This Wednesday the Toledo Rockets will play host to the Northern Illinois Huskies. Kickoff for this MAC action is set for 8:00 EST at the Glas Bowl and will be televised on ESPN2.
Oddsmakers have the Rockets listed as a slim 2.5-point home favorite with the total set for 55 points.
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Northern Illinois vs Toledo Betting Line & Game Preview
Northern Illinois Huskies (3-6 SU, 5-4 ATS)
It’s been a difficult go of things for the Huskies in the first year under head coach Thomas Hammock, as Northern Illinois faces the difficult task of needing to win their final 3 games to reah bowl eligibility.
While the Huskies weren’t competitive last time out in a 48-10 loss at Central Michigan, their other two conference losses are by just 7-points to Ball State and by 3-points at Miami (OH). You also have to keep in mind they had a brutal non-conference slate with 3 road games against Power 5 opponents.
Toledo Rockets (6-3 SU, 4-5 ATS)
The Rockets kept their hopes of winning the MAC West alive with a 35-33 win at home over Kent State last week, though they did fail to cover as a 7-point favorite. Toledo sits 3-2 in league play. They are one of 4 teams in the West Division who have just 2 conference losses.
The problem for the Rockets, who likely need to win out just to have a chance to play in the MAC title game, is that even if they beat the Huskies at home, they got two really tough road games at Buffalo and Central Michigan to close out the season. Good chance Toledo is going to end up looking back at a 20-7 loss at Bowling Green as a 27-point favorite as the game that cost them a shot at a division title.
Last year the Huskies snapped Toledo’s two-game winning streak in the series with a 38-15 home win as a 3.5-point home favorite. That win ended up being the difference between Northern Illinois playing in the MAC title game instead of the Rockets, as the Huskies finished 6-2 in league play and Toledo wound up at 5-3.
Free NCAA Football Pick & Betting Prediction: N. Illinois +2.5
My early lean here would be to take the points with the Huskies. I just think with Toledo laying less than a field goal at home, the books are begging for you to take the Rockets. I just don’t know how you could confidently back Toledo in this game, especially with the injuries they are dealing with.
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The Rockets starting quarterback Mitchell Guadagni has missed the last 3 games and is questionable to play. The drop off from Guadagni to backup Eli Peters is pretty significant. The even bigger injury to note is that of running back Bryant Koback, who is also questionable after leaving Toledo’s last game against Kent State. Koback is the heart and soul of this offense, as he’s rushed for 1,052 yards (6.5 yards/carry) with 10 touchdowns.
You also can’t overlook the defensive struggles that Toledo has been having. In their last 3 games they have allowed 33 to Kent State, 34 to Eastern Michigan and 52 to Ball State.
As for Northern Illinois, I don’t think there’s any question the Huskies are going to come out swinging here, as this is a must-win to keep their bowl hopes alive. This is also a much better Northern Illinois team than their record would suggest.
Huskies have gone an impressive 24-11 ATS in the month of November and are 44-23 ATS in their last 67 as a road dog. The Rockets on the other hand are 4-10 ATS last 14 off a win and just 1-8 ATS last 9 when coming off a home win. Give me Northern Illinois +2.5!