Ball State Vs. Toledo Odds, Picks, Predictions (11/8/22)

On Tuesday night, midweek MACtion returns, and we have you covered with analysis on every game. You can find matchup previews for every MAC game on our site as well as further coverage on our YouTube channel. This article will provide you with a full preview of the game between Ball State and Toledo including the betting odds and my official picks. Let’s get to work.

Ball State Cardinals Vs. Toledo Rockets Odds

We’ve already seen significant movement in the spread for this game as it opened with Toledo as 16.5-point favorites, and it’s moved all the way to 11.5 at the time I’m writing this. Speculation surrounding Toledo quarterback DeQuan Finn’s status has been rampant, and it’s the biggest reason for the odds movement. With a total of 50.5 points, the over/under is a touch lower than the look-ahead line of 55.5.

Ball State Cardinals Vs. Toledo Rockets Prediction & Pick

DeQuan Finn has been excellent this season, throwing for 18 touchdowns to 9 interceptions and ranking 36th in the FBS with a QBR of 70.2. His potential absence would be massive for a Toledo team heavily reliant on him after losing their leading rusher and five of their top six receivers from last season.

The drop-off to backup Tucker Gleason is even more significant when you consider that the freshman Gleason is a pro-style quarterback much more affected by Toledo’s poor offensive line that ranks 100th in pass-blocking on PFF. All that said, it’s very difficult for me to make an official pick in this game without knowing the status of Finn.

For the time being, I’ll be making my official pick Ball State +11.5. If you follow my plays on Twitter, you won’t see it on my spreadsheet for the time being, as I will be waiting for final word on Finn. However, as you’ll see in my analysis below, I’d play Toledo up to +10 if Finn is out. I also lean towards the under in this game, particularly as we’ve seen several MAC games go under lately.

Ball State Cardinals Vs. Toledo Rockets Key Matchups

John Paddock vs. Toledo secondary

Ball State replaced longtime starting quarterback Drew Plitt with his former understudy John Paddock this season, and he’s had a solid season. However, he ranks in the bottom 12 of quarterbacks in yards per attempt (min. 150 dropbacks) and struggles if his first read isn’t open. His average time to throw is also 2.11 seconds, the lowest in the FBS per PFF.

Paddock’s quick-trigger release will help Ball State mitigate Toledo’s biggest defensive strength – their front seven. The Rockets rank 32nd in average line yards, 34th in PFF’s pass-rush grades, and 36th in defensive havoc. However, they haven’t been as good on the back end after losing two defensive backs to the NFL.

Jayshon Jackson, Paddock’s top receiver, finished with ten catches for 102 yards and a score their last time out in an upset win over Kent State, and he’ll need to have another big game for Ball State to compete this week. Look for Yo’Heinz Tyler and Brady Hunt to make an impact, as well.

Toledo run game vs. Ball State run defense

DeQuan Finn is Toledo’s leading rusher with 85 carries for 520 yards and eight touchdowns, and if he’s out this week, Toledo’s run game will lose a lot of its punch. Toledo lost Bryant Koback, its leading rusher from last season, and it ranks just 75th in rushing success rate this year as a result.

If Finn can’t play, the Rockets would likely be heavily reliant on Jacquez Stuart, who is averaging 6.1 YPC. However, he’s been just a part-time player with just 85 carries in nine games. Over his last two starts, he’s averaged 83.5 rushing yards per game, and he could be a big factor in this game.

Ball State’s front seven has been vulnerable as they’re undersized upfront. The Cardinals rank just 72nd in average line yards and 91st in stuff rate, and they rank 104th in defensive EPA against the run.

Toledo runs the ball at the 24th-highest rate in the FBS, and while much of that comes from Finn, they have a fairly deep stable of backs they can lean on in this matchup. If Finn does play, he will likely torch Ball State on the ground like he does in the video below.

I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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