Northern Illinois vs. Toledo College Football Week 6 Odds & Picks: Low-Scoring Game Expected

Northern Illinois vs. Toledo College Football Week 6 Odds & Picks: Low-Scoring Game Expected article feature image
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Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Toledo Rockets quarterback Carter Bradley (2).

Northern Illinois vs. Toledo Odds

Northern Illinois Odds +13
Toledo Odds -13
Moneyline  +385 / -525
Over/Under 51 (-115 / -105)
Time 12 p.m. ET
TV CBS Sports Network
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Both teams enter this week on respective two-game winning streaks.

Northern Illinois comes into this game after a win over Eastern Michigan, while Toledo defeated everyone’s favorite bottom feeder, UMass. Both teams managed to cover the spread in the process.

Northern Illinois is 3-1-1 against the spread through five games and has gone over just twice.

Toledo is 3-1-1 ATS and has gone over in just two games this year.


Northern Illinois vs. Toledo Betting Preview

Saturday, Oct. 9
12 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network

Northern Illinois Huskies

Northern Illinois Offense

Coming off of a winless season, Northern Illinois has already shown some improvement. However, there’s still plenty of room to grow.

The Huskies averaged just 28.6 points per game and 5.7 yards per play. The Huskies play at a relatively slow pace, averaging 66.2 offensive plays per game and one play every 28.4 seconds. They have a 46.5% Success Rate, average 4.44 points per opportunity and allow Havoc on just 12.8% of plays.

The Huskies average just 156.2 passing yards per game and have completed just 56.5% of their pass attempts.

Former Michigan State quarterback Rocky Lombardi is leading this offense with 781 passing yards and five touchdowns.

Despite changing programs, Lombardi has maintained his propensity for giving the ball away as he already has five interceptions.

Northern Illinois has a Passing Success Rate of 45.3% and has completed just 12 passes over 20 yards.

The focus of the Huskies’ offense is the running game, however. They average 43.2 rush attempts per game and 221 rushing yards per game. They have a Rushing Success Rate of 48% and have only been stuffed on 8.7% of their rush attempts. The line is generating 3.4 line yards per attempt.


Northern Illinois Defense

The Huskies’ defense has allowed at least 14 points in every game, this season and has allowed at least 50 points twice.

They’ve averaged 33.6 points allowed per game and are giving up 9.6 yards per play.

What’s most concerning is their inability to close out drives and get opposing offenses off the field. They’re allowing 4.83 points per opportunity and are creating Havoc on just 16.9% of plays.

Teams are passing with consistent success against the Huskies. Only Maine and Georgia Tech failed to pass for more than 200 yards against them.

Opposing quarterbacks have completed 61.4% of passes with a Passing Success Rate of 46.4%. They’re allowing 8.3 yards per pass attempt and they’ve only forced one interception through five games.

The run defense hasn’t fared much better, but its coming off of week in which it allowed just 38 rushing yards on 24 attempts. But for the year, it has allowed 200 yards per game at an average of 5.0 yards per attempt.

The Huskies allow a Rushing Success Rate of 51% and are only stuffing 10.3% of opposing rush attempts.

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Toledo Rockets

Toledo Offense

Despite being favored to win the MAC, the offense isn’t playing at a consistently high level — although conference play may bring more success. The offense is averaging 397 yards per game and 30.2 points per game, but those numbers are slightly skewed by two 40-point games.

The Rockets play at a below-average pace, averaging 28.1 seconds per play and run the ball just over 50% of the time. They have a Success Rate of 35.3% and have averaged just 3.48 points per opportunity.

Carter Bradley leads the Rockets’ offense with 912 passing yards while averaging 8.2 yards per attempt. He’s completed 62.2% of his passes and has thrown just one interception.

Dequan Finn has also seen limited action and passed for 192 yards and a touchdown, but he brings significantly more mobility as he’s averaged 7.5 yards per carry and four touchdowns.

As a unit, the team has a 33.6% Passing Success Rate.

The running game has been slightly more successful than the passing game.

The Rockets have a Rushing Success Rate of 36.4% and have averaged 4.6 yards per attempt. Bryant Koback has been the leading back for this offense, with 76 carries for 364 yards and four touchdowns.

The offensive line hasn’t helped the cause with just 2.99 line yards per attempt and an 18.6% stuff rate.

Facing this NIU defense may help cure some of their early-season woes.


Toledo Defense

While the offense has struggled early, it’s been the defense that has helped this team to a 3-2 start.

The Rockets are allowing 16.6 points per game and 4.5 yards per play. They’ve held opponents to a 37% Success Rate and 2.35 points per opportunity. One reason they’ve been able to keep opponents from finishing drives is their 26% Havoc rate, which includes eight turnovers generated.

The pass defense has been the slightly weaker unit. They’ve allowed 170.6 yards per game and one touchdown per game. Opposing quarterbacks have completed 52.4% of passes with a 41% Passing Success Rate.

The Rockets have held opponents to 127 rushing yards per game at an average of 3.3 yards per attempt. They’ve allowed a 31.5% Rushing Success Rate, which has started with wins in the trenches. They’re allowing just 2.61 Line Yards per attempt and have forced a 21.9% stuff rate.

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Northern Illinois vs. Toledo Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Northern Illinois and Toledo match up statistically:

Northern Illinois Offense vs. Toledo Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 37 8
Line Yards 25 107
Pass Success 84 59
Pass Blocking** 78 16
Big Play 81 28
Havoc 8 9
Finishing Drives 92 28
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Toledo Offense vs. Northern Illinois Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 52 121
Line Yards 78 7
Pass Success 90 28
Pass Blocking** 114 106
Big Play 49 108
Havoc 97 114
Finishing Drives 33 90
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 28 12
PFF Coverage 82 19
Middle 8 127 3
SP+ Special Teams 78 74
Plays per Minute 101 96
Rush Rate 65.3% (13) 56.1% (57)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


In a matchup of mostly mediocre offenses, Toledo appears to have a bigger edge.

As expected, Toledo has an edge in nearly every aspect on offense vs. a questionable NIU defense. With such a large advantage in the running game, it seems likely that the Rockets will continue to feature the running backs and methodically move down the field.

As for NIU’s offense, their advantage in Line Yards is mostly offset by their disadvantage in Rushing Success Rate. And with 63% of their offensive plays being runs, it could be a struggle to get much going on offense.


Northern Illinois vs. Toledo Betting Pick

Most of the bets and money has come in in support of the Rockets in this game, which is why the line has moved up two points from the open.

But I prefer the total, which has come down 2.5 points since open. This is a matchup of strength-on-strength that features two slow offenses.

Both of these teams have gone under in three of their five games, this season.

I like this under down to 49.5.

Pick: Under 52.5

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