The Bowling Green Falcons host the Toledo Rockets in a key MAC showdown on Tuesday, November 17 to kick off Week 12 college football. The Rockets have won five straight meetings with the Falcons, including a 27-20 home win last year as 7-point favorites.
Toledo (8-1, 5-1 MAC) is coming off a 28-23 road win at Central Michigan last Tuesday. The Rockets got a big game from quarterback Phillip Ely, who threw for 339 yards and two touchdowns. Kareem Hunt added 113 rushing yards and two scores in the win.
Bowling Green (8-2, 6-0 MAC) is also coming off a big 41-27 road win at Western Michigan last week. The Falcons were led by QB Matt Johnson and RB Travis Greene. Johnson threw for 269 yards and three touchdowns, while Greene had 170 rushing yards and three scores.
Kickoff inside Doyt Perry Stadium is scheduled for 6:00 EST Tuesday night with ESPN 2 providing the television coverage. Taking a look at the odds in Las Vegas, I find Bowling Green as a 7-point favorite over Toledo with a total set of 69 points.
This feels a lot like last year when Bowling Green clinched the MAC East Title with a few weeks to go and proceeded to tank the rest of the way. I could easily see that happening again this year after the Falcons clinched the MAC East with their 41-27 win at Central Michigan last week. They literally have nothing to play for now, and betting on teams in these situations will get you killed.
Last year, Bowling Green clinched the MAC East title with two games left. It went on to lose 20-27 at Toledo as 7-point underdogs and 24-41 at home to Ball State as 10-point favorites, failing to cover the spread by 17 points in that game. The Falcons also went on to lose to Northern Illinois 17-51 in the MAC Championship.
Toledo has everything to play for right now. It is sitting in a three-way tie with Northern Illinois and Western Michigan for first place in the MAC West and the right to play Bowling Green in the MAC Championship. The Rockets are going to have to win out and get some help because they lost a heartbreaker 27-32 to Northern Illinois, so the Huskies hold the tiebreaker over them.
The Rockets did a great job of handling their business last week in winning 28-23 at Central Michigan. This game was a bigger blowout than the final score indicated as the Rockets jumped out to a 21-0 lead before taking their foot off the gas. The Chippewas even got a defensive touchdown to help get them back in the game.
Toledo has actually outgained each of its last seven opponents this season. The only two games it got outgained this year it still found a way to beat Iowa State and Arkansas.
Toledo has actually outgained each of its last seven opponents this season. The only two games it got outgained this year it still found a way to beat Iowa State and Arkansas. The Rockets are very good on both sides of the ball, averaging 6.1 yards per play against teams that give up 5.8. They also give up just 5.0 yards per play defensively against teams that average 5.5.
Bowling Green’s success offensively is well documented, but it will finally be up against a legitimate defense this week. The Rockets only allow 18.8 points per game and will be the best defense that the Falcons have seen in conference play. Bowling Green’s biggest weakness is its defense, which allows 27.9 points, 439 yards per game and 5.6 per play.
I believe the Falcons come in overvalued due to having gone 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall. Well, the last two games were a lot closer than the final scores. They beat Ohio 62-24 despite only outgaining the Bobcats by 38 yards. They also beat Western Michigan 41-27 despite only outgaining the Broncos by 18 yards.
Toledo simply owns Bowling Green, going 5-0 SU & 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Not only are they winning these games, they are dominating them. They have outgained Bowling Green in all five games with four of those coming by 101 yards or more. I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if they win this game outright as well.
The Rockets are 10-1-2 ATS in their last 13 games overall. Toledo is 7-0 ATS in its last seven road games. The Rockets have actually had an extra day of rest than the Falcons. They played last Tuesday while the Falcons played on Wednesday, and that is a nice advantage as well.