College Football Betting Odds and Picks: Northern Illinois Huskies at Purdue Boilermakers

Northern Illinois Huskies at Purdue Boilermakers
Ross-Ade Stadium – West Lafayette, Indiana 
Saturday, September 28, 2013, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Northern Illinois -2 1/2
Current Line: Northern Illinois -3 1/2 (-105)
Opening Total: 58 1/2
Current Total: 58
Opening Money Line: NIU -170 / Purdue +150
Current Money Line: NIU -175 / Purdue +155

Northern Illinois is undefeated and a 3 point favorite at Purdue Saturday.
Northern Illinois is undefeated and a 3 point favorite at Purdue Saturday.

The 3-0 Northern Illinois Huskies travel to the 1-3 Purdue Boilermakers Saturday. Despite being only 185 miles from each other, the two teams have only met once, with NIU claiming a 28-21 win at Purdue in 2009.

Northern Illinois is coached by Rod Carey in his first year as Huskies’ coach. The Huskies have won 26 of 28 games since 2011. NIU has wins at Iowa 30-27 and Idaho 45-35, and last week at home against Eastern Illinois 43-39. The Huskies are  1-2 ATS and all three games went over the total. NIU was a 14 point favorite against Eastern Illinois and the total was 76.5.

Eastern Illinois quickly jumped out to a 20-0 lead, but failed on a surprise two point attempt on their first touchdown. The Huskies also missed an extra point on their first touchdown, but would score 30 straight points to take a 30-20 lead early in the third. The Panthers scored to pull within 30-26 but missed another two point conversion. Northern Illinois added a field goal near the end of the third to go up by a touchdown 33-26.

The fourth quarter was a wild back and forth affair-. Eastern scored on the first play of the the quarter to tie it up at 33. The Huskies kicked a field goal to take a 36-33 lead. The Panthers scored with 9:53 left to go up 39-36 but missed another extra point. NIU scored with 8:25 left to regain the lead 43-39. Eastern Illinois reached their own 32 on the next possession but penalties and a sack sent them back to their own 11. On third down, they got back to the 19, but had to punt. Northern Illinois took over at their own 32 with 5:04 remaining and ran out the clock getting all the way down the EIU 16. The Huskies had 602 total yards including 367 rushing yards. The Panthers had 577 total yards including 450 passing yards. Each team had 14 penalties and at least 119 penalty yards. NIU had 3 turnovers and EIU had 2 of their own.


Northern Illinois is outscoring teams 39-34 this season. The Huskies are averaging 516 yards per game (#17 nationally), including 295.3 rushing yards (#11 nationally). On defense, NIU is allowing 491 yards per game including 317.7 passing yards. The Huskies are #101 or worse in total, scoring and pass defense out of 125 teams. Northern Illinois is -2 in turnovers with 6 takeaways. The Huskies are averaging 96.7 penalty yards per game. and opponents are averaging 67.7.  NIU is 21/53 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 21/58. The Huskies have forced 14 sacks and allowed 2. NIU is 15/17 scoring in the red zone with 10 touchdowns, and their opponents are 9/9 with 8 touchdowns.

NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch has completed 63% of his passes for 662 yards with 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Lynch is also the leading rusher with 68 carries, 404 yards and 2 touchdown. Running back Cameron Stingily has 46 carries, 238 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with a catch for 9 yards. Keith Harris, Jr. has 16 carries, 88 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 2 catches for 21 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Da’Ron Brown has 19 catches, 248 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tommylee Lewis has 23 catches, 220 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 6 carries for 120 yards. Tight end Luke Eakes has only 4 catches, but two of them have gone for touchdowns.


Purdue is coached by Darrell Hazell also in his first year. The only win for the Boilermakers came at home against Indiana State 20-14. Purdue has losses at Cincinnati 42-7, at home against Notre Dame 31-24, and last week at Wisconsin 41-10 in the Big Ten opener for the Boilermakers. Purdue is 1-3 ATS and the total is 2-2. Purdue was a 21.5 point underdog at Wisconsin and the game went over the 48.5 total.

Wisconsin jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but Purdue pulled to within 14-10 early in the second. The Boilermakers would not score again as the Badgers scored the last 27 points of the game to complete the 31 point rout. Purdue could only manage 180 total yards and 12 first downs. Wisconsin cranked out 546 total yards with 388 rushing yards. Each team had a turnover.

Purdue is being outscored 32-15 this season. The Boilermakers are averaging 246 total yards per game including 175.5 passing yards and 70.5 rushing yards. The Boilermakers are 104th or worse nationally in scoring, total, passing, and rushing offense. On defense, Purdue is allowing 416.5 yards per game on defense, including 231.8 passing yards. Purdue is even on turnovers with 6 giveaways. The Boilermakers are 21/68 on third and fourth down conversions, and opponents are 33/68. Purdue has forced 8 sacks this season and allowed 7. The Boilermakers are averaging 44 penalty yards per game. Purdue is 8/13 scoring in the red zone with 5 touchdowns, and opponents are 13/15 with 10 touchdowns. The Boilermakers have a kick return for a touchdown, and have given up 2 pick sixes.

Quarterback Rob Henry has completed 56.3% of his passes for 702 yards with 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, and he also has 2 rushing touchdowns. Running back Akeem Hunt has 50 carries for 156 yards along with 17 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown. Hunt also has a kick return for a touchdown. Dalyn Dawkins has 22 carries for 84 yards, along with 5 catches for 58 yards. Receiver Shane Mikesky has 8 catches for 122 yards. B.J. Knauf has 7 catches, 79 yards and a touchdown, along with 9 carries for 49 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Justin Sinz has 11 catches, 80 yards and a touchdown.  Tight end Gabe Holmes is out for the season with a broken wrist.

Northern Illinois is 6-0-1 ATS against teams with losing home records, 7-1 against Big Ten teams, 5-1-1 against teams with losing records, 17-4 after allowing more than 280 passing yards, 13-4-2 after gaining more than 450 total yards, 5-2-1 in road games, 1-3-1 after allowing more than 450 total yards, in September and overall, 1-4-1 in non-conference games, 1-7 on grass, 0-3-1 after scoring more than 40 points, after a straight up win, and after rushing for more than 200 yards.

Purdue is 6-2 ATS after passing for less than 170 yards, 4-9 after rushing for less than 100 yards, 2-5 at home and on grass, 2-6 after allowing more than 450 total yards, 1-4 after a straight up loss, in non-conference games, after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, and overall, 3-13 after allowing more than 40 points, and 0-4 against teams with winning records.

Northern Illinois has a great offense led by Lynch but a terrible defense. Purdue has a terrible offense and a mediocre defense. It isn’t often that a MAC team is favored on the road at a Big Ten team, but NIU is simply a better team. The Huskies already have a road win at Iowa, and are looking to defeat two Big ten teams in the same season for the first time in program history. I like Northern Illinois to win but their suspect defense could keep Purdue in the game.

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