BANKER (Toledo vs. Ohio)
Toledo has performed very well this year and is one of the top teams in the MAC at this point. They come into this game against Ohio with a 14-4 record and their only losses have come to Michigan state, Richmond, Oakland, and Kent state who have a combined record of 47-23 so they don’t have a single bad loss on their schedule. This will likely be their toughest test of the season so far though as Ohio is the top team in the MAC right now with Toledo sitting at #2. Ohio’s only losses have come on the road to Kentucky and on the road vs LSU, so they have also been performing very well but I think this is a great spot to back Toledo.
Ohio has actually performed slightly worse at home this year than on the road. Ohio is only 3-4-1 ATS this year at home vs D1 opponents and was actually losing at halftime to non D1 Concordia College (MI). Toledo on the other hand has been playing some of their best ball recently on the road as they have gone 6-1 ATS on the road in their last 7 road opportunities with that one loss coming to Kent state by 3 where they were 2-point dogs so just missed the cover by a single point.
Toledo has been getting it done lately with their high-powered offense as they rank 58th nationally in overall adjusted offensive efficiency, 37th in lowest turnover percentage, and 57th in 3-point percentage so they can really shoot it and take care of the ball as a team. Toledo is also ranked slightly higher in KenPom’s rankings at 86 and Ohio at 87 so getting 4.5 points here with Toledo given how well they have been playing lately seems like good value to me. I think Toledo keeps this game close and could even pull off the upset. Score Prediction: 81-77 Toledo
Bryant is usually the crowned jewel of the NEC every year as they are usually very talented on the offensive side of the ball with their up-tempo style, and they have gotten off to a solid start this year as well with their 4-1 conference record. In these games they have been winning with offense as they’ve scored over 80 in 4 of those contests while averaging 80.2 PPG overall over their last 5 games. They face a very stingy Merrimack team who likes to play a low tempo style and win with their defense.
I simply don’t think Merrimack has enough firepower to hang with Bryant as they are a very offensively challenged team who ranks 332nd in overall adjusted offensive efficiency, 314th in effective field goal percentage, and 325th in offensive 2-point percentage so scoring the ball is not what they do best. I think Bryant takes care of business here in what should be a medium to low scoring game. Score Prediction: 71-63 Bryant
Sacred Heart is another team out of the NEC who is off to a 3-3 conference record and in the middle of the pack. They face a team in Mount Saint Mary’s who is coming off a huge road win over Merrimack and I think this is now a letdown spot for them. Mount Saint Mary’s has struggled to put back-to-back solid performances together as they haven’t won back-to-back games all year. They are 2-3 ATS and 0-5 straight up after a win this year and both covers came by the hook as 7.5- and 14.5-point underdogs. They aren’t accustomed to being a favorite with expectations to win and I think that will hinder them in this contest tonight. I expect Sacred Heart to play up-tempo and force MSM into tough shots as MSM is very bad offensively and struggles mightily at times on that side of the ball. Score Prediction: 75-69 Sacred Heart.