Ohio Bobcats vs. Northern Illinois Huskies
Betting Prediction: Ohio +13.5 (November 24th 2015)
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Northern Illinois certainly has a lot to play for here. A win would put it in the MAC Championship Game for a sixth consecutive season. But I believe that fact has the Huskies overvalued here as 13.5-point favorites. Asking them to win by two touchdowns to cover against this surging Ohio team is asking too much.
The Bobcats have been playing great coming in. They beat Kent State 27-0 and outgained the Golden Flashes by 256 yards in the process. Then they racked up 607 total yards in a 48-31 home win over Ball State, outgaining the Cardinals by 186 yards.
Many will look at the Bobcats’ losses to Bowling Green (24-62) and Buffalo (17-41) in their previous two games and think they can’t hang with Northern Illinois. But a closer look at the box score of those games shows they were not that big of blowouts.
They were only outgianed by 38 yards against Bowling Green, and they actually outgained Buffalo by 49 yards. But they were -6 in turnover differential in those two games. They didn’t commit a turnover in either of their last two games, and they’ve committed one or fewer turnovers in eight of their 11 games this season, so it was an aberration.
I think the Huskies are also overvalued here because they have been making the betting public a lot of money here of late. They are 6-0 SU & 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games overall. There’s no question that oddsmakers have been forced to shade this line towards the Huskies because they know the betting public is going to continue to back them. You may even get +14 by the time this game goes off on Tuesday.
One thing that really stands out to me is how tough Ohio has played Northern Illinois in recent meetings. Indeed, the Bobcats are 5-3 straight up in their last eight meetings. They are also 4-1 against the spread in their last five meetings. Their three losses in the last eight meetings have come by 7, 3 and 7 points. That includes a 14-21 home loss to the Huskies last season in which the Bobcats outgained them 344-325.
The road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. The Bobcats are 5-1 ATS intheir last six games following a win. The Huskies are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games vs. a team with a winning record. Bet Ohio Tuesday.
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