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  • The Buffalo Bulls are shown here.
  • It’s finally here. We’ve waited 11 weeks to watch college football on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, but we no longer have to.
  • MACtion is back, and the MACtion Network is here to help you bet on every weekday game along the way.

That has to be the most beautiful 21-word sentence ever written in English. After all, what could be better than watching the likes of Ball State, Kent State, Buffalo, and Ohio play this incredible sport on a Tuesday night?

Nothing. Because Tuesdays are officially football days.

Collin Wilson and Keg, two of our writers, broke down each game and provided a wager for each. If that isn’t enough, our very own Stuckey has written over 7,500 words on the MAC in general, along with betting recommendations for the coming weeks.

So, keep reading for our full Tuesday analysis, and check back tomorrow for even more MACtion coverage.

Let’s have a Tuesday (man, that feels good to say)!

Tuesday MACtion College Football Best Bets

The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college football staff is looking for from today’s slate of games. To navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article, click the team logos for one of the matchups listed below.

Ball State vs. Kent State

MACtion returns on Tuesday night when the Ball State Cardinals take on the Kent State Golden Flashes. The Cardinals are looking to get back on track after losing their last game at home to Eastern Michigan.

Meanwhile, Kent State is looking to start a winning streak after defeating Akron 33-27 last time out and keeping its rivalry Wagon Wheel in Kent for the fourth consecutive season.

The Flashes are 3-5 on the season, with all three wins coming at home, while they have yet to win a game on the road.

Can they keep their perfect home record and start MACtion with a win?

Cardinals from Ball State

Junior quarterback John Paddock leads the Cardinals offense, and while he isn’t the most accurate, Ball State hasn’t shown any signs of limiting his passing.

Paddock leads all MAC quarterbacks with 325 attempts, 1004 yards, and 14 touchdowns. However, he is only completing 61.8% of his passes and has thrown nine interceptions.

Ball State ranks 40th in pass play rate and averages 248 passing yards per game. It should take advantage of a Kent State pass defense that ranks second worst in the MAC, allowing 287.9 passing yards per game.

On defense, the Cardinals will have to stop the conference’s top rushing offense. Kent State ranks 12th in the nation in rush rate, averaging 4.8 yards per rush and 209.6 yards per game on the ground.

So far this season, Ball State has struggled to halt the run. The Cardinals rank second-worst in the MAC, allowing an average of 185.4 rush yards per game. Apart from their struggles against the run, they haven’t been particularly strong on defense.

Ball State ranks 72nd in Defensive Success Rate and 114th in Rush Play Explosiveness.

Kent State Golden Flashes

The Golden Flashes run the ball more than almost any other team in the country, opting for the rush on 62% of their plays. This is a big reason why I’m not concerned about their quarterback situation this week.

Collin Schlee missed the last game against Akron due to a lower-body injury and is questionable for this week’s game against Ball State. True freshman backup Devin Kargman led the Golden Flashes to a win over Akron by completing 14-of-25 pass attempts.

Kent State doesn’t throw the ball often, but regardless of who starts, the Golden Flashes could have success when they do. The Cardinals are ranked 79th in pass play success rate.

On the defensive side, the Golden Flashes have been plagued by injuries all season. They’ll be hoping to get some players back after the extra rest that comes with the MAC schedule switching to weekdays.

Even so, I’m not confident in their ability to stop the Cardinals.

Only Ohio is worse than the Golden Flashes in pass defense. Kent State allows opponents to complete 69.4% of their passes and gain 287 yards per game. Both are higher than what Ball State is averaging this season.

Kent State has done well in stopping opponents in the red zone, allowing teams to score on 81.3% of their trips. On the offensive side, Ball State ranks third in the conference, trailing only Ohio and Toledo.

The Flashes held Ohio to just 24 points, but Toledo recently racked up a season-high 52 points on Kent State.

Kent State vs. Akron (Photo by Graham Stokes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) )

Betting Prediction: Ball State vs. Kent State

The Golden Flashes are the better team, but given that they have yet to cover the spread in MAC play this season, I’m not in a hurry to back them here — especially after they moved from a 4.5-point favorite to a 6.5-point favorite.

Instead, I’ll back these two to go over the total of 62.

Both defenses are up against teams that can exploit their biggest weakness, with Kent State struggling to stop the passing attack and Ball State having no success stopping the run.

Both teams struggle with Finishing Drives on offense, but their opposing defensive units have been even worse.

The offenses have also been among the fastest in the country; Ball State ranks eighth in seconds per play, while Kent State ranks 13th.

I’d be willing to take the over as high as 63.

Buffalo vs. Ohio

Glorious MACtion returns to our Tuesday nights with a prime-time clash between two East Division contenders.

Buffalo is undefeated in conference play and has been an absolute freight train at the window, covering in every FBS game on the schedule.

Last season, head coach Maurice Linguist took over after the spring game after Lance Leipold left for Kansas.

With so much roster turnover and Linguist having spent his entire coaching career as a backup, regression was to be expected.

After dropping the first three games of the season, including a game against Holy Cross, the Bulls have been on fire, winning five straight. A tiebreaker victory over Bowling Green and a victory over Ohio all but guarantee the Bulls’ trip to the MAC Championship.

