Poinsettia Bowl odds: NIU vs Utah State preview
|Utah State Aggies||Northern Illinois Huskies|
|8-5||December 26, 2013, 09:30 | Qualcomm Stadium||12-1|
Northern Illinois suffered its first loss of the season in the MAC Championship Game, and they'll have to settle for a berth in the Poinsettia Bowl on December 26.
Jordan Lynch and the Huskies entered the MAC title game against Bowling Green at 12-0 on the season, but lost 47-27 to the Falcons as a 3-point betting favorite. They'll meet Utah State in the Poinsettia Bowl at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium.
Over-unders have alternated the past 8 seasons, and an OVER is due here in 2013.
The UNDER is 5-0-1 in the past 6 NIU bowl games. Overall, Northern Illinois is 24-2 SU past 26 games while Utah State is 8-4 ATS in its past 12 games.
The Huskies sport a record of 12-1 and 8-5 ATS heading into this matchup, while the Aggies sit at 8-5 and 8-5 ATS on the season. The over under records are 8-5 for the Huskies and 6-7 for the Aggies.
Poinsettia Bowl betting odds: Northern Illinois was favored at -1.5 as of Dec. 17 and the total was hovering around 58 over at Bovada.
The Huskies sit at No. 17 in the current NCAAF Power Rankings here at OddsShark, while the Aggies are at No. 24 on that chart. Math models have concluded that the Huskies will win this game 32-31.
Utah State was a 24-17 loser in its last match on the road against Fresno State. They failed to cover the 2.5-point spread as underdogs, while the total score of 41 sent UNDER bettors to the payout window. Last time out, Utah State could not slow down $WinningWR, who managed 145 receiving yards in the Bulldogs 24-17 victory over the Aggies Saturday. In their last game, Northern Illinois got a 126-yard performance from Jordan Lynch, but Bowling Green prevailed 47-27.
How They Match Up:
The game also pits Northern Illinois's No. 8-ranked offense, averaging 41.62 PPG, against a Aggies defense that ranks No. 7 this week at 17.31 PPG. The Huskies aerial game is averaging 223.08 yards per game, less than the Aggies secondary allows through the air, 224.77 YPG per game.
Defensively, the Aggies feature the league's No. 23-rated road run defense, allowing 127.86 yards per game. Northern Illinois, meanwhile, ranks No. 12 in rushing offense at home.