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GoDaddy Bowl Betting – Bowl Puts Arkansas State In The Spotlight

Posted by Blake Frazier on 1/11/2012 9:23:42 AM
godaddy bowl betting

The 2012 Bowl offers a situation that is frequently found during the bowl season: One team enters a postseason contest in the midst of a coaching transition.

Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves - Saturday, January 8

Sports betting line: Arkansas State -1.5

Why Northern Illinois Will Win

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet for this tilt, you need to realize that many of the Northern Illinois players know how to deal with a bowl game, and more specifically, with adverse circumstances.  One year ago, the Huskies were wondering how they were ever going to cope with the loss of their beloved and highly successful head coach. Jerry Kill, right after the Mid-American Conference Championship Game, announced that he would take the open job as the next coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers. NIU entered the Humanitarian Bowl against Fresno State without a permanent head coach in place. The Huskies embraced Kill, the man who built up the program over many years in DeKalb, Illinois. Playing a bowl game without their longtime leader represented a challenge the Huskies had to work hard to overcome. The work wasn’t physical; it was psychological. In a very short period of time, a bunch of 19- and 20-year old athletes had to tear down one frame of mind and build a new architecture of belief.
Improbably yet undeniably, the Huskies answered the call. Northern Illinois played with electricity, verve and tenacity, roaring past Fresno State en route to a 40-17 win and an immensely sweet conclusion to a tumultuous bowl season. The win clearly carried through to the offseason and the just-concluded 2011 regular season, if results are the measure of a mindset. Under new head coach Dave Doeren, Northern Illinois erased a 20-0 deficit to beat Ohio University in the MAC Championship Game. A healthy program is floating on cloud nine as it enters this season’s bowl battle. It is mentally ready to win.

Why Arkansas State Will Win

The college football betting  experts examining this contest know that since Northern Illinois brushed aside its cloudy coaching status to win its bowl game a season ago, Arkansas State can do the same thing. This year’s Sun Belt Conference champion immediately took to the methods of first-year head coach Hugh Freeze, an in-house hire who transformed ASU from pretender to winner in a matter of months. After years upon years of falling short in meaningful moments and season-defining games, the boys from Jonesboro, Arkansas, put all the pieces together. They ran the table in the Sun Belt, winning close early-season games against Western Kentucky (26-22) and Louisiana-Monroe (24-19) en route to an 8-0 league record and an outright championship. This is a nice problem to have for ASU: The Red Wolves were so outrageously awesome this season that Freeze was snapped up by the Ole Miss Rebels. Arkansas State is without a coach, just as Northern Illinois was a year ago.

Simply stated, we’ll see how Arkansas State handles a tougher-than-tough coaching situation, but since Gus Malzahn has become ASU’s new head coach, the program is highly optimistic about its future. Malzahn is considered an up-and-comer in the coaching ranks, so his surprising decision to lead the Red Wolves has only brightened an already-sunny outlook in Jonesboro. Expect Arkansas State to storm out of the gate in this clash.

Who Will Win

Arkansas State will play with passion, but the coaching change might reduce the Red Wolves’ level of precision. Northern Illinois will play a more polished brand of ball, and in bowl games, execution – after a long layoff – is so central to the ultimate outcome. Pick NIU to win in Mobile, Alabama.

College Football Betting Pick: Northern Illinois



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