No. 24 Toledo Rockets (7-1 SU, 6-1-1 ATS) vs. Central Michigan Chippewas (5-4 SU, 8-1 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date/Time: Tuesday, November 10, 2015, 8:00 pm EST
Where: Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Mount Pleasant, Mich.
TV: ESPN2, DirecTV 209
by Badger, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TOL -4.5/CMU +4.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
The 24th-ranked Toledo Rockets hopes for a Mid-American Conference (MAC) West division title and a possible New Years Day bowl appearance took a major blow last week on ESPN2 in Tuesday Night MAC-tion, so they will be looking to rebound and get their shot at national redemption when they travel to Mount Pleasant, Mich., this Tuesday night for a battle against the Central Michigan Chippewas.
Toledo ran up against their MAC West division nemesis last week in Northern Illinois and the Huskies stunned the Rockets again, handing them a, 32-27, defeat for the Rockets first loss of the season. The loss dropped the Rockets four spots in the college football playoff poll, and also puts the Rockets into a logjam at second place in the MAC West standings with Northern Illinois, Central Michigan and Toledo all sitting at 4-1 in MAC play looking up at Western Michigan sitting in first with a perfect 5-0 MAC record.
Central Michigan has quietly stayed alive in the MAC West standings by winning three in a row, including last weeks hard-fought victory over Akron on the road in Ohio, 14-6. Already armed with a win over Northern Illinois and a loss at Western Michigan, the Chippewas only hope at sharing a conference title depends on them beating Toledo on Tuesday. With games against Kent State and Eastern Michigan remaining, Tuesdays showdown with Toledo is clearly the only game on the Chippewas radar right now and a game they need to further mix up the MAC West title chase.
Oddsmakers set the opening point spread for the second of two Tuesday night national MAC college football games with the visiting Rockets as 4.5-point favorites. The number has only been live for less than 24 hours due to the early mid-week kickoff, so there hasnt been much line movement to record yet. The over/under total hasnt been released as of press time either.
The Rockets didnt play horrible in receiving their first loss of the year last week, considering they rolled up 427 yards of total offense with 291 of it on the ground against the Huskies. They just failed to make plays at critical times in the game, including making a crucial stop on defense in the closing minutes and Huskies scored the game-winner with less than two minutes remaining on the clock. Small little adjustments are all that the Rockets will need to make this week on offense, although they will face perhaps the stiffest defense in the MAC this week against the Chippewas, who are ranked 20th in FBS allowing only 318 ypg and just 21.7 points per game (33rd) through eight weeks.
When Central Michigan has the ball they rely on quarterback Cooper Rush (2,626 yards, 20 TD, 8 INT) to distribute the ball in the Chippewas passing game as much as possible to make up for a lack game-changers at running back. Jesse Kroll is the Chippewas top threat outside, and finding a way to get him loose in a Toledo secondary that is 85th in FBS allowing 247 ypg will be their top priority on Tuesday night.
Last years game between these two turned into a typical MAC shootout, with Toledo walking away as, 42-28, victors that day. The Central Michigan defense allowed 543 yards of total offense last year, a number that must change if the Chippewas have any hopes of springing the upset.
Toledo has also dominated the yearly series with Central Michigan in recent years, going 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings. The favorite in this game is also a strong 6-0 ATS. However, something will have to break with the trends for this game, since Toledo is 6-0 ATS in their last six on the road and 6-1-1 ATS in the last eight conference games but only 2-8 ATS on Tuesday night games; while the Chippewas are 4-0 ATS at home, but just 1-4-1 ATS in their last six home games against a team with a winning record.>
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I really think this could have been a great spot for a Chippewas upset except Toledo lost last week. The Rockets should be motivated and not looking past Central Michigan like they might have been had they not been beaten last week. I think the Chippewas keep it close and make this a hell of a game, but a late Toledo score will help them backdoor a cover. Im taking Toledo minus the points.
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