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Toledo at Western Michigan
When and Where: Saturday, Jan. 12, Read Fieldhouse, Kalamazoo, Mich., 2 p.m. EST.
Looking to regroup after an embarrassing loss, Toledo tries again for its first Mid-American Conference victory Saturday when it faces Western Michigan on the road.
Rockets out to rebound after being flattened at Buffalo
Toledo (12-3, 0-2 MAC West), considered one of the teams expected to battle Buffalo for MAC supremacy this season, saw just how much work it will need to beat the 19th-ranked Bulls after being throttled 110-80 on Tuesday night.
Chris Darrington scored 21 points and Marreon Jackson added 20, but Toledo had no answers for a Buffalo offense that drilled 15 3-pointers, shot 51.8 percent, turned 17 Rockets turnovers into 24 points, and rolled up 38 fast-break points.
Everything that went so right for the Rockets in their 12-1 run through non-conference play has fallen apart through two MAC games in which they have been shredded for 189 points while giving up at least 38 points in all four halves.
Congrats to @jaypack1322!
— Toledo M Basketball (@ToledoMBB) January 9, 2019
“We’ve completely lost our edge,” coach Tod Kowalczyk told the Toledo Blade. “We’re a team that has been extremely focused over the first 13 games and played together and played the right way and with the correct attitudes and defended. Right now, we are not guarding and we are not playing with the toughness we need and our turnovers are killing our offense right now.”
Toledo entered conference play holding teams to 40 percent shooting but has been scorched at a 50.3 percent clip in the two losses. Perhaps more worrisome is the Rockets have given up 74 field goals while making just 52.
The Rockets have five players averaging in double figures, paced by Jaelan Sanford‘s 16.4 per game, and Nate Navigato has hit 50 percent of his 3-pointers (44 for 88). The pair and Darrington have accounted for 92 of Toledo’s 150 treys.
Broncos also looking to escape West cellar
Western Michigan (6-9, 0-2 West) has dropped five of six overall after being overrun 88-73 at Kent State on Tuesday night. Unlike Toledo, the Broncos’ woes have originated on the offensive end of late as they were held under 40 percent for the third straight game.
Tomorrow is gonna be "All that and a bag of chips!"
It's 𝟵𝟬'𝘀 Night.
Get to University Arena early to receive your EXCLUSIVE WMU Fanny Pack.
— WMU Men's Basketball (@WMUMBB) January 11, 2019
Michael Flowers scored 20 points as Western Michigan nearly erased all of an 18-point, second-half deficit before falling short. William Boyer-Richard went 4 for 6 from 3-point range as he chipped in 12 points off the bench.
The Broncos are scoring and giving up 72.2 points per game as they have totaled and conceded 1,083 points. Flowers leads the team in scoring at 16.3 points per game, followed by Seth Dugan (14.7) and Josh Davis (13.0).
Western Michigan has been held to 65.7 points per game and 40.1 percent shooting during its six-game swoon while hitting just 31.5 percent from deep.
Western Michigan is:
- 4-11-1 ATS in its last 16 games following a straight up loss.
- 0-3-1 ATS in its last four home games.
- 1-4 ATS in its last five games as a home underdog between 0.5-6.5 points.
- The over is 20-8-1 in its last 29 home games vs. teams with an above-.500 road record.
- The over is 27-9 in its last 36 games as a home underdog.
- The over is 5-1 in its last six games as an underdog between 0.5-6.5 points.
- 5-1 ATS in its last six games as a road favorite.
- 4-1 ATS in its last five games as a favorite.
- 5-1 ATS in its last six games as a road favorite between 0.5-6.5 points.
- The over is 5-1-1 in its last seven road games vs. Western Michigan.
- The over is 22-9 in its last 31 games as a road favorite between 0.5-6.5 points.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
After such a chastening loss at Buffalo, practices could not have been much fun for the defending West Division champions of the MAC. Kowalczyk’s comments denote a desperate team coming to Western Michigan, and with good reason, because an 0-3 start in a conference where Buffalo could turn the MAC into a one-bid league may be too much to overcome.
Look for a focused Rockets team that swept Western Michigan last season to make it three in a row.
Prediction: Pick: Toledo -6
Full-Game Total Pick
Toledo shot lights out from 3-point range in the two wins over Western Michigan last season, canning 26 of 54 while averaging 84.5 points. The teams combined for 145 and 166 in the two games last season, with the higher total coming in Kalamazoo. It may not get that high this time, but a determined Rockets team should drag the Broncos over the line here.
This line has since moved up two points to 147, so hopefully, you got in early.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 145 points
Half-Time Side Pick
The Broncos have yet to trail at halftime at home, leading three times and being tied once. Toledo has trailed by eight or more points twice and by one point once. The only time the Rockets led after 20 minutes was a surprising 18-point bulge at Marshall, a game they nearly blew before winning in overtime.
Given Toledo’s form, the Buffalo hangover could linger for a bit in the first half, making the home dog Broncos the pick.
Prediction: Pick: Western Michigan +3
Half-Time Total Bet
The Rockets have gone 72 points or higher in their four road games, including a 77 at Buffalo last time out. Additionally, these teams combined for an 84-point first half last season. Western Michigan is the X-factor here — the Broncos have gotten over 66 just once in their four home games — but with Toledo desperate for a win, the hedge is a more offensive effort from the Rockets.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 69 points