If you have been paying attention to weekday college football, you would be able to come to the conclusion that the MAC is on frequently. That would be correct, and now that weekday college football extends into Wednesday, and even Tuesday some weeks, the MAC in on the television often. While there are some games during the week I would rather watch water polo than watch weekday college football, this is one game that I’m particularly interested in. Two pre-season favorites in the conference meet up with the Western Michigan Broncos taking on the Northern Illinois Huskies. The Huskies previously brought attention to the MAC looking like BCS busters for a couple seasons. They got their wish against Jameis Winston and the Seminoles in the Orange Bowl, 31-10. That was their chance to show they could compete with the big boys and they didn’t do much to prove anything, but it was impressive for NIU to get to the game nevertheless.
Northern Illinois were close to knocking one of those big schools off this season. They held strong against Ohio State, and looked like the better team for the majority of the game, but the more talented team asserted themselves and won the game 20-13. It was nonetheless a nice test for Northern Illinois early in the season. The Huskies had a couple more stumbles after the Ohio State game, losing to Boston College and Central Michigan. Since then, though, the Huskies have been on a pretty nice roll on the field. Northern Illinois has won five straight games since. They’ll be looking to repeat as champions of the MAC this season, and after their run, the Huskies find themselves in the driver seat.
Western Michigan came into the season as a favorite in the MAC as well. They enter at 6-4 to the Huskies’ 7-3 tonight. In other words, it’s an important game for both teams. Five losses almost guarantees that the Broncos are out of the race. In my opinion, at the moment, this conference is between Northern Illinois and Toledo. Toledo has the win against an SEC team on the resume, beating Arkansas earlier in the season. We did see how NIU can hang around with those teams, though, and I find Ohio State a much better team than Arkansas. This should be a pretty decent Wednesday night matchup between Huskies and Broncos.
Western Michigan Broncos vs. Northern Illinois Huskies College Football
Western Michigan +2.5(-110)
@Northern Illinois -2.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Western Michigan vs. Northern Illinois Pick:
Northern Illinois got the offense going on this winning streak. They played some good defenses early in the season, including Ohio State and Boston College. With that part of the schedule out of the way, the offense has started to look much better. On their six game win streak, Northern Illinois has averaged a staggering 53.4 points per game. After their slow start offensively to the season I was wondering when the offense was going to show up, well it’s definitely here now. However, it must be noted that Northern Illinois starting quarterback, Drew Hare, was injured two weeks ago. Ryan Graham stepped in and did a pretty solid job for the Huskies. Graham has thrown 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions on the season. He has some wheels as well, rushing for 132 yards in two games. Northern Illinois has one of those offenses where you just plug in new talent and they’re still fine. With Graham as the starting quarterback, Northern Illinois has averaged 36.5 points per game.
The Western Michigan offense can keep up with that, as they are scoring 37 points per game. Where I worry about the Broncos in this game is their defense, particularly the rush defense. They are allowing 175 yards per game, which provides a big opening for the Huskies’ strength, running the football. Northern Illinois averages 219.6 yards per game on the ground. They should be able to get some yardage there. Given the facts, it looks like a low total to me. I was predicting something at 65 or 66. In other words, I do like the OVER tonight in this Wednesday night college football matchup.
PICK: OVER 61 POINTS (-110)