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Orange Bowl betting preview

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 ]

View Northern Illinois vs Florida State Odds and Stats.

Betting Line: Florida State were sitting as 13.5-point favorites earlier in the week at Bovada. The total was 58.5 in early betting at 5Dimes.

Florida State Bowl History

YearBowlTeam1ScoreTeam2ScoreTeam2LineATS win
1995Orange BowlFlorida State31Notre Dame2610NOTRD
1996Sugar BowlFlorida52Florida State203FLA
1997Sugar BowlOhio State14Florida State31-7FLAST
1998Fiesta BowlFlorida State16Tennessee235.5TENN
1999Sugar BowlVirginia Tech29Florida State46-6FLAST
2000Orange BowlFlorida State2Oklahoma1311.5OKLA
2001Gator BowlVirginia Tech17Florida State300FLAST
2002Sugar BowlGeorgia26Florida State137.5GEORGI
2003Orange BowlMiami16Florida State14-1.5MIAMI
2004Gator BowlWest Virginia18Florida State30-9.5FLAST
2005Orange BowlFlorida State23Penn State26-9FLAST
2006Emerald BowlFlorida State44UCLA27-3.5FLAST
2007Music City BowlFlorida State28Kentucky35-7Push
2008Champs Sports BowlWisconsin13Florida State42-7FLAST
2009Gator BowlFlorida State33West Virginia21-2.5FLAST
2010Chick-Fil-A BowlFlorida State26South Carolina17-2.5FLAST
2011Champs Sports BowlNotre Dame14Florida State18-3FLAST

Northern Illinois Bowl History

YearBowlTeam1ScoreTeam2ScoreTeam2LineATS win
2004Silican Valley BowlTroy21Northern Illinois34-1N.ILL
2005MAC ChampionshipAkron31Northern Illinois30-13AKRON
2006Poinsettia BowlNorthern Illinois7TCU37-12.5TCU
2008Independence BowlNorthern Illinois10Louisiana Tech17-3LATECH
2009International BowlNorthern Illinois3South Florida27-6.5S.FLA
2010Humanitarian BowlNorthern Illinois40Fresno State171.5N.ILL
2011GoDaddy.com BowlArkansas State20Northern Illinois380N.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