The Tuesday night (7pm ET) game this week features the Toledo Rockets (6-3, 5-0 in MAC) traveling to DeKalb, IL to take on the Northern Illinois Huskies (7-2, 5-0) in the Mid-American conference western division play. The Rockets come in on a roll having won their last three contests including a 42-7 pasting of eastern Michigan on the road in their last game on October 30. Northern Illinois is on an even bigger roll having won six straight games, including a 28-21 win at Western Michigan on October 30. Their last loss was to a tough, Big 10 foe Illinois by a 28-22 count way back on September 18. Both teams are undefeated on conference play and this one should pretty much decide the champion of the MAC West.
NIU is led on offense by junior quarterback Chandler Harnish who has thrown for 1,439 yards to go with 12 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions on the season with a 65.8% completion percentage. Harnish spreads the ball around quite a bit, but Nathan Palmer has been one of his top targets with 21 receptions for 319 yards and 3 TDs. The ground game has been prolific as well, led by senior Chad Spann with 1,000 yards rushing on 182 carries (5.5 YPC) and 12 TDs for the Huskies.
For Toledo, sophomore quarterback Austin Dantin left the Eastern Michigan game with a shoulder injury, and is not expected to play in this contest. That leaves freshman Terrance Owens to start against NIU, Owens has look good in limited action this season, and has tossed 5 TD passes without throwing an interception. Ball-control will be a big key for the freshman making his first start on the road in such a big game. Owens will likely have to rely on junior running back Adonis Thomas to shoulder the load in this game. Thomas has rushed for 517 yards on 98 carries (5.3 YPC) with 3 TDs this season, but he will likely see more action than normal in this contest.
The over is 6-2 in Toledo’s last 8 games as a road underdog, and the over is 6-2 in NIU’s last 8 games in November. NIU is 1-8 ATS in their last 9 contests against a team with a winning record, but the Huskies are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 home games. In head-to-head play, Toledo is 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 meetings, and the underdog is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
Toledo vs. Northern Illinois Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Toledo Rockets +10.5
@ Northern Illinois Huskies -10.5
Over 50 (110)
Under 50 (110)
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Toledo vs. Northern Illinois Prediction for Week 11 Tuesday Game:
Spread Prediction (Top Play) – Toledo has won 3 out of the last 4 matchups head-to-head, and 8 out of the last 10 so the Rockets can certainly play with Northern Illinois historically. Toledo has the less-talented team this year, but look for the Rockets to play hard and to give NIU everything they have even without their starting quarterback. The Rockets will play a conservative game plan with a freshman making his first start at QB, but all bets are off if they fall behind early and have to take to the air with the un-tested Owens at the controls.
Over/Under Prediction – Take the under in this contest, with two excellent teams squaring off for the top spot in the conference this should be a well-played, relatively low-scoring contest. The trend does not point definitively in any one direction, but look for Toledo to keep the ball on the ground unless they fall behind early and that should keep the total relatively low and certainly under 50. Toledo will struggle to score points without their QB in the game and in increased reliance on the running game.