MAC Football Preview: Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Toledo Rockets

Northern Illinois Huskies at Toledo Rockets
Tuesday, 11/1/11, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Toledo -7
Current Betting Line:  Toledo -7.5
Opening Total:  67
Current Total:  67
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Toledo Rockets are 18-2 SU in their last 20 games against the Northern Illinois Huskies inside the Glass Bowl

Northern Illinois will enter Tuesday night’s game with a three-game winning streak and should be rather confident in this MAC contest due to tallying a 65-30 win in last year’s meeting as 11.5-point home favorites.  It was a dominating performance, racking up 584 yards, including 422 on the ground, going into the break with a 28-0 lead on Senior Night.  Quarterback Chandler Harnish will be back under center, gaining 162 passing and 149 rushing yards versus Toledo in 2010.  Northern Illinois is 7-7 ATS on the road the last two-plus years, but 0-3 this year.

The Huskies have posted a 24-13 record versus MAC foes on the road since 2002.  Northern Illinois possesses one of the best offensive lines in the nation, combining for 145 starts, while giving up one sack or less in seven of the team’s eight games this year.  Offensively, the team doesn’t waste its trips inside the red zone, scoring 40 of 44 times.  The Huskies are tied for 13th in the country in the category and have come away with a touchdown 29 times.

Toledo comes in on a win streak of its own, reaching four games with a 49-28 win over Miami-OH as 16.5-point home favorites.  The Rockets lead this particular series, 29-9, but have lost two of the last three games.  The program has simply dominated inside the Glass Bowl, posting and 18-2 mark versus Northern Illinois inside the venue.  “I think it’s pretty obvious it’s a tough place to play,” commented Huskies head coach Dave Doeren.  “We’re aware of it.  Not going to make a big deal out of it.”  Toledo is 9-6 ATS over the last two-plus seasons at home and the ‘over’ is on a 9-5 run.

The Rockets have tallied an 11-1 record over their last 12 MAC games, starting 4-0 in conference action for the second consecutive year.  Toledo is 23-27 all-time in nationally televised games, including a 6-4 mark on Tuesday nights.  This particular showdown will feature two high-scoring teams, with Northern Illinois leading the conference in averaging 38.5 points, while Toledo is just behind at 36.5.  Wide receiver Eric Page is a star, ranking 12th in the nation in all-purpose yardage.  As a team, the Rockets rank fourth in turnover margin (+1.6).

Bettors will likely back the Huskies due to their 9-3-1 ATS mark in conference play, while the Rockets are 0-4 ATS following a bye week.

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