It’s looking like hammer time in the NCAA week 12 Northern Illinois at Toledo free pick. This is because the Rockets, who are 6-0 at home, are less than a field goal favorite (TOL -2.5) vs. a Huskies team that has only one road victory on the season. The QB status is up in the air for Toledo in this one, but one would have to think the home squad still has the edge in this one.
Northern Illinois Slumping Hard
It’s been a very down year for the NIU Huskies. They faced some very high end competition early in the season with losses at Utah (17-35), Nebraska (8-44), and Vanderbilt (18-24) but Northern Illinois has looked even worse once conference play started.
NIU seems to have hit rock bottom coming into the NCAA week 12 Northern Illinois at Toledo free pick after losing 10-48 to Central Michigan last game as a 1-point road favorite. The Chippewas racked up 615 total yards in that game including 327 on the ground. It doesn’t give NIU a whole lot of hope going up against a Toledo squad that is 12th in the country with a 250 rush yards a game average.
The thing about Northern Illinois is that they aren’t built to come-from-behind which will be an issue vs. the Rockets offense that is clicking with 35+ points their last two games. QB Ross Bowers does have a 338 and a 221 yard passing game in the last three, but he threw 3 INTs last game vs. CMU. The Huskies could have a mini QB controversy too as Marcus Fiers had 3 TDs two games ago replacing Bowers, albeit that was against 0-10 Akron with NIU a -22 point favorite.
Can Toledo Finally Put it All Together?
Even in a somewhat down year (which isn’t really that ‘down’ at 6-3 the Rockets are still the better team in the NCAA week 12 Northern Illinois at Toledo free pick. There are some reasons to like NIU here though, especially after a 38-15 Huskies win a year ago in Dekalb in which Northern rushed for almost 300 yards.
Another reason why Toledo is such a hard team to back even though the spread is just -2.5 points is because they have been in some pretty close battles in the conference. The Rockets have withstood upset attempts in back-to-back games, a 35-33 win over Kent State last Tuesday and a 3 point OT win over Eastern Michigan the contest prior. Toledo also had a hiccup in a 7-20 loss at Bowling Green when the Rockets were a ridiculous -26.5 favorite. A week later Toledo was blown out at Ball State 14-52 as +3.5 underdogs.
Regardless of some close games and unexpected blowouts (on the bad end) Toledo is still one of 3 bowl eligible MAC teams The Rockets have been without their QB Mitchell Guadagni since the Bowling Green loss but his backup Eli Peters had 18 TDs and just 7 INT a season ago. Toledo also has Bryant Koback who has already amassed 1,000 yards rushing on the year. Northern is coming off the bye, but they were completely opened up vs. the rush in their last game.
NCAA Week 12 Northern Illinois at Toledo Free Pick
The road team has gone 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings between these two. This line does look on the low side for Toledo and although they have had their share of conference struggles this season, the Rockets still boast a 5-0 record at home on the year. 74% of the betting public agrees that Toledo is the play here, but sometimes you have to pull the trigger away from what oddsmakers are coaxing you into. That’s what makes Northern the play on the road Wednesday.
Pick: Northern Illinois +2.5