Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#307 Northern Illinois 55 vs.
#308 Toledo -2.5
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 8:00pm EST
Written by Scott Reichel

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#307 Northern Illinois University
#308 University of Toledo
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Week 12 of college football continues as Northern Illinois travels to the Glass Bowl to play against Toledo on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 2:30 P.M. This will be the 47th meeting between these two teams. These two teams have not met since last season when the Huskies beat the Rockets at home by the score of 38-15.

Northern Illinois Looks To Keep Bowl Game Hopes Alive

The Northern Illinois Huskies have been extremely underwhelming this season. Specifically, the Huskies have lost six of their first nine games. As a result, one more loss will eliminate the Huskies from bowl game contention which would be extremely disappointing considering the fact that the program has made a bowl game each of the last two seasons. The main reason for Northern Illinois' struggles has been its offense which is only averaging 23.2 points per game. If the Huskies plan on keeping its bowl game hopes alive, its offense will need to showcase some of the firepower that it possessed last season before it is too late.

Leading the Huskies offensively is senior quarterback Ross Bowers who has been awful ever since he decided to transfer from California. So far this season, he has thrown for 1,947 passing yards and six passing touchdowns. However, he already has eight interceptions which is unacceptable. Interestingly, Bowers technically did not start in the last game as backup quarterback Marcus Childers played the first series. Based on the struggles that Bowers has had, it would not surprise me to see Childers have a much bigger role moving forward.

Defensively, Northern Illinois has been decent but it definitely can improve moving forward. Specifically, the Huskies are allowing 27.90 points per game which ranks 70th in the nation. In addition, the Huskies are allowing 372.70 yards per game which ranks 52nd in the nation. Now, Northern Illinois enters this game off a bye week so perhaps the added preparation time will lead to a better defensive showing in this game.

Toledo Looks To Extend Winning Streak

So far this season, the Toledo Rockets have been pretty good up to this point. Specifically, the Rockets have won six of their first nine games of the season. After a concerning 4-3 start, Toledo has responded by winning each of its last two games. However, those two wins did not come easily as each game was decided by less than four points. On the bright side, Toledo made the necessary plays in order to get those wins which should help instill some confidence moving forward. This game is also extremely important for the Rockets as they will look to potentially move into a tie for first place in the MAC West Division.

Leading the Rockets offensively will be junior quarterback Eli Peters who has been solid this season. Specifically, he has thrown for 365 passing yards and three passing touchdowns. His statistics are more impressive when one includes the fact that he was not the original starting quarterback this season. Senior quarterback Mitchell Guadagni was the original starter but he is currently still out with an injury so Peters is actually undefeated this season as the starter.

Defensively, Toledo has been terrible and it looks like it could be a serious issue moving forward. Specifically, the Rockets are allowing 28.60 points per game which ranks 75th in the nation. In addition, the Rockets are allowing 467.7 yards per game which ranks 118th in the nation. To make matters worse, they have allowed at least 33 points in each of their last games so it does not look like their defense is improving in the slightest as the season progresses.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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In a conference rivalry, preparation time can make or break a team's chances of winning. Northern Illinois was extremely fortunate in that regard as it had a bye week prior to this game so I expect the Huskies to come into this game extremely prepared as it is desperate to get back into the hunt. Northern Illinois has underachieved up to this point but it still has a ton of players who were on last season's conference championship team so most of the roster has a vital experience that should help the Huskies play well in this hostile environment. Give me the road team as a result.

Prediction: Northern Illinois +2.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both teams have been extremely underwhelming defensively this season so I have to take the over. Specifically, Northern Illinois is giving up 27.9 points per game and enters this game following a game against Central Michigan in which it gave up 48 points. Meanwhile, Toledo has given up at least 33 points in each of its last two games so I can see this game having a lot of points. I expect this game to finish somewhere in the high-60s as both teams should be able to score points at will due to their mobile quarterbacks. Give me the over as a result.

Prediction: Over

Half-Time Side Pick

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Even though Toledo is at home for this game, Northern Illinois is desperate to keep its bowl game hopes alive and it will need to come out with a fast start in order to accomplish that feat. Northern Illinois also dominated Toledo last year so I think that the Huskies might have discovered a recipe for success that will pay dividends in this game. Plus, Northern Illinois has had extra time to prepare for this matchup so I think that it will come out extremely prepared which should lead to a good first half. Give me the road team as a result.

Prediction: Northern Illinois 1H
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Written By Scott Reichel

Scott Reichel is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate with an insane passion for sports. His commitment to endlessly researching statistics helps separate him from other handicappers with regard to MLB, NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, NHL and NFL coverage. Scott also shares his passion for sports on StatSalt's YouTube page where he does a daily show called Scott's Selections.