Toledo vs. Ohio Odds, Pick, Prediction: Lay the Points in Tuesday MACtion

Toledo vs. Ohio Odds, Pick, Prediction: Lay the Points in Tuesday MACtion article feature image
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Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Jerjuan Nelson.

  • Updated Toledo vs. Ohio odds list the Rockets as a 7.5-point favorite, with the total at 57 in the first MACtion contest of the week.
  • The Bobcats have had some good fortune in the last few weeks but will face their toughest test of the year on Tuesday.
  • Get Collin Wilson's full Toledo vs. Ohio preview and pick below.

Toledo vs. Ohio Odds

Tuesday, Nov. 16
7 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Toledo Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-7.5
-105
57.5
-105o / -115u
-290
Ohio Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+7.5
-115
57.5
-105o / -115u
+230
Odds via DraftKings, updated Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Two teams that have historically been favorites in their respective MAC divisions each year are now fighting to have a postseason.

Toledo must win one of its final two games to reach six wins to be considered for bowl season after a loss to Northern Illinois earlier in the season. The Rockets have suffered three losses in the MAC by a combined eight points. But they may have to fight through Ohio and Akron to end the regular season.

The Bobcats have been a cash cow over the past six weeks of play, supporting a 5-1 mark against the number. Head coach Tim Albin took over coaching duties this summer on the heels of Nathan Rourke’s departure at quarterback.

Ohio took its bumps to start the season in a 20-point loss to Syracuse as a favorite before losing outright to Duquesne.

Albin is now looking for a way to survive the MAC East with three conference losses, as Miami (OH) and Kent State both sit a game ahead in the standings.


Toledo Rockets

QB Dequan Finn’s Maturation Huge for Rockets

The maturation of Dequan Finn at the quarterback position has been vital for Toledo. The freshman from Detroit has posted eight touchdowns to just one interception over the past three games and obtained his highest QBR of the season in a 49-point outburst last week versus Bowling Green.

His ability to maneuver through the pocket has kept defenses on their heels.

Dequan Finn rushes in for the TD and just like that @ToledoFB is up 21-10. pic.twitter.com/YvELWNOUm7

— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) November 11, 2021

While the quality of the passing game has improved, Finn relies heavily on zone read and play-action passing to wide receivers Isaiah Winstead and Devin Maddox.

Toledo is more than just a dual-threat quarterback with explosive wide receivers, as Bryant Koback is just shy of 1,000 yards on the season with nine touchdowns.

Toledo Needs to Defend Explosiveness

While the offense schemes between 11 and 12 formations, the defense has been multiple.

Defensive coordinator Vince Kehres started the transformation of the defense in 2020, and those seeds are bearing fruit in 2021. Toledo is fourth in the nation in tackling and top-25 in Defensive Havoc, coverage and Rushing Success Rate.

Kehres predominately calls a 3-3-5 scheme but has called seven different schemes more than a dozen times this season. Any scheme that has a four-down front has blitzed 35% of snaps.

The one area the Rockets struggle in is defending the explosive play. Toledo is top-20 in both standard downs and passing downs Success Rate, but that ranking falls to outside the top 75 in regard to the explosive play.

Eastern Michigan generated 52 points against Toledo by obtaining two-plus first downs on all nine of its offensive possessions. The Eagles were stuffed on just 25% of rushing attempts, which may be a window into how Ohio will game plan on offense.

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Ohio Bobcats

Bobcats Running Wild

The Bobcats may be the best-kept secret in the betting world, taking only a  single loss against the spread in the past six weeks. Ohio was net -3 in turnovers against the Kent State in that ATS loss, as stability in ball protection has been crucial in covering all other games.

Albin has continued the offensive philosophy of former head coach Frank Solich, calling 59% rush while rotating between the 11 and 12 formations.

Defenses that cannot defend the rush have struggled against running back De’Montre Tuggle, who has also been a weapon with the wheel route.

De’Montre Tuggle from little brother Kurtis Rourke, quickly catching up to big brother Nathan@OhioFootball | #BobcatNation pic.twitter.com/oAj0DpDucz

— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) November 3, 2021

UNLV transfer quarterback Armani Rogers posted 183 rushing yards against Buffalo before being limited to just five designed runs against Miami (OH) and Kent State. Rogers was back to rushing the ball in last week’s victory over Eastern Michigan, gaining 61 yards on 10 carries.

Rogers has become a great resource to spell starting quarterback Kurtis Rourke, who can also run the ball. That’s a valuable asset for both signal-callers, as Ohio is 11th in the nation in Line Yards, moving trenches against every opponent.

Ohio Defense Has Not Matched Its Offense

The defense is where the Bobcats’ struggles start.

Ohio runs a 4-2-5 scheme and calls blitz on less than 19% of defensive snaps. This style of defense has generated a rank of 125th in Defensive Havoc with particular issues in getting to the quarterback. Ohio is 116th in passing downs Sack Rate and 113th in Success Rate when teams fall behind schedule.

While the 4-2-5 has been crucial in stopping the explosive play, Ohio is giving up plenty of yards with a defense that ranks 127th in tackling.


Toledo vs. Ohio Matchup Analysis

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

Toledo Offense vs. Ohio Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 42 88
Line Yards 55 107
Pass Success 87 125
Pass Blocking** 118 114
Big Play 39 77
Havoc 73 125
Finishing Drives 92 108
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Ohio Offense vs. Toledo Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 34 9
Line Yards 22 48
Pass Success 115 65
Pass Blocking** 81 34
Big Play 78 52
Havoc 44 21
Finishing Drives 59 18
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 2 127
Coverage 12 50
Middle 8 42 77
SP+ Special Teams 109 122
Plays per Minute 58 112
Rush Rate 54.7% (65) 58.8% (40)

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


Toledo vs. Ohio Betting Pick

These teams have not played since 2017, long before Tuggle and Rogers came to Athens for Bobcat football.

The biggest handicap against Ohio is if an opponent can defend the run. Toledo has been one of the best rushing defenses in the nation, stuffing 148-of-371 opponent attempts. The Rockets are 10% above the national average in Stuff Rate and will consistently get behind the Bobcats’ offensive line.

Another advantage for the Rockets comes in the red zone. Toledo is 23rd in Defensive Finishing Drives because of its ability to limit touchdowns. The Rockets have the seventh-best touchdown scoring percentage defense of all FBS teams in the red zone.

In contrast, the Ohio defense is outside the top 100 in Finishing Drives and must contain Finn and the zone read.

The Bobcats defense has allowed 5.4 yards per play to rushing attempts, as opponents are hitting a Success Rate on the ground 13% above the national average. Ohio has nearly half the Stuff Rate percentage of the Toledo defense, as the Bobcats rank 109th in stopping runs at or behind the line of scrimmage.

Another tough aspect for Ohio is standard downs explosiveness, as Finn and the Toledo offense are the best team in the nation at coming up with chunk plays when the offense is on schedule.

There are plenty of advantages in the advanced statistics to make a case for Toledo, from the ground attacks to a monster gap in tackling grades.

Rockets head coach Jason Candle is also 15th in “Middle 8” scoring, a stat that looks at point differential four minutes before and after halftime. Albin, meanwhile, has struggled in his first year as a head coach with a rank of 92nd in the Middle 8.

The Action Network projection on the total is 53 with both teams’ respective ranks in plays per minute and Finishing Drives. The value sits with the point spread with a projection of Toledo -7.

Even with Ohio’s magical run at covering the spread, this is the toughest rush defense the Bobcats will see, and it comes against a motivated Toledo team looking to go bowling.

Pick: Toledo -7 or Better

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