The MAC champion Northern Illinois Huskies (9-4) will meet the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (10-2) in Orlando, Fla. next weekend for the Cure Bowl.
Northern Illinois came out on top in a sneaky-good conference that was hard-fought for, wire to wire. The Huskies have been on a roll as of late, winning eight of their last 10 games. They run a high-octane offensive scheme as most teams in the MAC do and are capable of putting up 40 or 50 on any given night. Their defense is quite good in comparison to the rest of the conference, but it will be interesting to see how they play against the Sun Belt’s Coastal Carolina.
The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers had a very successful season despite not getting the opportunity to play in the Sun Belt Conference championship. They won five of their final seven games on the season with the two losses coming by a field goal or less. This team was just a few bounces away from being undefeated, and the Huskies will surely have their hands full with this squad.
All NCAAF gameday odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and current as of 3 p.m. ET on Monday, December 13.
Northern Illinois vs Coastal Carolina Prediction
Coastal Carolina enters this game as a heavy favorite odds-wise and given their “home-field advantage" being so close to Florida, I can see why. However, I believe Northern Illinois is being counted out too quickly.
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Coastal is a fantastic team, evidenced by their record on the season, but this Northern Illinois team has been rolling as of late. Coming off of a conference championship win that they were not expected to win has to be an enormous confidence booster. I do not personally see them getting blown out like the current odds suggest.
Cure Bowl Prediction: Coastal Carolina 33, Northern Illinois 29
Cure Bowl Game Best Bets
Best Bet: Northern Illinois +10.5 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 2 units
This is just too many points. Northern Illinois is a great team, and I feel that they are getting thoroughly disrespected by this spread. Coastal Carolina might win this game, but don’t expect them to cover this massive +10.5 spread.
Giving the Huskies a touchdown and field goal when the game is so evenly matched on paper is a huge value, in my opinion.
Back the Northern Illinois Huskies to cover the spread of +10.5.
Best Bet: Under 63.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 unit
This game has the potential to be an absolute shootout given the nature of both of these teams’ seasons. Northern Illinois has gotten used to playing in high-scoring affairs within their conference and Coastal Carolina has had some 70-plus point games of their own in terms of total.
Still, even with the potential of another 70-point game, I’m backing the under here - even with the line movement which started at 68.5 total points - with the expectation that both defenses play better than expected in a bowl game. 63.5 is still a high total, and I see some value in that alone.
For more college football picks, check out our NCAAF bet of the day.