For an off-the-radar pick today, I look at a game that about five people will be paying attention too. I should say five people other than sports bettors. There are probably no more than ten Eastern Michigan fans, trust me I have been to a game there. And with Northern Illinois at 4-3 and pretty well outside of reaching a big bowl game, there isn’t much on the line here for Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois. Let’s keep things in perspective though, Northern Illinois hasn’t had a cakewalk of a schedule. They nearly pulled an upset against Ohio State, a game that they were leading in for much of it. The following week they lost another hard one to Boston College, 17-14. The loss the next week against Central Michigan could be just from exhaustion the previous two weeks against Ohio State and Boston College.
The Huskies finally got on track against Ball State and Miami-Ohio. Drilling Ball State 59-41 and Miami-Ohio 45-12. When they’re playing up to their expectations, a 45-12 final score is what happens. Northern Illinois is a MAC school that enjoyed an Orange Bowl appearance against Jameis Winston and Florida State three years ago, losing 31-10, but it was an accomplishment getting to the game to begin with. The Huskies won the MAC in 2014, 2012, and 2011. They are in a smaller conference, but they are a team that can at least make games out of meetings with bigger schools. Just ask Ohio State and Boston College. I give them credit for scheduling these games if anything.
There isn’t much to say about the 1-6 Eastern Michigan Eagles. They have been one of, if not, the worst team in college football for the last ten years. The last time they remotely did anything was when Charlie Batch was playing quarterback there, which is a long long time ago in the mid-90s. Since going 6-5 in 1995, Eastern has managed to find .500 only once. Last season Eastern Michigan went 2-10 and 2015 is setting up to be a similar fate for the Eagles. There isn’t much to be excited about with Eastern. Maybe one day they can find some recruits that want to come to Ypsilanti but that is not going to be in the immediate future.
Eastern Michigan Eagles vs. Northern Illinois Huskies College Football
Eastern Michigan +28(-110)
@Northern Illinois -28(-110)
Over 68.5 (-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Eastern Michigan vs. Northern Illinois Pick:
Eastern Michigan’s latest loss came against Toledo, a 63-20 beat down. Toledo is a very good who beat Arkansas so that was no easy task. Eastern has lost five straight games since a win over Wyoming. However, the Eagles should have been given a trophy for losing against LSU on the road 44-22. They unexpectedly hung around in that game and easy covered the 45 point spread. Eastern has been getting torched on defense, allowing 43.9 points against. Defending the run has particularly been troublesome for Eastern Michigan. The Eagles are surrendering a mammoth 344 yards against. They’ve had zero consistency at quarterback, with Brogan Roback passing for 9 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. They have experienced with Reginald Bell as well, but he hasn’t done much with 2 touchdowns and 2 picks.
The Huskies’ strength is their running game. Northern Illinois rushes for 202.3 yards per game. Like I said, Eastern has trouble defending the run and this just looks like a horrible matchup for the Eagles. I expect Northern to find huge holes to run in this game. It should be one of those games where the Huskies don’t even have to throw the ball because they are busting 10-20 gains on the ground every time they touch the ball. I expect a similar final score of the Eastern/Toledo game last week. After licking their wounds after hard fought losses against Ohio State and BC, Northern Illinois is back on track and it should continue this week against EMU.