Following Frank Solich’s retirement, Ohio is undergoing its own renaissance. The Bobcats, like Buffalo, missed a bowl game in 2021 after Tim Albin was named head coach in the summer with little notice.

Ohio now has a 5-3 record, the same as Buffalo, with the only conference loss coming to Kent State. A win here puts the Bobcats in command of a MAC Championship berth, with only Bowling Green standing in their way.

Buffalo Bulls

The Bulls may be the most opportunistic team in the Mid-American Conference.

Buffalo has had a string of good fortune in games against teams with a chance to win the conference. The Bulls dominated Bowling Green, winning yards-per-play and money-down, but a slew of turnovers aided the rout.

The same sequence of events occurred in a Week 8 win over Toledo. The Bulls, who trailed 27-10 entering the fourth quarter, forced six turnovers and scored 24 unanswered points to maintain their lead in the MAC East.

Quarterback Cole Snyder has led a balanced attack on the ground and through the air this season, tallying 12 passing touchdowns. Although Snyder has only thrown five interceptions, the Rutgers transfer has more turnover-worthy plays than big-time throws in every FBS game this season.

Although wide receiver Quian Williams leads the team in targets, the explosiveness of slot receiver Jamari Gassett has been critical for the Bulls.

There is plenty of depth at running back, with both Mike Washington and Ron Cook Jr. receiving over 100 attempts this season.

The defense’s strength is in dealing with the rush and wreaking havoc. The Bulls are ranked in the top 30 in Stuff Rate and Success Rate against opponents on the ground.

The Havoc numbers are propelled by nine forced fumbles and a top-20 ranking in passes defensed. Safety Jahmin Muse has been the team’s biggest chaos maker, leading the MAC in forced fumbles and leading Buffalo in coverage grading.

The Bulls are also one of the best teams in the MAC at catching opposing offenses off guard.

Joshua Bessex/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images Justin Marshall and Jamari Gassett of Buffalo are pictured.

Ohio Bobcats

Although the Bobcats have a 46% rush rate this season, this is a balanced attack that prefers to establish the run.

Running back Sieh Bangura was limited in the win over Northern Illinois, as Albin called the leading rusher day-to-day.

On 61 rushing attempts this season, backup Nolan McCormick has been underwhelming, averaging just 2.6 yards after contact and causing only eight missed tackles.

While Ohio prefers to run the ball, quarterback Kurtis Rourke’s arm has been the team’s primary source of success.

Kurtis Rourke LAUNCHES and connects with Sam Wiglusz for a 71-yard game-winning touchdown.

Albin stated clearly during his press conference for the Buffalo game that Rourke must give Ohio State transfer wide receiver Sam Wiglusz more targets. The junior ranks second in the MAC in yards per route run with 2.7, making him the most dangerous slot target in the conference.

Ohio has amassed plenty of yards and points heading into this game, but its defensive struggles have been widely publicized.

The ineptitude of Western Michigan and Northern Illinois has made Ohio’s defense appear adequate, but allowing 34 points to Akron reveals more in the analytics. With the 108th-ranked strength of schedule, the Bobcats rank near the bottom in tackling and coverage.

With a bottom-15 rank in Success Rate and defending explosiveness, defending passing downs has been a nightmare.

Ohio has had two weeks of low-scoring games, but Buffalo presents a more difficult offensive challenge than its October schedule.

Buffalo vs. Ohio Prediction

Bangura’s health must be monitored for Ohio, as the running back and Rourke look to keep the chains moving with a mix of inside and outside zone reads.

With the running back’s health in doubt, and Albin’s request that Wiglusz be given more targets, Ohio is expected to throw the ball a lot.

When Buffalo chooses to run man coverage, this effort will lead to the Rourke-Wiglusz connection to Bulls slot cornerback Keyshawn Cobb. Ohio ranks in the top ten nationally in first downs through the air, which could increase given the Bulls’ struggles with man coverage.

Snyder has escaped pressured pockets for Buffalo all season, totaling 137 scramble yards. Another 90 yards from designed runs have helped him score four rushing touchdowns, but Snyder has struggled to keep the ball.

On defense, the Bobcats rank 20th in Stuff Rate. Ohio ranks in the middle of the FBS in terms of havoc generation, but a higher mark in tackles for loss suggests that Buffalo may struggle on early downs.

The Action Network projection has the home team as a one-point favorite, but the methodology of the Bobcats offense suggests the total is in play.

If Bangura is unable to play, Ohio will be left with no other option in the backfield to run quality zone-read attempts with Rourke. If Wiglusz’s targets come on standard downs, Buffalo will struggle to keep points off the board, ranking 130th in FBS in defending standard downs explosiveness.

When Snyder scrambles, Buffalo may have success on long downs and distances. Ohio has one of the worst pass defenses in the country, implying that Gassett will make big plays from the slot.

Furthermore, Ohio ranks near the bottom of all analytics when it comes to defending passing downs, implying that Snyder’s scrambles will result in easy first downs.

The biggest key number in totals is 59, and this total is expected to rise. Both offenses have options in the pass game, where the defenses have no track record.

Given the inability of both teams to tackle or defend the explosive play, we’ll start the first evening of MACtion with an over.


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