Fresno State has been loading up on football games on the road that come with seven-figure guarantees, taking the quick money even if it comes with a potential loss. However, new athletic director Terry Tumey said that he will be ditching that strategy. Instead, he will be banking on coach Jeff Tedford and the football program to continue a winning run and fill Bulldog Stadium to generate the revenues required to keep afloat a department loaded with 21 sports programs.
Guadagni impressing for Rockets
Toledo rebounded following a disappointing showing against the top-25 ranked Miami Hurricanes in Week 2, defeating Nevada 63-44 at home last week. Mitchell Guadagni accounted for six touchdowns on the night, throwing four and rushing four two to help the Rockets outscore Nevada and improve to 2-1 for the season. Guadagni, a junior who took over the starting duties this season, was 15 of 24 for 211 yards and rushed for 131 yards on 15 carries to help propel Toledo to the win. Guadagni has thrown for 698 yards, nine touchdowns, and only one interception, while adding another 198 yards rushing. He leads the team in both categories, while Diontae Johnson is averaging more than 20 yards per reception and has four touchdowns to lead all Rockets receivers coming into Saturday’s game.
Like Fresno State, Toledo has also had its bye week already and the Rockets come into the week averaging a hefty 51 points per game, while allowing 32 on the other the side of the ball. The Rockets are averaging 465.7 yards of total offense, 280.7 of which come through the air. However, they haven’t managed to stop opponents either and they are allowing 425.7 yards per game, including 192.7 yards per game on the ground.
McMaryion, Bulldogs snap skip vs. Power Five
Fresno State snapped a 10-game losing streak against Power Five schools last week with a 38-14 win over the Chip Kelly-led UCLA Bruins. Marcus McMaryion ran for four touchdowns and passed for another to help carry the Bulldogs to a convincing win. McMaryion finished 22 of 33 for 270 yards and one touchdown, while adding nine carries for 16 yards and four TDs to help keep the chains moving. Nine different receivers caught passes on the night, but no one topped 100 yards. Instead, it was the defense that shined, forcing four turnovers and limiting UCLA to just 1-for-10 on third downs to come away with the win.
McMaryion has now thrown for 682 yards and three touchdowns for the season while completing 70.3 percent of his passes. Receiver KeeSean Johnson leads the team in receiving with 20 catches for 292 yards and a score.
The Bulldogs come into this game averaging 43.7 points per game, while allowing just 16.0 points per game on defense. They are averaging 404.3 yards of total offense, including 158.7 yards rushing so far this year, and limiting opposing offenses to just 294.7 yards per game through their first three contests.
- Bulldogs are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
- Rockets are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. MWC.
- Rockets are 17-4 ATS in their last 21 road games.
- Rockets are 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 games in September.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Many people expected the Rockets to upset Miami, so it is no surprise to see the spread moving in Toledo’s direction early this week. Fresno State has beaten Idaho and a lackluster UCLA team — and that win is going to look devalued at the end of the season. Toledo has showed some offensive firepower and they did manage to put up a respectable 24 points against the vaunted Miami Hurricanes defense. Take Toledo to cover the spread on the road in this early season non-conference matchup.
Prediction: Pick: Toledo Rockets +7.5
Full-Game Total Pick
By the numbers, it looks like Fresno State is the much better team defensively. While that may be so, the Bulldogs have yet to play a competent offensive team so far this season and Toledo can put points on the board in a hurry. Both of these offenses average over 400 yards of total offense per game and Toledo has been susceptible to big plays on defense so far this season, which has me leaning towards the over in this game on Saturday.
Prediction: Over 59.5
Half-Time Side Pick
Mitchell Guadagni has been excellent for the Rockets thius season, throwing for nine touchdowns and just one interception for the season. He performed admirably against Miami, throwing for 222 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Toledo also has eight rushing touchdowns on the year, so I’m leaning towards them covering the first half spread on the road in this spot.
Prediction: Toledo +6.5
Half-Time Total Bet
Toledo comes into this matchup averaging 51 points per game, while the Bulldogs are averaging 43.7 per contest, so it is a bit of a surprise to see this total so low. Both teams come into this game averaging more than 400 yards of total offense per game and the Rockets are allowing 425 yards of total offense to opposing teams. Look for this game to go over the first half total with ease on Saturday night.
Prediction: Over 31