting Toledo and Northern Illinois visiting Bowling Green. Both games crucial in the big picture as the MAC, both the East and the West are suddenly wide open with just about everyone still alive with the exception of Buffalo and Akron in the East.

Western Michigan at Toledo - Toledo opened up as a -12.5 favorite and early Western Michigan money has brought that line down to -11 and -11.5 in spots. Toledo has looked, at times, like the class of the MAC but they have shown themselves to be vulnerable over the course of the last few games, specifically on the defensive side of the ball. Giving up 63 to Northern Illinois in s 63-60 loss, 28 to a Miami Ohio team not known for offense, 21 to Bowling Green in a narrow win.

We'll keep this short and to the point. Western Michigan can score some points. You simply have to give them a strong look in a spot like this against a team that give up points the way Toledo does. As we like to say, the back door is always open in a game like this. Our score prediction model has Toledo winning a 42-28 game, which would call for a cover as well, but we're going to go the other way here and take the points. We agree with the early line move which looks to be the result of sharp action. Western Michigan +11.5

Northern Illinois at Bowling Green - Northern Illinois is a 6 point road favorite, down from an opening line of -8 as the early money here favors Bowling Green at home despite close to 70% of the early action being on the Northern Illinois side.

We can understand the early move but we'd also urge caution here. Bowling Green has dropped 4 of their last 5 games and their point production is way down. They have scored 10, 21, 21, 13 and 15 points their last 5 games. To their credit, they beat Temple. But they lost to Kent State and couldn't keep up with Western Michigan and West Virginia.

Northern Illinois on the other hand, has won 4 straight and 5 of the last 6 and although a couple of those were narrow wins where they also gave up buckets of points, they also beat a couple of common opponents here by wide margins, Kent State and Western Michigan, both of whom beat Bowling Green.

Logic would tell us that Northern Illinois is the better team, not to mention in current better form. Our model actually predicts a 38-38 shootout tie, but we are going to go against the model once again here. The line move down from 8 to 6 places the value on the Northern Illinois side at this point so we'll go ahead and lay the number here. Northern Illinois -6

 

 

 

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