MAC Betting: NIU vs Bowling Green
Jordan Lynch and his Northern Illinois Huskies danced with the big boys of the BCS last year, and they've got a chance to do it again, with a victory over Bowling Green in the MAC championship game Friday at Ford Field.
The two-time defending conference champion Huskies beat Kent State to win the MAC title game last year, and are back in it after going a dominating 8-0 through the conference this season, winning the West Division.
Bowling Green, meanwhile, won the East, going 7-1 in conference play, and is playing in the conference championship game for the first time since 2003.
These teams didn't meet during the regular season, and they didn't play last year, either.
In the early betting Northern Illinois, 8-4 ATS on the season, was favored by a field goal over the Falcons, 9-3 ATS this season, over at 5Dimes.
The Falcons will try to spoil to the party on Friday; they are 9-3 ATS against the number this season, while the Huskies are 8-4 ATS. Bowling Green is 3-9 on the totals; Northern Illinois is 7-5.
The Power Rankings at OddsShark have the No. 15-rated Falcons taking on the No. 19-rated Huskies in this contest. Handicapping models indicate a 46-44 win for the Falcons on Friday.
Bowling Green was a 24-7 winner in its last match on the road against Buffalo. They covered the 3.5-point spread as favorites, while the total score of 31 sent UNDER bettors to the payout window. Travis Greene tore up the turf for 129 rushing yards in the latest Falcons game, a 24-7 win over the Bulls at UB Stadium. Jordan Lynch ran through the Western Michigan defense for 321 yards in Northern Illinois's last game, handing the Broncos a 33-14 setback on Tuesday at Huskie Stadium.
How They Match Up:
The game also pits Northern Illinois's No. 9-ranked offense, averaging 42.83 PPG, against a Falcons defense that ranks No. 5 this week at 13.75 PPG. The Huskies aerial game is averaging 223.42 yards per game, more than the Falcons secondary allows through the air, 161.75 YPG per game.
In comparing defenses, the Falcons own the league's No. 29-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 137 yards per game when on the road. Northern Illinois, on the other hand, rates No. 10 this week in generating rushing yards at home.