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MAC Championship Game Odds: Northern Illinois vs. Ohio

Written by Charlie Jimenez   
Thursday, 01 December 2011 08:16

Northern Illinois vs. Ohio Bobcats  LinesThe Northern Illinois Huskies face Ohio Bobcats on Friday at Ford Field in the MAC Championship Game.

A pair of 9-3 teams go at it in a MAC title game that might actually be worth tuning in to see.

At best, it’s a showcase of ‘double-deuce’ offenses – units gaining 200+ yards both rushing and passing – as Ohio averages 212 RYPG and 250 PYPG compared to NIU’s 255 and 233 YPG, respectively.

At worst, it’s an opportunity for two programs that have been left at the altar in previous conference championship appearances to fi nally hoist the trophy.

This Friday evening trip to Detroit marks the Bobcats’ third chance at the overall league title in seven seasons under current head coach Frank Solich (1-1 ATS) while the Huskies have lost and failed to cover MAC title games in 2005 and 2010.

Last year’s defeat was particularly exasperating for Northern Illinois: coping with the news that then-head coach Jerry Kill would be leaving DeKalb to take over the top spot at Minnesota, the 19-point favorite sled dogs were stunned by Miami Ohio, 26-21.

This year, however, NIU mushes to Motown riding a seven-game SU win streak and planning to pay back Ohio for a 38-31 loss in their last meeting (2009).

The Bobbies boast a current fi ve-game win skein of their own and have cashed in the last three meetings with the Huskies.

The boys from Athens can also claim a spotless 5-0 ATS record as Weekday dogs and a 5-1 ATS mark as underdogs of 6 or fewer points.

In addition, our database leans to the Bobcats as it tells us dogs in MAC title games are a toothsome 7-1-1 ATS versus a foe off a SU win.

Don’t be surprised if this game goes down to the wire: six of Ohio’s eight conference games were one-possession affairs decided by a combined total of just 23 points – and fi ve of those were decided in the fi nal minute of play!

Tough to buck a Northern Illinois team that’s committed a paltry three turnovers in its last fi ve games but we’ll go with the green-and-white to grab the green in 2011’s leadoff conference title showdown.

Sportsbooks Odds: Northern Illinois listed as 4½-point favorites versus the Bobcats, while the game's total is sitting at 65½.

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