Shaky Duke, Northern Illinois Offenses Lead to 'Under' in Quick Lane Bowl

quick lane bowl

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 5:25 PM GMT

Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017 5:25 PM GMT

The Quick Lane Bowl has been played for years the day after Christmas. However, one possible good change for this contest is they have more favorable 5:15 ET start this year, which should help viewing numbers.

Free NCAAF Pick: Under 47.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3375336, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,19,93,999993,180], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Duke (6-6, 6-5-1 ATS) took about the most difficult route to make it to Detroit, and the sportsbooks college football odds have the Blue Devils as 5.5-point favorites over Northern Illinois (8-4, 6-6 ATS), with a total of 47.5. In the past 20 contests in this bowl, the favorite is only 9-11 ATS and quite a bit worse of late at 1-4 against the spread. Here is look at both combatants.

Northern Illinois Huskies

The Huskies were thought to be in transition this season, especially on offense. What carried Northern Illinois early was its defense, which had ball-hawking skills the first half of the season with 17 forced turnovers in six games and featuring two cornerbacks with NFL ability. Once the quarterback situation was settled on, the offense blossomed in MAC play, and on the season the Huskies averaged 30.2 points a contest. Because the offense averaged two turnovers a game, the defense permitted more points in the second half of the season, but Duke might find the Huskies hard to run on since they only allowed 2.8 yards a carry.

Duke Blue Devils

It was a wild ride for the Blue Devils this season. They opened 4-0, but a 31-6 home beatdown by Miami Fla. triggered a six-game losing streak (0-5-1 ATS). Having to face Georgia Tech and Wake Forest as underdogs to become bowl eligible, the Devils beat them both. The one constant in crazy campaign was the defense, which allowed only 20.7 PPG. Coach David Cutcliffe's offense was a mystery week-to-week, sometimes being able to run, sometimes being able to throw and too often not doing anything. During losing streak they averaged 12.1 PPG. On the year, the Blue Devils were at only 25.7 PPG. What offense will we see from Duke is anybody's guess.

Quick Lane Bowl Outcome

For college football picks, this is no simple choice because nobody is sure what Duke offense shows up. The Blue Devils get points for being from a stronger conference, however Northern Illinois has not backed away from playing stronger competition. I'll lean with NIU plus the points, but my official choice will the UNDER with quality defenses facing often inconsistent offenses. With Duke 8-1 UNDER as a favorite and Northern Illinois 11-2 UNDER as a neutral site underdog, I'll back the UNDER 47.5.

comment here