Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tuesday Night MACtion Preview: Toledo @ Central Michigan

To simplify this game, Toledo is a run-based offense (5.3 yards per attempt, 222.9 yards per game, 16 rushing touchdowns) that ranks top 3 in the conference in rushing and bottom 3 in passing. CMU is a pass-based offense (296.2 yards per game, 20 touchdown passes) that ranks in the top 3 in passing and is dead last in rushing.

I love these games because we'll see how Toledo has handled good passing teams, how CMU has handled good rushing teams, and then figure out where we can make a bunch of money. At the time of me writing this, the line is Toledo -4.5.

Toledo against the pass:

  • Arkansas: 32/53 attempts, 412 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception (they average 280.2 yards, 2.3 touchdowns, 0.6 interceptions)
  • Iowa State: 26/43, 274 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions (239.2 yards, 1.6 touchdowns, 1.0 interceptions)
  • Arkansas State: don't pay attention to this game, they aren't a real school
  • Ball State: 23/37, 236 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions (221.8 yards, 1.4 touchdowns, 0.6 interceptions)
  • Kent State: don't pay attention to this game, they're the worst passing team in the MAC
  • Eastern Michigan: 25/39, 205 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception (218.3 yards, 1.4 touchdowns, 1.4 interceptions)
  • UMass: 27/49, 240 yards, 4 touchdowns, 1 interception (293.0 yards, 1.9 touchdowns, 1.0 interceptions)
  • Northern Illinois: 16/25, 277 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception (236.1 yards, 1.7 touchdowns, 0.6 interceptions)
UMass is right behind CMU in terms of passing yards in the conference, but CMU throws the ball more efficiently. It's important to note that Toledo won that game despite giving up 4 touchdown passes (Toledo QB Phillip Ely threw 5). 

Overall, with the exception of the UMass game, Toledo's defense does a good job of containing against the pass. In every game listed above (and the two not listed), they've held opponents to under or around their averages in passing yards and touchdowns. That's why they're a road favorite tonight. 

Central Michigan against the two MAC teams similar to Toledo's running game:

  • Northern Illinois: 59 carries, 211 yards, 3.6 yards per carry, 2 touchdowns (they average 47.4 carries, 207.0 yards, 4.4 yards per carry, 2.8 touchdowns)
  • Western Michigan: 41 carries, 215 yards, 5.2 yards per carry, 1 touchdown (39.6 carries, 208/2 yards, 5.3 yards per carry, 2.1 touchdowns)
I want to note that WMU's quarterback had a near-perfect day, with 15 completions on 22 attempts for 262 yards, 4 touchdowns, and a bananas 94.1 QBR. I'm going to make a mental note to bet on them in the future, because they lost to Michigan State and Ohio State, flubbed a game at Georgia Southern, and have creamed almost everyone else. My man Clay Travis loves Bowling Green this year, but BGSU travels to WMU tomorrow night, and I like the Broncos as a 3-point home dog. 

Back to the game at hand, though, and I like Toledo here. I almost like them too much - this feels like a CMU line, but I don't think Toledo has a problem covering 4.5 at all. 

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