College Football Betting – 2018 MAC Championship Odds and Betting Preview
It’s been a great year for the Buffalo Bulls, good enough that they’re going back to the Mid-American Conference championship game for the first time since 2008. They got a potentially explosive offense and a very capable defense, and they pose a real challenge to the Northern Illinois Huskies, who have been rather one-dimensional on offense. This title game will take place on Friday night at 7 PM ET at Ford Field in Detroit, and remember that if you are a VietBet customer, you can place wagers even after the game kicks off, as you access what is available through Live Betting Ultra.
2018 MAC Championship Odds – Buffalo vs Northern Illinois:
In the college football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, Buffalo is laying points:
Buffalo Bulls -3 (-120)
Northern Illinois Huskies +3 (+100)
Over 49.5 points -110
Under 49.5 points -110
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2018 MAC Championship Odds – CJ’s Take on Buffalo vs Northern Illinois:
Buffalo (10-2 SU, 9-3 ATS) scored a little more than 35 points a game this season, and they have a very potent air combo, with a quarterback (Tyree Jackson) and a wide receiver (Anthony Johnson) who both may find themselves in the National Football League someday. Johnson averaged over 18 yards per reception, and he is complemented by fellow wideout KJ Osborn (769 yards).
Northern Illinois (7-5 SU, 6-6 ATS) got where it is on the basis of defense. They had to, because their offense is just not being imaginative enough. Quarterback Marcus Childers had only 1540 yards through the air and ten touchdowns. He also made some critical mistakes, including a pick-six he tossed against Miami of Ohio a couple weeks ago to lose that game. He just isn’t that sophisticated a passer.
One thing you can say about NIU is that this is a team that is battle-tested. Outside of the conference, they have faced Iowa, Utah and Florida State, and even though they lost to all three of them, they did manage a victory at BYU, where they held the Cougars very much in check (winning 7-6).
But they scored only 19.9 points per game, and that represents something that probably poses a challenge for them in this championship contest. Overall, Northern Illinois is 13th in the nation in rushing defense, but they are 124th in total offense. So if they can’t keep Buffalo very much under control, you have to wonder where the points are coming from for them to be able to trade.
A very powerful force they have on their site is Sutton Smith, sort of a hybrid defensive end-linebacker who is all over the field and also makes plays on special teams. He is the reigning MAC defensive player of the year, and will certainly be making plays in the NFL.
Another defensive end, Josh Corcoran, got caught for targeting against Western Michigan last week, and so he has to sit out the first half of this game. And for Rod Carey’s team, which as we mentioned relies on defense, this is critical. What Northern Illinois has to do is get a lot of pressure on Jackson, and they are definitely capable of it, as they have 46 sacks on the season. But Buffalo could be a match for them, as they have allowed their quarterback to be sacked only eight times. Talk about a real “irresistible force against immovable object” battle.
Buffalo is in the top 25 in the nation in passing efficiency defense, so they will definitely make Northern Illinois a one-dimensional offense. And they possess enough defensive strength to carry this number.
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By Charles Jay