My math model only favors Northern Illinois by 3.9 points and the Broncos are a profitable 18-7 ATS on the road and 5-2 ATS in their last seven road affairs. In contrast, Northern Illinois is a money-burning 1-7 ATS in its last eight home games versus teams with a winning road record.
However, I should also point out that the Huskies are 13-2-1 ATS in the last sixteen meetings in this series, including 9-1 ATS when hosting Western Michigan. Despite those strong series’ trends, it’s difficult to pass on the Broncos getting double-digits in a conference affair.
Western Michigan is 0.8 yards per play worse than average from the line of scrimmage (0.3 yards per play worse than average offensively and 0.5 yards per play worse than average defensively). The Broncos possesses a potent ground attack that is averaging 249 yards per game at 5.1 yards per rush attempt against teams that would combine to allow 4.9 yards per rush play to a mediocre offense.
The problem for the Broncos is the fact that Northern Illinois owns an elite rush defense that rates 1.0 yards per rush attempt better than average (2.8 yards per carry to teams that would combine to average 3.8 yards per rush attempt against a mediocre stop unit). Overall, Northern Illinois possesses a significant 0.8 yards per rush play edge from the line of scrimmage over the Broncos’ ground attack.
Western Michigan’s aerial attack is woefully inadequate to move the chains, rating 0.7 yards per play worse than average (6.7 yards per pass play against teams that would combine to allow 7.4 yards per pass attempt to an average quarterback). The Huskies are limiting opposing quarterbacks to a mere 261 passing yards at 4.9 yards per play at home.
The Huskies’ offense is 0.6 yards per play worse than average (5.2 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.8 yards per play to a mediocre attack). However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Huskies’ move the chains against a porous Western Michigan stop unit that is giving up 40.5 points and 530 total yards per game at 6.8 yards per play on the road this season.
Overall, Northern Illinois is just average from the line of scrimmage, rating 0.6 yards per play worse than average offensively and 0.6 yards per play better than average defensively. The Huskies’ offense has come to life over the last three games, averaging 36.7 points per game at 11.4 yards per point.
The Huskies’ defense continues to improve, limiting conference foes to 17.3 points per game. Northern Illinois is 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS at home where it’s allowing just 16.0 points and 261 total yards per game at 3.4 yards per play. The question is whether it makes sense to lay double-digits against a competent road squad in what amounts to be a very important MAC contest.
While I don’t have an opinion on this game yet, be sure to visit my blog for daily sports picks in all sports. I typically publish 2-3 free daily sports picks per week, but the number of daily sports picks will likely increase now that both football and basketball overlap one another.