Free Pick – Northern Illinois vs. Idaho

By College Football

Northern Illinois vs. Idaho

It’s going to be a long season for the Idaho Vandals.  As if going to school in Idaho and playing your home games in an odd arena labeled the Kibbie Dome aren’t bad enough, the state university of Idaho has one of the worst football teams in all of college football.  Fresh off blowout losses to North Texas and Wyoming, the Vandals look to rebound at the friendly confines of the Kibbie Dome against last year’s BCS buster, Northern Illinois.  Northern Illinois opened the season with a come from behind win at Iowa followed by an oddly timed BYE in week two.

The Mean Green of North Texas and the Wyoming Cowboys don’t really make anyone think of college football powerhouses of yesteryear, but that’s exactly what Idaho made them out to be.  After two weeks, the Vandals rank 115th in points allowed and 124th in points scored.  The latter is not really surprising considering the Idaho defense returned only three starters from last season but it’s still not a very good place to find yourself – especially when the first two games weren’t exactly match-ups against Alabama and Oregon.

Northern Illinois is looking to recapture last season’s magic once again and the Huskies should be 8-0 heading into a November showdown with Ball State as the early portion of the schedule is softer than butter on a summer afternoon in DeKalb.  Electric quarterback Jordan Lynch is back at the helm and picked up right where he left off last year passing for 275 yards and 3 touchdowns in a week one “upset” at Iowa. 

Key stats: Northern Illinois has won 20 of its last 21 contests while Idaho has lost 16 of 17.

What will happen:  Jordan Lynch will shred the Idaho defense both through air and on the ground.  The only question in this game is at what point does NIU head coach Rod Carey call off the dogs.  With Eastern Illinois on deck, Carey knows he will have plenty of time to see his backups on the field in the near future – but even the Huskies second string should put up a good game against the Vandals.

Prediction:  Northern Illinois 51  Idaho 10

The Play:  Northern Illinois -28

2013 ATS Record: 4-2


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