Toledo Rockets (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. BYU Cougars (1-3 SU, 4-0 ATS)
College Football Week 5
Date/Time: Friday, September 30, 2016 – 8:00 PM EDT
Where: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT
by KEITH, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TOLEDO +4/BYU -4
Over/Under Total: 52
The Toledo Rockets (3-0) and the BYU Cougars (1-3) will meet for the first time in their school histories. The much anticipated encounter will take place Friday, September 30th when the Rockets will embark to Provo, Utah to face off with the hosting Brigham Young Cougars. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Network at 8:00 PM EDT.
The Rockets continues to win and do so with style. However, the Rockets do not have the same mystique as they have had, as they have been teeing off on FCS opponents in recent weeks that are construed by many as nothing more than a bunch of chumps padding their schedule. These results combined with a bye week have casted Toledo as unprepared for their encounter with the Cougars on the road in Provo. The same may not have been said immediately after the Rockets kicked off their season with a bang against Arkansas State when the Rockets embarrassed the Red Wolves 30-7 on Arkansas State’s own home field.
The Brigham Young Cougars are in disarray. After the Cougs won their season opener against Arizona 18-16, BYU has since engaged in a difficult three-game losing streak. For BYU they lost three games they could have won as the Cougars were no more than a field goal behind in each of their three losses. In fact the combined total for the three losses the Cougars suffered was just one touchdown. All of these results were yielded against Power Five opposition, including Utah, UCLA and West Virginia. Cougars players, supporters and fans alike probably feel as if they could easily be 4-0 right now with a sparkling top-twenty five ranking beside their name.
Fading the public in many occasions yields a plethora of benefits. When you get a situation where you can take by an undefeated team with points against a team that lost three straight, we have to like that angle even more. Toledo is not some mediocre mid-major team. Toledo can very much be a Power Five Conference member and they play one like too when they are placed against premier opposition. The Rockets won 10 games in 2015 and they achieved this by winning against teams they were supposed to lose against. The Rockets took down a solid SEC team in Arkansas Razorbacks in the season opener when Arkansas was ranked. This accolade was proliferated on the road as usual. Furthermore, let us examine what transpired just a few weeks ago in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Heavy action rolled in on a slight favorite in Arkansas State and contrary to the public insight, Arkansas State was absolutely rolled as they had been each and every time the Rockets had crossed paths with them. Yet, Toledo was the marginalized dog.
To Toledo, BYU is no different than any other opponent. While they may have never met them, one must imagine the Rockets are chomping at the bit for the chance. Toledo has an attitude that they will play anyone, anywhere even if their recent schedule seems like fodder to them. Some can recite that argument that BYU could easily be 4-0 right now but at the end of the day, the Cougars have lost three games and Toledo has yet to lose, both teams know this and it is BYU that may enter this contest unprepared and psyched out. Regardless of how they lost, the Cougars are on a losing streak and that in itself is worth fading. When you consider the behavior of this market and how it parallels Toledo in Week One when they were a road dog, Toledo is the team with all the more appeal.
In terms of Over/Under markets the under is probably the more affable play. Toledo and BYU are defense first football teams and both look to control the clock and run the ball. This game will likely be a game of possessions though it is not inconceivable that Toledo controls this game in entirety. We have to like Toledo with the emotional edge given the fact they have won as many games as BYU has lost, regardless of circumstances.
KEITH’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TOLEDO +3.5
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