NCAA Football: Wyoming Cowboys vs Northern Illinois Huskies Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/11/2021

by James Q

NCAA Football:  Wyoming Cowboys vs Northern Illinois Huskies Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/11/2021

 
Game Time:  1:30 pm ET, Saturday, September 11th, 2021
Venue:  Huskie Stadium, DeKalb Illinois
Where to Watch:  ESPN +

 

Opening NCAAF Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Spread:  Wyoming -7; Over/Under:  45.5 points
BetMGM:  Spread: Wyoming -6.5:  Over/Under:  45.5 points
PointsBet:  Spread:  Wyoming -6.5; Over/Under:  45.5 points
 

Season Record

In 2020 the Wyoming Cowboys were 2-4 in a conference only shortened season.  They share the mountain west conference with Hawaii, Fresno State, New Mexico, etc… and they didn’t fare well.

In 2020 the Northern Illinois Huskies were 0-6 in a conference only shortened schedule.  They had to run the Mid-American conference Michigan gauntlet with Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Central Michigan… you know they went every direction and lost.  
 
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Wyoming Vs Northern Illinois Preview and Analysis

 
Recent Form
Wyoming: 1-0, 
Northern Illinois:  1-0
 
The last time these two undefeated college Football programs played, it was a close contest.  It was also the first time they met.  The WY Cowboys defeated the NIU Huskies 40 - 34.  As college football games go, it was like playing the slots.  The teams had never faced each other and formulating the best odds was tough.  The Wyoming Cowboys have so far struggled against but beat Montana State, while the NIU Huskies had a squeaker of a win over Georgia Tech 22-21.
 
Offensive Analysis
Wyoming quarterback Sean Chambers played solid in the season opener.  15-26 with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.  Which is good considering the Cowboys are a rushing team first and foremost.  They rushed the ball 43 times for 151 yards and 1 touchdown.. Not a great yards average.  They will need more yards per rush against Northern Illinois.
 
The NIU Huskies are led by Michigan State transfer Rocky Lombardi, a QB that has combined two of the most iconic names into 1 person.  Rocky connected on 11 of 17 passes for 136 yards and 2 touchdowns. Their rushing offense carried the ball 42 times for 165 yards and 1 touchdown.  Look for Harrison Waylee to carry the ball early before coach opens up Rocky’s passing game. 
 

Defensive Analysis

Wyoming’s defense struggled against Montana State, giving up 200 yards passing and 2 passing touchdowns .  Their run defense is solid holding Montana State to 121 yards on 30 carries.  This of course sets up a very odd, home team home passing vs away team road passing defense.  It sounds like gibberish, I know, but if Wyoming brings a weak passing defense into Huskie stadium they could be lit up.  That is of course if Northern Illinois starts clicking through the air.
 
The Huskies rushing defense leaves a lot to be desired.  They gave up 273 yards and 2 touchdowns on Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets  52 carries.  This weakness sets up Wyoming for a lot of hand-offs. Still if they can hold Wyoming's total yards to below the 429 yards they gave up to Georgia Tech (very likely), then all the pressure is on Wyoming.
 

Cowboys vs Huskies Prediction

Both these teams seem like an underdog.  This isn’t a preview of any college football playoff scenario by far and everyone involved knows that.  These are the best games to wager on.  The team that buckles will break and the point spreads get beaten.  The Wyoming Cowboys are favored but there was nothing in their recent play that says they are ready to win out of conference on the road.
 
Our prediction for Saturday September 11th is   NIU Huskies 31 - Wyoming 21 
 
 
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NCAAF Betting Trends

The total had gone Under in 4 of NIU’s last six games.
Northern Illinois is 1-4 in their last 5 games at home.
Wyoming games have gone Under in 10 of the last 14.
Wyoming is 1-5 in their last 6 games on the road. 
 

Key Injuries

Wyoming:  No injuries to report
Northern Illinois: No injuries to report
 

Players to Watch

Wyoming:  RB Xazavian Valladay.  For Wyoming to win they will have to run the ball a lot.  They are already a running offense but Sean Chambers isn’t a big arm and they are on the road.  Ground and pound boys.
 
Northern Illinois: QB Rocky Lombardi.  Rocky is playing here because he couldn’t get playing time at Michigan State.  This entire season he will be proving that he merited the big recruiting spot coming out of high school… and if he does well he may be on the move again.
 

Notable Quotes

“From my experience, you make the most improvement in between the first and second game, and that’s gonna be very important. We will be laboring on Labor Day. We have to stay hungry, and we have to play better.  But I will not discredit the execution of the two-minute drive. I thought that was outstanding and our resolve and belief to play.”  -Wyoming coach Craig Bohl
 
 
"I'm proud of our kids and proud of our coaches. The commitment it takes to go through a season like we did last year with every adversity, nobody made an excuse, nobody got down, everyone still believed and today it was good to see their belief rewarded.  I thought we played well in all three phases and gave ourselves a chance." - Huskies coach Tommy Hammock, about the win over Georgia Tech to open the season.
 

Starting Lineups

Wyoming:
QB  Sean Chambers
RB  Xazavian Valladay
WR  Isaiah Neyor 
WR  Ayden Eberhardt
TE   Treyton Welch
FB  Parker Christensen
 
Northern Illinois:
QB  Rocky Lombardi
RB  Clint Ratkovich
WR Cole Tucker
WR Tyrice Richie
WR  Trayvon Rudolph
TE  Miles Joiner
FB  Brett Bostad
 

Statistical Leaders

Wyoming:  
Rushing:  Xazavian Valladay  77 yards
Passing:  Sean Chambers    196 yards
Receiving:  Ayden Eberhardt  71 yards

Northern Illinois:
Passing:  Rocky Lombardi   136 yards
Rushing:  Waylee Harrison  144 yards
Receiving:  Tyrice Richie     64 yards
 
Coaches:
Wyoming - Craig Bohl
NIU  - Thomas Hammock 
 

Weather Forecast

Partly Cloudy.  85*  15 MPH winds.  Don’t get used to it… if you stay in Northern Illinois it will be cold soon and for a very long winter.


James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

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