MAC Championship Total Prediction
Will the 2018 MAC Championship between Northern Illinois and Buffalo be a high-scoring battle, or will the two struggle to find points on Friday at 7PM ET?
Game Snapshot & Odds
303 Northern Illinois at 304 Buffalo
Friday, November 30, 2018
7PM ET – Ford Field
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers at BetNow.eu, Buffalo is the slight favorite in this game, as the Bulls are getting odds of -3.5 points against NIU. The over/under total for the contest is currently listed at 49.5 points. The public betting currently has 81 percent going on Buffalo in this contest.
Huskies backing into MAC Championship
Northern Illinois has lost its last two games entering this game, falling to Miami-Ohio and Western Michigan over the last two weeks. The Huskies are 7-5 overall, 6-2 in the MAC, 6-6 against the spread and 9-3 with the under. They have hit the over in their last two road games.
NIU has struggled on offense this year. The Huskies rank 122nd nationally in scoring (19.9 ppg) and 125th in total offense (318 ypg). Tre Harbison has led the offense with 950 rushing yards and four touchdowns while quarterback Marcus Childers has thrown for 1,696 yards and 11 touchdowns while also rushing for 438 yards and six touchdowns. Marcus Jones has added 527 rushing yards and four scores. Defensively, the Huskies are pretty strong. They allow just 20.9 points and 344 yards per game. Their run defense ranks 13th nationally by giving up only 107 yards per contest.
Buffalo strong on defense
Buffalo is coming off a 44-14 win at Bowling Green last week. The Bulls are 10-2 on the season and 7-1 in the MAC. They are 9-3 against the spread and 8-4 with the over. The Bulls have hit the over in three of their last four games.
The Bulls have been able to win mostly with defense this year, allowing just 24.2 points and 344.6 yards per contest. Their passing defense ranks 13th nationally, allowing just 174.9 yards per game. Offensively, Buffalo put ups 35.2 points and 419.9 yards per contest. Jaret Patterson is leading the offense with 874 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns while Kevin Marks has 733 yards and 11 scores. Quarterback Tyree Jackson has thrown for 2,605 yards and 25 touchdowns and also has seven rushing touchdowns. Anthony Johnson is the leading receiver with 45 catches for 820 yards and nine touchdowns.
College Football Betting Trends
Northern Illinois has hit the under in eight of its last 10 games on fieldturf and in six of their last eight conference games.
Buffalo is 9-2-1 with the over in its last 12 games following a win. The Bulls have hit the over in seven of their last nine games following a cover.
These two have hit the under in four of their last five meetings and I think this game will be a lot about defense as well. The Huskies will need their defense to win this game because their offense can’t score much and Buffalo’s defense will have an easy time limiting the NIU offense. Buffalo likes to run the ball, and if the Bulls can’t run it is going to make it tough for them to have an impactful passing game. I expect this contest to be in the 40’s when it comes to total scoring.
MAC Championship Prediction: Northern Illinois/Buffalo Under 49.5