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How and what to watch for Northern Illinois vs. Eastern Michigan

The Northern Illinois Huskies will try to snap their five-game losing streak on Saturday against the Eastern Michigan Eagles.

Northern Illinois Huskies cornerback Zhamaine March gets congratulated by his teammates during the college football game between the Northern Illinois Huskies and Western Michigan Broncos on November 28, 2020, at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo, MI. Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Northern Illinois Huskies will try to capture their first win of the season when they take on the previous winless Eastern Michigan Eagles Saturday at 12:00 p.m. ET in Ypsilanti, MI.

The Huskies (0-5) were outscored 17-0 in the second half against the Toledo Rockets, leading to a 41-24 loss. Northern Illinois quarterback Ross Bowers completed 19-of-39 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns. One of the touchdown passes went to Tyrice Richie, which were a part of his seven receptions for 111 yards.

On the ground, running back Harrison Waylee had his first 100-yard rushing performance with 114 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. NIU is hoping that he can accomplish this feat again versus a EMU defense that is giving up 250 rushing yards per game this season.

Defensively, the Huskies got two interceptions of Rockets quarterback Carter Bradley, but he still completed 29-of-44 passes for 432 yards and three touchdowns. NIU also allowed Toledo’s running game to go off for 178 yards and two touchdowns.

As for Eastern Michigan, they pulled off an upset 53-42 win over Western Michigan, giving them their first loss on the season. The Eagles’ defense still gave up their yards on the ground and through the air, but forced three fumbles.

Offensively, quarterback Preston Hutchinson had one of the his best games this season. He completed 19-of-30 passes for 315 yards, three touchdowns and had a rushing touchdown. Speaking of running the ball, the Eagles found their ground game as Darius Boone Jr. had 148 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown.

If they can get another 100-yard performance from Boone against a NIU defense that is surrendering 182 yards per game this season, they could find a path to winning.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Northern Illinois vs. Eastern Michigan on Saturday, December 12th at 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPN3, or you can stream it via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Northern Illinois vs. Eastern Michigan (-6)
Point Total: O/U 55.5
Money line: Northern Illinois (+160) vs. Eastern Michigan (-210)

  • Going back to last season, the point total went over in eight of Northern Illinois’ last 12 games.
  • To no surprise, the Huskies have a record of 0-5 straight up in their last five games, but are 11-1 straight up against EMU in their last 12 matchups.
  • Despite their record being what it is, Eastern Michigan has a record of 6-3 against the spread in its last nine games.
  • Just like with NIU, the point went over in eight of EMU’s last 11 games.

Betting splits

Northern Illinois: (30% of handle, 28% percent of bets)
Eastern Michigan: (70% of handle, 72% percent of bets)

The Best Bet

When it comes to MACtion this season, it is hard to predict what will happen. No one thought that EMU would defeat Western Michigan, let alone cover the spread. But when you take a look at NIU, before last week’s game, they lost their previous two matchups by nine points. I wouldn’t trust neither team against the spread, therefore I’m leaning towards the points.

Pick: Over 55.5

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