It’s another “Mac Attack” on ESPN as the Akron Zips face the Miami of Ohio Redhawks in a Mid-American Conference battle. Kickoff is slated for Thursday night at 8:00 PM ET at Fred Yager Stadium in Oxford, Ohio.

Sportsbooks opened Miami as a -16.5 point favorite but the number has since dropped to -14 at most college football betting outlets. The total is holding steady at 47.5 points.

Miami of OhioThe defending MAC champion Redhawks (3-5 SU & 4-4 ATS) are 2-2 SU both in conference play and at home. Miami has won its last two league outings and are coming off perhaps their best overall game of the season, a 41-13 rout of Buffalo. Quarterback Zac Dysert was 20 of 25 passing for 313 yards and tied a school record with five touchdown passes. He’s now thrown for 2139 yards with 14 TD’s and eight interceptions this season. His favorite target has been freshman wide receiver Dawan Scott who hauled in 141 yards on three catches against the Bills. He leads the team with an average of 23.1 yards per catch.

Miami was averaging 17.7 points a game but exploded against Buffalo scoring 41 points for their highest single game total in four years. The Redhawks are now averaging 24.8 points per game at home while the defense is allowing 26.2 points per outing. Overall, the Hawks are averaging 345.6 yards per game in total offense with 67.5 yards rushing and 278.1 yards passing per game.

Last add Zac Dysert. He’s now second on Miami’s all-time yardage list (7,166), behind only Ben Roethlisberger and he ranks 4th among non-seniors in passing this season trailing Oklahoma's Landry Jones, Baylor's Robert Griffin III and USC's Matt Barkley.

Zips, Nada, Nothing

The Zips are still looking for their first conference win (0-4) but they came close last weekend dropping a 23-22 decision to Central Michigan with the difference being a missed two-point conversion. After his team erased a 20-0 fourth quarter deficit and pulled to within 23-22 on a touchdown on the last play of regulation, second-year head coach Rob Ianello opted to go for two and the win but the conversion failed. It was a gutsy call especially given the fact Akron has won just twice during Ianello’s tenure.

Sophomore QB Clayton Moore completed 25 of 40 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. WR Marquelo Suel was on the receiving end of both TD passes and finished with 11 catches for 122 yards. RB Jawon Chisholm notched his fourth 100-yard rushing game of his career. Chisholm had 130 yards rushing and one touchdown on 19 attempts.

If their road splits are any indication, the Zips could be in for a long night. They’re scoring just 12.3 points per game and are allowing 44.0 PPG a differential of nearly 28 points per contest. Overall Akron has managed just 308.6 total yards per game gaining 121.2 yards on the ground and 187.4 yards through the air.

The coaches

Miami Head Coach Don Treadwell in his first season and previously served a four-year stint as Michigan State’s offensive coordinator.

Ianello has a 2-18 mark overall and a 1-11 record in the Mid-American Conference action. He previously served as an assistant at Alabama, Wisconsin, Arizona and Notre Dame.

Running the gauntlet

The Redhawks last four regular-season games are being played within a span of just 20 days. Thursday’s game is the second in six days, then Miami faces another short week, travelling to Temple for a Wednesday night tilt. They’re in a dogfight with the Owls and the Bobcats for the East Division but control their own fate as they look to reach the MAC title game for the second straight year.

Harvey’s Take: It’s a Mac midweek special which is usually a boon for the books and a bust for the players. Whatever college football picks I make on the game are going to be small but I think there’s some value in playing the ‘over’. That’s the direction I’m headed tonight.

Good luck!