Toledo vs Kent State Basketball Prediction & Picks: Will Sincere carry the Golden Flashes over the high-scoring Rockets?
On the football field, Toledo put up 52 points in a win against Kent State this (past, now that it’s all over) season. Tonight, the Rockets’ (10-5, 1-1 Mid-American Conference) high-scoring basketball team will look to light up the scoreboard against the Golden Flashes (12-3, 2-0 MAC).
Tonight’s showdown from the M.A.C Center in Kent, Ohio is set for a 7:00 pm ET tip, and you can catch all of the MACtion on ESPN+.
The Golden Flashes are on a heater right now, having won six in a row, including their first two conference contests against Western Michigan and Miami (Ohio).
The Broncos (4-11, 0-2 MAC) and RedHawks (6-9, 0-2 MAC) are not good at all, so there will be a step up tonight for Kent State, as they are going up against a Toledo team that has a win over UAB and can score, score, and score some more.
Who will take the win tonight in Kent? Read on for our Toledo vs Kent State basketball prediction, as well as our picks and analysis for this intriguing MAC matchup.
Toledo vs Kent State Odds
Odds are via FanDuel as of Tuesday, January 10, 2023, at 1:20 pm ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.
- Toledo +4.5 (-114)
- Kent State -4.5 (-106)
- Over 152.5 (-105)
- Under 152.5 (-115)
- Toledo +155
- Kent State -188
Will Kent State Ride Carry Again to Take Down Toledo?
Entering tonight’s college basketball action, you will find the Rockets rather prominently ranked in a number of offensive statistics and metrics.
They are fifth in Division I in scoring (86.0 points per game), 17th in three-point percentage (38.9%), and 20th in field-goal percentage (48.9%).
And at KenPom, Toledo ranks 17th in offensive efficiency, 15th in tempo, and 45th in average offensive possession length.
The Rockets are also solid from the free-throw line, ranking 34th in the country at 75.6%.
Kent State doesn’t have an edge in any of those areas other than free-throw shooting–the Golden Flashes rank 16th in the country at 77.2%–and their leading scorer doesn’t average as many points per game as Toledo’s second-leading scorer.
Their best work has been done on the defensive end, which is why they lost by only five points to Houston and seven to Gonzaga.
Defensive Rankings for Kent State
- Scoring: 61.9 PPG (30th)
- FG%: 38.4 (16th)
- Steals Per Game: 10.3 (10th)
- Turnovers Forced Per Game: 18.0 (t-12th)
Kent State’s Malique Jacobs is a pickpocket extraordinaire, leading the nation in steals at 3.2 per game, and after being held without a steal in Saturday’s win over Miami (Ohio), he won’t want to go without tonight.
While the Golden Flashes are more renowned for their defense, they aren’t bad offensively, but they would benefit from being more efficient and consistent.
That includes leading scorer Sincere Carry, whose scoring average is down from 17.9 PPG last season to 17.3 PPG this season.
But Carry went off against the RedHawks on Saturday, tying his season high with 31 points and making 12 of 21 shots from the field.
The challenge for Carry, who is also a talented thief (2.1 steals per game, with a season high of eight against Houston), is to follow Saturday’s showing with a similar performance, which he has yet to do this season.
That was the fourth time this season that Carry has made 10+ field goals in a game, and in the following game after the first three instances, he is a combined 11 of 53 (20.8%) from the field and 2 of 20 (10%) from three and has scored 14, nine, and ten points.
It is worth noting that those latter two games were against Houston (2 of 22 FG, 1 of 11 3PT) and Gonzaga (4 of 15 FG, 1-4 3PT), who are two of the best teams in the country.
Toledo is not on or near that level, especially on the defensive end, where they rank 290th in the country in defensive efficiency.
If ever there was an opportunity for Carry to do what he hasn’t done all season, tonight’s the night.
Toledo vs Kent State Prediction and Picks
Toledo vs Kent State Prediction: Kent State to win
Toledo vs Kent State Picks: Kent State to cover (Best Value: -3.5 @ BetMGM) & Kent State team total over 78.5 (Best Value: FanDuel)
Toledo, led by JT Shumate (19.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 57.6% FG, 43.3% 3PT, 90.0% FT), Rayj Dennis (18.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 5.9 APG), and Setric Millner Jr. (14.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG) certainly presents a challenge.
The Rockets have scored 80+ 11 times, and they have failed to reach 70 points only once this season, in a 69-68 win over Canisius on December 10.
But the Rockets–who rank 356th (out of 363) teams in Division I in points allowed per game at 79.8 PPG–are also pretty bad defensively, and that will be their downfall tonight at the M.A.C. Center.
For the season, Kent State is shooting 44.0% from the field and 34.2% from three, and they were just 5 of 17 (29.2%) from outside and shot just 43.1% from the field in their win over Miami.
But Toledo is 350th in the country in three-point defense (38.2%) and 306th in opponents’ field goal percentage (45.5%), and I expect Carry and the Golden Flashes to have a big night offensively as they extend their win streak to seven.