MAC Futures Odds: Toledo Favored Over Defending Champ Northern Illinois

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Before the 2021 season began, there was no reason to bet on Northern Illinois to win the MAC. After all, the Huskies were coming off a winless season in 2020 (0-6). Sure, maybe they’d improve, but win the conference? Their preseason betting odds at sportsbooks reached as high as +25000, giving them a .4% chance of winning.

As MAC fans know, Northern Illinois went on to win the conference title last season. So, will they repeat, or will a new champion rise to the top? Could Akron be this year’s Huskies?

Odds to Win MAC: Toledo Favored Again in 2022

Toledo has been the betting favorite to win the MAC in two of the last five seasons, winning once (2017) and falling short in the other (2021). With a solid roster coming back, hopes are high again this year, but Northern Illinois is poised and ready to defend its title.

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Odds are current as of August 17:

MAC Championship Odds-- 2022DraftKingsBetMGM: Promo Code TODAYFanDuel"Caesars:
Promo Code Today15
"
Toledo+300+325+340+300
Central Michigan+340+550+600+450
Miami (OH)+425+450+380+375
Northern Illinois+500+450+800+430
Western Michigan+700+900+800+1200
Kent State+850+800+600+900
Eastern Michigan+1000+1800+1000+1600
Ohio+1400+1800+1600+2000
Buffalo+1800+2000+2500+1400
Ball State+2200+5000+2500+6000
Bowling Green+3000+2800+3000+3500
Akron+9000+10000+5000+7500

Northern Illinois made history last season by becoming the first team in college football history to follow up a winless season with a conference championship. A little bit of luck and good fortune was on their side. How else does a team average more points allowed (33.7) than they score (32.2) and still win the conference?

With 17 returning starters, they should be able to lean on their experience a bit more in 2022.

As for the conference favorite, Toledo, the Rockets bring back most of the conference’s best defense (eight starters), including four All-MAC players. On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Dequan Finn will benefit from having three starters coming back on the offensive line. Toledo’s offense led the MAC in scoring last year with 33.4 points per game.

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MAC Championship Betting Analysis

With the talent returning to Northern Illinois, it would be easy to recommend the Huskies. However, while they did win the conference last season, seven of their wins came by eight points or less. In theory, getting 11 starters back on defense is a good thing, but it was one of the worst defenses in the conference.

As for Toledo, the Rockets didn’t have the same luck in one-score games last season as the Huskies. Five of their six losses were by a touchdown or less, four by a field goal or less. The talent they have coming back should keep them in contention this year, but they may need a bounce or two to go their way to overcome Northern Illinois.

Kent State could make a push again but will need to improve on defense to win the conference. While Central Michigan has holes to fill on both sides of the ball, it is hard to ignore a team that won seven of its last eight games last season. But the team to watch might be Miami. The Redhawks have a veteran roster coming back with 16 returning starters. A MAC media panel picked Miami to win the East division (20 of 24 votes).

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Sleeper Picks

Akron should improve under new head coach Joe Moorhead, but not enough to be considered a contender. New Buffalo head coach Maurice Linguist will have his work cut out for him with only nine returning starters. After going 3-9 last season, a more realistic expectation for Ohio may be to have a winning record (and not win the conference).

If there is going to be a breakthrough team like Northern Illinois was last season, Bowling Green may be the best candidate. The Falcons have 17 returning starters, including nine on the offensive side of the ball. If those guys can all take a big step forward this season, Bowling Green could have an outside shot at winning its first MAC title since 2015.

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Win Totals for MAC Teams

Toledo has the highest win total in the MAC at 8.5 games. Northern Illinois can be found with odds for 6.5 or 7 wins, depending on the sportsbook.

Odds are current as of August 17:

