Toledo vs Liberty Odds & Picks: Target the total in the Boca Raton Bowl

Toledo vs. Liberty Odds

Welcome to beautiful Boca Raton, Florida, for the Boca Raton Bowl between Liberty and MAC champions, Toledo.

Liberty had a great season, but are in a period of transition after Hugh Freese left to return to the SEC to coach Auburn. However, the Flames had already locked onto Jimmy Chadwell from Coastal Carolina to be their next head coach.

Josh Aldridge, who has been a member of the team since 2019, will be the interim coach for the reel game, so there shouldn’t be much change to Liberty’s game plan.

Toledo entered the season as the favorite to win the MAC title and did just that, defeating Ohio in the championship game. The Rockets have one of the five most dynamic quarterbacks against dual threats in Dequan Finn to go along with a stifling defense.

However, Jason Candle doesn’t have a great record in bowl games at 1-4 on point difference.

Missile attack

The Rockets offense has been strong this season, averaging 5.5 yards per game and ranking 33rd in EPA/Play

Finn is having a very mediocre season as a passer, putting up 7.2 yards per attempt with 22 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. However, Toledo is ranked 33rd in EPA/Pass.

In addition, he has An impressive double threat ability, averaging 6.7 yards per carry and 3.67 yards after contact per carry with 24 carries of over 10 yards. It will be a huge factor as the Liberty defense is prone to giving up explosive rush plays.

Toledo runs the ball on 56.2% of its offensive plays. Along with Finn, the Rockets boast three running backs with over 100 carries, but Jake’s Stewart is their best defense. Stewart averages 5.9 yards per carry and has 21 catches of over 10 yards.

Missile defense

Toledo has excelled in defense this season—particularly in collegiate play—finishing the regular season eighth in the country in success percentage allowed and 24th in the EPA per game.

The Rockets were really good against the run, ranking 7th in rushing success rate allowed, 24th in defensive line yards and 35th in EPA/Rush. However, they were very prone to giving up big plays, ranking 114th in outage rushing allowed.

The secondary has the same problem as the front seven against the running back. Toledo ranks 17th in pass rate allowed and 14th in EPA/Pass allowed, but is 66th in explosive passes allowed.

That’s bad news against Bennett, who has a score of over 80 in the PFF on throws at least 10 yards in the air.

flame attack

Liberty’s offense has been just below average this season, ranking 77th in success rate, 88th in EPA/Play and gaining 5.5 yards per game.

Jonathan Bennett was the main quarterback under center, although he was not the starting quarterback in their last two losses against Connecticut State and New Mexico.

Bennett has actually been pretty terrible as a passer this season, averaging just 7.0 yards per attempt while delivering a PFF 59.6 passing score with 13 big throws compared to 18 turnover-worthy plays.

However, the focus of Liberty’s offense is on the running game, as they run the ball on 55.8% of their offensive plays.

Liberty was a great running back duo in Dae Dae Hunter and Shedro Louis. Hunter is clearly a better running back considering he averages 6.6 yards per attempt and has 27 rushes over 10 yards.

Lewis has struggled somewhat this season, averaging just 4.3 yards per attempt. Unfortunately, Hunter is out for this game, but Toledo’s big weakness is allowing explosive rushes.

Flame defense

Liberty finished the season eighth in the country in success percentage allowed and allowed just 4.9 yards per game.

He was great at rushing, ranking 15th in rushing success rate, 10th in defensive line yards, and 37th in EPA/rush. However, giving up plenty of big plays on the ground, it ranks 124th in explosive rushes allowed, an area Toledo could exploit.

Even in their last two games against UConn and New Mexico State, the Flames have allowed more than five yards per carry. Liberty is also 116th in terms of tackle score, per PFF.

Liberty’s secondary has been pretty weak this season, especially for big plays. It ranks 6th in pass rate allowed but 103 allowed in blasting, which is why PFF’s coverage score ranks 76th in the country.

Toledo versus freedom matching analysis

Toggle the drop-down menus below to hide or show how statistically Toledo and Liberty match:

Liberty Offense vs. Toledo Defense

Toledo Attack vs. Liberty Defense

Play speed/other
PFF interference 116 15
PFF coverage 76 7
SP + special teams 71 121
seconds for each run 24.9 (37) 24.0 (25)
burst rate 55.8% (52) 56.2% (48)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus, and SportSource Analytics.

Toledo expectations vs. freedom and choice

The pace of this game will be incredibly fast, with Liberty running one play every 24.9 seconds (37 in FBS) and Toledo running one every 24 seconds (25).

Additionally, both defensemen are very prone to giving up explosive plays and rank outside the top 50 in finishing drives allowed.

These two things will lead to a game that scores higher than expected. I have an expected 62.1 points for this game, so I like the value in the end.

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