- The Toledo Rockets are slight favorites over the Ohio Bobcats in the MAC Championship Game Dec 3
- Ohio has won seven straight games to close out the regular season
- See below for odds, analysis and our betting prediction
The Ohio Bobcats (9-3, 7-1 MAC) have ripped off seven wins in a row, have the best record in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and the best record overall.
And yet, they’re the betting underdog as they take on the Toledo Rockets (7-5, 5-3 MAC) in the MAC Championship game this weekend.
The two-highest scoring clubs in the conference — and both inside the NCAA’s top 35 — will likely have to compete with their backup pivots after late-season injuries have thrown their game-planning for a loop.
The title game goes Saturday (Dec 3) at 12pm ET from Ford Field in Detroit, MI, in a game you can see live on ESPN.
Toledo vs Ohio Odds
|Toledo Rockets||-1.5 (-115)||-128||Ov 54.5 (-115)|
|Ohio Bobcats||+1.5 (-105)||+106||Un 54.5 (-105)|
The Bobcats are 1.5-point underdogs in this one, in a game that features a total of 54.5
Rockets’ Betting Outlook
Since locking up the MAC West crown, the Rockets have hit the skids, dropping two straight, including Week 13’s 20-14 loss to the Western Michigan Broncos.
Starting QB Dequan Finn gave way to Tucker Gleason last game, and his status for Saturday is not yet known. He’s been dealing with several ailments, including an upper-body injury and an ankle injury that forced him to sit last game, a 42-35 loss to Bowling Green.
Gleason struggled in Week 13, going 13-for-38 for 200 yards, with one TD pass, while also adding a rushing score. He also threw a pick-6 in the second quarter that erased a Toledo 7-0 lead.
Toledo! Tucker Gleason to DeMeer Blankumsee for the 17 yard TD! pic.twitter.com/lpfqo1meSw
— 𝗙𝗢𝗟𝗟𝗢𝗪 @𝗙𝗧𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗱𝟳 (@FTBeard7) November 25, 2022
He fared much better against Bowling Green, throwing for 329 yards, three scores and two interceptions, while picking up 106 rush yards on 17 carries and a pair of TD’s.
Toledo averaged 33.3 points per game this season, which ranks 35th in the NCAA. Their ground game churns out 172.9 yards per game, 56th in the nation.
Their defense was tops in the MAC, allowing 337.8 yards per game, good for 29th in FBS. They’re standouts in the pass game, allowing 187.1 yards per game, a top-20 mark in college football. They were second in TD allowed in the MAC, and had a conference high 11 interceptions.
Bobcats’ Betting Outlook
The highest-scoring team in the MAC, putting up 34 points per game, Ohio has had to adjust on the fly as starting pivot Kurtis Rourke went down with a knee injury in their Week 12 win over Ball State. He’s now done for the year.
How valuable was the Canadian pivot? On Wednesday, he was named MAC offensive player of the year.
Stepping into the starting position is CJ Harris, and the Bobcats have moved from a mostly-traditional pocket passer to a dual-threat QB. Rourke had six games passing for over 300 yards, while Harris has 230 yards passing in two games.
CJ Harris executes the speed option to perfection, pitching it to Sieh Bangura at the right time to give the 'Cats a short running score!
21-7 Ohio with 3:42 remaining 1H pic.twitter.com/6GyQvj4DS6
— Hustle Belt (@HustleBelt) November 23, 2022
The offense hasn’t skipped a beat, however. Last game, Harris rushed 12 times for 65 yards and three touchdowns as the Bobcats hung 38 on Bowling Green. They’re averaging 35 points a game in his two starts.
While Toledo and Ohio matchup favorably on offense, the Bobcats’ defense is a unit that has been lit up all season. They are surrendering 29.3 points per game, a lowly 96th in FBS, and they are dead last against the pass, surrendering 305.3 yards per game.
Toledo vs Ohio Prediction
It’s been a while sine either school has been to the conference championship. Toledo is making their seventh appearance, looking for their first ‘chip since 2017. Ohio is still seeking their first trophy, in what will be their fifth appearance and first since 2016.
Here’s hoping you’ve been riding this Bobcats’ betting wave: Ohio has gone 8-0 against the spread in their last eight games, including the last seven as straight up wins. Toledo, meanwhile, ended the regular season with an 0-5 mark ATS.
Losing the best player in the conference hasn’t hurt Ohio yet, but Toledo has a passing defense that can be a difference-maker. Harris will be appearing in just his sixth career game, and making his second career start.
Look for the Rockets to load up the box and stop Harris’ run game, and see what he can do throwing the ball.
- Toledo -1.5 (-115); 1 unit to win 0.87 units
- Week 13 NCAAF Record: 1-1: Overall: 8-8 ATS, 1-0 ML, 1-3 o/u; -2.33 units