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How and what to watch for Toledo vs. Northern Illinois

Both the Rockets and Huskies will try to bounce back after tough three-point losses last weekend.

Toledo Rockets quarterback Dequan Finn runs wide past Eastern Michigan Eagles defensive back Mark Lee Jr. for a long gain during the Eastern Michigan Eagles vs Toledo Rockets game on Wednesday November 18, 2020 at Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti, MI Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Toledo Rockets will be looking to get back into the win column when they face off against the winless Northern Illinois Huskies Saturday at 12:00 p.m. ET in DeKalb, IL.

The Rockets (2-2) are coming off a tough 27-24 home loss to Ball State last week. Ball State held a 17-3 lead over Toledo in the first half, but the Rockets outscored the Cardinals 21-10 thanks to the play of quarterback Eli Peters in the second stanza. Peters completed 27-of-36 passes for a season-high 363 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.

Both of Peters’ touchdown passes went to wide receiver Bryce Mitchell, which were a part of his five receptions for 94 yards. Defensively Toledo struggled through the air and on the ground, allowing Ball State quarterback Drew Plitt to complete 26-of-35 passes for 304 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.

Meanwhile Cardinals running back Tye Evans had a game-high 101 yards on 25 carries. As a team, Toledo is only giving up 117.3 rushing yards per game this season, and they shouldn’t have issues against a NIU offense that is averaging 113.5 yards per game on the ground.

As for Northern Illinois (0-5), they are in search of their first win of the season after losing 30-27 last week to Western Michigan. The Huskies played relatively well as quarterback Ross Bowers completed 22-of-36 passes for 230 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions.

One of his TD passes went to wide receiver Tyrice Richie, who had 12 receptions for 131. It was also Richie’s third game with at least 100 receiving yards this season. Heading into next week’s game, NIU will try to continue its aerial attack against a Toledo pass defense that is giving up 12.2 yards and 240 yards per game this season.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Toledo vs. Northern Illinois on Saturday, December 5th at 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPN3, or you can stream it via the CBS Sports app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Toledo (-9) vs. Northern Illinois
Point Total: 56
Money line: Toledo (-335) vs. Northern Illinois (+255)

Betting splits

Toledo: (15% of handle, 72% percent of bets)
Northern Illinois: (85% of handle, 28% percent of bets)

The Best Bet

This is Northern Illinois last shot at a victory, and it’s on Senior Day in DeKalb. We’re not sure that’s enough to get them home after a brutal MAC season, but it’s enough to be within one score when the gun fires even if it means via the backdoor. We’ll take the Huskies at home.

Pick: NIU +9

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