- Expect another race to the finish in the MAC division races
- Central Michigan Chippewas (+350 to win the MAC championship)
- Toledo Rockets (+350 to win the MAC championship)
- Miami (Ohio) RedHawks (+375 to win the MAC championship)
- Northern Illinois Huskies (+550 to win the MAC championship)
- Also in the running
Expect Another Race to the Finish in MAC Division
While there are some conferences at the Football Bowl Subdivision level where the championship game matchup could probably be finalized before the first game kicks off. This is certainly not the case in the MAC. A year ago, Kent State edged out Miami (Ohio) by a game to win the East Division title. Only a game separated Northern Illinois, Central Michigan, and Toledo in the West Division. What are the MAC Division odds? Let’s take a closer look.
Things could be even tighter in 2022 with eight teams having odds of +550 or better to win one of the two divisions. It is business as usual in a conference that has crowned three different champions over the last three years.
According to the MAC Division odds, Miami comes in with even odds to win the East Division followed by Kent State, Ohio, and Buffalo. In the West Division, Central Michigan (+200) leads Toledo (+225), Northern Illinois (+325), and Western Michigan (+550).
Six of the 12 teams have expected regular-season win totals that would make them bowl eligible in what should be another tightly bunched season when it comes to the MAC NCAAF standings. An average of 61.8 points have been scored in the last five MAC title games so there’s little reason to doubt another high-scoring affair in the 2022 championship showdown.
The opening day of the MAC season should be interesting with Ball State playing at Tennessee and Central Michigan hitting the road to face Oklahoma State on Sept. 1. The next day, Western Michigan makes the drive to face Michigan State with non-conference tests against Maryland, UCLA and Washington set to wrap up the first week of the season.
Here’s a look at the top contenders in the MAC
Central Michigan Chippewas (+350 to win the MAC championship)
The MAC Division odds for Central Michigan haven’t moved with the Chippewas over the last four weeks.
The Chippewas were second in the MAC in scoring defense a season ago. The offense will feature leading rusher Lew Nichols even if two of his top blockers were selected in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The odds are at -115 for Central Michigan to go over the expected win total of 7.5.
Toledo Rockets (+350 to win the MAC championship)
A key for Toledo would be some more success at home after going 3-3 in home games a season ago.
Maxen Hook (95 tackles), and Jamal Hines (88 tackles, 10 sacks) could form one of the best tandems of defensive players in the conference. Toledo’s expected win total is at eight with the odds at -115 for the Rockets to either do under or over that total.
Miami (Ohio) RedHawks (+375 to win the MAC championship)
Quarterback Brett Gabbert and linebacker Matthew Salopek are among the top returning players in the conference. Gabbert led the MAC in both passing yards per game and passing rating. Salopek was sixth in the conference with 112 tackles.
Miami was one of two MAC teams to go undefeated at home during the 2021 season. Still, that left the Redhawks a game short of reaching the conference title game. The odds have moved to -140 for Miami to top the expected win total of 6.5.
Northern Illinois Huskies (+550 to win the MAC championship)
The defensive struggles could be attributed to 18 of the top 24 tacklers being freshmen. CJ Brown (108 tackles) and his classmates should help Northern Illinois offer a little more resistance after the experiences from a season ago.
Northern Illinois is another contender in the always entertaining MAC expected to go over the expected victory total of 6.5 with the odds at -150 to top that mark.
Also in the running
Eastern Michigan has seen its odds move from +1200 to +1000 while Ohio has fallen back from +1400 to +2000.
Ball State and Buffalo remain steady with +2200 championship odds. Bowling Green has seen the odds move from +4000 to +3300. Although Akron is well back at +6600, the Zips were sitting at +10000 just four weeks ago.