Akron Zips (1-9) vs. Northern Illinois Huskies (3-8)
The Akron Zips and Northern Illinois Huskies lock horns Saturday, November 26, at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Illinois, as the 2022 college football season goes on with Week 13 matchups. The kick-off is set at 1:30 PM ET, so let’s take a closer look.
Akron meets Northern Illinois for the first time since 2019 when the Huskies dismantled the Zips 49-0 as 22-point home favorites. NIU is a 10-point home fave this time around, and the totals are listed at 52.5 points.
The Zips hope to stop a horrible slideThe Akron Zips (1-9; 5-5 ATS, 0-6 conf.) got some extra rest, as their Week 12 road clash against the Buffalo Bulls was postponed due to severe weather conditions. Back in Week 11, the Zips suffered a 34-28 home defeat to the Eastern Michigan Eagles, extending their losing streak to nine games. Akron outgained EMU 386-345 in total yards but lost the turnover battle 3-1, and the Zips have to settle down with an ATS win as 6.5-point underdogs.
Junior signal-caller DJ Irons went 10-for-16 for 90 yards, a touchdown, and an interception against Eastern Michigan before getting injured, while fellow junior QB Jeff Undercuffler Jr. tossed for 133 yards and a couple of picks in relief. Sophomore WR Alex Adams had six catches for 102 yards, and sophomore RB Cam Wiley went off for 144 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries.
Seeing Double 👀— Akron Football (@ZipsFB) November 9, 2022
ZipEmUp 🔵🤐🦘🏈‼️ pic.twitter.com/HS9rRtFV0o
DJ Irons was listed as doubtful to play against Buffalo and his status for Week 13 is up in the air. Irons has thrown for 2,606 yards, ten touchdowns, and seven interceptions so far this term while carrying the pigskin 133 times for 314 yards and four scores. His eventual absence would be a massive blow for Akron’s offense.
The Zips are scoring just 19.5 points per contest (tied-115th in the country). Their ground game has been in shambles all season, averaging 82.3 yards per game (129th). On the other side of the ball, the Zips are surrendering 36.7 points per game (126th) on 248.9 passing yards (100th) and 183.3 rushing yards (106th).
The Huskies look to snap a four-game home skidThe Northern Illinois Huskies (3-8; 4-7 ATS; 2-5 conf.) are coming off a 29-23 home defeat to the Miami (OH) RedHawks in Week 12. It was their third loss in four games and the fourth straight in front of the home audience. The Huskies took an early 10-0 lead but couldn’t hold on. They outgained the RedHawks 365-356 in total yards, and both teams turned the ball over once, while Miami (OH) kept the ball in possession for 34:32.
Freshman QB Nevan Cremascoli got his third straight starting call in Week 12 and went 14-of-22 for 165 yards, a couple of touchdowns, and an interception. Sophomore running back Antario Brown had five totes for 97 yards and a touchdown, freshman RB Jaiden Credle carried the ball 15 times for 97 yards, and junior wideout Kacper Rutkiewicz added four receptions for 80 yards and a TD.
The 2022 season has been a mess for the Huskies thus far. They are winless at home since Week 1 and a 34-27 victory to Eastern Illinois. Back in Week 7, the Huskies upset Eastern Michigan 39-10 as 3.5-point road dogs. Four weeks later, they outlasted Western Michigan 24-21 in a pick ‘em contest.
Nevan Cremascoli will probably get another nod in Week 13. He’s tossed for 456 yards, five touchdowns, and five interceptions over the last three weeks. The Huskies’ offense ranks 66th in the country in points scored (28.6 per game) and 24th in rushing yards (199.6). NIU is allowing 31.7 points per contest (112th in the nation) on 247.5 passing yards (98th) and 137.6 rushing yards (51st).
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
There’s nothing to play for in this game, though Akron hopes to pick up its first win in the conference play in 2022. The Zips will stand a chance of upsetting the odds only if DJ Irons suits up. Otherwise, Akron will mightily struggle to move the ball against the Huskies, whose run D has done a solid job so far this season.
Northern Illinois is 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS in its last six games against Akron. The Huskies will continue to lean on their powerful ground game, and I’m backing them to finish the season on a high note. However, the Zips might hang around if Irons returns from an injury.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Huskies will move the ball on the ground with ease and eat the clock a lot. On the other side, Akron’s ground game is one of the worst in the country. The Zips desperately need DJ Irons back to get anything going offensive-wise. If Irons remains sidelined, I’ll take the under on the totals.
Seven of Akron’s last nine games played in Week 13 have gone under the total. The over is 5-0 in NIU’s previous five showings at home, but three of the Huskies’ last five games overall have gone under the total.