Game: Eastern Michigan Eagles at Toledo Rockets
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Eagles +9, Rockets -9
The 5-3 Eastern Michigan Eagles travel down I-75 to take on the 4-4 Toledo Rockets and the hosts are 9-point favorites. Some of that has to do with the Rockets’ last game. Some of it may be due to how Toledo has dominated this series.
The Rockets surprised a very good Western Michigan team two weeks ago winning 34-15. Toledo scored 21 points late to break open what had been a close game. QB Dequan Finn keyed those late points. He is one of three quarterbacks that could see action for the Rockets. Whoever plays quarterback will have RB Bryant Koback to lean on. Koback averages 5.3 yards per carry and leads the Rockets with 642 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
Running the football could be a key tonight for Toledo. The Eagles give up 184 rushing yards per game. In their two MAC losses, EMU allowed Ball State RB Carson Steele to run for 138 yards. Northern Illinois rushed for over 200 yards against the Eagles.
In the MAC West, Northern Illinois is 4-0 and in first place. All five remaining teams, including Toledo, are 2-2. The Rockets’ two losses have come to Northern Illinois and Central Michigan. Those two losses are by a combined five points. Toledo is very close to being 4-0 in the conference and 6-2 overall.
Eastern Michigan is in a similar situation. The Eagles are 2-2 in MAC play. Their losses are to NIU (27-20) and Ball State (38-31). Eastern Michigan is 5-3 thanks mainly to an offense that is second in the MAC in scoring. It will be interesting to see how the Eagles’ passing game stacks up against Toledo’s defense. The Rockets have the best pass defense in the conference.
Ben Bryant leads the EMU offense. The senior quarterback has thrown for 1,836 yards and 10 touchdowns. His top receiver is Hassan Beydoun who has 52 catches for 533 yards. The Eagles average 32.8 points per game. Toledo allows just over 326 yards of total offense and 18.3 points per game.
Then, there is the history of the series between these two schools. Toledo has won 13 of the last 14 games between the two teams. The last Eagles win was recent though coming in 2019. That game was played at Eastern Michigan.
What’s also interesting in this matchup is the recent margin of victory. Toledo blew out the Eagles last year, but the three previous games were decided by five points or less. Despite those close games, Eastern Michigan is just 5-14 ATS in the last 19 games against Toledo.
Tonight’s total is 53 and the Rockets have played in six straight games where the total has gone Under. Eastern and its offense have seen the total go Over in four of its last six games. In this series, the Over is 10-4. In the last ten games in the series, the average combined final score is 67.90.