MAC Tournament Day One Betting Preview

MAC Tournament Day One Betting Preview

Drew Thirion
2 years ago
3 min read
Ohio Bobcats forward Ben Roderick (3) drives to the basket against Toledo Rockets guard Ryan Rollins (5) in last year's MAC Tournament held at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

Welcome to Cleveland, Ohio for the college hoops classic, the MAC basketball tournament. Due to COVID protocols last season, the MAC limited their tournament to just 8 teams, and they’ve decided to keep that trend going this season. So, unfortunately, we won’t see anything from Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, and Western Michigan this year.

The Odds

  • Toledo +135
  • Ohio +250
  • Kent State +450
  • Buffalo +650
  • Akron +800
  • Miami +2500
  • Ball State +3300
  • Central Michigan +10000

Toledo is the far and away favorite to come out of the MAC this year, boasting a top 30 offense according to KenPom, while scoring over 90 points in 9 of their 31 games this season. However, their odds aren’t great, and that makes this pick easy. Ignoring my inherent bias as a Kent State student, taking the Flashes at +450 feels like a steal.

Sincere Carry (who should win MAC player of the year), is the type of player who can carry (not a pun) a team in March Madness. Not only that, but the Flashes boast the best defense in the MAC, which makes scoring on them a nightmare. If role players like Giovanny Santiago and Malique Jacobs are hitting their shots, good luck stopping Kent.

The Games

#8 Central Michigan University (7-22) vs #1 Toledo (25-6) -16.5 O/U 148.5

Central Michigan may have lost to Toledo twice this year, but they’ve done something not a lot of teams have done. They were able to hold the Rockets to just 68 points in their second matchup. Both game totals stayed way under 148.5, and CMU’s defense has been very solid recently. Take the under 148.5, and maybe sprinkle a little bit on CMU +16.5, just to keep it close.

#5 Buffalo (19-10) -2 vs #4 Akron (21-9) O/U 142

This is easily the best matchup of the first round. Akron’s been red hot recently, winning their last 5 games to close out the season, while Buffalo lost their final two games against Kent and Toledo. Both of these teams score in bunches and their only matchup this year went over 160. My picks here feel like the square thing to do, but I love Akron +2 and the over. Might even parlay these picks together. 

#7 Miami (14-17) vs #2 Kent State (21-9) -6 O/U 140

I already said earlier in this article that Kent State is going to win the MAC, and that run starts with a win and a cover over Miami. Both teams have decent offenses, but the way Kent’s defense has been playing and how they already performed against Miami, I’d be very shocked to see this game go over 140. Kent -2 and under 140 are the plays.

#6 Ball State (14-16) vs #3 Ohio (23-8) -8 O/U 146.5

I’m concerned with Ohio’s recent performances down the stretch. I’m not sure what happened to this potent Bobcat offense, but they’ve struggled to make shots. Not only that but it feels like any team in the MAC can score on them. They’re significantly better than Ball State but I have no confidence in any picks for this game. I’d lean Ohio -8 and over 146.5, but I certainly wouldn’t call them official plays.

As a college student, this is the best chance I’ll have at seeing the Flashes dance in March. Sincere Carry will be the best (college) player in the city of Cleveland this weekend, and I think they’ll be very excited to go dancing. 

Be sure to follow betJACK on Twitter for all the dunks, game winners and high flying MACtion during the MAC Tournament!

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