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Eastern Michigan vs Northern Illinois Total Opens at 54.0 – Picks & Odds

North Illinois football stadium
Northern Illinois hosts Eastern Michigan in DeKalb on Tuesday as both look to get to bowl eligibility down the stretch this season. Photo from Flickr [CC License]
  • Northern Illinois is a 5-point favorite over Eastern Michigan on Tuesday night
  • The total is set at 54.5 for a cold night in DeKalb, Illinois
  • The total has gone “over” in a combined 12 of 20 games these teams have played in 2019

Two teams at the bottom of the MAC West are looking for a key win on Tuesday night to push them towards bowl eligibility.

The Eastern Michigan vs Northern Illinois odds set up a game that has massive implications on the postseason hopes of both the Eagles and the Huskies.

Eastern Michigan vs Northern Illinois Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Eastern Michigan Eagles +5 (-108) +170 O 54.5 (-113)
Nothern Illinois Huskies -5 (-112) -195 U 54.5 (-107)

Odds taken November 19th.

This is a big game for both teams looking to sneak into a bowl game. Eastern Michigan is 5-5 (2-4) entering Tuesday’s matchup, and with only Kent State left on the schedule after that, the Eagles have just two chances left to win that elusive 6th game.

For Northern Illinois, Tuesday night’s game is even more of a must-win. The Huskies, at 4-6 (3-3) with two games remaining, have to beat Eastern Michigan to gain bowl eligibility. Next week’s matchup with Western Michigan would also be a necessary victory, but for now, the focus is on the Huskies.

Can NIU Stabilize Themselves?

The Huskies hole was dug in the first month of the season. They lost 3 of their first 4, mainly due to road trips against Power five foes in Vanderbilt, Nebraska, and Utah.

Once they completed that difficult stretch, they entered MAC competition, where they have been wildly inconsistent from week-to-week.

Northern Illinois Games Against MAC Opponents

Opponent Result
vs Ball State L 27-20
@ Ohio W 39-36
@ Miami (Ohio) L 27-24
vs Akron W 49-0
@ Central Michigan L 48-10
@ Toledo W 31-28

It’s been an up-and-down stretch for Thomas Hammock’s team, but it’s crucial that they string together two more wins to wrap up the regular season and to get rookie coach Hammock to his first bowl.

Eagles Just Need One Win

On the strength of a 42-14 win over Akron just a week ago, Eastern Michigan is now just one win away from postseason eligibility. As they have all season, the Eagles relied on Mike Glass and Shaq Vann to bring home a victory, and they did just that. Glass went 20-of-25 for 246 yards through the air, and added 83 yards and 8 carries.

It’s Vann, however, that did the heavy lifting, gaining 142 yards on 28 carries, and scoring 4 touchdowns to put away Akron.

What’s the Best Bet?

This year’s matchup is set to be almost a polar opposite of the game these two played a season ago. The final score was only 26-23 after triple overtime, and 13-13 at the end of regulation. Now, in 2019, these offenses appear to have taken a leap.

The total has finished “over” in five straight games for NIU, and in six of NIU’s ten games all season. The Huskies are averaging 24 points and 372 yards per game. Those aren’t eye-popping numbers, but this unit is a productive one. The same is true on the other side, with EMU posting 27.8 points and 389.6 offensive yards per game.

The defenses fall in line as well. EMU gives up 31.3 points and 435.2 yards a game. They’ve gone “over” in 6 of 10 games as well, and in 3 straight.

Last year’s affair was a low-scoring one, but on Tuesday night, expect to see some offense.

Pick: Over 54.5 (-113)

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