The MAC opens their short season on Wednesday night. It’s a full night of MACtion with five games on the schedule. The MAC during a normal season dominates the weekday games. Wednesday and Tuesday is MAC football day in college football. There were no Tuesday games this week, but there will be three next week.
There are no other sports during weekdays in the US for now, so the MAC has a nice advantage to attract plenty of eyeballs. The betting handle promises to be big when it comes to MAC football with nothing else on other than horse racing.
The NBA wants the season to begin on December 22. The players aren’t as enthused about the idea, but it’s a good bet that the NBA will get its way. Basketball on Christmas is essentially what the league wants. We’re actually going to have a college bowl game on Christmas this year.
There is no Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve, but the Camellia Bowl will fill in for a Christmas special. The Bahamas Bowl, which usually features a MAC team, has been cancelled, so that’s one less for this conference. The Camellia Bowl is a Sun Belt bowl. There likely won’t be a spot for them there.
Ball State and Miami-Ohio are both aiming for bowl games in 2020. Miami are the defending MAC champions after a 8-5 cumulative record and 6-2 in the conference. They beat Central Michigan by a score of 26-21. It wasn’t a really good year for the MAC overall.
Nobody really stuck out as a MAC powerhouse. The season was always up in the air, so that parity made it interesting at least. Miami were invited to the LendingTree Bowl, and they were outplayed in a 27-17 loss. That’s the best that the MAC had to offer last year.
The Cardinals finished 5-7 last season and just barely denied a bowl invite. They needed one more win to become eligible, but couldn’t get it done. A lot more was going to be expected out of Ball State this season.
We won’t be able to decipher as much from this shortened season, but it’s better than nothing. Quarterback Drew Plitt has a lot of talent around him in this offense. If the offene can’t score points, it’s probably going to be because of poor quarterback play. Head below for our free Ball State vs. Miami pick for November 4, 2020.
Ball State Cardinals vs. Miami RedHawks Betting Odds:
Ball State vs. Miami Prediction:
Ball State will have weapons on offense this season. They just have to put everything together on the field. Sometimes that doesn’t always happen. However, if last season is any indication, then Ball State will have an easy time scoring the football. Note that Ball State was first in the MAC with 34.8 points scored per game. That was behind the guidance of quarterback Drew Plitt. Plitt was strong in 2019 with 24 touchdowns and 7 interceptions on 64.3% completions.
He enters this season as a senior and expected to show even more strides in his second season as the starter. Through his last three games, Plitt passed for 7 touchdowns and 1 interception.
He had problems early in the season with turning the football over, but was able to learn from his mistakes and looked much better in that regard later on. Ball State scored at least 40 points in their last three games of the 2019 campaign.
Caleb Huntley will join Plitt back on the field for Ball State this season. Huntley was a major threat on the ground for the Cardinals, as he gained 1,275 yards and 25 touchdowns for 5.1 yards per carry. Huntley enters as a senior as well. Along with those two, they have a junior and senior returning at wide receiver.
There is a lot of experience returning for Ball State on offense. If they don’t find success, it’s probably due to a lack of focus because of this season. There aren’t really any excuses for them, though.
Miami will lean on Brett Gabbert, who is the little brother of Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert enters Wednesday night as a sophomore, having passed for 11 touchdowns and 8 interceptions on 55.4% passing. In his second season, expect Gabbert to find more success in his sophomore campaign.
The Ball State defense let them down a lot last season, but keep in mind that seven defensive starters are going to be back in 2020. A decent defense might have put them at the top of the conference last year. They should be better this season, so a championship isn’t out of the question in this shortened campaign. I will side with Ball State to start off with a nice win on the road over the defending MAC champs.