College Football Free Betting Pick: Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Central Michigan Chippewas

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A couple of teams that prefer to deploy their running games, Head Coach Thomas Hammock and the Northern Illinois Huskies (+2) are set to pay a visit to their conference nemesis Central Michigan Chippewas (-2) at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. CBS Sports Network has the TV rights and the afternoon game is scheduled to get underway at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Betting Preview: Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Central Michigan Chippewas

In this Saturday Mid-American game, Central Michigan has been tabbed as the favorite and the team’s currently giving up 2 points. The Huskies are also receiving +100 moneyline odds while the Chippewas are -120. Vegas has placed the over/under (O/U) at 52.5 points. There might be some good live betting possibilities in the game.

Sharp bettors have been hammering the over. The game’s total was set initially at 51.5.

The Huskies are 5-3 against the spread (ATS) and are down 2.5 units this season. The team has posted an O/U record of 4-4.

The surprising Chippewas are up 3.5 units so far. They’re 6-2-1 ATS and have an O/U record of 7-2.

The Huskies have gone only 3-5 straight up (SU), including 2-2 SU against MAC opponents. The Chippewas are 5-4 SU overall and 3-2 SU in conference play.

The Huskies are on the upswing after a 49-0 win over Akron last week in which Marcus Childers completed seven passes on 9 attempts for only 71 yards and three touchdowns. Tre Harbison (158 rushing yards on 31 attempts, two TDs) and Jordan Nettles (71 yards on 12 carries) led the ground attack in the win while Mitchell Brinkman (two receptions, 36 yards, one TD) and Michael Love (two catches, 18 yards) handled the receiving duties.

On October 26, Buffalo took care of this Central Michigan team by a score of 43-20. The Chippewas defense allowed the Bulls to eat up the clock by rushing for 197 yards on 55 attempts, including two rush TDs. Jaret Patterson shredded the defense, recording 149 rushing yards and a score on 28 attempts, along with 59 yards on two catches for Buffalo. For Central Michigan, Quinten Dormady completed 25-of-37 passes for 272 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Jonathan Ward (64 rushing yards on 14 attempts, one TD) handled the ground game in the defeat as JaCorey Sullivan (seven receptions, 114 yards, one TD) and Kalil Pimpleton (seven catches, 82 yards, one TD) led the pass-catching corps.

Looking at offensive play-calling, each team has a remarkably similar (52-48) run-pass ratio on the season. The Huskies have produced 130.5 rush yards per game (including 176.3 per game against Mid-American opponents) and have 11 touchdowns via handoffs this year. The Chippewas are putting up 174.8 rush yards per game (186.2 in conference) and have 19 total rushing TDs.

If 2019 numbers are any indication, then it’s looking like the Chippewas may hold an edge when it comes to efficiency in the ground game. Their running backs has generated 4.8 yards per carry while their defense is allowing a YPC of 3.5 to opponents. The Huskies have recorded 3.6 yards per carry while allowing a YPC of 4.5 to opponents.

The Huskies offensive scheme has tallied 247.3 yards per game through the air overall (222 per game versus conference opposition) and has nine passing scores so far. The Chippewas have produced 244.8 pass yards per outing (305 against MAC competition) and have 13 total pass TDs.

Defensively, Northern Illinois seems to have the upper hand when it comes to limiting the pass. The team has allowed 155.5 rush yards and 186.9 pass yards per game. The Central Michigan defense has allowed 245 yards per game to opposing passers and 121.0 yards per game to opposing runners. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to the opposition, as the Huskies have given up an ANY/A of 6.46 to opposing QBs, while the Chippewas are yielding an ANY/A of 6.44.

Offensively, Childers is up to 108 passing yards on the year, and has connected on 71 percent of his 17 attempts with three scores through the air and has yet to throw an interception. Childers has an 8.94 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, including 7.77 over the last two games.

In the other locker room, Quinten Dormady has managed to complete 71-of-110 passes for 727 yards, seven TDs and three INTs. Dormady’s ANY/A sits at 5.90 for the season and 6.06 over his past two games.

When these two schools met last year, Northern Illinois got the victory over Central Michigan, 24-16.

Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Central Michigan Chippewas Bedding Prediction

SU Winner: Northern Illinois, ATS Winner: Northern Illinois, O/U: Over

Team Betting Notes

  • The Huskies offense has created six pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Chippewas have put up five such plays.
  • The Northern Illinois defense has allowed five pass plays of 40+ yards, while Central Michigan has given up four such plays.
  • The Northern Illinois offense has created nine rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while Central Michigan has created 10 such runs.
  • The Huskies defense has allowed 11 rushing plays of 20+ yards, while the Chippewas have given up seven such runs.
  • The Central Michigan defense has registered twice as many sacks as Northern Illinois this year (20 versus 10).
  • Northern Illinois, as a team, has produced 4.1 yards per carry across its past three games and 3.7 over its last two.
  • Central Michigan has averaged 5.5 yards per carry over its last three outings and 4.8 over its past two.
  • Over its last three games, Central Michigan is 2-1 ATS and the over cashed in each of those three.
  • The Over/Under for Northern Illinois’ last game was 42. The over cashed in the team’s 49-0 victory over Akron.
  • In its last three contests, Northern Illinois is 2-1 ATS and the over cashed in each of those three.
  • The Over/Under for Central Michigan’s last game was 47. The over cashed in the team’s 43-20 loss to Buffalo.