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Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Northern Illinois -17 & 71
Opening Line & Total: NIU -19 & 71
Northern Illinois goes for its sixth straight win on Tuesday when it hosts a Ball State team that has piled up four consecutive ATS victories (3-1 SU).
The Huskies are rolling on offense, tallying 45.2 PPG in MAC play, while the Cardinals have amassed 99 points in the past three games. Considering both teams are horrible defensively (NIU: 438 YPG, 33.4 PPG and Ball State: 491 YPG, 33.0 PPG), this has all the makings of a shootout. And this plays into the hands of the team with the better quarterback, and that advantage clearly belongs to NIU with Chandler Harnish (20 TD, 4 INT) over BSU’s Keith Wenning (15 TD, 9 INT). The Cardinals are 13-5 ATS (72%) on the road since 2009, but the Huskies are 11-3 ATS (79%) in conference play over the past two years, and are 9-3 SU (7-5 ATS) in the past dozen meetings with Ball State.
After not throwing a single touchdown pass during a three-game stretch, Wenning has picked up his game, tossing 8 TD with 944 passing yards (315 YPG) in the past three contests. Senior WR Briggs Orsbon has three of those touchdowns as part of 25 catches for 238 yards in the past three games. Despite the four-game ATS win streak, the Cardinals defense has allowed 523 total YPG and 30.8 PPG in these four contests. The reason they are hanging in ball games is because of an opportunistic defense that has forced 10 turnovers in the past four weeks. But the Huskies don’t give the ball up much, with just one turnover in the past three games.
NIU’s defense has been nothing to boast about either, but it has been far better at home (22.0 PPG, 293 YPG) than away (40.2 PPG, 536 YPG) this season. Harnish has been eating up yardage both running and passing during the five-game win streak, totaling 1,670 yards (1,025 passing, 645 rushing) and a dozen touchdowns. He has also played pretty well in his career against Ball State, completing 24-of-31 passes (77%) for 307 yards, 3 TD and 1 INT in the past two meetings (both wins).
- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter