Northern Illinois vs. Central Michigan Halloween Night Predictions
It has been a great college football season so far, but this may be the best time of the year. If you like to bet on college football, you love midweek MACtion. The betting line for this Northern Illinois vs. Central Michigan matchup has seen significant movement, with NIU reaching as high as a -6 favorite in some markets, while MyBookie has set the line at -5.5. The Huskies are coming into this game on a three-game winning streak and suffered a narrow two-point loss to Toledo at the start of their MAC play.
On the other hand, Central Michigan’s recent performances include victories against Akron and Eastern Michigan, both of which are ranked among the lower-performing teams in FBS. However, they’ve also faced losses against Buffalo and Ball State. It’s important to note that this game could be considered a look-ahead spot for CMU, with a significant game against Western Michigan next week.
Watching the Huskies
The Huskies have made significant strides on the defensive end, considerably reducing their average points allowed per game from last year’s 32.8 to 21.2 ppg this season. Furthermore, they are currently permitting just 310.4 total yards per game, averaging 4.9 yards per play. Impressively, advanced metrics are also favorable for this defensive unit, with the Huskies ranking 40th in EPA per play. Notably, they’ve excelled at restricting explosive plays, securing the second position in explosiveness allowed.
Steering the offensive side of the game is Rocky Lombardi, a seasoned sixth-year senior quarterback. Nevertheless, there’s a collective watchful eye on the condition of running back Antario Brown, who was forced to exit the Huskies’ recent game during the third quarter due to an injury.
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Chasing Central Michigan
Jase Bauer has faced significant challenges in his role as Central Michigan’s quarterback this season. Hailing from Ankeny, Iowa, Bauer has struggled, averaging a mere 6.2 yards per attempt and accumulating nine turnover-worthy plays while recording just six significant big-time throws.
Among the 146 quarterbacks in FBS with at least 100 pass attempts this season, Bauer ranks 116th in EPA and 109th in completion percentage. This presents an issue as these metrics are crucial for exploiting Northern Illinois’ defensive weaknesses. Notably, Central Michigan’s ground game has also failed to make a significant impact.
In summary, this matchup features a resurgent Northern Illinois defense that has significantly improved compared to the previous year. Their stinginess against big plays and impressive ranking in EPA per play suggest a formidable unit. However, on the offensive front, the Huskies might be facing questions about the health of star running back Antario Brown. Central Michigan, on the other hand, has been grappling with concerns regarding their quarterback’s performance, struggles in the ground game, and a failure to seize scoring opportunities. With the line movement favoring them, the Chippewas look promising at +6 as our best bet.