This Wednesday the Central Michigan Chippewas (5-4, 3-2 MAC) will host the Eastern Michigan Eagles (3-6, 1-4 MAC). Kickoff is set for 8:00 EST at Kelly/Shorts Stadium and will be televised on ESPNU.
Oddsmakers currently have the Eagles listed as a 1.5-point road favorite with the total set at 47 points. Check out our Week 11 college football odds page for a full betting schedule and more links to our game previews.
Eastern Michigan vs Central Michigan Vegas Odds & Game Preview
The Eagles secured their first conference win of 2017 in blowout fashion, as they cruised to a 56-14 victory at home over Ball State as a 25 point favorite. While outright wins have been hard to come by, Eastern Michigan has been a covering machine this season, as they are now 7-2 ATS.
The Chippewas enter off a thrilling 35-28 come-from-behind win on the road against Western Michigan, where they closed as a 4-point dog. Central Michigan scored 21 unanswered after going into the 4th quarter trailing the Broncos 14-28. While the Chippewas are just 4-5 ATS on the year, they have cashed 3 winning tickets in their last 4 games.
Last year the Eagles won 26-21 at home as a 1-point underdog in dramatic fashion. After blowing a 20-7 lead in the 4th quarter, Eastern Michigan scored the game-winning touchdown with just 21 seconds to play. The win snapped a 4-game skid int he series for the Eagles.
NCAAF Betting Predictions & Free ATS Pick: Eastern Michigan -1.5
I don’t think this line is going to make a whole lot of sense to a lot of people. Central Michigan is 3-2 inside conference play and fresh off a big upset win on the road over one of the top teams in the MAC in Western Michigan. Why would they be getting points at home against a Eastern Michigan team that is just 3-6 overall and just won their first conference game of the season?
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Any time you have a line that looks wrong, it’s usually for a good reason. Especially this late in the season when the books are locked in on every team. However, the line isn’t the only reason I would lean towards taking the Eagles in this matchup. I actually agree with the books here and see Eastern Michigan as the better team.
If you take a closer look at the Eagles resume to this point, you will quickly see their record could look a heck of lot different if they caught a few breaks in close games. It’s bad enough to lose a two or three games by a touchdown or less. All 6 of Eastern Michigan’s defeats this year have come by 7 or less points, including 3 by 3 or less. They are 1-6 in games this season decided by a touchdown or less, while Central Michigan has caught all the breaks with a 3-0 record in these close games.
I also feel like this is a great matchup for the Eagles offensively. Eastern Michigan has a top tier passing attack behind senior Brogan Roback, which comes in ranked 30th in the nation at 276.8 ypg. Where they have struggled is on the ground, as they are 122nd at 108.9 ypg. That lack of balance has cost them in a lot of close games this year. They should be able to have a balanced attack here, as the Chippewas are 109th in the country vs the run, giving up 205.8 ypg. They allowed 300 or more yards on the ground for the third time this season last week against Northern Illinois.
This is also a much better Eagles defense than it gets credit for and that’s saying something, as they come in allowing just 20.3 ppg. What’s so impressive about that is their opponents on average are scoring 28.7 ppg. In comparison, Central Michigan is allowing 27.1 ppg against teams who on average put up 28.7 ppg.
Lastly, I like the spot here for Eastern Michigan, who need to win out to become bowl eligible. Central Michigan on the other hand needs to win just 1 of their final 3 to get to the 6-win mark and I think they are in a prime letdown spot here after the huge comeback win over their rivals last week. Give me the Eagles -1.5.