20* Arkansas State/NIU GoDaddy Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Northern Illinois +1.5
Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois,
01/08/2012 21:00 EDT,
Score: 20 - 38
Point Spread: +1½/-105 Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois and Arkansas State each won their conference titles in the MAC and Sun Belt, respectively. While both are coming in off these huge achievements, I believe NIU is the stronger team considering they played in the stronger conference. The MAC was the real deal this season, while the Sun Belt was certainly down.
I'll back NIU behind quarterback Chandler Harnish, who is one of the most underrated and under-appreciated players in college football. Harnish completed 62.9 percent of his passes for 2,942 yards with 26 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. While those passing numbers are impressive, his rushing numbers were even more mind-boggling. Harnish led the Huskies with 1,382 rushing yards and 11 scores this year.
Don't forget about running back Jasmin Hopkins, who rushed for 939 yards and 15 touchdowns. The Huskies are also loaded at receiver with a ton of speedsters that can turn a 1-yard catch into an 80-yard touchdown on any given play. This team is so explosive, and Arkansas State is going to have a hard time keeping up with them.
The Red Wolves are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. Arkansas State is 0-7 ATS in road games versus good offensive teams - averaging >=5.9 yards/play since 1992. The Red Wolves are 0-6 ATS vesus good rushing teams - averaging >=4.75 rushing yards/carry over the last 3 seasons. These last two trends make for a perfect 13-0 system backing the Huskies. Take Northern Illinois Sunday.