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Toledo Rockets vs Ball State Cardinals: Betting Odds, MAC Preview, Pick

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 28:  Bernard Reedy #11 of the Toledo Rockets rushes for a touchdown after catching a pass in front of Jamil Cooks #46 of the Air Force Falcons during the second half of the Military Bowl at RFK Stadium on December 28, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2012

They'd better have the scoreboard warmed up and the chain gangs in shape Tuesday night in Toledo in preparation for the 8-1 Rockets and the 6-3 Ball State Cardinals (8 pm ET, ESPN2).

Both teams are averaging almost five touchdowns per game, and giving up almost as much. That's why the total on this game sits at 68 and is attracting almost as much wagering attention as the point spread (which was 6.5 points favoring Toledo at most shops tracked by OddsShark.com).

Both teams have been good to their financial backers this season. Ball State is 7-2 against-the-spread, while Toledo is 6-3 ATS.

Ball State was picked by some alleged experts to finish last in the MAC's West Division this season. Instead, the Cardinals sit in third place at 3-2, and are already bowl-eligible. BSU opened the season with a win over Eastern Michigan, then lost at Clemson, then beat Indiana and South Florida.

The Cardinals then lost back-to-back conference games to Kent State and Northern Illinois, but have since won three in a row, beating Western Michigan in overtime, Central Michigan, and two weeks ago, Army.

For the season Ball State has averaged a healthy 473 YPG on offense, and 202 YPG rushing, but has allowed 465 YPG on defense, and 203 YPG on the ground.

Toledo, meanwhile, began this season with an overtime loss at Arizona, but has won eight in a row since. Three weeks ago the Rockets won at Eastern Michigan 52-47; they then stepped out of conference and pulled a minor upset, beating Cincinnati 29-23; and two weeks ago they won at Buffalo 25-20.

So Toledo, at 5-0 in MAC play, is a half-game back of first-place Northern Illinois in the West Division.

If the Rockets can get past Ball State Tuesday night, it would set up a showdown with the Huskies next Wednesday.

By the numbers Toledo is averaging 455 YPG on offense, 199 YPG rushing, but allowing 465 YPG on defense, and 177 YPG on the ground.

Toledo has won the last three games in this series. Last year in Muncie, the Rockets outrushed the Cardinals 240-78 on their way to a 45-28 victory, covering the spread as 14-point favorites.

Free Pick: This should be a shootout, and while points might be easy to come by, we'll take the 6.5 points with the Cardinals. (courtesy of PickShark.com)

All odds, stats and trends mentioned courtesy of OddsShark.com. Mike Pickett is a Contributor to Bleacher Report and contributes to the Twitter feed.

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