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Northern Illinois vs. Florida State,
9-22-2018 - Pick and Prediction

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#331 Northern Illinois
Huskies 44.5
#332 Florida State
Seminoles -10

Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 3:30pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

Northern Illinois Huskies

1 - 2

1-2
ATS
0-3
O/U
12
PPG
21
OPPG

Florida State Seminoles

1 - 2

0-3
ATS
1-2
O/U
15
PPG
26
OPPG

Betting Trends

All NCAAF

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Florida State is going back to the drawing board as they host Northern Illinois on Saturday afternoon at Doak Campbell Stadium. The Seminoles are off to an 0-2 start in ACC play and were embarrassed by Syracuse last time out. The Huskies got their first win against Central Michigan.

Huskies defense can’t bail out their mediocre offense

Northern Illinois’ defense has been strong throughout most of this season. They’ve allowed 22 points per game, and that would be lower if the defense didn’t collapse in their opener at Iowa. After that blowout loss, they held Utah and CMU to 16.5 points on average. The defense has capitalized mostly on stopping the run, holding teams to 147 rushing yards per game (67th nationally). In total, they allow 342.7 yards per game, which is 51st nationally.

Where the big problem lies is their offense, which scores just 12.3 points per game. The passing game has been unable to generate any consistency with quarterback Marcus Childers under center. He completes 56.6 percent of his passes for just 325 total yards through three games. The best offense has come from running back Tre Harbison with 228 yards on 32 carries.

Seminoles haven’t fared that much better in their offensive attack

Perhaps the best news Northern Illinois will hear in this matchup is how bad Florida State’s offense has been in comparison. They’ve been scoring just 15.3 points per game, but that’s inflated after a blowout win against an FCS foe. Against Virginia Tech and Syracuse, they have 10 total points — that’s especially bad considering the Orange defense has rarely shut down anyone. FSU has a bad mixture of not being able to run the ball and they can’t stop anybody passing it.

The Seminoles average just 96.7 rushing yards per game, mostly on the back of sophomore Cam Akers. He has 210 total rushing yards on 38 carries, and he’s averaged around 5.5 rushing yards per carry without finding pay dirt. Quarterback Deondre Francois had his worst game of the season against Syracuse, completing just 50 percent of his passes for 178 yards. 

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Something has to give for a Seminoles defense that allows anybody to pass on them taking on an offense that can’t pass. Francois’ latest showing is very concerning for FSU, but the Huskies will be eventually overwhelmed in another tough place to play for a MAC school. They’ll take the paycheck but the speed of the ‘Noles will be the big factor in covering the spread.

Prediction: Florida State -9.5

Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

As expected, the total has completely tumbled for this matchup that features teams that barely score 30 points per game. If Florida State can barely score against Syracuse, they won’t score against NIU — they have a tougher defense than most ACC teams.

Prediction: Under 42

Brian Spaen

Blogging journeyman and sports handicapper. His passion for statistics, analyzing team reports, and watching multiple hours of sports daily gives him an edge for picking who will beat the spread. Also writes about technology and video games. Hobbies include enjoying life in the big city, spending way too much time on YouTube, and discovering new craft beer and whisky.

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