Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Ohio Bobcats Point Spread – Pick Against the Spread

Northern Illinois Huskies (8-2 SU, 4-6 ATS) vs. Ohio Bobcats (5-5 SU, 5-5 ATS)
NCAA Football Week 13
Date and Time: Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 8:00 pm EST
Where: Peden Stadium, Athens, Ohio
TV: ESPNU, DirecTV 208
by Badger, Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: No.Ill -4/Ohio +4
Over/Under Total: OFF

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The Northern Illinois Huskies will try and continue their drive toward another Mid-American Conference West division title with their third straight mid-week MAC-tion game on Tuesday night when they travel to Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio, to play the Ohio Bobcats on ESPNU.

The Huskies have won four straight MAC games since an early October loss to Central Michigan, including last weeks, 27-24, showdown against Toledo, the team that was directly ahead of them in the MAC-West standings. Now, with a three-way tie between the Huskies, Rockets and Western Michigan, its imperative that Northern Illinois keeps the pedal down in order to not look past the Bobcats this week, before a regular-season ending showdown with Western Michigan on the day after Thanksgiving November 28th.

Ohio hasnt played since November 5th, a mid-week MAC-tion game where the Bobcat defense shut down Buffalo to the tune of only allowing 134 yards of total offense and seven first downs while forcing four turnovers in a, 37-14, victory in Peden Stadium. With a week off to heal and game plan for the Huskies, it wouldnt be a stretch to find the Bobcats trying to improve upon their 4-1 record inside the confines of Peden by giving the Huskies all they can handle on national television Tuesday night.

When the point spread for this game went up on the board late on Sunday it opened with Northern Illinois as 4-point road favorites. With the number up and live for literally only a few hours as of this writing, an over/under total has yet to be released.

Where this game is likely going to turn is the Northern Illinois running attack versus the Bobcats rush defense. The Huskies, led by option QB Drew Hare and big back Cameron Stingily, run for 262 yards a game, the 13th-best tally in all of the FBS. However, the Bobcats are 32nd in the country in stopping the run, allowing 135 yards per game, so the proverbial somethings gotta give clich will certainly be in full effect on Tuesday.


On paper it looks like the Bobcats defense will be pulling double duty, because if they cant corral the Huskies run game and keep this game close, the Bobcats offense might not be strong enough to get into a scoring contest with Northern. Ohio is balanced (ave. 216 ypg pass; 159 ypg rush) on offense, but not very explosive with just a 20.8 points per game average which is ranked 111th in FBS. Freshman running back A.J. Ouellette is probably the Bobcats most dangerous weapon, with three two-touchdown games this season to his credit, but with only 562 yards rushing its hardly been explosive.

For what its worth, traditionally Ohio plays the Huskies tough with a 5-3 SU record versus Northern Illinois in series that dates back to the 1985 season. The includes a perfect 3-0 SU record versus the Huskies in all three of the games played at home in Athens.

Ohio is also a strong wager in this series, covering the point spread in four straight games, including the last time these two met on the gridiron in a, 23-20, Huskies overtime win in 2011 when Northern Illinois closed as 3.5-point favorites.

The under also looks like a strong trend play on Tuesday, since the under is 4-0 in Ohios last four home games and it is also 4-0 in their last four games played in crunch time in the month of Noveember.

Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Ohio is rested and I think ready to play the role of spoiler in this one. After playing a crucial game last week versus Toledo, and with a potential showdown for all the MAC-West marbles next week against Western Michigan, this is the classic look-ahead spot for the Huskies and it could be a problem. I like home underdogs, especially in this kind of situation. Im taking Ohio plus the 4 points.

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