Poinsettia Bowl Betting
Utah State vs. Northern Illinois Odds
Utah State won its final five games of the regular season to win the MWC Mountain Division and lock-up a spot in the conference title game. The Aggies came up short in a 24-17 loss to Fresno State in that game as three-point road underdogs. They ended-up 8-5 both straight-up and against the spread with the total staying UNDER in seven of the 13 games.
Balance on offense and a shutdown defense is what makes Utah State so attractive in this matchup. The offense passed for an average of 242.1 yards a game while adding 178.8 yards on the ground to put up an average of 32.6 points a game. Darell Garretson did a good job in relief of injured quarterback Chuckie Keeton and Joey DeMartino was a work horse on the ground with 1,078 yards rushing on 198 attempts. The Aggies defense was ranked seventh in the nation in points allowed (17.3).
Northern Illinois made an impressive 12-0 run through its regular season including an 8-0 sweep in the MAC to climb all the way to No. 14 in the BCS rankings, but it could not seal the deal in its conference title game with a disappointing 47-27 loss to Bowling Green as a three-point favorite. The Huskies went 8-5 ATS overall with a profitable 6-1 record ATS on the road. The total went OVER in eight of the 13 games.
This offense made a living running the ball all season long with an average of 312.5 yards a game, which is the fifth-highest total in the country. While running back Cameron Stingily rushed for 1,081 yards on 192 carries, it was duel threat Jordan Lynch that did the most damage for the Huskies. He threw for 2,676 yards and 23 touchdowns while rushing for a team-high 1,881 yards and 22 touchdowns with his legs. The result was an average of 41.6 points a game, which was ranked ninth in Division IA.
Utah State vs. Northern Illinois Betting Trends
The Aggies are 4-2 ATS in their last six games away from home and 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. The total has stayed UNDER in their last four contests.
The Huskies are 5-2 ATS in their last five games and a perfect 5-0 ATS in their last five games played on the road. The total has stayed UNDER in five of their last six bowl games.
These two last met back in 1995 with Utah State cruising to a 42-7 victory.
Poinsettia Bowl Point Spread Pick
This should be a great battle between two teams coming off an excellent run in its respective conference. While things should remain close deep into the fourth quarter, the edge has to go to the Aggies' defense to make a few key stops on Lynch when the team needs it the most to help preserve a tight SU win. Utah State 27 Northern Illinois 24