College Football Picks: W. Michigan to Upset NIU in MAC Showdown

David Lawrence

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 2:55 PM GMT

Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 2:55 PM GMT

The Western Michigan Broncos & Northern Illinois Huskies are battling for the Mid-American Conference’s West Division championship. Let's check the college football odds for this huge game.

Momentum
The Western Michigan cause was wounded last week. Bowling Green defeated the Broncos, 41-27. The game appeared to be developing into a shootout, but Bowling Green was able to get a handle on Western Michigan’s offense in the second half, particularly in the red zone and in its own half of the field. Western Michigan couldn’t make enough plays in relatively short and contained spaces against a more physical defense. Bowling Green had more of a balanced offense and showed a consistency which Western Michigan clearly lacked. The Broncos know that they lost to a very good team, but they also know that they allowed several opportunities to slip away. Coach P.J. Fleck has to iron out what is deficient about his team and create a better level of performance in this game if his team is to stay alive in the MAC West title dust-up.

Northern Illinois didn’t have an easy time of it last week against Buffalo, but the Huskies were able to win, 41-30. No starting quarterback, no problem, as the team was able to win in spite of the absence of number one signal caller Drew Hare. Ryan Graham has stepped into the spotlight and has done much better than expected at the quarterback position. Coach Rod Carey has had his backup ready to play, a fine example of how he’s been able to keep Northern Ilinois on top in the MAC West after taking over from Dave Doeren a few years ago.

***Click Western Michigan vs. NIU Props Here***

Line Moves
The college football odds started with Northern Illinois as a three-point favorite, and that line has remained in place. There is skepticism about Western Michigan, but it’s more a matter of trust in NIU, which has rarely lost any November game over the past several seasons. That’s what bettors see in this game.

 

Notable Injuries
Western Michigan offensive guard James Kristof is out for the season with a knee injury. So is defensive back Justin Tranquill.

Northern Illinois has quarterback Drew Hare out for the season with a leg injury. Wide receiver Tommylee Lewis is questionable with an ankle injury. Running back Keith Harris, Jr. is out indefinitely with a knee injury.  

 

Handicapping The Game
The quarterback situation for Northern Illinois might not be a concern in this game, but usually, having a less experienced quarterback in a really huge game in November winds up making a difference. Northern Illinois does have a track record of consistency, but Western Michigan learned a lot against Bowling Green, and those lessons will likely make a difference here. Take WMU with your college football picks.

College Football Pick: Western Michigan +3 at TheGreek

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