Northern Illinois went 9-4 in the regular season despite allowing more points than scoring this season. Is this a spot where Coastal Carolina can prove that Northern Illinois just had a lucky season? Keep reading to check the NCAAF odds and cash out at the top-rated online sportsbooks.
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers vs. Northern Illinois Huskies
Friday, December 17, 2021 – 06:00 PM EST at Exploria Stadium
The Northern Illinois Huskies won the MAC Championship with a 9-4 record on the season. Now they’ll take on the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in Orlando, Florida in the Tailgreeter Cure Bowl. On the season, Northern Illinois scored 31.5 points per game and allowed 32.7 points per game. Still, the Huskies won the MAC and went 9-4 on the season. It’s crazy how that works.
On offense, the Huskies have been brilliant averaging 422.2 yards per game. However, it’s not the passing game that has worked so well. It’s been the running game as the Huskies have averaged 234.3 yards per game on the ground. However, the defense for Northern Illinois has allowed nearly 450 yards per game and over 215 yards rushing per game. So while the offense has been terrific, the defense has been far from it.
At Northern Illinois, the Huskies have a veteran quarterback that is more of a game manager type in Rocky Lombardi. Lombardi transferred from Michigan State and ended up winning a championship at Northern Illinois. It kind of worked out perfectly for him. He threw for 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions but more importantly, he led an offense to more than five touchdowns per game.
On the other hand, Coastal Carolina went 10-2 on the season and has the much better team on paper. The Chanticleers scored 40.4 points per game while allowing just 20 points per game this season. The offense averaged nearly 500 yards per game and allowed just 323 yards per game. Quarterback Grayson McCall threw for 23 touchdowns and just three interceptions all year while running back Shermari Jones was featured plenty with 151 attempts and 988 yards along with 13 touchdowns.
Coastal Carolina wasn’t just amazing on the offensive end, but the defense was sensational as well. The pass rush was agonizing all year for other pass protections in the Sun Belt and that should also be a problem for Northern Illinois. Of course, the Huskies are going to try to get out of drop-back situations and would love to run the ball as much as possible in this game.
Coastal is allowing 133.9 yards per game on the ground but haven’t really been awful this season against the run. That number is a bit inflated due to teams electing not to throw against them.
Therefore, with McCall back under center for Coastal Carolina, I’m rolling with the Chanticleers at -10.5 for my college football picks. They’re a much better team and have had much more success this season on both sides of the field.
The offense can move down the field extremely quickly knowing how bad Northern Illinois has been against the run and in coverage. I’m not even sure Coastal Carolina will have to punt in this game. The punter can just stay home in this one!
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