Eastern Michigan Vs. UMass Football Betting Preview: Eagles Seek Bounceback As Big Favorite

Written By Julie Walker on September 14, 2021

The Eastern Michigan football team heads to the University of Massachusetts this weekend looking to rebound after a 34-7 loss to No. 18 Wisconsin last week. UMass, meanwhile, hopes to snap a 13-game losing streak that dates back to 2019.

History in this short series favors the Minutemen, who took the only games played between the non-conference foes in 2014 and 2015.

Will the third time be Eastern’s charm, or will UMass rally at home? Here’s a look at what’s on tap at Michigan sportsbooks for this weekend’s game.

How to watch: Eastern Michigan Eagles at UMass Minutemen

  • What: Eastern Michigan (1-1) at UMass (0-2)
  • When: 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday
  • Where: Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium, Amherst, Mass.
  • TV: NESN+ (New England Sports Network) [Announcers: Jay Burnham, Andy Gresh, Matt Goldstein]
  • Online livestream: FloSports
  • Radio: 89.1 WEMU-FM

Eastern Michigan a strong road favorite at UMass

History may be on the side of UMass, but the odds favor Eastern. As of Tuesday evening, BetMGM Sportsbook had the Eagles giving 17 points to UMass with the over/under set at 57.

The BetMGM moneyline was at -900 for the Eagles and +600 for the Minutemen. Bettors can get an extra half point on the over/under with DraftKings Sportsbook, where it sat at 57.5 on Tuesday evening. The spread and moneyline were the same at both sportsbooks at midweek.

The best current odds on each side of this game are reflected below.

According to DraftKings, each of the past six games at McGuirk Stadium has gone over the total points line, and Eastern Michigan has covered the spread in its past five games against non-ranked (Associated Press) foes on the road.

Eastern will need to regroup to get the W

After netting 410 total yards in a 35-15 win over Saint Francis in Week 1, the Eagles’ offense sputtered big time at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.

The Badgers put up 518 yards, compared with 92 for the Eagles.

The lone touchdown for Eastern came from freshman defensive back David Carter Jr. on a 98-yard interception return. The Eagles have played their top two quarterbacks in the first two games. Against Wisconsin, junior quarterback Preston Hutchinson (pictured in lead image) was 6-for-13 for 53 yards and one interception. Senior signal-caller Ben Bryant finished 4-for-7 and threw for 23 yards.

The Eagles will need to refocus and get points on the board early if they’re to get the win.

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Will UMass stop the slide against Eastern Michigan?

Saturday will mark two years to the day that Massachusetts won its last game (Sept. 18, 2019). After that 37-29 victory against Akron, UMass lost the rest of that season’s games and all four contests in a 2020 season shortened by COVID-19.

The Minutemen opened 2021 with a 51-7 loss at Pittsburgh, which faces Western Michigan this week. In last week’s home opener against Boston College, freshman quarterback Brady Olson got his first start over the injured senior slinger Tyler Lytle.

Olson was 14-for-29 and threw for 214 yards in the 45-28 loss to Boston College. His three passing touchdowns went to receivers Rico Arnold, Eric Collins and Ellis Merriweather. Sophomore running back Kay’Ron Adams had 10 carries for 34 yards and a touchdown. Olson threw two interceptions.

Saturday’s contest is the third time Eastern and UMass have met. The Minutemen won both: a 36-14 win at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough (2014) and a 28-17 victory at Rynearson Stadium in 2015.

Photo by Morry Gash/AP
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