Last evening on Twitter I locked in an official play on a season win total. Make sure to follow me on Twitter because I post my plays there as soon as I make them. Sometimes I don’t have time to get the write-up completed until a day or two later, so if you are only following me here you run the risk of the line moving against you before I can post the write-up.
At this point I only see season win totals on Draft Kings. I thought about waiting to see if Fan Duel or Bookmaker would offer a 7.5 but honestly I like this one so much that I probably prefer over 8 at +105 compared to an over 7.5 at a juicy line. Either should hit, so let’s take the + juice.
What the Model Says
The model that I use absolutely loves Toledo this year. I think this was the biggest discrepancy between the model and the season win total. Certainly the biggest discrepancy with a team that has a confidence rating of 10 in the model (the confidence rating is between 1-10 with a lower score being a more volatile prediction and a higher score being a more stable prediction).
Projected Overall Record: 11-1
Record Ceiling: 11-1
Record Floor: 11-1
Model Confidence: 10/10
Chance of 10+ Win Season: 80.88%
Projected Record Probability
6-6 (or worse): 0.44%
Game by Game Win Expectancy
Norfolk State: 100%
@ Notre Dame: 13.67%
Colorado State: 83.19%
@ Ball State: 68.82%
@ UMass: 100%
Northern Illinois: 97.83%
@ Central Michigan: 69.38%
Western Michigan: 65.05%
Eastern Michigan: 89.70%
@ Bowling Green: 100%
@ Ohio: 72.49%
As you can see, they have 8 games with over a 70% win expectancy. If they hold serve with all 8 they guarantee at least a push and only need to win one of the 3 games with the 65-70% win expectancy. Even if they slip up with one of the expected wins, they should win 2 of the 3 games with the 65-70% win expectancy which would still give us the win.
Digging into Toledo
Models can be a great resource, but football games are won on the field so let’s dig into Toledo this year.
I think that this is the year Toledo returns to MAC dominance. They had been starting to trend in the wrong direction under HC Jason Candle in recent years, so prior to last season he made some coaching changes. On the offensive side of the ball, he brought in a big time high school football coach from Florida, Robert Weiner, to be the offensive co-coordinator. Florida is one of the best States in the country for high school football and the move started to improve the offense, taking them from 83rd to 61st overall. He also brought in a new defensive coordinator and co-coordinator which led to a renewed aggression on defense. The defense improved with more blitzing and aggressive man defense. I think the new coaching staff will continue to rejuvenate the program in 2021. We saw them improve in 2020 (within six points of a 6-0 season), and that without a normal off-season for the coaching staff to implement their new systems.
They have the talent to work with. Toledo ranks number one in the MAC in roster talent rankings (70th overall) as they recruit better consistently than any other school in the conference. They bring back almost everyone on their offensive and defensive two-deeps this year including both QBs Eli Peters (88-for-129, 1,106 yards, 9 TD & 2 INT) & Carter Bradley (55-for-89, 849 yards, 9 TD & 5 INT). They also bring back big play WR Isaiah Winstead (25-429-17.2-3 TD) and an all-conference center.
I think Toledo has a talent advantage over the rest of the conference and now the coaching staff has a normal off-season under their belt. They were good last year (4-2) but I think this year they take things to the next level. They also have one of the better home stadium advantages in the conference. I love the value at Over 8 as there is only one sure loss on the schedule. Double digit wins is a very real possibility.
6/2 UPDATE: Also added 1 Unit on Toledo to win the MAC
Official Play – Futures
Toledo Rockets Over 8 Games Won (+105) (DraftKings)
Risking 4.00 Units to win 4.20 Units
Toledo Rockets to Win the MAC Conference (+350) (DraftKings)
Risking 1.00 Unit to win 3.50 Units