We could have an early preview of the MAC Championship Game when the Toledo Rockets visit the Ohio Bobcats. Kickoff is set for 7:00 EST on Wednesday, November 8 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio. The game can be seen on ESPN2.
Oddsmakers have Toledo as 4.5-point favorites. However, the Rockets opened at -7, so early betting has favored Ohio. The over/under for the game is 65 points. Click here for a full list of Week 11 betting odds and links to game previews.
Ohio vs Toledo Vegas Point Spread Preview
Toledo continues to be the team to beat in the MAC, especially after last week’s win over Northern Illinois. The Rockets are 8-1 on the season and 5-0 in conference play. Their only loss was a competitive game against still unbeaten Miami.
Toledo can actually afford to lose one of its three remaining games and still make it to the MAC title game. But they’re definitely hoping to remain undefeated in conference play and make a statement against an Ohio team that they could face in the MAC Championship Game.
The Bobcats are 7-2 overall, already ensuring a bowl game this year, and are 4-1 inside the MAC. Next week’s game against Akron will likely decide who wins the MAC East division and plays for a conference championship. But Ohio isn’t going to look past Toledo. The Bobcats have won three in a row and their offense is clicking, so they pose a great challenge for Toledo.
Free Pick & Betting Predictions: Toledo -4.5
My early lean in this game is toward Toledo. I’m definitely not expecting the Rockets to blowout Ohio, especially on the road. But I do think that Toledo is a little better on both sides of the ball. They’ve been a little more consistent and reliable than Ohio this year, and that’ll be the difference in a game between two quality MAC teams.
Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside is enjoying a fantastic senior season. He’s completing 64% of his passes and has thrown 19 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. The Rockets are also averaging better than five yards per carry running the ball, and that’s without relying on Woodside as one of their top runners.
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The Toledo offense has great balance, making them difficult to shut down over the course of 60 minutes. The Bobcats have a solid defense, but not necessarily one that can slow down the Rockets. Several mediocre MAC teams have been able to score points against Ohio, who also allowed 50 points against UMass earlier this year. That doesn’t point to the Bobcats being able to slow down Toledo’s offense.
On the flip side, Toledo’s defense has been a lot more consistent. The Rockets are allowing just 16 points per game during conference play. No MAC team has scored more than 21 points against them. If that trend continues, the Rockets should have no problem scoring enough points to cover.
To be fair, Ohio is averaging 41 points per game, so they pose a legitimate challenge for Toledo’s defense. However, they can be a little too dependent on their running game. Quarterback Nathan Rourke is their second-leading rusher and actually has more rushing touchdowns than passing touchdowns. He can also be erratic as a passer, which is a concern. The Rockets may be able to put Ohio in a position in which they have to throw the ball, swinging the game in Toledo’s favor.
Overall, I expect a competitive game. But Toledo’s offense is more apt to create big plays and their defense is more apt to prevent Ohio from creating big plays. The Rockets are just a little better on both sides of the ball, and in the MAC, that’s enough to win by at least a touchdown.