Northern Illinois vs. Toledo 2012: Betting odds, preview and pick

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

The MAC's West champion will be decided Wednesday and oddsmakers don't seem to give Toledo much of a chance against host Northern Illinois.

In the game that is likely to decide who represents the West Division in the upcoming MAC championship game, the 9-1 Northern Illinois Huskies run with the 8-2 Toledo Rockets Wednesday night in DeKalb (9 pm ET, ESPN2).

And if Toledo's recent run of road victories and if its strength as an underdog is any indication, plenty of college football betting enthusiasts will be backing the Rockets in this one.

Toledo opened as double-digit underdogs, and the line was holding at 10.5 points at shops such as Bovada midday Tuesday. But the Rockets are 9-1 SU in 10 road games and have covered the spread five straight times as an underdog, according to the CFB odds database.

NIU opened this season with a one-point loss to Iowa, but hasn't lost since. The Huskies won a couple of close ones earlier in the season, but most of their victories since have been blow-outs. Over its last four games, including a 63-0 mashing of Massachusetts last week, Northern Illinois has outscored opponents 193-44.

On the other side of this match-up Toledo lost its season opener at Arizona, 24-17, but then won its next eight games, including its first five conference games and a non-conference bout with Cincinnati. But last Tuesday the Rockets had two touchdowns called back because of penalties and lost at home to Ball State 34-27.

Toledo got called for 10 penalties vs. the Cardinals, the third time this season they've hit double-digits on penalties.

Statistically speaking, the Huskies, powered by dual-threat QB Jordan Lynch, have averaged 478 YPG on offense, 251 of it on the ground, while the Northern Illinois defense has held foes to 375 YPG. The Rockets, meanwhile, are averaging 462 YPG on offense, 211 YPG on the ground, but giving up 464 YPG.

On the injury front the Rockets are a little banged up on defense, and might be down two D linemen Wednesday night.

NIU has beaten Toledo the last two seasons, by scores of 65-30 and 63-60. Needless to say, both those games played OVER on the totals.

Free Pick: The Huskies have won 20 games in a row at home, and they should make it 21. We'll give the points with Northern Illinois. (courtesy of PickShark.com)

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