College Football Picks: Northern Illinois vs. Central Michigan

Joe Freda

Thursday, October 17, 2013 12:16 PM GMT

The No. 23 Northern Illinois Huskies reeled off a sixth straight win in last week’s 27-20 triumph over the Akron Zips, escaping with no turnovers.

Huskies, Lynch hold off Zips 

Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch threw for 220 passing yards in last Saturday’s victory, while leading his side’s rushing attack with 83 more on the ground. The senior found tight end Desroy Maxwell for an early touchdown, while Northern Illinois was held to a 1-for-15 mark in third-down conversions. 

Northern Illinois’ Cameron Stingily took in one score from nine yards out, finishing with 21 carries out of the backfield. Huskies wide out Tommylee Lewis logged six catches for 58 receiving yards, while Lynch and Co. controlled the ball for 27 minutes of possession. 

The close contest’s 47 points plunged below the ‘total’ of 64, cashing a second straight UNDER ticket in the Huskies latest pair of battles. Northern Illinois was helped by the Zips’ 10 penalties (91 yards), while Huskies safety Jimmie Ward grabbed an interception for a fourth straight game. 

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Chippewas cash in upset 

Central Michigan notched a come-from-behind win on the same afternoon, surging past the Ohio Bobcats in a 26-23 upset. Chippewas quarterback Cooper Rush tossed a short pass to wide out Courtney Williams for the deciding score, with his squad cashing as a 20-point road dog. 

Rush logged a pair of other touchdowns through the air, finishing with 224 passing yards in a 20-for-28 day. Central Michigan’s Saylor Lavallii broke the century mark for the third time in four games, marching for 184 yards on a season-high 26 carries.

The Chippewas’ defense allowed 439 total yards and 25 first downs from Ohio’s offense, with Central Michigan’s Kavon Frazier and Brandon Greer logging one interception each. UNDER backers got the money, with the duel’s 49 combined points sliding below the ‘total’ of 51 ½. 

Back Central Michigan at home 

Northern Illinois opened as a 17-point road favorite on The Greek’s NCAAF odds board, while early wagers on Central Michigan dropped the number to 16. Chippewas wide receiver Titus Davis (17.9 YPR) is listed as “probable” after missing last week’s affair with a shoulder injury. 

I am adding Central Michigan to Saturday’s sports picks, taking the big number at home.

The Chippewas are 4-2 ATS in their last six meetings with Northern Illinois, including a 48-41 victory as an eight-point home dog, two years ago. Central Michigan’s Saylor Lavallii has plowed his way into being one of the MAC’s top three running backs (100.7 YPG), while Davis’ return gives Cooper Rush another weapon in Mount Pleasant.

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Northern Illinois has been squeaking its way through most of its winning streak, with just one victory by a margin above 14 points. The Wildcats have seen their scoring drop since conference play began, while the road team is just 3-12-1 ATS in the last 16 matchups between these rivals. 

Look for Rush and Co. to stay in cashing range for your college football picks here, while the team’s “Homecoming” affair should have the Chippewas’ fans fired up against a ranked foe.

Free Pick: Central Michigan Chippewas +16 at ladbrokes