This Tuesday the Toledo Rockets will play host the Kent State Golden Flashes in some early weekday MACation. Kickoff is set for 7:00 EST at the Glass Bowl and will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
Oddsmakers opened up this line at Toledo -7.5, but a lot of books are offering +100 juice on the -7.5, which tells me it’s going to be -7 before long and there’s already a couple books that have made the move. The total for this contest opened at 61 and is up to 61.5 and even 62 at some places.
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Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Kent State vs Toledo
Kent State Golden Flashes (3-5 SU, 4-4 ATS)
It might not seem like there’s a lot to be excited about with Kent State at 3-5, but those that follow this team have to be excited with the direction this team is going under second year head coach Sean Lewis. There’s an outside shot here the Golden Flashes can win 3 of their last 4 and get to a bowl game for the first time since 2012 and only the second time since 1972.
Keep in mind 3 of their 5 losses are road games against Arizona State, Auburn and Wisconsin. While their only two conference wins are against bottom feeders Akron and Bowling Green, they did lost by just 7 at Ohio and by 7 at home to Miami, OH. Both of those teams are tied on top the MAC East at 3-1.
Toledo Rockets (5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS)
The Rockets are hoping that their most recent win at home over Eastern Michigan will be the spark this teams needs to finish strong and make a run at the MAC West title. Toledo was the favorite to win the division, but have already lost twice and will likely need to win out to have a shot at finishing on top.
For a team that lost by just 14 on the road at Kentucky and had a upset win over BYU at home, it’s hard to figure out these last 3 games. Toledo lost 20-7 at Bowling Green as a massive 27-point favorite and were then destroyed 52-14 at Ball State as a mere 3-point dog. They did cover in the win over Eastern Michigan as a 2.5-point favorite, but that’s an Eagles team that sits at 1-4 in league play.
The Rockets have won and covered as big favorites in each of the last two meetings. The won 56-34 as a 11.5-point road favorite last year. The previous meeting was in 2015, which they won 38-7 as a 15.5-point home favorite.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Kent State +7.5
My early lean here would be to take the points with the Golden Flashes. This could turn out to be some really good value, as Toledo starting quarterback Mitchell Guadagni and backup quarterback Carter Bradley are both listed as questionable. If they can’t go I would actually give Kent State a good shot at winning this game outright. Not that they can’t of Guadagni or Bradley are able to go.
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The other thing I think that’s playing into this line is just the public perception of these two programs. Kent State is not a team that people have wanted to bet on for a while now. The Golden Flashes haven’t won more than 4 games since that magical 11-3 season in 2012. While they have played a tough schedule with 3 Power 5 road games and have shown well in MAC play, the public only sees that they are 3-5 with 3 wins over Kennesaw State, Bowling Green and Akron.
I really think that head coach Sean Lewis is a head coach on the rise. When they hired him last year, he became the youngest head coach in the FBS at 31. He’s an offensive minded guy, who spent 6 years under Dino Babers in Syracuse, serving as the co-OC his last two years. He took over a Golden Flashes offense that averaged just 12.8 ppg in 2017 and got them to 23.9 ppg in 2018. They also jumped from 275 ypg to 384 ypg. This year they are at just 23.9 ppg and 366 ypg, but a lot of that is playing those 3 games against Arizona State, Auburn and Wisconsin.
Toledo’s defense has also been a big problem of late. They gave up 52 points and almost 600 yards of total offense to Ball State and then allowed 34 points and 450+ yards to Eastern Michigan. Give me Kent State +7.5!