Mid American Odds: MAC Football Betting Preview 2012

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 02: Tyler Tettleton #4 of the Ohio Bobcats runs with the football against the Northern Illinois Huskies during the MAC Championship game at Ford Field on December 2, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Huskies defeated the Bobcats 23-20. (Photo by Mark A. Cunningham/Getty Images)

The 13-team MAC has had four different champions the last four seasons, and ranks among the more unpredictable conferences in college football.

Last year Northern Illinois, somewhat unexpectedly, won the MAC, and in 2010 Miami, after going 1-7 in conference the previous season, went 7-1 and upset the Huskies in the MAC championship game.

Might there be another surprise in store in the MAC this season?

Here's a quick preview of this upcoming college football season in the Mid-American Conference championship betting odds, courtesy of OddsShark.com.

Ohio is listed as a +140 favorite at 5Dimes to win the MAC's East Division this season and a +325 favorite to win the MAC championship. Last year the Bobcats went 6-2 to win the East, but then blew a 20-point lead in losing the conference championship game.

This season Ohio returns 14 starters, including QB Tyler Tettleton and eight on defense. And the schedule is accommodating, as the 'Cats don't have to play Western Michigan, Northern Illinois or Toledo.

Western Michigan is getting +180 to win the West Division and +400 to win the conference title. The Broncos return 14 starters from a team that went 5-3 in conference last year, including senior QB Alex Carder, four along the O line and seven on defense.

And their schedule is kind, too, as they get the two other top contenders in the West, Toledo and Northern Illinois, both at home, and miss the top three contenders in the East, Ohio, Miami and Bowling Green.

Northern Illinois is lined at +260 to win the West and +600 to win the MAC. The Huskies return 12 starters from the team that went 8-1 in the MAC and won the conference title last year, but they lose QB Chandler Harnish and four starters along the O line. In the game that could decide the West NIU plays at Western Michigan Oct. 27.

Toledo is getting +315 to win the West and +700 to win the MAC. But the Rockets return a league-low eight starters after going 7-1 in conference last year, they'll be working under a new HC and they have to play at Western Michigan and Northern Illinois.

Bowling Green and Miami are both getting +360 to win the East and +800 to win the conference championship. BG gets back a league-high 17 starters from a team that went 3-5 in the MAC last year, but has to play at Toledo and at Ohio. The Red Hawks, meanwhile, return 16 starters after going 3-5 in conference last season, and their schedule is helpful, as they miss the top three teams in the West.

And Kent State, with eight starters back on both sides of the ball from a team that won four of its last five MAC games last year, is listed at +400 to win the East and +1000 to win the MAC.

Rounding out the MAC futures betting boards Eastern Michigan, with 14 returning starters after going 4-4 in conference last year, is getting +650 to win the West and +1600 to win the conference title.

Central Michigan, with eight starters back on both sides of the ball, is listed at +775 to win the West and +2000 to win the MAC.

Ball State, the best ATS road team in college football the past six seasons with a 28-9 record, after going 4-4 in the MAC last year, is getting +900 to win the West and +2300 to win the conference.

Buffalo, with 15 returning starters, is lined at +900 to win the East and +2500 to win the MAC.

And Akron, for its first season under new HC Bowden, is getting +1300 to win the East and +4000 to win the conference championship.

Massachusetts replaces Temple in the MAC this season, but is ineligible to win the conference title until next year.

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