The Mid-American Conference will get some nice publicity early this week with three of its schools playing in bowl games televised by ESPN.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
On Wednesday, Ohio University is a 3-point favorite over San Diego State of the Mountain West in the Frisco Bowl from outside Dallas. Ohio closed the season strong in winning five of six but finished tied for second behind Buffalo in the MAC’s East Division. The Bobcats had one of the MAC’s best offenses in averaging 41.2 points per game and put up at least 49 points in five of the final six games. Nathan Rourke is a dual-threat under center. He has thrown for 2,225 yards and 22 scores while rushing for 816 yards and 13 touchdowns.
San Diego State closed the year with three straight losses. The Aztecs did play one MAC school this season, beating visiting Eastern Michigan 23-20 in overtime on September 15. Ohio didn’t play EMU. SDSU is not a strong offensive team in putting up just 22.3 points, but is great on defense in allowing 21.8. Ohio has won nine of its past 10 as a betting favorite.
No MAC schools in Wednesday’s bowl game as Conference USA’s Marshall (a former MAC school) visits the AAC’s South Florida in the Gasparilla Bowl. Yep, visits. USF is playing on its home field of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, also home of the NFL‘s Buccaneers. USF is a 3-point underdog because it closed the season with five straight losses after a 7-0 start.
Still not clear if USF QB Blake Barnett will play. He missed two of the final three with an injury and is being called day-to-day. Marshall is 2-6 ATS in its past eight as a road favorite.
Two games on Friday with the MAC’s Toledo facing Florida International in the Bahamas Bowl, the only postseason game outside the United States, and MAC school Western Michigan taking on BYU in the Potato Bowl on the blue turf in Boise.
Toledo is a 5.5-point favorite over FIU of Conference USA – that conference is 0-4 ATS all-time in the Bahamas Bowl. FIU quarterback James Morgan played Toledo two years ago while at Bowling Green and threw for five TDs in a 42-35 loss.
BYU, an independent, is easily the biggest bowl favorite of the week at -12. The Cougars closed the season blowing a 27-7 third-quarter lead and losing in the Holy War at rival Utah. WMU hasn’t been the same since losing starting QB Jon Wissink to a season-ending injury but did knock off MAC champion Northern Illinois in the regular-season finale. The Broncos have lost their past 26 games as double-digit underdogs.