Central Michigan Chippewas at Toledo Rockets: Free Preview

Daniel GimenezCollege Football, Football

Two teams that prefer to run the football, Coach John Bonamego and the Central Michigan Chippewas (+19) are facing off against the Toledo Rockets (-19) at Glass Bowl. This MAC showdown kicks off at 12:00 p.m. ET and ESPN 3 is in line to have the TV rights.

Betting Preview: Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Toledo Rockets

This Friday MAC game shows the Chippewas as a big dogs and they’re currently getting 19 points. The Chippewas are also receiving +830 moneyline odds while the Rockets are -1550. Vegas has placed the over/under (O/U) at 52.5 points. If the favorites get behind early, it’ll likely produce a nice in-game betting opportunity.

With the game’s O/U originally placed at 51.5, the over has received the bulk of the early sharp action.

The less-than-stellar Chippewas are 5-6 against the spread (ATS) and are down 11.2 units so far in 2018. They’ve been a good under bet and have posted an O/U record of 3-8.

The Rockets have lost 2.3 units for moneyline bettors this season. They’re 5-6 ATS and own an O/U record of 6-4.

The Chippewas are 1-10 straight up (SU), including 0-7 SU against conference opponents. The Rockets are 6-5 SU overall and 4-3 SU in conference play.

When these two teams met last year, Toledo knocked Central Michigan off soundly 30-10.

The Chippewas hope to bounce back after a 24-13 loss to Bowling Green on November 10 where Austin Hergott completed only 11 passes on 21 attempts for 94 yards, as well as a score and a pick. Romello Ross (just 33 rushing yards on 13 attempts) led the ground attack while Devon Spalding (four receptions, 34 yards) and Julian Hicks (two catches, 40 yards, one TD) shared the receiving duties in the defeat.

Toledo takes the field on Friday following a 56-34 win over Kent State. The team’s defense allowed the Golden Flashes to pass for 314 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 183 yards and two scores. Jo-el Shaw was a bright spot in the loss, recording 116 rushing yards and a score on 16 attempts for Kent State. For Toledo, Eli Peters completed 11-of-14 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns. Bryant Koback (192 rushing yards on 17 attempts, two TDs) and Art Thompkins (122 yards on 14 carries, two TDs) handled the running game while Desmond Phillips (three receptions, 17 yards) and Shakif Seymour (two catches, zero yards) led the pass-catching corps in the win.

Each squad has a similar run-pass ratio on the season. Central Michigan’s run the ball on 56.5 percent of its offensive possessions while Toledo has a rush percentage of 58.3. The Chippewas have produced 126.7 rush yards/game (including 145.0 per game versus Mid-American opponents) and have eight touchdowns on the ground this year. The Rockets are averaging 217.3 rush yards per game (242.6 in conference) and have 24 total rushing TDs.

The Chippewas offense has averaged 134.6 yards through the air overall (129.0 per game against conference opposition) and has nine passing scores so far. The Rockets have produced 229.0 pass yards per game (206 against MAC competition) and have 28 total pass TDs.

Defensively, Central Michigan should have the upper hand when it comes to limiting the pass. The team has let opponents rush for an average of 196.6 yards and pass for 148.0 yards per game. The Toledo D has allowed 270.5 yards per game to opposing passers and 187.6 yards per game to opposing runners. The Chippewas are giving up an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of just 4.06 to opponents, while the Rockets have allowed a 6.31 ANY/A.

Offensively, Hergott is up to 94 passing yards on the year, and has completed 52 percent of his 21 attempts with one scores through the air and one interception. He has a 2.77 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number sits at 1.07 over the last two games.

We expect the Chippewas to control tempo by feeding their running backs early and often. Along with Devon Spalding (147 yards), Romello Ross (302 rush yards, two rush TDs) and Kumehnnu Gwilly (234 rush yards, one rush TD) have been big focal points in the offensive scheme for Central Michigan.

Eli Peters has completed 84-of-150 passes for 1,129 yards, 13 TDs and six INTs for Toledo. His ANY/A sits at 7.03 for the year and 6.45 over his last two games.

The Rockets should also look to control the clock by turning to their backfield. Cody Thompson (456 receiving yards, 10 TDs) has contributed lately, but Bryant Koback (704 rush yards, 11 rush TDs) and Art Thompkins (450 rush yards, five rush TDs) have gotten a multitude of action lately.

Central Michigan Chippewas at Toledo Rockets NCAA Tip

SU Winner: Toledo, ATS Winner: Central Michigan, O/U: Over

Team Betting Notes

  • The Chippewas offense has yet to create a pass play of 40 or more yards, while the Rockets have accounted for eight such plays.
  • The Central Michigan defense has allowed two pass plays of 40+ yards, while Toledo has given up 11 such plays.
  • The Central Michigan offense has created five rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Toledo has created 22 such runs.
  • The Chippewas defense has allowed 25 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Rockets have given up 22 such runs.
  • The Central Michigan defense has sacked opposing QBs 29 times this season. Toledo has registered 28 sacks.
  • As a team, Central Michigan has averaged 2.5 yards per carry across its past three outings and 2.4 over its last two.
  • Toledo has averaged 5.9 yards per carry over its last three games and 6.1 over its last two.
  • In its last three matches, Toledo is 2-1 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
  • The O/U for Central Michigan’s last game was set at 50. The under cashed in the team’s 24-13 defeat to Bowling Green.
  • Over its last three matchups, Central Michigan is 1-2 ATS and the under cashed in each of those three.
  • The Over/Under for Toledo’s last outing going into it was 57.5. The over cashed in that 56-34 triumph over Kent State.
  • Toledo has won four of its last five games SU, with a -23-point loss to Northern Illinois on November 7th representing the only slip-up over that stretch.