Bet Cincinnati Spread vs. Toledo in College Football

Darin Zank

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 6:41 PM GMT

The Rockets are coming off a disappointing home loss to Missouri, and now they find out they've lost their starting quarterback for the season. How will Toledo react when it visits Cincinnati Friday night (7 pm ET, ESPNU)? And how do we handicap this game for a free college football pick?

The Line
As of Tuesday morning, while some books were holding off on lining this game because of the quarterback situation with Toledo, other shops were listing the Rockets as 12-point underdogs on college football odds, while still others were offering Cincinnati at -11 

 

Game Set-Up
Toledo opened this season with a 54-20 victory over FCS New Hampshire, covering the spread as an 11-point favorite. The Rockets then lost at home to Missouri last Saturday 49-24, missing out on the cover as four-point home dogs. Toledo fell behind the Tigers 35-7, got to within 35-21 midway through the third quarter, but could get no closer.

The Rockets got out-gained by Mizzou 502-408 and couldn't stop Tigers QB Maty Mauk, who threw for 325 yards and five scores.

Toledo returned 16 starters this season from a team that went 7-5 last year. Seven starters were back on offense, including four along the offensive line, but they lost their starting QB and last year's leading rusher and receiver. And nine starters came back on defense, including five of last year's top six tacklers.

But the Rockets learned Monday that starting QB Phillip Ely, a transfer from Alabama, had torn an ACL and is gone for the season. So Toledo might have to go with a sophomore, Logan Woodside, with one career start under his belt.

Cincy, meanwhile, is the only college football team that hasn't played yet this season. So the Bearcats should be chompin' at the bit Friday night at Paul Brown Stadium.

Cincinnati returns 13 starters from a team that went 9-4 last year. Seven starters are back on offense, including last year's top two rushers and three along the offensive line. And six starters are back on defense, spread among two up front, two at linebacker and two in the secondary.

 

When Last They Met
These two teams met two seasons ago, with Toledo pulling a 29-23 upset at six-point home dogs. The Rockets got out-gained by Cincy 478-355, but scored on a 75-yard interception return and a 91-yard kickoff return.

 

Rockets-Bearcats Betting Trends
Toledo is 17-10 SU, 16-11 ATS in two-plus seasons under Coach Campbell. The Rockets are also 7-1 ATS as a road dog and 4-1 ATS as double-digit dogs over those two seasons.

Cincy went 9-4 SU for new head coach Tommy Tuberville last year, but only 6-7 ATS, 4-5 ATS as favorites, 3-3 ATS as double-digit favorites.

 

Free College Football Pick
Toledo's quarterback situation throws this game totally up into the air. Had Ely not gotten hurt we would have been amenable to a bounce-back pick on the Rockets. Now, there's just no way we can recommend taking a team with such an unknown quantity at QB. So we'll give the points and go with Cincinnati at 5Dimes for our free college football pick in this spot.   

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