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Northern Illinois Fresno State Betting – Humanitarian Bowl Pits Speed Against Power

Posted by Blake Frazier on 12/14/2010 3:21:11 PM
northern illinois fresno state betting

The Northern Illinois Huskies want to run in the open field. The Fresno State Bulldogs like to pound the ball between the tackles. Finesse meets blue-collar ruggedness in Boise, Idaho.

NCAA football betting: Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Fresno State Bulldogs

Online Betting Odds: Northern Illinois -1

Why To Bet On Northern Illinois

The Huskies will be motivated when they take the field at Bronco Stadium for the latest edition of the Humanitarian Bowl. Northern Illinois was the only team to go unbeaten (8-0) versus the Mid-American Conference in regular season action, but the Huskies then got tripped up on Dec. 3 in the MAC Championship Game against the Miami Red Hawks. NIU led by a 21-20 score in the final two minutes and forced Miami into a 4th and 20 situation. The Red Hawks threw a desperation pass into traffic, and it was tipped by an NIU defender into the hands of a Miami receiver for a first down.

The Red Hawks then scored on a 33-yard touchdown pass. NIU drove inside the Miami 40 in the final seconds but could not get the ball to the end zone, and Miami left NIU reeling with a 26-21 shocker against a 17-point favorite. Northern Illinois wants to remove that bad taste from its mouth against Fresno State, and the MAC West Division champions have the capability to do just that. Quarterback Chandler Harnish is a terrific dual-threat quarterback who blends superb running ability with an above-average throwing arm. He’ll be a headache for Fresno State’s defense all day long. Northern Illinois should definitely be able to score in the high 20s at the very least and force Fresno State’s offense to make its fair share of plays.

Why To Bet On Fresno State

While NIU’s offense will be hard to handle, Fresno State might be even more difficult for the Huskies to stop. Coach Pat Hill’s Bulldogs love to sledgehammer the ball between the tackles and play old-fashioned power football within a pro set that other colleges have abandoned in the pursuit of the spread option, the triple option, or other modern-day offensive looks. Fresno State’s offense line will pose a very tough matchup for Northern Illinois’ comparatively undersized defensive front. As long as quarterback Ryan Colburn makes good decisions and can use Fresno State’s running game to set up downfield passes off play action, the Bulldogs should be able to ring up a very big number against the Huskies.

What’s also worth noting is that, just 15 days after losing the MAC title game, Northern Illinois will return to the gridiron without the man who coached the team during the regular season, Jerry Kill. The Minnesota Golden Gophers hired Kill as their new head coach, and Kill took his two coordinators with him to Minneapolis, leaving behind a gutted NIU coaching staff. This is likely to work in Fresno State’s favor.

How The Game Will Play Out

Northern Illinois will play well on offense, but the Huskies have no answers for Fresno State’s offense. This will be a shootout, but Fresno State will score more touchdowns and more points. Take the Bulldogs in what is essentially a pick-‘em game.

Northern Illinois Fresno State Betting Pick: Fresno State

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