Toledo Rockets (6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS) vs. Northern Illinois Huskies (7-2
SU, 6-2-1 ATS), Week 11 NCAA Football, 7:00 p.m. EST, Tuesday,
November 9, 2010, Husky Stadium, Dekalb, Ill., TV: ESPN2
by Badger of Predictem.com
The West Division of the Mid-American Conference will be up for grabs Tuesday night in front of a nation-wide audience on ESPN2 when the Toledo Rockets travel to Dekalb, Illinois, to face the Northern Illinois Huskies in Huskie Stadium.
Both teams enter the showdown at 5-0 in MAC play, so the winner will put a stranglehold on the division with only two weeks remaining in the regular season.
Toledo enters the game riding a three-game win streak, including a 42-7 stomp over Eastern Michigan in their last action (Oct. 30th), but they will face steep odds literally and figuratively since Northern Illinois has rattled off six straight wins and has quietly become one of the hottest teams in the country.
Plus the Huskies, who continued their streak with a 28-21 victory on the road at Western Michigan their last time out (also on the 30th), must play their final two conference games on the road at Ball State and Eastern Michigan, so theyíll be hyped up to assume the role of the driverís seat in front of the home crowd in DeKalb on Tuesday.
Those steep odds I mentioned earlier that the Rockets face, well most sportsbooks opened the game with Northern Illinois as 11.5-point favorites. The point spread is still less than 24 hours old, so it hasnít had enough time to move in either direction yet.
As of press time the over/under total and the moneyline bets have yet to be released.
This game will all hinge on the ability of Toledo to stop the power running attack of Northern Illinois on offense.
Running back Chad Spann has already gone over 1,000 yards this season (111 ypg), and when combined with quarterback Chandler Harnish the Huskies run for over 243 yards per game, a total that leads the MAC and is 11th in the country.
What separates the Huskies this season is Harnishís ability to pass the ball of play-action, throwing for over 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns to help the Huskies stand at the front of the MAC in scoring offense at 30.7 points per game. Itís the Huskies ability to pass when needed that has allowed them to lead the MAC in 3rd-down efficiency, converting at an astounding 51.6 percent clip.
The Toledo defense does offer up a little bit of a challenge for the powerful Northern Illinois attack, since they do lead the MAC in turnover margin (+9) and also lead the MAC in defensive 3rd-down efficiency at 35.8 percent. But itís going to take a total team effort because Northern Illinois is also the least penalized team in the MAC and is second to the Rockets in turnover margin (+7), so they havenít been beating themselves this season.
Another huge question for the Rockets in this game is how well will freshman quarterback Terrance Owens play in just his third game and first start since starter Austin Dantin hurt his shoulder last week against Eastern Michigan.
Owens was incredibly effective in relief of Dantin (10-of-15, 234 yards, 4 TD) against the weak Eagle defense, but Northern Illinois also features the MACís 2nd-ranked scoring defense (only 17.5 ppg - 16th in NCAA), so the test will certainly be much tougher. I expect the Huskies to throw everything and the kitchen sink at the young Owens, stacking the box to take away Adonis Thomas and the rest of the Rocket running game in order to make Owens beat them with his arm and his decision making.
As if the Huskies need any extra motivation for Tuesdayís huge MAC clash, theyíll also have the angle of redemption to feed on to give them an added edge. Toledo has owned the series versus the Huskies over the years, going 8-2 SU since 2000 and also 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 meetings on the gridiron.
FAT BONUS ALERT: "DEPOSIT UP TO $125 AND GET A DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR MATCHING BONUS AT ONE OF THE WEB'S OLDEST AND MOST STABLE ONLINE SPORTSBOOKS: SPORTSINTERACTION
Northern Illinois did win the last time they played in Huskie Stadium in 2008, covering as 8-point favorites with a 38-7 victory, but that is the exception to the rule. The Rockets have won and covered in the previous four games in Dekalb.
The underdog is also 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings, so the Rockets certainly have most of the betting trends pointing in their favor.
The under also has some strong trends working for it. The under is 2-1-1 in the last four games in Dekalb in the series, but itís also 15-6-1 in the Huskies last 22 home games at Huskie Stadium and 6-2-1 in the Huskies last nine games following a bye.
Badgerís Pick to Cover the Spread: With a freshman getting his first start against a tough Huskies defense, on the road, in the MACís biggest game of the year so far Ö I just donít see the Rockets having enough offense to stay in this game against those odds. Iím on the Huskies here to bring the title home. Take Northern Illinois minus the 11.5 points.
Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!
Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.
Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.
Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.
College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.
Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.
Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.
2015 College Football Predictions - Badger gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2016 National Championship game.
2015 Heisman Trophy Predictions - Trevone Boykin (TCU QB) is favored to win the award at 7.5-1 odds but Bob says this is a sucker bet! Dak Prescott should be a contender and ball carriers Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette look good as well!
2016 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football handicapper Bob gives his picks on who he thinks will win the 2016 National Championship. Despite not liking to side with heavy favorites, he believes the Alabama Crimson Tide (+950) are the team to beat.
MyBookie - Get a HUGE 50% bonus (up to $1000 FREE!) after making an initial deposit of $100 or more! Great at getting Visa cards to work for deposits.
Bovada - Boasts the highest credit card acceptance rate on the internet! HUGE menu of wagers for you to choose from! One of few online sportsbooks to offer Texas Hold'em! 50% bonus up to $250 in free cash!
5Dimes - 15 team parlays! 20 point teasers! Reduced juice betting odds! Buy up to 15 points! Most props on the web!
Bookmaker - Offers a HUGE 50% sign up bonus up to $300! Enjoy LIVE college football betting where you can jump into the action at any time during the game and place a bet! This gives you a huge advantage!
Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - Ezekiel Elliott starts the season as a 6/1 favorite to win the award. Those that have seen crafty LSU Soph. Leonard Fournette think he's a lock though. Trevone Boykin brings experience and plays on a high scoring team. Cardale Jones won the big game last year and is listed as 12-1. It might be a good year to bet more than one prediction!
Odds to Win the 2015 BCS Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored to be repeat winners of the National Championship this year at +500 followed by Oregon at +800, Ohio St. +850, LSU/Texas A&M +1200 and Florida/FSU both at +1400. Check out your school's odds here!
Heisman Trophy Winners - A full list of college football quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers who have made history on the field and won the prestigious award.
Fantasy College Football - Draft a fresh team every week! Leagues range from $2 to $420! You can play head to head or in big groups! Payouts take place approx. one hour after the final Saturday game.
The Spread - Who will cover the spread? They will! Offers scores, odds, free game predictions, current news and more!