Free Week 1 Prediction: Huskies vs Cowboys Odds
Looking for Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Wyoming Cowboys free picks? Week 1 College football betting sees the Huskies taking on the Cowboys Saturday September 3rd at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Woyming. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions.
(0-0) NIU Huskies vs. Wyoming Cowboys (0-0)
Date: Saturday, September 3rd
Time: 10:30 pm EST
Venue: War Memorial Stadium, Laramie, Wyoming
NCAA Football Spread: NIU -10
NCAA Betting Total: OFF
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This should be an intriguing matchup on Saturday night of the first week of the college football season. Despite a bad season in 2015 (a dismal 2-10 record), Wyoming is improved and looks to pull a few upsets.
Northern Illinois is having its dominance in the MAC West division tested by the Western Michigan Broncos. NIU’s high-water mark will be contingent on the play of QB Drew Hare.
The Huskies are the superior team in this one, but War Memorial Stadium is notoriously a tricky place to play for visiting schools, even with its modest 29,000 person capacity.
Also, despite a daunting 2016 schedule, Wyoming is considerably more talented than the past couple of seasons.
It should translate into an outcome that won’t be a breeze for the visiting Huskies, at the very least.
Northern Illinois Huskies
The Huskies have been among the class of the Mid American Conference for seven years now – seven straight MAC title appearances is well impressive.
This time around, the Huskies need QB Hare to return to his form in 2014, where he had over 3,000 combined yards and a sparkling 18-2 TD/INT ratio.
Yet, Hare regressed last year, and was injured for the duration about two thirds of the way through the season slate. If he gets back up to snuff, then RB Joel Bouganon and WR Kenny Golladay will be that much more effective.
The blocking should be slick, thanks to OG Josh Ruka and OT Max Scharping.
Defensively, the Huskies thrive with a good secondary, led by CB Shawun Lurry and safety Brandon Mayes.
Still, the Huskies only had a league-average defense in the MAC in 2015, so there could be some soft spots for the Cowboys to expose.
Also, expect Northern Illinois’s special teams units to shine, thanks to all-MAC kicker Christian Hagan and electric KR/PR Argeros Turner.
The Cowboys have really nowhere else to go but up after a lousy 2-10 result a year ago. It may not be a drastic improvement, as Wyoming’s schedule is very tricky, starting with Week 1 against this good Huskies program.
For Wyoming to pull the upset, the Cowboys need OG Chase Roullier and the rest of the offensive line to blow open holes for talented RB Brian Hill (Hill racked up an impressive 1,631 yards in 2015) so Wyoming can also control possession and the tempo of the game.
The strength of Wyoming’s defense is the back seven, with an experienced crop of linebackers and defensive backs. Senior LB D.J. May is a great player and he’s one of the few on the unit that can be a playmaker (3.5 TFLs, 10 pass break-ups a year ago).
Wyoming will get scored on, so it’s imperative that they slow the game down by getting first downs and ramming the ball down Northern Illinois’s throat.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- This is the first meeting between these two teams
- Wyoming is 19-3 in home openers at Laramie.
- Wyoming has four straight seasons of sub-.500 football, they haven’t had five consecutive since the early 1970s.
- Northern Illinois is 10-10 versus current Mountain West foes.
Free Week 1 NCAA Football Prediction
These two teams are perhaps slowly moving in opposite directions, but the gulf between them is still too big for Wyoming to feel good about its chances in Week 1.
This game probably won’t be a trouncing, but it would still be a surprise if the home team sent Northern Illinois back to the Land of Lincoln with a loss.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Wyoming ATS
This should be a good tune-up game for NIU pivot Hare to discover his form from two seasons ago.
If he can perform at a high level, the game gets much easier for the visitors, because there’s lots of talent elsewhere at the skill positions.
Hare must be careful not to turn the ball over, which happened often last year before he got injured. Cowboys RB Hill must have a career day if Wyoming is to send its fans home happy.
Week 1 Free Score Prediction: Northern Illinois 31 – Wyoming 24
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