The Western Michigan Broncos will look for their fourth win in six games against the Northern Illinois Huskies when they meet in a MACtion matchup on Tuesday night in DeKalb, Ill. The Broncos (6-5, 3-4), who are tied for fifth place in the Mid-American Conference West Division with Ball State, are 2-3 on the road this season. The Huskies (8-3, 6-1), who have already clinched the West title, are 4-1 on their home field. Northern Illinois has won nine of the past 12 games in the series, dating back to 2009.
Kickoff from Huskie Stadium is slated for 7 p.m. ET. Western Michigan is averaging 29.8 points per game this season, tied for 58th-best in the nation, while Northern Illinois averages 31.6, tied for 45th-best. The Broncos are favored by six points in the latest Western Michigan vs. Northern Illinois odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 60.5. Before locking in any Northern Illinois vs. Western Michigan picks or MACtion predictions, you need to see what the SportsLine Projection Model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of almost $3,700 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It also enters Week 13 of the 2021 season on a 39-25 run on all top-rated college football side picks. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Northern Illinois vs. Western Michigan and locked in its MACtion picks and predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are the odds and college football betting lines for Western Michigan vs. NIU:
- Western Michigan vs. Northern Illinois spread: Western Michigan -6
- Western Michigan vs. Northern Illinois over-under: 60.5 points
- Western Michigan vs. Northern Illinois money line: Western Michigan -230, Northern Illinois +190
- WMU: The Broncos are 5-2-1 against the spread vs. a team with a winning record
- NIU: The Huskies are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games overall
Why Western Michigan can cover
The Broncos defense is led by a pair of junior linebackers in Zaire Barnes and Corvin Moment. Barnes has registered 63 tackles, including 41 solo, with 2 ½ sacks for 24 yards. He has forced one fumble and recovered two others. Barnes has been dominant the past two weeks with eight tackles in each game. Against Akron on Nov. 9, Barnes recovered a fumble and recorded seven solo stops.
Moment is tied for the team lead with 63 tackles, including 48 solo, with three sacks for 24 yards. He has also broken up three passes, forced two fumbles and recovered one. He had nine tackles, including five solo, in last week's loss at Eastern Michigan. He also broke up one pass. For his career, he has 154 tackles, including 91 solo, with five pass breakups, 5 ½ sacks and four forced fumbles.
Why Northern Illinois can cover
After finishing 0-6 last season, NIU's big turnaround has come with a young roster that includes 75 players who finished high school in 2020 or 2021, and 11 more who graduated in 2019. Of those 86 players, 50 have seen action this season and 32 are listed on the two-deep roster this week. The player making the biggest impact is freshman running back Jay Ducker. Ducker leads the Huskies in rushing with 788 yards and has scored three touchdowns.
Another young player making a big impact is redshirt freshman wide receiver Trayvon Rudolph. Rudolph has 827 receiving yards on 44 receptions (18.8 average) and seven touchdowns, tops on the team. He is coming off a four-catch, 80-yard effort at Buffalo last week. A week earlier against Ball State, he made eight catches for 108 yards. At Kent State on Nov. 3, he caught 14 passes for 309 yards (22.1 average) and three touchdowns. Of his 44 receptions, 32 have come in the past four games.
How to make Western Michigan vs. Northern Illinois picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, projecting 68 combined points. It also has generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the model's picks at SportsLine.
So who wins NIU vs. Western Michigan? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread to back, all from the advanced model that has crushed its college football picks, and find out.