Northern Illinois Huskies (7-4) vs Western Michigan Broncos (6-5)Date : 11/20/2018
Time : 7:00 PM
Location : Waldo Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Northern Illinois Huskies vs Western Michigan Broncos
The Western Michigan Broncos return home to Waldo Stadium for the regular season finale as they will welcome in the Northern Illinois Huskies for a MAC West clash, the opening kickoff is slated for 7:00 PM. Northern Illinois has already locked up the West division and will play in the MAC title game while Western Michigan will be looking forward to playing in a bowl game.
Northern Illinois Huskies's Latest Performance :
Northern Illinois has already clinched the West division which may be a reason they dropped their outing last week against the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks but they will be looking to regroup as they want to be polished heading into postseason play. Northern Illinois hasn’t been the strongest offensive unit this season but they have used their defense and special team units to gain good field position and pound the ball down the throat of opposing teams. QB Marcus Childers was unable to get the chains moving against the RedHawks as he was held to 157 yards through the air with an interception. The redshirt sophomore has only completed 56% of his passes this season for a total of 1540 yards but his main problem has been his 7 interceptions. Redshirt sophomore RB Tre Harbison was able to eclipse 100+ yards for a 3rd consecutive game but it wasn’t his traditional big game as he was held to 103 yards. Harbison will be looking to eclipse the 1000-yard mark for the 1st time in his young career as he currently sits at 907 yards. WR Spencer Tears was the lone bright spot for the Huskies offense as the redshirt junior racked up a team-high 5 catches for 74 yards which puts him at 215 yards on the season. The Northern Illinois defense was unable to turn the ball over or rack up more than 1 sack which is how they have made their money this season. Redshirt junior LB Antonio Jones-Davis contributed a team-high 10 tackles which extends his season total to 98, also a team-high.
Western Michigan Broncos's Latest Performance :
Despite being bowl eligible the Western Michigan Broncos have endured some rough weeks over the last month or so as they lost their veteran starting QB as well as dropped 3 consecutive games. The Broncos are coming off a tough road loss in OT against the Ball State Cardinals as the defense was unable to get the necessary stops when it mattered. Freshmen QB Kaleb Eleby has been trying to get up to game speed as quick as possible but he has struggled and although he didn’t have a terrible game for the Broncos he didn’t do much to put them in a winning position. Eleby was able to complete 20 of his 29 passes but it only totaled 187 yards and 1 TD. The running game is what truly allowed Western Michigan to stay in the game as they received a big game out of their two-headed monster in the backfield. Junior RB LeVante Bellamy was the workhorse for the Broncos all night long as he was able to rack up 213 yards and a TD on 35 carries while redshirt senior Jamauri Bogan contributed 105 yards and 2 TDs. Bellamy has racked up over 1120 yards and 6 TDs on the season while Bogan has been the go-to guy on the goal line as the 190-pound back has racked up 13 TDs. WR Giovanni Ricci was Eleby’s favorite target in this matchup as he was able to rack up a team-high 7 catches for 65 yards and a TD. The defense struggled in this matchup as they let a 4 win team in Ball State score 42 points on them but redshirt senior DB Juwan Dowels racked up 2 interceptions while contributing 6 tackles.
How Northern Illinois Huskies & Western Michigan Broncos Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Northern Illinois is 6-5 ATS, 4-2 ATS on the road.
Western Michigan is 3-8 ATS, 1-4 ATS at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Western Michigan ranks 35th in the nation in team scoring as they score an average of 33.6 PPG while Northern Illinois ranks 122nd as they score an average of 19.8 PPG.
Northern Illinois ranks 21st in the nation in team defense as they hold opponents to an average of 20.3 PPG while Western Michigan ranks 106th as they hold opponents to an average of 34.5 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: Northern Illinois Huskies
My reason for the pick :
Both teams are coming off sloppy outings last week but one of these teams need to sharpen up before the postseason and I think that will be the Northern Illinois Huskies. Western Michigan has shown no signs of life over the last 3 weeks as they endured 2 blowout losses at home and then a dud on the road against a 3-win Ball State team. The only way Western Michigan moves the ball is on the ground and with Northern Illinois having one of the best group of 5 defenses I think they will shut the run game down and force Eleby to throw it. Northern Illinois will try to get back to the ground and pound game which will break loose for a few TDs. Take Northern Illinois as they will try to sharpen themselves up before the MAC championship.
Betting trends for Northern Illinois Huskies:
- Northern Illinois is 2-1 ATS after a loss this season.
Betting trends for Western Michigan Broncos:
- Western Michigan is 1-6 ATS in MAC matchups this season.