Northern Illinois Huskies (7-5) vs Buffalo Bulls (10-2)Date : 11/30/2018
Time : 7:00 PM
Location : Ford Field
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Northern Illinois Huskies vs Buffalo Bulls
The Buffalo Bulls and Northen Illinois Huskies will face off in the MAC Championship at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan with an opening kickoff of 7:00 PM. Buffalo represents the East division after they finished 7-1 in conference play while Northern Illinois will represent the West once again after they went 6-2 in MAC play.
Northern Illinois Huskies's Latest Performance :
The Northern Illinois Huskies have been crowned champions of the West division after a short two-year drought as they been to the title game 6 different times since 2010. The Huskies were unable to end their regular season on a high note as they lost on the road against Western Michigan 28-21. The Huskies were unable to get much generated on the offensive side of the ball in this game especially from the QB position. QB Marcus Childers was unable to get much going through the air as the redshirt sophomore threw for 156 yards, 1 TD, and 2 interceptions while also fumbling the ball on a rushing attempt. Childers has turned the ball over a ton this season as he has 11 TDs compared to 9 interceptions. The ground game has been the one bright spot of the Huskies offense all season long but Western Michigan keyed in on that part of their attack. RB Tre Harbison enters the postseason with 950 yards but the redshirt sophomore was unable to get loose against the Broncos as he rushed for 43 yards on 16 carries, Childers led the way with 53 yards and a TD. WR Spencer Tears was still able to have a solid game despite the inconsistent QB play as the redshirt junior racked up 84 yards and a TD. The defense for the Huskies has been the heart and soul of this team all season long and although they gave up 28 points they did contribute a TD. DE Sutton Smith is one of the best in the country and he showed exactly why as he racked up 7 tackles and 4 sacks as well as picked up a fumble and returned it for a TD.
Buffalo Bulls's Latest Performance :
The Buffalo Bulls will get a shot at the MAC Championship for the 1st time since 2008 where they beat Ball State but this team is arguably one of the more impressive ones in program history. The Bulls finished up their regular season with a blowout style win at Bowling Green as they rushed for 4 TDs and played stingy defense. QB Tyree Jackson wasn’t able to impact the game as we have seen him do this season as the junior was only able to throw for 151 yards, 1 TD, and 1 interception. Jackson enters the postseason with 2605 yards, 25 TDs, and 11 interceptions but the 6’7 QB has also shown the ability to run the football as he has picked up 7 TDs on the ground. The Bulls have an abundance of RBs they can throw at any opponent and we saw that on display against Bowling Green. Junior Emmanuel Reed led the way with 109 yards on 15 carries but he was unable to score as Jaret Patterson ran for 88 yards and 2 TDs while Kevin Marks ran for 63 yards and 2 TDs. Patterson and Marks have been a two-headed monster all season long for Buffalo as Patterson has a team-high 839 yards and 12 TDs while Marks sits right behind him with 733 yards and 11 TDs. The top WRs for the Bulls were kept quiet all game long as K.J. Osborn and Anthony Johnson combined for 5 catches for 34 yards. The defense stepped up their game after giving up a first-quarter TD as LB Khalil Hodge led the way with 7 tackles and Tatum Slack came away with an interception.
How Northern Illinois Huskies & Buffalo Bulls Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Northern Illinois is 6-6 ATS
Buffalo is 9-3 ATS
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Buffalo ranks 26th in the nation in team scoring as they score an average of 35.3 PPG while Northern Illinois ranks 122nd as they score an average of 19.9 PPG.
Northern Illinois ranks 24th in the nation in team defense as they hold opponents to an average of 20.9 PPG while Buffalo ranks 41st as they hold opponents to an average of 24.3 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: Buffalo Bulls -4
My reason for the pick :
This is a matchup of a high powered offense vs. a great defense but unfortunately, Buffalo holds a major advantage over the Huskies as they have a pretty good defense while Northen Illinois has one of the worst offenses in the nation. The Bulls showed the ability to deploy 3 different RBs last week against Bowling Green which allows Buffalo to keep fresh legs in the game against a stingy defense. If Northern Illinois wants to key in on the run Tyree Jackson will expose the defense down the field with his top playmakers in Johnson and Osborn. The Northern Illinois offense will not be able to do anything against a top 50 defense and the Bulls will win the MAC Championship with ease.
Betting trends for Northern Illinois Huskies:
- Northern Illinois is 3-2 ATS as an underdog this season.
Betting trends for Buffalo Bulls:
- Buffalo is 7-1 ATS against MAC opponents this season.