Miami OH (7-5) will take on Central Michigan (8-4) in the MAC Championship Game on Saturday. This year, the game has been moved to Saturday instead of their traditional Friday night spot. Both the Redhawks and Chippewas went 6-2 in conference to secure a berth in the title game. This is Miami’s fifth appearance, and Central Michigan’s fourth. As of writing this, 68 percent of the bets are on Central Michigan -7, and 88 percent are going over 54 points scored.
Date: Saturday, December 7, 2019
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Coverage: ESPN 2
Miami OH Analysis
Unfortunately, Miami comes in with one of the worst offenses in the country. They rank 126th in success rate, and 92nd in explosiveness. Also, starting quarterback Brett Gabbert is questionable for Saturday’s championship game. Gabbert has completed 54 percent of his passes this season with less than 2000 yards passing, along with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Also, backup quarterback Jackson Williamson has only attempted 19 passes this season. Anyway it’s looked at, Miami is going to struggle offensively on Saturday. Central Michigan’s defense ranks 41st in success rate, and they also have the edge over the Redhawks in the trenches. However, they can make explosive plays happen better than Central Michigan can defend them. There isn’t much of an edge there, but they might need to rely on it to have a shot at winning.
Miami’s defense is much better than their offense, and will need to rely on them to keep them in the game on Saturday. They rank 26th in limiting explosive plays. However, Central Michigan is 25th in rushing explosiveness on offense, where Miami ranks 77th in defending it. The Redhawks are going to need to find away to limit the Chippewas rushing attack, so they can keep their offense on the field. They do rank 40th in havoc created, so Miami will need to force a few turnovers. Also, the Redhawks are at a disadvantage on the defensive line. Central Michigan does have the better line, and Miami will most likely be handled in the trenches, and in short yardage situations.
Central Michigan Analysis
Central Michigan comes in with second best offense in the MAC. They rank 29th in success rate, and 19th in passing success. Their biggest advantage they have over Miami OH is their rushing attack. The Chippewas ranks 40th in rushing success and 25th in rushing explosiveness. Also, their offensive line has the edge as well. They rank higher in stuff rate and line yards, compared the Miami. This will give Central Michigan a huge edge on offense, as they will be able to keep the ball on the ground and drain clock in the process. Also, Central Michigan will be able to pass the ball against Miami. The Chippewas don’t have an explosive passing game, but they should still be able to find success in that department.
The Chippewas have a tough defense to move the ball against. They have the second best defense in terms of success rate that ranks 41st. Central Michigan should have a big advantage over Miami’s offense on Saturday. Not only to they matchup against the Redhawks across the board, Miami might be missing starting quarterback Brett Gabert. If he isn’t able to go, then the Chippewas should have no problem slowing down the Miami offense. Also, if he does go, Central Michigan is facing an offense that ranks 126th in the nation, when healthy. Their front seven is one of the best in the nation. They rank in the top-10 in stuff rate and line yards, and rank 15th in power success. This is going to make it difficult for Miami to do anything on offense when they can’t control the line of scrimmage.
Betting Pick: Central Michigan -7
Miami OH is at a clear disadvantage in this championship game whether Gabbert plays against Central Michigan or not. The Chippewas should have no problem succeeding on both sides of the ball, and should control the line of scrimmage all game. They line opened up at three before moving to seven on Sunday, which shows where the money is going. The Chippewas should not only win, but win in convincing fashion.