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Northern Illinois Huskies 2012 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2012-13 Football Previews – (MAC) – NIU

You might be surprised to learn that Northern Illinois has the longest current winning streak in all of FBS football right now. Northern Illinois has won nine straight games heading into this season. The Huskies won the MAC Championship and their bowl game in Dave Doeren’s first season as their coach.

MAC 2012-2013 College Football Previews: Northern Illinois
Head Coach: Dave Doeren
2011 Record: 11-3
Northern Illinois Gambling Odds from JustBet to win BCS Championship: (Part of Field) +1,800
Northern Illinois Gambling Odds from 5Dimes to win MAC: +600
Northern Illinois Gambling Odds from 5Dimes to win MAC West: +260

NIU Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2012 Schedule –>

Doeren’s team lost a bunch of key players after last season, so repeating as MAC champions won’t be an easy task. Still, Northern Illinois has built up a nice reputation for winning; and these plays are supremely confident. How will the team respond to losing star quarterback Chandler Harnish? He was the team’s heart and soul last season. Let’s take a look at this year’s roster for the Huskies.

Team Strengths:

The secondary is the strength of the defense, and maybe even the biggest strength of the entire team. Five starters return in this group, led by star Jimmie Ward. Ward plays the safety/nickel spot for the Huskies, and he is a real play maker at the back of the defense. The Huskies feel good about their depth at every single spot in the secondary, which is a huge plus in case injuries occur throughout the year.

While he can’t be expected to put up Harnish-type numbers, Jordan Lynch should be very good for Northern Illinois at quarterback. Lynch is an even better runner than Harnish, and the coaches really like what they’ve seen from him in the passing game during the offseason.

There are tons of pass catchers for this Huskies team. Northern Illinois has two very good tight ends to go along with their terrific group of wide receivers. On the outside, wideouts Martel Moore and Perez Ashford can make big plays out of almost nothing. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Team Weaknesses:

As good as the running game has been in the past few years, there is some real concern about the offensive line this season. Four senior leaders from the line graduated after 2011, and Northern Illinois is going to have a ton of inexperience in this all-important position. If Northern Illinois can’t keep its terrific running game going, they will definitely take a step backward.

Northern Illinois needs to get a better pass rush this year. They got in some major shootouts last year because they weren’t disruptive enough in the backfield. This team won’t score as many points as last year, which means they are going to need the defense to tighten it up a little bit this season.

2012-2013 Northern Illinois Football Prediction: 9-4

There is no dominant team in the MAC West this year. Ohio looks like the best team in the MAC overall, but Northern Illinois doesn’t have to play them in the regular season. The season opener at Soldier Field against Iowa will be a great test of where this team is right now. Inside conference play, look for the game at Western Michigan in late October to be a battle for the top of the MAC West.

A small step backward is likely here, especially since the offensive line is such a major concern heading into the 2012 season.

2012 NIU Schedule

9/1/12 3:30 PM ET IOWA
9/8/12 7:00 PM ET TENMA
9/15/12 12:00 PM ET @ARMY
9/22/12 TBD KANS
9/29/12 3:30 PM ET CMICH
10/6/12 TBD @BALST
10/13/12 3:30 PM ET BUFF
10/20/12 12:00 PM ET @AKR
10/27/12 12:00 PM ET @WMICH
11/3/12 3:30 PM ET MASS
11/14/12 9:00 PM ET TOL
11/23/12 TBD @EMICH

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