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Tuesday MACtion Odds and Picks – Ball State vs Buffalo, Northern Illinois vs Western Michigan (Nov. 23)

Ryan Bolta

by Ryan Bolta in College Football

Updated Nov 22, 2021 · 10:27 AM PST

Ball State RB moving
Ball State running back Carson Steele (33) rushes the ball out of the backfield and toward the end zone to score during an NCAA football game on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in Muncie, Ind. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)
  • Ball State (5-6) hosts Buffalo (4-7) and Western Michigan (6-5) battles Northern Illinois (8-3) in the final Tuesday night of MACtion
  • Northern Illinois clinched their 8th division title in the last 12 years
  • Below are the odds and team breakdowns to wager on ahead of kickoff

The MAC is bringing the action on Tuesday night this week with a pair of must-watch games.

Buffalo and Ball State will battle it out on ESPN+ while Western Michigan and Northern Illinois do battle on ESPNU. Before both games kick off on Tuesday at 7:00 Eastern, let’s take a deep dive into the details to settle on the best value bets.

Buffalo vs Ball State Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Buffalo +5.5 (-110) +184 O 58.5 (-110)
Ball State -5.5 (-110) -230 U 58.5 (-110)

All odds as of Nov. 22nd at FanDuel

The Cardinals are 5.5 point favorites at home against the Bulls. They’re expected to be without top wide receiver Justin Hall who is out with an undisclosed injury. The reason they are still getting so much love from the oddsmakers is likely the emergence of freshman running back Carson Steele.

After a slow start to the season he now has 784 rushing yards, 109 receiving yards and seven combined touchdowns. Quarterback Drew Plitt is a capable game manager but the script will likely be to rely heavily on Steele’s athleticism as the game wears on.

Buffalo is also expected to rely on a talented running back. Dylan McDuffie has over 100 yards in four of the past five games and is now only 18 yards shy of the 1,000 yard mark for the season. He has 11 touchdowns for the Bulls who are currently sitting at 4-7 on the season. To try and rack up a late season win on the road, Buffalo will almost certainly hand the ball to McDuffie early and often.

With both teams expected to keep the ball on the ground for the majority of this game, the under becomes an appealing play. It’s expected to be a frigid game in DeKalb which could also help limit the offensive creativity. Take the under and if that makes for a boring viewing experience, watch more of the Western Michigan and Northern Illinois game.

  • The Pick: Under 58.5 (-110)

Western Michigan vs Northern Illinois Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Western Michigan -3.5 (-114) -188 O 62.5 (-110)
Northern Illinois +3.5 (-106) +152 U 62.5 (-110)

Northern Illinois is a 3.5 point underdog despite clinching their eighth division title in the last dozen years. Quarterback Rocky Lombardi is the feature player on offense with 2,314 passing yards, 390 rushing yards and 18 total touchdowns.

The Huskies bring a 8-3 record into this home game but it’s important to factor in how they’ve racked up those wins. Seven of the Eight wins have come in one score games. This is an elite team at finishing ball games that are close in the 4th quarter.

Western Michigan has a dual threat quarterback of their own in Kaleb Eleby. He’s sporting a 62.4 completion percentage with 2,777 passing yards. He’s racked up 21 total touchdowns this year and has the potential to go toe to toe with Lombardi. One other key to the Broncos offense is wide receiver Skyy Moore. He has 79 receptions for 1,050 yards and six touchdowns this year. His big play ability gives Western Michigan a reliable deep threat in big moments.

Both teams can be counted on to score points which makes the over an intriguing play. While that’s a good bet, the best value lays in Northern Illinois plus the points. They have excelled in one score games this year and are currently getting more than a field goal. The advice would be to bet this game now before the line shifts a costly half point.

  • The Pick: Northern Illinois +3.5 (-106)
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