In the game that is likely to decide who wins the MAC's West Division title 9-1 Northern Illinois and 8-2 Toledo hook up Wednesday night in DeKalb (9 pm ET, ESPN2).
The Huskies, who at 6-0 in conference play lead the West, were early 10-point favorites over the Rockets, who at 5-1 sit just one game back.
In three of the past five meetings of these MAC rivals, the winning team scored 63 points or more! No wonder the total opened so high. Handicapping the 'yards per point' stat makes us very uncomfortable in backing the Huskies.
Betting Line: Northern Illinois were sitting as 10.5-point favorites earlier in the week at . The total was sitting around 63.5 early Tuesday over at TopBet.
Power Rankings / Prediction: It's a betting matchup between the No. 72-rated Huskies and the No. 67-ranked Rockets, according to the NCAAF Power Rankings here at Odds Shark. Predictive-scoring models run on this game indicate a potential 53-36 result in favor of the Huskies.
How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Northern Illinois's No. 9-ranked offense (40.6 PPG) against a Rockets defense that ranks No. 64 at 27.4 PPG. The Huskies passing attack has averaged 227.1 yards per game, less than the Rockets give up through the air (288 YPG on average).
Defensively, the Rockets feature the league's No. 97-rated road run defense, allowing 217.4 yards per game. Northern Illinois, meanwhile, ranks No. 12 in rushing offense at home.
Toledo was a 34-27 loser in their most recent outing at home against Ball State. They failed to cover the 6.5-point spread as favorites, while the total score (61) made winners of UNDER bettors. David Fluellen went over the 100-yard mark (200) in his team's latest effort, but Ball State still defeated Toledo by a score of 34-27.
Last time out for Northern Illinois, they were a 63-0 winner as they battled Massachusetts at home. Northern Illinois covered in the match as a 35-point favorite, while 63 combined points moved the game OVER for totals bettors. Jordan Lynch went over the 100-yard mark (157) in his team's latest effort as Northern Illinois defeated Massachusetts by a score of 63-0 on Saturday.
Toledo Rockets Trends:
When playing in November are 6-4
When playing on turf are 9-1
After outgaining opponent are 8-2
When playing within the conference are 8-2
Northern Illinois Huskies Trends:
When playing in November are 8-2
When playing on turf are 10-0
After outgaining opponent are 10-0
When playing within the conference are 10-0
A few Rockets at Huskies trends to consider:
Toledo is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games on the road
Toledo is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games
Toledo is 11-4 SU in its last 15 games when playing Northern Illinois
Toledo is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Northern Illinois is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Northern Illinois is 4-9-1 ATS in its last 14 games when playing Toledo
Northern Illinois is 2-4-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing at home against Toledo
Toledo home to Akron, Tuesday, November 20
Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan, Friday, November 23