Western Michigan Broncos (1-10 SU, 3-8 ATS) vs. No. 14 Northern Illinois Huskies (11-0 SU, 8-3 ATS)
College Football Week 14
Date and Time: Tuesday, November 26, 2013, 7:00 pm EST
Where: Huskie Stadium, DeKalb, Ill.
TV: ESPN2/DirecTV 209
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: WMU +35/NIU -35
Over/Under Total: OFF
The Northern Illinois Huskies sit at No. 14 in the BCS
standings, so a big blowout in their regular season finale could be about
the only thing that could bump them up to an at-large bid, so is it a coincidence
that the 1-10 Western Michigan Broncos are the only Mid-American
Conference team left standing in their way.
The Huskies still have an influential game with the MAC East champ (Bowling Green) in a few weeks, and they are playing the lowly Broncos following impressive wins over Ball State (48-27) and Toledo (35-17) in back-to-back weeks coming into the finale, so it does have a look-ahead feel and a possible trap for Northern Illinois.
Western Michigan is bad, and has spent the last two weeks proving they are thee worst college team in the state of Michigan, losing to Eastern Michigan (35-32 in OT) and Central Michigan (27-22) in consecutive weeks. Since there hasnt been much that has gone right in his first season with the Broncos, maybe the useless fact that Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck is an alumni of Northern Illinois is enough to inspire the Broncos to at least not get beat by five touchdowns.
Thats exactly where the folks in Las Vegas have pegged this game, with the Huskies as huge 35-point favorites at home in the cold. Sure, you may be able to move the hook either up to 35.5 or down to 34.5, because they are many offshore sportsbooks listing the game in that range, but when you eating so much chalk whats the difference.
As of press time the over/under total is still off the board.
It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Broncos will be overmatched in this game. Western Michigan gives up 234 yards a game rushing on defense, so if Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch doesnt end up with more than 200 by himself the Huskies are taking it easy on them.
Westerns offense also will have a hard time driving against a Huskies defense that seems to be getting better each week. Quarterback Zach Terrell has struggled the past few weeks after having a breakout game versus UMass (4 TDs), including a gosh-awful 40 percent completion percentage last week on 35 attempts. I wont even start to discuss the Broncos lack of run-pass balance, but when your defense gives up 35 points per game your hands are tied most of the time.
If youre a fan of betting trends, well then it should be noted that the Huskies OWN the Broncos going 8-0 ATS in games against the Broncos in DeKalb, and 10-1-1 ATS the last 12 meetings overall.
The over is also an obvious trend play with the over for both the Broncos (4-0 in road games, 5-2 on Tuesday nights) and the Huskies (11-5 in November). But its the under that has gone 4-1 in the last five head-to-head meetings between these two in DeKalb at Northern.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: If you dont mind laying so many points, the best chance at winning this wager will probably be with the Huskies. I especially like the Huskies here because they desperately need a huge, blowout win to keep the attention of BCS committee. Lynch may play into the fourth quarter in his final game as a senior in Huskie Stadium in order to gain Heisman votes once you get over the sticker shock the Huskies minus the 35 points is the best play here.
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