Win TotalsDraftKingsBetMGM: Promo Code TODAYFanDuelCaesars:
Promo Code Today15
Toledo8 (-130/+110)8.5 (+100/-120)8 (-125/-105)
Central Michigan7.5 (-120/+100)7.5 (+100/-120)7 (-110/-110)7.5 (-110/-120)
Miami (OH)6.5 (-135/+115)6.5 (-145/+120)6.5 (-160/+135)6.5 (-140/+110)
Western Michigan6.5 (+135/-155)6.5 (+145/-170)6 (-115/-105)
Kent State5 -145/+125)5.5 (+100/-120)5.5 (+105/-125)5.5 (-115/-115)
Eastern Michigan6.5 (+145/-1706.5 (+140/-165)6 (-110/-110)5.5 (-115/-115)
Ohio5.5 (-110/-110)5.5 (-110/-110)5.5 (+110/-130)5.5 -115/-115)
Buffalo5.5 (+100/-120)5.5 (+105/-125)5.5 (+100/-120)5 (-110/-120)
Ball State5.5 (+130/-150)4.5 (-140/+115)4.5 (-135/+115)4.5 (-140/+110)
Bowling Green4 (-145/+125)3.5 (-185/+145)4.5 (+125/-145)4.5 (-115/-115)
Akron2.5 (-105/-115)2.5 (-105/-115)2.5 (+100/-120)2.5 (-110/-120)
Northern Illinois6.5 (-160/+135)7 (+110/-130)6.5 (-110/-110)7 (-105/-125)

The conference title game and bowl games do not factor into win totals.

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MAC Win Total Picks

The following are some of our favorite picks:

Buffalo: Over 5.5 at +105 (via BetMGM)

While Buffalo only won four last season and only have nine returning starters, new head coach Maurice Linguist did a great job siphoning talent from the transfer portal. They’ll probably go 2-2 in non-conference play with wins over Holy Cross and UMass and losses to Maryland and Coastal Carolina. Akron will give them their third win.

So, they’ll need at least three against the bulk of their conference schedule.

Ball State: Under 4.5 at +115 (via FanDuel)

The Cardinals were a 6-7 team last season but lost most of that squad’s talent. While they could still go 3-1 in non-conference play, their conference schedule is brutal.

Bowling Green: Over 4.5 at +125 (via FanDuel)

At best, the Falcons will go 2-2 in non-conference play. They will need to win at least three conference games, but they have winnable ones against Akron, Buffalo, and Ohio.

MAC Odds History

MAC Championship

Here are the odds for the MAC champions at the start of the season dating back to 2000 with prices (when available):

YearWinnerOdds Prior To Week 1
2021Northern Illinois+25000
2020Ball State+1000
2019Miami (OH)+1600
2018Northern Illinois+200
2017Toledo-110
2016Western Michigan+175
2015Bowling GreenNA
2014Northern IllinoisNA
2013Bowling GreenNA
2012Northern IllinoisNA
2011Northern IllinoisNA
2010Miami (OH)NA
2009Central MichiganNA
2008BuffaloNA
2007Central MichiganNA
2006Central MichiganNA
2005AkronNA
2004ToledoNA
2003Miami (OH)NA
2002MarshallNA
2001ToledoNA
2000MarshallNA

Win Totals

Here are last season’s win totals for MAC teams:

Win Totals2021Actual WinsResult
Toledo8.5 (-125/+105)7Under
Central Michigan6.5 (+105/-125)8Over
Miami (OH)5.5 (+120/-145)6Over
Western Michigan6 (-105/-115)7Over
Kent State5.5 (+105/-125)7Over
Eastern Michigan6.5 (-110/-110)7Over
Ohio6.5 (-125/+105)3Under
Buffalo7.5 (+100/-120)4Under
Ball State5.5 (-115/-105)6Under
Bowling Green1.5 (-110/-110)4Over
Akron 2 (-130/+110)-- PUSH2Push
Northern Illinois4 (+100/-120)8Over

Odds via SportsOddsHistory.com.

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Who is favored to win the MAC in 2022?

The Toledo Rockets are favored to win (+300 via DraftKings and Caesars) the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in 2022.

Can I bet on who will win the MAC this season?

Yes, you can bet on the MAC winner, but only if you are in a state that has legalized sports betting.

Who has appeared in the most MAC title games, and who’s won the most?

Northern Illinois has appeared in nine MAC title games, winning five. Marshall appeared in six when it was a part of the MAC, winning five.

Where can I bet on the MAC?

If you are in a state where sports betting is legal, you can bet with any sportsbook operators licensed to operate in that state.

Who won the MAC last season?

Northern Illinois became the first team to follow up a winless season with a conference championship when the Huskies beat Kent State, 41-23.

About the Author
Travis Pulver

Travis Pulver

Writer and Contributor
Travis Pulver is a Senior Writer for Gaming Today and a lifelong football fan, something he says comes naturally having been born in the football-crazy state of Texas. Through the years, his love of sports has extended into baseball, basketball, golf, and rugby. Life currently finds him in Indiana with his wife and two kids.

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