Central Michigan will try to nudge its way past .500 as the Chippewas host the Toledo Rockets for their homecoming game Saturday. The Chippewas hung on last week to beat the Ohio Bobcats 30-27 for their first Mid-American Conference victory of 2021.
Can Central stay strong and finally string together two wins? Oddsmakers at Michigan sportsbooks aren’t so optimistic.
Toledo at Central Michigan: MAC Football Odds, NCAA Week 7
Central Michigan opens as underdog against Toledo
Central Michigan went into last week’s road game against the Bobcats as six-point favorites. They got the needed victory but didn’t cover the spread. Central has covered just twice this season.
As of early Tuesday, DraftKings Sportsbook and Golden Nugget Sportsbook favored Toledo by 4.5 points and predicted an over/under of 51.5 points. WynnBet Sportsbook gave Central 5.5 points and an over/under of 53.
Toledo’s game totals have hit more than 53 points twice this season. Central and its opponents have combined for more than 53 in four games. Most sportsbooks had settled in the 51.5 range by Tuesday afternoon.
The 4.5-point Toledo spread was a near consensus line as of the publication of this article.
Golden Nugget initially offered a moneyline of -195 for Toledo and +165 for Central. WynnBet gave Central +180 and a -220 line to Toledo. DraftKing’s moneylines were +170 and -220. Markets settled into the roughly -200 and +170 range by late Tuesday afternoon.
For real-time odds updates on both sides of this matchup throughout the week, consult our game tracker above.
How to watch: Toledo Rockets at Central Michigan Chippewas
- Who: Toledo (3-3, 1-1 MAC) at Central Michigan (3-3, 1-1)
- When: 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday
- Where: Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Mount Pleasant, Mich.
- TV: CBS Sports Network (Announcers: Chris Lewis, Ben Leber)
- Radio: CMU Sports Properties Radio Network
Central Michigan spoils Ohio’s homecoming
The Ohio Bobcats won their first game of the season at Akron on Oct. 2, only to return home for a 30-27 homecoming heartbreaker courtesy of Central Michigan.
Central struck first on a Lew Nichols III 3-yard touchdown run. The running back had a stellar performance: a season-best 30 carries for 186 yards and the score, plus three receptions for 24 yards. He has rushed for more yardage in college just once before, in a 31-23 win against Eastern Michigan in 2020, when he piled up 196 yards against the Eagles.
Including at Ohio, Nichols III has netted more than 100 yards in three different games (135, 152) and leads the MAC with 591 rushing yards.
Freshman quarterback Daniel Richardson was the sole slinger for the Chips. Sophomore Jacob Sirmon took the bulk of snaps in Weeks 1, 2 and 3, before the pair split up the workload against Florida International in Week 4. Richardson had 41 attempts to Sirmon’s eight against the RedHawks in Week 5.
For the Bobcats game, it was all Richardson, who finished 16 of 30 for 257 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Dallas Dixon had four catches for 91 yards. Kalil Pimpleton caught five for 78 yards and the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
The defense took it from there, forcing a three-and-out on the Bobcats after Pimpleton’s score, which then put the Chippewas in position to ride out the clock for the win.
Failed two-point conversion, late field goal seal Toledo’s fate
Like the Chippewas, the Rockets are looking to push past .500 after a tough 22-20 loss to Northern Illinois last week.
There were six lead changes. Toledo scored a go-ahead touchdown to move ahead 20-19 with just under four minutes to play, but failed on a two-point conversion.
The Huskies then were able to set up the game-winning field goal from John Richardson with 26 seconds remaining.
Toledo again went with a two-quarterback approach. Freshman Dequan Finn finished 10-for-17 and threw for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore Carter Bradley completed 6 of 14 passes for 50 yards.
Junior running back Bryant Koback led the team in rushing and receiving yards, carrying the ball 12 times for 91 yards and a touchdown and catching two passes for 85 yards and a touchdown.
Devin Maddox caught five passes for 34 yards and a touchdown.
Toledo looks good on the road
The Rockets have gone 5-0 against the spread in their past five road games. The Chippewas are 0-4 ATS in their past four games.
Toledo also has dominated the overall series, 26-17-3. In the 2020 meeting, the Rockets squeaked out a 24-23 win.
The Chippewas stomped the Rockets in 2019 by a 49-7 count. But before that, Central hadn’t won against Toledo since 2009.
Central Michigan will celebrate homecoming week and its hall of fame game on Saturday, honoring former Central Michigan offensive lineman Joe Staley, who won a MAC championship and an inaugural bowl win with the team before heading to the San Francisco 49ers for his pro career.