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Northern Illinois vs. Kent St. Spread Pick – CFB Week 14

Week 14 of the 2012 college football season, aka Championship Week,  continues on Friday night (7:00pm ET) with the Mid-American Conference Championship Game from Ford Field in Detroit, MI with the 18th ranked Golden Flashes of Kent State (11-1) taking on the Huskies of Northern Illinois (11-1). The teams could be competing for an at large BCS Bowl Game bid, so the game has larger implications than just the MAC Championship. If a champion from the mid-major conferences is ranked in the top 16 and above a champion from an automatic-qualifying conference in the final BCS standings, the mid-major champ receives an automatic BCS bid. The Golden Flashes are currently ranked 17th in the BCS Standings, while the Huskies are ranked 21st. The Huskies are 9-2-1 ATS this season, and have covered in seven of their last eight games coming into this one. The Golden Flashes are 10-2 ATS this season, and have covered in nine of their last ten games.

The Northern Illinois offense ranks12th among FBS teams in scoring with an average of 40.5 points per games and 16th in total offense with 482.6 yards per game. Quarterback Jordan Lynch is a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate and set an FBS record with 10 consecutive 100 yard rushing games. He has run for 16 TDs while throwing for 23 TDs with only 4 interceptions.NIU ranks 15th in scoring defense with 17.5 PPG allowed and 37th in total defense with 364.9 YPG allowed.

Kent St. boasts two 1,000 yard rushers on offense in Dri Archer (1,373 yards) and Trayion Durham (1,199 yards), and the Golden Flashes rank 35th in the nation in scoring with 34.4 PPG and 63rd in total offense with 402.2 YPG. Defensively Kent State ranks 37th with 23.5 PPG allowed and 76th in total defense with 409.9 YPG allowed.

Northern Illinois vs. Kent St. Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:

Northern Illinois Huskies -7
@ Kent St. Golden Flashes +7

Game Total:

Over 58 (-110)
Under 58 (-110)

Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv

Northern Illinois vs. Kent St. Pick:

Northern Illinois has a 4-0 record ATS in their last 4 Friday games, 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 conference games and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 November games. Kent State is 4-0 ATS against winning teams, 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games overall and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 November games. The under is 5-1 in the Huskies last 6 games against winning teams, 5-2 in their last 7 conference games and 10-4 in their last 14 games overall. The over is 5-2 in Kent State’s last 7 conference games, 9-4 in their last 13 games overall and 5-1 in their last 6 games against winning teams. The Huskies are 5-0 ATS in the last 5 head-to-head meetings with Kent State, the favorite is 4-1 ATS in those 5 meetings, and the home team is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings between the two teams. The under is 4-1 in their last 5 meetings.

The two teams are both among the most prolific in the country when it comes to running the ball, with NIU averaging a MAC best 245 yards per game on the ground and Kent State close behind with 241.5 YPG. The edge on defense has to go to NIU though, and the Huskies held Kent State to 64 yards in their last meeting on October 8, 2011 and have been stronger on that side of the ball this season. Defense is usually the determining factor that wins big games, so the pick here has to be NIU which has the third ranked defense in the MAC. NIU has won 16 straight MAC games and is seeking their third straight conference championship, the call here is that they will get it against the Golden Flashes. Take the Huskies to cover in this game.

PICK = Northern Illinois -7