College Football Picks Week 12: Ball State Cardinals vs. Northern Illinois Huskies
Tuesday night college football kicks off the week when Ball State faces off Northern Illinois on ESPN. The Mid-American Conference is a mainstay during the week in college football and always provides entertaining football.
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The opening college football week 12 odds opened with the Huskies listed as 19 point favorites and that number has been pushed down to 18.5 in several offshore sportsbooks. This is a clear example of reverse line movement with 73% of the people on Northern Illinois. The line has moved down due to smart money on the Cardinals.
The Cardinals are double digit dogs due to a porous defense. They rank last in the Mid-American Conference giving up 490.7 yards a game, and are the weak spot of this team. In fact it is so bad Eastern Michigan QB Alex Gillett threw a career-high four touchdowns and put up gaudy numbers although they have the worst passing offense in the MAC.
Ball State is recently off a big win against Eastern Michigan by the final score of 33-31. This win was big for the football program because the Cardinals became bowl eligible with the victory. They still have a chance to win the West division but they must win out in their last two games, starting with the game against Northern Illinois.
Northern Illinois comes into this game on a five game winning streak. This streak includes a three game road sweep and now they will be heading home with a load of confidence. The coach was beaming with pride after the latest victory.
“This was our best performance on the road,” said NIU coach Dave Doeren. “We played a complete game for four quarters. If you win three in a row on the road, I don’t care what conference you’re playing in, it says a lot about the mentality of your team.”
Quarterback Chandler Harnish is a double threat under center and can run and throw the ball. The offensive line keeps him upright and has not allowed a sack in five straight games. If the Huskies have a flaw it is that they tend to start slow, but that should change when they play at home on national television.
The college football sports betting trends favor the Huskies in this game. The Huskies are 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 games following a win, 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 games as a favorite, and 7-1 ATS in their last eight games as a home favorite. The Cardinals are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a win against the number and will not have a chance in this game.
Although Ball State is still playing for something, they are playing the third straight road game against a team happy to be home and riding high. This game could get ugly early.