Midweek MACtion continues as our early week college football predictions are here with some top picks to start your Week 11 slate. MACtion was good to us last week, and we can also look to cash in on early line value for the weekend slate to boot.
Week 11 College Football Picks and Predictions
Eastern Michigan vs. Akron | 54.5 Points
Getting their first taste of midweek MACtion, both Eastern Michigan and Akron are back to treat fans after serving their bye week last week. Akron enters on an absolutely abysmal run, dropping each of their eight games against FBS competition by a combined score of 310 to 137.
However, they’ve played each of their MAC opponents much closer, including single-score games against Bowling Green, Central Michigan, and Kent State.
In their final home game of the season, Akron will need to rely on the athletic ability of DJ Irons in order to salvage anything remotely successful in Joe Moorhead’s first year. Irons currently leads the Zips in rushing as well as every passing category.
EMU, on the other hand, has come back down to Earth after upsetting Arizona State on the road back in Week 3. They’ve split their games since but still possess as the better team here.
Quarterback Taylor Powell has shown the ability to stand tall and dissect defenses when given the time to do so. With no pressure-getter likely to get home from Akron, look for Powell to have another dominant outing.
The under on DraftKings Sportsbook is the best play.
Prediction: Eastern Michigan 27, Akron 17
Ohio (-2) vs. Miami (OH)
Just how good is this Ohio team actually going to get in 2022? Kurtis Rourke flipped and flossed through the Buffalo defense last week en route to a five-touchdown performance.
The RedHawks’ defense has been a sound unit this season, averaging just 18 points allowed per game in MAC play. However, the Ohio defense is just another animal.
Rourke has thrown 21 touchdown passes and is among the national leaders in yards per pass attempt. He isn’t quite like his brother on the ground, but with Sam Wiglusz, Miles Cross, James Bostic, and Jacoby Jones each averaging 11 yards per catch or more, this is as talented of a passing attack as the MAC has to offer in 2022.
The Bobcats can certainly fly high and control their destiny the rest of the way home.
Prediction: Ohio 29, Miami (OH) 21
Ball State vs. Toledo (-12) | 52.5 Points
One of the best offenses since MAC play has begun, Toledo’s recent tear is certainly thanks to Dequan Finn getting back on track. The Rockets have turned the corner on offense, but they’ve lost a step on the defensive side of the ball since October, allowing 30 or more points in three consecutive games prior to their Week 9 win over EMU.
Ball State’s offense isn’t quite as potent as you’d expect to strike fear into the Rockets, but they haven’t allowed more than 21 points in a game since Oct. 1. Ball State’s linebacker corps, led by Cole Pearce, have combined to allow just 77 points over their past four games, finishing with a 3-1 record.
While Toledo’s offense — led by Finn’s 26 total touchdowns — should certainly do enough to win the game, Ball State’s defensive front seven should be able to contain Finn’s overall impact.
Prediction: Toledo 27, Ball State 17
Northern Illinois (Pick) vs. Western Michigan
Both Harrison Waylee and Antario Brown are averaging over 5.5 yards per carry and have scored 11 combined touchdowns on the ground. Western Michigan has allowed 14 scores on the ground this year and are a bottom-half team in terms of overall rush-defense efficiency.
Northern Illinois largely outplayed Central Michigan last week but was outdone by costly turnovers and fourth-down decisions. If they’ve learned from their mistakes, they can run away with this one against the Broncos, literally.
Prediction: Northern Illinois 27, Western Michigan 16
Buffalo vs. Central Michigan (Pick)
The Buffalo pass defense was picked apart by Ohio last week. On the road again, the Bulls will once again be tested by Central Michigan’s Carlos Carriere, Jalen McGaughy, and Joel Wilson.
Carriere has been kept in check over the past three games, so a breakout performance is due for the 6’5″, 203-pound Maryland transfer. In Carriere’s quiet streak, Wilson has hauled in touchdowns in the past two outings and has scored six touchdowns on 44 receptions for 445 yards this year.
That’s a large portion of the field to have to cover to blanket Carriere and McGaughy on the outside while Wilson eats up the middle. Buffalo doesn’t have the horses to hang with CMU’s aerial assault if they can’t get their run game going.
This one has the makings of a barnburner.
Prediction: Central Michigan 34, Buffalo 31
Kent State vs. Bowling Green (54.5 Points)
Kent State’s offense looked a bit shell-shocked last week with Collin Schlee reinserted into the lineup. However, they need to rattle off three straight victories in order to reach bowl eligibility and the ultra-efficient Bowling Green defense is in their crosshairs.
The Falcons have allowed just 40 points in their past three games, rounding into form at the right time. They’ve rattled off three straight victories and know how to stop the pass.
Chris Bacon has been a revelation at safety while DJ Taylor, JB Brown, and Darren Anders may be the best linebacking trio in the MAC. The Golden Flashes will have to be on top of their game and can’t come out shaky like they did last week. Otherwise, it’ll be a long evening for Schlee and Co. on offense.
Prediction: Bowling Green 21, Kent State 17
Bonus Non-MACtion Lines
Florida State (-6) vs. Syracuse
A tale of two polar opposite teams in terms of momentum, Florida State rides high into the Carrier Dome against a reeling Syracuse Orange team. The Orange have dropped three straight while FSU has dominated their past two opponents, including a 42-point victory over Miami in Week 10.
The Noles were a mere handful of plays away from being 8-1, with close-fought losses to NC State and Wake Forest dotting their tough October schedule. Still, Mike Norvell has the Seminoles trending in the right direction, and Jordan Travis is throwing the ball better than he ever has.
What separates this FSU team from Syracuse, however, is their offensive line. FSU has started to dominate the line of scrimmage, something that had been lacking in Tallahassee for some time. Travis has ample time to dissect defenses while his own defense has also stepped up their game.
Florida State’s All-American safety Jammie Robinson has speed and instincts to keep Sean Tucker in check out of the backfield, and no matter the quarterback at Syracuse, neither has the scrambling ability to outpace this FSU defense, even if they were healthy.
Prediction: Florida State 38, Syracuse 17
LSU (-2) vs. Arkansas
This line seems way too good to be true after LSU just defeated Alabama in overtime. Even if the Tigers didn’t come away victorious against the Crimson Tide with their two-point conversion attempt, LSU pushed Bama to the brink, while Arkansas lost more convincingly than the final score indicates against Liberty.
Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson has needed to use his legs a lot more down the stretch of the season than hoped, and LSU has the ability to bottle him up. Harold Perkins Jr. just recently spied Bryce Young with great success for LSU, so tasking him with Jefferson should be a walk in the park.
LSU is ready to make history as the first ever two-loss team to make the College Football Playoff. Arkansas will look just like a road apple with the way they’re playing right now.
Prediction: LSU 41, Arkansas 33
Liberty (-15) vs. UConn
Buying into the UConn rise to hope last week did up wonders as we cleaned up with the UConn moneyline and total points hitting the under against UMass. However, as good as it was to see UConn consistently back in the winning ways, this Liberty team is on another planet.
Liberty is a failed two-point conversion attempt in overtime against Wake Forest from an undefeated record at this point of the season. And making matters even worse for UConn, the Flames’ defense is playing their best football to date in the last two weeks.
The only caveat here is the fact that Liberty has only defeated two opponents by more than 15 points this season — BYU and UMass. However, the Flames are on the verge of getting into the College Football Playoff rankings and, ultimately, into the consideration of a New Year’s Six bowl if things fall their way.
Style points will matter. Hugh Freeze can run this score up quick.
Prediction: Liberty 44, UConn 20
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