Thanksgiving is a time for family, but its also a time for rivalry football. Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan are set to add another chapter to their history when they battle it out for the Michigan MAC trophy on Friday.
Who do oddsmakers in the Michigan sports betting scene like in this game in Mt. Pleasant? Read on to find out, and also check out our MACtion football betting overview for information on each game remaining this week.
Eastern Michigan at Central Michigan: MACtion Football Odds
Oddsmakers heavily behind Central Michigan at home
Weekday games have been kind to CMU, as they are 3-0 in non-weekend tilts this season.
Oddsmakers like the Chippewas to move to 4-0 in that column on Friday, as they are listing the Chips as an 8.5-point favorite against the Eagles.
As of Monday morning, the moneyline for CMU is ranging from -300 to -350. EMU is listed in the +245 to +260 range.
The over/under total is largely agreed upon at 64 points for Friday’s contest.
CMU comes into Friday’s game 6-5 against the spread, while Eastern Michigan is 5-6 ATS. These two rivals have gone under the total in six of their 11 games on the season.
Central has dominated the series over their nearly 100 meetings. CMU is 62-30-6 all-time against the Eagles. The Chippewas have won three of the past four meetings and have covered the spread in four straight in the series.
How to watch: Central Michigan vs. Eastern Michigan
- Who: Eastern Michigan (7-4, 4-3 MAC) at Central Michigan (7-4, 5-2)
- When: Noon ET, Friday, Nov. 26
- Where: Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mt. Pleasant
- TV: ESPNU
- Online livestream: ESPN+
- Radio: CMU Sports Properties Radio Network; WEMU Radio
Central Michigan offense on a roll
The Chippewas won their third straight and fifth in their past six games with a 37-17 win at Ball State last Wednesday.
CMU has scored at least 38 points in four straight games, as their offense has taken off in MAC play.
The biggest reason for the offensive explosion is running back Lew Nichols III. The freshman has back-to-back games surpassing 200 yards and six straight with at least 136 yards on the ground.
Coming into the final week of the regular season, Nichols is now the nation’s leading rusher. He has 1,516 yards on the season, surpassing Kenneth Walker III of Michigan State (1,498) this past weekend for the top spot.
Nichols also has found the end zone 11 times over the past four games for CMU. His success has helped open things up for quarterback Daniel Richardson as well.
The freshman QB has thrown for 2,294 yards and 21 touchdowns with just four interceptions this season despite limited action in the first three games. Richardson has thrown for at least 200 yards in each of the past eight games.
CMU still has a concerning defense, as they are giving up 27.6 points and 409.7 yards per game. Their passing defense ranks 112th nationally, allowing 266.5 yards per contest.
Eagles edge Western Michigan
Eastern Michigan put itself in the mix for the Michigan MAC title with a late rally to beat Western Michigan 22-21 last week.
The Eagles trailed 21-9 late in the third, but a touchdown pass and two fourth-quarter field goals from Chad Ryland lifted EMU to the victory.
Although Northern Illinois has already secured the MAC West, EMU and CMU are playing to get to eight wins on the season. The Chippewas got to eight wins in 2019, but the Eagles have not had eight wins in a season in Chris Creighton’s (pictured above) eight years as head coach.
EMU is usually known for being a physical team, but the Eagles are led by their passing game this season. They rank 32nd nationally in passing yards with 267.5 yards per game. They also average 32.5 points per contest.
Senior Ben Bryant has thrown for 2,700 yards and 14 touchdowns this season against six interceptions. However, he has been sacked 30 times.
Hassan Beydoun and Dylan Drummond have been Bryant’s top targets, combining for 1,479 yards on 132 receptions with 10 scores.
On the ground, EMU averages just 127.5 yards per game. Jawon Hamilton is the leading rusher with 614 yards and four scores.
Defensively, EMU has to be concerned about the matchup with CMU. The Eagles are giving up 436.2 yards per game this season, including 193.4 per game on the ground.
The Eagles will have to contain Nichols if they hope to pull off the upset.