Northern Illinois vs. Eastern Michigan
College Football Pick: Northern Illinois -20.5 (October 25th 2014)
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Sporting a 5-2 SU record and with four of its next six games on the road, Northern Illinois won’t screw around when it visits Eastern Michigan on Saturday afternoon. The Huskies already have one loss in the MAC West Division and they can’t afford another.
As a conference guest, NIU has been a dominant force notching a solid 35-13 SU and 26-18-2 ATS record in its last 48 games. In their last 11 on the MAC road, the Huskies have posted an incredible 11-0 SU and 10-1 ATS mark. Northern Illinois has pounded Eastern Michigan lately too. In their last 17 games against the Eagles, the Huskies own a proud 14-3 SU and 10-6 ATS record.
It won’t take much to fade EMU. The Eagles have been one of college football’s worst since 2007 notching a dismal 21-70 SU and 32-51-1 ATS mark including a pathetic 4-35 SU and 12-26-1 ATS in this set battling an opponent that checks in off a straight up win. To make matters worse, MAC home dogs in conference play are a ridiculous 13-68 SU and 25-54-2 ATS provided they arrive off a road game. If our “play against” host enters off a straight up loss and is priced as a pup of +10.5 or more, this conference trend slips all the way down to an awful 1-17 SU and 3-15 ATS.
Defensively, EMU is one of the worst allowing an average of 39.6 points and 521.1 yards per game. Rest assured, NIU’s high-octane offense (avg 32.1 points and 476.1 ypg) will move the football up and down the field all day long against the Eagles. Take Northern Illinois. Thank you and best of luck, Tom Stryker.
Northern Illinois vs. Northwestern
Betting Pick: Northwestern -7 point spread (September 6th 2014)
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Lowly Presby was the first victim of Northern Illinois this season. The 55-3 win, as 39 point chalk, saw the Huskies amass a 424-69 overland edge in racking up 635 yards. A +3 net TO margin sealed the deal. This is a somewhat greater challenge for a MAC team, who is playing for the first time in many years without proven signal callers in QB Harnish and QB Lynch. The tandem of QBs Hare and McIntosh will have a far greater challenge against a Big 10 defense. In this game, they will also miss the veteran experience of RB Stingily. Technicals point to the visitor, who has won 15 consecutive regular season road games and is on a spread streak of 10-2 ATS away. Meanwhile, the Wildcats are on a 3-5 SU, 1-8 ATS slide on their home field. A 5-7 SU, 3-9 ATS record of 2013 has 17 Wildcat RS hungry for redemption. Week 1 results did little to cool that fervor. The 31-24 home field loss to Cal (our UNDERDOG PLAY OF THE WEEK on these pages) saw NW battle valiantly but just fall short in their comeback effort after trailing the Bears 31-7 in the 3rd quarter. Playing with need and the momentum of that late game comeback, look for the Wildcats to secure a double digit victory against a foe whom they will not take lightly.
Utah State vs. Northern Illinois
Betting Pick: Utah State +1 -110 odds (December 26th 2013)
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This is not the game that Northern Illinois was dreaming to play in, no question about it. They had high hopes of an undefeated season and playing in a prized BCS Bowl but after the defeat to Bowling Green, Northern Illinois will play in the Poinsettia Bowl. I feel that Utah State will be the more motivated team in this game. Utah State finished the season on a 5-0 run before losing to Fresno in the Mountain West Championship game.
Northern Illinois ran into trouble when they played Bowling Green and their top ranked MAC Defense. I like defense in bowl games and Utah State has a stout defense as well (18th in the nation overall). The Aggies only gave up 17 ppg (7th in the nation) on the season, behind a solid run defense that only is giving up 2.8 yards per rush. The secondary is solid as well as opposing quarterbacks are only completing 53% of their passes. Utah State has a solid running game and they will have success against a sub-par Northern Illinois Run ‘D’ that is giving up 150 yards per game on the ground.
I like the better defense in Utah State this game playing against a deflated team in Northern Illinois.
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