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September 27, 2013

BroncoBlitz picks the MAC: Week Five

SU = Straight up
ATS = Against the spread

David James: 37-8 SU, 16-29 ATS
D.J. Duckett: 40-5 SU, 16-28-1 ATS
Brian Persky: 38-7 SU, 21-24 ATS

The staff agreed on almost every pick last week (the lone exception being the WMU game, oddly enough)-- and smartly, as all three lost just one combined game straight up. The woes against the spread continued, though, and now none of the three staff members are above .500 (and we come in at a combined 40.5%). Things should get more interesting this week as conference play starts to heat up for most of the MAC.

Northern Illinois (-3) at Purdue, Saturday noon

David: A MAC team favored on the road over a Big Ten team. I've seen enough disappointments in these types of games to make me consider taking Purdue. But the Boilermakers just look bad. NIU by 7

DJ: To be honest, I was kind of surprised to see NIU favored in this one because it is on the road. I do think Jordan Lynch and the Huskies will be able to get it done. NIU by 10

Brian: Interesting that Purdue defensive coordinator Greg Hudson was Florida State's linebackers coach last year. That's about where it ends for me. I think NIU gets it done, and frankly, it's not even that close. NIU by 14

Miami at Illinois (-25), Saturday noon

David: Illinois will be a very interesting team to watch in the Big Ten as they look much improved. Miami isn't interesting a lot of people this year. Illinois by 28

DJ: I do not expect this game to be close at all. I see the Illini putting up big points on the Redhawks. Illinois by 30

Brian: Former WMU head football coach Bill Cubit has the Illini offense clicking on all cylinders. Combine that with playing against a familiar opponent (a poor one at that) and an extra week's rest, I don't see much hope for the Redhawks. Illinois by 28

Akron at Bowling Green (-14), Saturday 2:30pm

David: Akron actually showed me a lot despite a loss against Louisiana. I think they'll be competitive all year. BGSU is another team I can't figure out. I wouldn't touch this spread with a ten-foot pole. BGSU by 10

DJ: Though Akron has looked much improved this season, Bowling Green will still be too much for them. This game will be close, but BGSU's defense will make some timely stops. BGSU by 7

Brian: Tough to get a read on this game, but my natural instincts tell me to go with Bowling Green in a relatively easy win at home against one of the MAC doormats. BGSU by 17

Toledo at Ball State (-1), Saturday 3:00pm

David: The game of the week in the MAC. Toledo was my pre-season favorite to win the conference, but it's such a dogfight at the top and Ball State has mostly exceeded my expectations early on. Give them the home win. Ball State by 3

DJ: The Game of the week will certainly live up to the hype here. This will be a high scoring matchup of two of the MAC's top teams. I have really like what Ball State has been doing thus far, but I like Toledo on the road in this one. Rockets by 7

Brian: With two high-octane spread offenses, I expect this to be "#MACtion" in its purest form. I've been high on Ball St. all season as a potential sleeper to knock off NIU for MAC West supremacy. I think it begins with a signature win against the Rockets in Muncie. Ball St. by 7

Central Michigan at N.C. State (-24), Saturday 3:30pm

David: CMU has yet to show me really anything, this year. It'd be nice for the conference if a lower-tier team could hang with a name opponent, but don't hold your breath. N.C. State by 30

DJ: CMU will struggle to take any positives from this game. On the bright side, it may be a nice experience for some of their players. Ill take N.C. State by a mile.N.C. State by 42

Brian: N.C. State is a team that took Tajh Boyd and 3rd-ranked Clemson down to the wire. CMU needed a 4th-quarter comeback to defeat FCS New Hampshire. A little bit of a trap here for the Wolfpack but it shouldn't be an issue. N.C. State by 28

UConn at Buffalo (-1), Saturday 3:30pm

David: UConn is probably about at the same level as Stony Brook, though the Seawolves took Buffalo to five overtimes. Another pick where I'll have to give the nod to the home team. Buffalo by 6

DJ: UConn gave its all last week in trying to take down Michigan. I don't see them rallying well in this game. Bulls by 10>

Brian: After an emotional letdown against Michigan, this game means more to Buffalo than it does to UConn. I like Buffalo to prevail at home. Buffalo by 7

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