Toledo at Northern Illinois: What bettors need to know

Toledo Rockets at Northern Illinois Huskies (-10.5, 69)

TIME: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

THE ODDS: This spread has bounced around between 10.5 and 11 since it opened, but saw a massive drop in the total. They opened the number at 69 on Sunday and dropped it a full touchdown to 63 Monday afternoon. By Tuesday evening, the total had moved back up to 64 at several books. By Wednesday night, the total had moved a whopping 6.5 more points to 69.5.

The MAC West division and a trip to the MAC title game is on the line Wednesday. Northern Illinois leads the division at 6-0 in conference play while Toledo is in second at 5-1. 

STREAKS: Northern Illinois is one of the most profitable teams in the country at 8-1-1 ATS this season. The Huskies have covered six straight games and five games as double-digit favorites. Toledo had an 8-game winning streak snapped with a tough loss against Ball State last week.


- If you haven't seen Jordan Lynch yet, Wednesday's your chance. Northern Illinois started a Lynch-for-Heisman campaign a couple of weeks ago for their QB. Lynch ranks fourth the country in total offensive yards (3,517), leads all QBs in rushing (1,342 yards), is No. 1 in touchdowns responsible for with 35 (rushing and passing), broke the NCAA record for most consecutive 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback with eight, has gone six straight games without an interception, has thrown just three INTs, etc, etc, etc.

- Toledo senior linebacker Dan Molls will be charged with finding a way to slow Lynch. Molls leads the nation in tackles with 132 this season.

- From "Northern Illinois, winners of nine straight since a one-point setback to Iowa in the 2012 season opener, own the nation's longest home winning streak at 20 games and have won more consecutive conference games - 14 - than any other school in the Football Bowl Subdivision." Wednesday's game is supposed to be a 'Blackout', where NIU fans are encouraged to don black.

- Toledo's last three games played under, all of which had totals between 61.5 and 70.5.

- Toledo's defense ranks 106th in the country in yards allowed per game and 116th in passing yards against per game.

- The Rockets run a balanced offense with an effective dual-threat QB Terrance Owens and the nation's No. 2 rusher in David Fluellen. Fluellen has dashed for 200 or more yards in two straight games. 

- The Covers Consensus is fairly split with 52 percent on NIU.

- Tommylee Lewis returned two kicks for TDs in last year's game, a 63-60 win over Toledo.

- NIU ranks No. 2 in the conference in scoring defense (17.9 ppg), total defense (375.4 ypg) and tackles for loss.

- Toledo kicker Jeremiah Detmer has made 13 straight field goals.

- Toledo's band won't be making the trip to the game. The school is citing costs and school commitments, which is a little strange considering this is the team's biggest rivalry game each season. Toledo says the decision has nothing to do with freshman piccolo player Alex Hritz getting hit last year by NIU linebacker Jamaal Bass, as seen in this video.

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Posted by lordzud
4 years ago

What makes NIU better this year than past years is the quality of their pass rush on obvious passing downs. Sure Lynch is a phenominal QB but NIU has has very productive offenses in past years as well. This year when they get up a score or two and the other team is forced to pass their defensive ends are doing a great job of clobbering the QB I see NIU beating the spread. That 20 game home winning streak is no accident, this team plays waaaaay better at home than on the road. NIU isn't really that good when compared to superior conference teams but they dominate the MAC. NIU -10.5.

Posted by AA_Gambler
4 years ago

It's amazing how little respect NIU has gotten this year, and last year aswell. NIU has such a complete team in every phase, and Toledo is a good team but thier defense is just horrible against the Run & Pass. I see NIU putting up allot of points, and showing the country that Stout Defense that Toledo will be having nightmares about after the game.

Posted by kamunde
4 years ago

NIU is primed for a blow-out. Too many times NIU has been in this position to let Toledo spoil their season. NIU easily should of beat Iowa and been 10-0. NIU is the least appreciated small school in the country. I think that explains their awesome ATS record.
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Top Response

Posted by lordzud
4 years ago

"What makes NIU better this year than past years is the quality of their pass rush on obvious passing downs. Sure Lynch is a phenominal QB but NIU has has very productive offenses in past years as well. This year when they get up a score or two and th..."