Football Pick: Ball State vs. Northern Illinois
Date/Time: November 13th, 8:00 ET
College Football Odds from WagerWeb
Point Spread: Northern Illinois -6
The MAC West title will essentially be handed out on Wednesday night in DeKalb, where the Northern Illinois Huskies take on the Ball State Cardinals in a battle of undefeated teams from the MAC.
The Cardinals should be ranked in the BCS as we see it, and we aren’t totally eliminating the possibility that winning out would put them in the BCS when push came to shove. A win in this one will get them to the MAC Championship Game at 11-1 for sure (0-9 Miami Ohio is the only other team left on the docket), and a win over the Buffalo Bulls in the MAC Championship Game would help out a bunch. It probably wouldn’t be enough, but it’s nice to dream. This offense is legitimate. RB Jahwan Edwards and RB Horactio Banks have combined for over 1,300 rushing yards and 19 TDs, but the real key to this team is the passing game. QB Keith Wenning is an experienced quarterback in this conference, and he is averaging 316 passing yards per game. With a 27/5 TD/INT ratio, Wenning has some of the best numbers in the conference. WR Willie Snead is going to get the ball in his hands quite a bit. He has 74 catches for 1,175 yards this year, and he has already found the end zone a dozen times.
The Huskies are hoping to get back to the BCS for the second consecutive year and the second time in school history, but they have a lot of work to do if they are going to end up getting the job done. Not only do they have to win this game and win out, but they have to win the conference title game and ultimately get some help in the form of a loss by the Fresno State Bulldogs somewhere along the way. NIU doesn’t have a tricky offense, as this is what it has been doing for quite some time. It’s all about QB Jordan Lynch this year. Lynch has thrown the ball for 1,871 yards and 19 TDs against five picks, and he continues to be one of the best rushers in the country as well with 1,150 yards and 12 scores. The chance is there to throw for 2,000 yards and run for 2,000 yards, though it’s a long shot for that to happen. RB Cameron Stingily has 784 yards and eight TDs as well, and he almost seems like the forgotten man in this offense even though he would lead a number of big time teams in America in rushing.
Ball State almost feels like the better of these two teams to us. If the Cardinals can get their offense rolling and keep their defense off the field, there is a real shot to pull off the upset in DeKalb. We think that the oddsmakers have severely underrated this team. Ball State is going to win the MAC West and get into the Top 25 this week with a big ‘W’.
Ball State Cardinals vs. Northern Illinois Huskies Pick: Ball State Cardinals +6