The Tuesday night (8:00 pm ET) game of the week for week 12 of the 2014 season features another MAC-tion pairing with the Toledo Rockets (6-3) and the Northern Illinois Huskies (7-2) from DeKalb, IL. Toledo has won two games in a row, a 30-20 win at Kent St. last Thursday night, and a 42-35 win over UMass the previous week. The Rockets losses have come against Missouri (49-24), CIncinnati (58-34) and Iowa ST. (37-30). NIU defeated Ball St. 35-21 on the road last week in a game that we correctly predicted in this blog, the Huskies are riding a three-game winning streak with wins over Miami (Oh.) (51-41) and Eastern Michigan (28-17). NIU ranks Their losses came at Arkansas (52-14) and Central Michigan (34-17).
Toledo is ranked 16th on offense n total production, averaging 495.7 yards per game. The Rockets are averaging 245.1 YPG rushing and 250.6 YPG passing so far this season.They rank 34th nationally in scoring offense with 34.4 points per game and and 16th in total offense with 495.9 YPG. Defensively Toledo ranks 97th in scoring defense with 32.1 PPG allowed and 95th in total defense with 47 YPG allowed. The Rockets are a running team offensively, with running back Kareem Hunt averaging 8.4 YPC with 8 TDs on the season for a unit that ranks 19th nationally with 245.3 YPG on the ground.
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Northern Illinois is ranked 34th on offense nationally, averaging 456 yards per game. The Huskies are averaging 265.7 yards rushing and 190.3 yards passing so far this season. Quarterback Drew Hare, a dual-threat, has thrown for 11 TDs and 1 INT and 1,352 yards this season. They average 32 PPG to rank 47th nationally in scoring offense and 34th in total offense with 456 YPG. Defensively NIU ranks 60th nationally in scoring defense with 25.7 PPG allowed and 63rd in total defense with 392 YPG allowed.
Toledo vs. Northern Illinois Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Toledo Rockets +4
@ Northern Illinois Huskies -4
Over 59 (-110)
Under 59 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Toledo vs Northern Illinois Pick
Toledo is 2-7 ATS this season while NIU is 4-5 ATS this year. NIU owns 4 wins in a row outright over the ROckets including a 35-17 as a 1 point favorite last season. The Rockets are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games, 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 conference games. The Huskies are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games in November but 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games. The Under is 10-3 in Rockets last 13 road games and 9-3 in their last 12 against a team with a winning record. The Under is 4-1 in Huskies last 5 games overall and 4-1 in their last 5 home games. In head-to-head play Under is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings in DeKalb.
This game figures to be another action-packed MAC tilt with both teams ranking in the top third nationally in offensive production and in the lower half of the country defensively. The trend for both teams individually, as well as head-to-head runs counter to that theory though, as it favors the Under. With such conflicting evidence, the total is not the best play here, so the line must be call.With NIU holding the edge over the Rockets in recent meetings and ranking as one of the most successful programs in the country over the last 3 seasons, the Huskies are the more battle-tested team. Toledo as a running team is not equipped to play catch-up if the Huskies, as they often do take the lead early. Take NIU and give the points in this game.