The Mid-American Conference appears to be a wide-open race in 2020. Nine of the 12 teams have +1200 or better odds to capture the conference championship, four of which are knotted at +600.
Miami (OH) claimed the throne in 2019, becoming the fifth different team in the last five years to walk away as the Mid-American champ.
You may as well close your eyes and point your finger, and you may end up nailing a MAC football prediction.
MAC Winner – Odds for 2020
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Welcome to the most bunched-up conference in the Group of Five. The MAC odds portray a conference that is totally up in the air, although one team stands out.
After giving the edge to Buffalo, the leading college football sportsbooks couldn’t decide who to install second in line. So instead, the bookies just clumped four teams together. The next four teams are clustered as well, which includes 2018 Mid-American champion Northern Illinois.
Let’s look ahead to what’s in store.
2019 Record: 8-5 (Won the Bahamas Bowl)
Best Player: Jaret Patterson, RB
The Bulls could get off to a rocky start with road games at Kansas State and Ohio State early on, but don’t forget that Buffalo began the 2019 campaign 2-4 before rallying to get to 8 wins. Once they enter conference play, look for them to hit their stride.
Lance Leipold’s squad is going to pound the rock on the ground, and there won’t be much the rest of the MAC can do about it. Aside from standout Jaret Patterson (1,799 rushing yards, 19 rushing TDs in 2019) returning, rising junior Kevin Marks (1,035 rushing yards, 8 rushing TDs) can also do a ton of damage.
Central Michigan Chippewas
2019 Record: 8-6 (Lost the New Mexico LendingTree Bowl)
Best Player: Troy Brown, LB
Quinten Dormady is gone, David Moore’s appeal for his suspension was denied by the NCAA, and CMU rejected Texas Tech transfer Jett Duffey’s application. This leaves the Chippewas starting quarterback job up for grabs, resembling what it’s like trying to make a MAC football prediction in 2020.
After losing to the RedHawks in the Mid-American title game as a seven-point favorite, Central Michigan got obliterated by San Diego State in the New Mexico Bowl. As Jim McElwain looks to regroup to start the year, don’t expect it to be smooth sailing in Mount Pleasant.
Miami (OH) RedHawks
2019 Record: 8-6 (Lost the LendingTree Bowl)
Best Player: Sterling Weatherford, CB
2019 MAC Freshman of the Year Brett Gabbert is another year older, while top running back Jaylon Bester and top receiver Jack Sorenson are back. However, the best college football betting sites aren’t buying into whatever RedHawks head coach Chuck Martin is preaching, because the Miami (OH) win total in 2020 is sitting at just 6.5 games. And you get +110 on your money if you are willing to invest in the over.
Perhaps a non-conference schedule that includes games @ Pittsburgh, vs. Cincinnati, and vs. Army, along with having to play Central Michigan and Buffalo on the road, is why.
2019 Record: 6-6
Best Player: Bryant Koback, RB
A 6-3 start for the Rockets in 2019 had their eyes set on a bowl game, but that’s when things fell apart. Toledo lost their last three games and was relegated to going back to the drawing board.
Nevertheless, things are trending upwards thanks to Jason Candle rolling up his sleeves and getting to work.
The Rockets lead man revamped his coaching staff and will bring in the top recruiting class in the MAC. Bryant Koback is an explosive running back who has been ultra-productive through his first two years, but the defense will need to improve. Toledo surrendered 32.2 points per game a season ago.
Western Michigan Broncos
2019 Record: 7-6 (Lost the First Responder Bowl)
Best Player: Treshaun Hayward, LB
Tim Lester hovered around the .500 mark last year — something he and the Broncos have done in all three seasons since P.J. Fleck left for Minnesota. Sorry, Western Michigan fans, but it’s unlikely things suddenly change in 2020.
Central Michigan waved goodbye to their quarterback, Jon Wassink, a three-year starter who was the leader in the locker room. Their star running back (LeVante Bellamy), who ran for nearly 1,500 yards and an FBS-leading 23 touchdowns, is now in the NFL.
If that doesn’t spell trouble, how about traveling to Cincinnati and Notre Dame on consecutive weekends before hosting the Syracuse Orange?
Who Will Win the MAC in 2020?
Teams in the Mid-American Conference are going to beat each other up all season long, so it’s likely we see a handful of 6-7-win teams emerge. With that being said, I see one school in this conference that has a realistic shot at winning 9-10 games.
And that’s the Buffalo Bulls.
They don’t face Central Michigan or Toledo during the regular season, their top-two defensive ends (Malcolm Koonce, Taylor Riggins) are both set to return, and they have a running back in Jaret Patterson who is starting to look like one of the legitimate Heisman Trophy sleepers in 2020.
When the first weekend in December arrives, I’ll take the Bulls to be the last team standing at Ford Field.
More College Football Conference Predictions
Take a peek at the other four Group of Five Conferences in 2020. Betting previews with odds, insight, and predictions have been prepared.
As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.
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