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The Toledo Rockets will host the Central Michigan Chippewas in a battle between two teams from the Mid-American Conference's West Division. Central Michigan is 2-1 in conference play and the Toledo Rockets are 1-2. Last season these teams met twice with the Rockets winning both games, 76-72 at home, and 80-68 on the road.
Chips drop first MAC game at Kent StateCentral Michigan has lost five of its last seven games, but have won two of three games with-in the conference. The Chippewas are coming off a 79-73 loss at Kent State, which followed a 68-67 buzzer-beating win over Northern Illinois and 93-82 win over Miami (Ohio).
Despite injuries to two key players, the Chippewas battled after falling behind 10 points at half-time to Kent State. Kevin McKay, the Chippewas leading scorer with 15.4 points per game, did not play after tweaking an injury in practice. Devontae Lane, who averages 9.2 points and a team-leading 4.1 assists, left the game after falling hard in the second half and was unable to return. The Chippewas still only trailed 70-68 with two minutes left in the game, with the help of five players reaching double figures in scoring.
Central Michigan battles hard shorthanded but falls at Kent State, 79-73.— CMU Men's Basketball (1) (@CMUMensBBall) January 11, 2020
The Chippewas slip to 9-7 overall and 2-1 in the MAC.
Montgomery (16 points), Broadway (14), Morgan (14), DiLeo (12) and Winston (12) lead the Chippewas. #FireUpChips 🔥⬆️🏀
According to "Central Michigan Life," head coach Keno Davis said McKay was day-to-day, and there was no update on Lane.
"It's a long season, and we want to make sure they're healthy the next time they step on the court," Davis said. "We're a talented team, but it hurts our depth, and hopefully, we can get them back sooner rather than later."
The Chippewas are the second-highest scoring team in the country, averaging 84.4 points per game; however, if you eliminate the games played against non-Divison I opponents, the Chippewas rank 16th in the nation with 79.1 points per game. The Chippewas are allowing 80.3 points per game against Division I opponents, which is 334th in the country.
Toledo ends five game skidThe Toledo Rockets finally ended a five-game losing streak against Western Michigan on Saturday. While holding a 40-38 lead with 14:43 left to play in the second half, Toledo went on a 17-6 run over the next ten minutes to pull away for the eight-point victory. Luke Knapke led the Rockets with 14 points and, Willie Jackson had a big game with 12 points and 16 rebounds. Marreon Jackson and Spencer Littleson also added 12 points each for the Rockets in the victory.
Toledo is averaging 76.3 points per game on the season, ranking 4th in the conference, and shooting 36.6% from three-point range, 2nd in the MAC. Defensively Toledo is allowing an average of 67.7 points per game, 141st best in the nation, and holding opponents to 39.7 % shooting from the field.
- Rockets are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 games overall
- Rockets are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games as a home favorite.
- Rockets are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Chippewas are 11-5-1 ATS in their last 17 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Chippewas are 17-5 ATS in their last 22 games as a road underdog of 0.5-6.5.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Toledo should be the better team here, but the Rockets have been all over the place. The talent for the Rockets to win the MAC seems to be on the roster, but Toledo has failed to cover the spread in eight straight games. Central Michigan has seven losses, but most have been against solid teams, including at Minnesota, at Depaul, at Texas, and Purdue. Even without their leading scorer, and with their leading assist man getting hurt in the last game, the Chippewas still came close to taking down a Kent State team that looks like the best team in the MAC right now. Even if McKay and Lane can't go, the Chippewas deserve more respect than this. Expect the Chippewas to cover the number.
Prediction: Central Michigan +8.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Central Michigan plays a faster pace than any team Toledo has faced this season. Toledo is a good offensive team and should be encouraged to push the pace against a Chippewas team that already gives up a lot of points and is lacking depth defensively. The Chippewas have put up points all season, and know they won't beat Toledo in a slow grind it out the game. The total is high, but I will take the over.
Prediction: Over 155