NIU vs Toledo Prediction - College Football Picks 9/30/23

Toledo Rockets (3-1) vs NIU Huskies (1-3)

Game Info: Saturday, September 30, 2023 at 3:30 pm (Glass Bowl)

Betting Odds: Toledo Rockets -13 -- Over/Under: 47 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Northern Illinois Huskies will play the Toledo Rockets in a MAC game on Saturday afternoon at the Glass Bowl in Toledo, Ohio. Northern Illinois has lost three games in a row, while Toledo has won three games in a row coming into this matchup.

Northern Illinois Preview

The Northern Illinois Huskies are 1-3 this season after they lost to Tulsa by a score of 22-14 in their last game. NIU trailed 9-7 at the half, but they took a 14-9 lead in the third quarter, before allowing Tulsa to score the final 13 points of the game. The Huskies out gained Tulsa by a total of 295-281 and both teams turned the ball over three times in the game. Northern Illinois won their first game against Boston College, but they have lost three straight to Southern Illinois, Nebraska, and Tulsa. The NIU offense is averaging 15.8 points per game with 180 passing yards per game and 105.5 rushing yards per game, while going 42.6% on third downs this season. Rocky Lombardi has thrown for 566 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions for the Huskies this year. Antario Brown has rushed for 184 yards and one touchdown, while Kacper Rutkiewicz has caught 14 passes for 204 yards and one touchdown. The NIU defense is allowing 23.8 points against per game this season, but has allowed 57 points in their last two games.

Toledo Preview

The Toledo Rockets are 3-1 (1-0) this season after they defeated Western Michigan by a score of 49-31 last week. Toledo trailed 24-14 at halftime, but was able to score 35 points in the second half for the win. The Rockets out gained WMU by a total of 497-393, and both teams turned the ball over four times in the game. Toledo opened their season with a close loss to Illinois, but defeated Texas Southern, San Jose State, and Western Michigan in their last three games. The Toledo offense is scoring 42.3 points per game with 231.8 passing yards per game and 214 rushing yards per game, while going 56% on third down conversions this year. Dequan Finn (questionable) has thrown for 679 yards, eight touchdowns, and four interceptions, while also rushing for 180 yards and two touchdowns for the Rockets this season. Peny Boone has rushed for 402 yards and five scores, while Jerjuan Newton has caught 16 passes for 209 yards and six touchdowns. The Toledo defense is giving up 20.3 points against per game this year. 

Toledo Rockets Team Facts

  • Toledo has won nine of its last 10 home games in September.
  • Toledo has failed to cover the spread in six of its last seven games against conference opponents.
  • Toledo has lost the first half in three of its last four home games against conference opponents.
  • Four of Toledo's last five home games against Northern Illinois have gone UNDER the total points line.

Northern Illinois Huskies Team Facts

  • The road team has won seven of Northern Illinois' last eight games.
  • The road team has covered the spread in seven of Northern Illinois' last eight games.
  • Northern Illinois has lost the first half in six of its last seven games against conference opponents.
  • Each of Northern Illinois' last five road games in September have gone OVER the total points line.

Matchup/League Facts

  • Toledo ranked 18th among FBS teams for Q4 points per game last season (9.2).
  • Toledo was one of only 20 FBS teams to win 3+ games when trailing at HT last season.
  • Northern Illinois suffered the equal-most losses by a margin of 10 points or less of any FBS team last season (6).
  • Northern Illinois suffered the equal-most road losses by a margin of 10 points or less of any FBS team last season (4).

Pick

Toledo played a very poor first half last week against Western Michigan, but they woke up and had a huge second half to get the win. Northern Illinois has only managed to score 14, 11, and 11 points in their last three games, which is not going to get it done in most games. Toledo is the better offensive team by a mile, as they are averaging over 200 yards through the air and on the ground this season. I expect Toledo to start this game much better than their last game and I like them to cover here. 

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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