In the ultimate David-vs.-Goliath match-up of this bowl season 12-1 Northern Illinois, champions of the MAC, challenge 11-2 Florida State, championship of the ACC, in the Orange Bowl New Year's Day night in South Florida (8:30 pm ET, ESPN).
The early Orange Bowl odds were listing the Seminoles, who are averaging 40 PPG this season, as 13-point favorites over the Huskies, who are averaging 41 PPG.
Underdogs have ruled the Orange Bowl lately, going 7-2 ATS in nine years. But beware FSU, as the Noles are 8-0-1 ATS in their past 9 bowl games. Also of note for bettors, the UNDER is 5-1 in past 6 Orange Bowls. [ More Orange Bowl betting stats, trends and picks ]
Betting Line: Florida State were sitting as 13.5-point favorites earlier in the week at . The total was 58.5 in early betting at 5Dimes.
Florida State Bowl History
|1995||Orange Bowl||Florida State||31||Notre Dame||26||10||NOTRD|
|1996||Sugar Bowl||Florida||52||Florida State||20||3||FLA|
|1997||Sugar Bowl||Ohio State||14||Florida State||31||-7||FLAST|
|1998||Fiesta Bowl||Florida State||16||Tennessee||23||5.5||TENN|
|1999||Sugar Bowl||Virginia Tech||29||Florida State||46||-6||FLAST|
|2000||Orange Bowl||Florida State||2||Oklahoma||13||11.5||OKLA|
|2001||Gator Bowl||Virginia Tech||17||Florida State||30||0||FLAST|
|2002||Sugar Bowl||Georgia||26||Florida State||13||7.5||GEORGI|
|2003||Orange Bowl||Miami||16||Florida State||14||-1.5||MIAMI|
|2004||Gator Bowl||West Virginia||18||Florida State||30||-9.5||FLAST|
|2005||Orange Bowl||Florida State||23||Penn State||26||-9||FLAST|
|2006||Emerald Bowl||Florida State||44||UCLA||27||-3.5||FLAST|
|2007||Music City Bowl||Florida State||28||Kentucky||35||-7||Push|
|2008||Champs Sports Bowl||Wisconsin||13||Florida State||42||-7||FLAST|
|2009||Gator Bowl||Florida State||33||West Virginia||21||-2.5||FLAST|
|2010||Chick-Fil-A Bowl||Florida State||26||South Carolina||17||-2.5||FLAST|
|2011||Champs Sports Bowl||Notre Dame||14||Florida State||18||-3||FLAST|
Northern Illinois Bowl History
|2004||Silican Valley Bowl||Troy||21||Northern Illinois||34||-1||N.ILL|
|2005||MAC Championship||Akron||31||Northern Illinois||30||-13||AKRON|
|2006||Poinsettia Bowl||Northern Illinois||7||TCU||37||-12.5||TCU|
|2008||Independence Bowl||Northern Illinois||10||Louisiana Tech||17||-3||LATECH|
|2009||International Bowl||Northern Illinois||3||South Florida||27||-6.5||S.FLA|
|2010||Humanitarian Bowl||Northern Illinois||40||Fresno State||17||1.5||N.ILL|
|2011||GoDaddy.com Bowl||Arkansas State||20||Northern Illinois||38||0||N.ILL|
How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Florida State's No. 14-ranked offense (39.9 PPG) against a Huskies defense that ranks No. 18 at 19 PPG. The Seminoles passing attack has averaged 262.9 yards per game, more than the Huskies give up through the air (217.7 YPG on average).
Defensively, the Huskies feature the league's No. 54-rated road run defense, allowing 162.8 yards per game. Florida State, meanwhile, ranks No. 16 in rushing offense at home.
Northern Illinois won its last outing, a 44-37 result against Kent State on November 30. Northern Illinois failed to cover in that game as a 7.5-point favorite, while the 81 combined points took the game OVER the total. Kent State was unable to contain Jordan Lynch in its last action Friday and the result was a 44-37 Week 14 loss against the Huskies.
Florida State won its last outing, a 21-15 result against Georgia Tech on December 1. Florida State failed to cover in that game as a 15.5-point favorite, while the 36 combined points took the game UNDER the total. In their last game, the Seminoles were Week 14 winners, coming out on top of the Yellow Jackets by a score of 21-15.
Northern Illinois Huskies Trends:
When playing in January are 1-1
When playing on grass are 2-8
After outgaining opponent are 10-0
When an underdog on the road are 3-7
Florida State Seminoles Trends:
When playing in January are 5-5
When playing on grass are 8-2
After outgaining opponent are 8-2
When favored at home are 8-2
A few Huskies at Seminoles trends to consider:
Northern Illinois is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Florida State is 13-2 SU in its last 15 games
Florida State is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games