Free College Football Pick - Week 12 - Northern Illinois vs Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan Eagles

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 6:48 PM GMT

Northern Illinois is just a field goal favorite at Eastern Michigan in the Wednesday MACtion nightcap. Need a pick for the game? We got ya covered.

Northern Illinois Huskies (3-7 SU, 4-6 ATS)

Northern Illinois’ season took another hit with news that senior quarterback Anthony Maddie is out for the season with a hairline fracture in his leg. He originally sustained the injury in a 45-20 win over Bowling Green in Week 10. 

Maddie took over full time under center in Week 5 at Ball State, providing a much-needed jolt to the offense. The Huskies averaged 35.6 points per game behind the senior, scoring more than their projected team total in all but one game. They are 0-5 SU and 0-4-1 ATS when he didn’t start, scoring just 25.2 points per game. Sophomore Ryan Graham, who tallied 324 total yards and 3 scores in defeat to Toledo last week, will act as signal caller for the remainder of the season.

The weakest link for the Huskies is on defense. It allows 456.2 total yards and 32.3 points per game. To put this into perspective, the Huskies yielded 24.5 per game on average over the last 4 seasons.

 Eastern Michigan Eagles (6-4 SU, 8-2 ATS)

Eastern Michigan hasn’t played in a bowl game since 1987, but are eligible for the postseason for just the first time since 1995 after beating Ball State 48-41 as a 1-point pup last Saturday. The win marks the fourth this year as an underdog. The Eagles won more than 2 games just once in the last 7 seasons.

Two key factors are defining the Eagles’ turnaround: the passing game and forcing turnovers. Offensively, they toss it up 41.4 times per game, 10th most nationally. The unit is efficient in the air overall with 7.5 yards per attempt. Its 301 passing yards per game ranks second behind Toledo (339.5) in the MAC.

Brogan Roback has been the man under center the last 5 games exclusively. He’s thrown for 1,855 yards, 13 TDs, and 3 INTs on 150 of 251 passes. The junior has eclipsed 319 passing yards in each of his last 4 games.

The defense forces 2.1 takeaways per game. In fact, it’s generated a turnover in every game this season but one (Toledo).

Eastern Michigan is just 3-16 SU and 8-10-1 in the last 19 against the Huskies. This is only the sixth time in the series not kicking off as a double-digit underdog.

 

Final Analysis:

The Huskies are 1-4 SU away from home and struggle against the pass on defense, allowing 256.2 opponent passing yards per game. This plays into the Eagles’ hands. Graham played well in defeat to Toledo last week, but the offense struggled to execute when it counted. Eastern Michigan should light it up for 30-plus points. Northern Illinois will likely fall short in its attempt to keep up. My college football pick is Eastern Michigan +3 in a close one, as the Eagles miracle season keeps soaring.

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Free College Football Pick: Eastern Michigan +3Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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