Game Time: 7:00 pm ET, Saturday, September 24, 2022
Venue: Kroger Field, Lexington, KY
Where to Watch: ESPN2
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Point Spread: NIU +26.5, Kentucky -26.5; Over/Under: 53.5 points
Bet365: Point Spread: NIU +26.5, Kentucky -26.5; Over/Under: 53 points
BetMGM: Point Spread: NIU +26.5, Kentucky -26.5; Over/Under: 52.5 points
Northern Illinois Huskies: 1-2 (5th place, MAC West)
Kentucky Wildcats: 3-0 (2nd place, SEC East)
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Northern Illinois Huskies: lost their last game at home against the Vanderbilt Commodores 38-28.
Kentucky Wildcats: won their last game at home against the Youngstown State Penguins 31-0.
Northern Illinois Huskies vs Kentucky Wildcats Preview and Analysis
NIU is entering this game with a 1-2 record overall to start their college football season and they will be playing their 2nd road game of the season here as they are 0-1 in their road games this year. They lost against the Vanderbilt Commodores in their last game at home 38-28. Ethan Hampton started that game at QB and he completed 12/19 passes for 124 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Antario Brown led the team in rushing with 60 yards and 1 TD on 8 rushing attempts. Cole Tucker led the team in receiving with 88 yards and 2 TDs on 4 receptions. Javaughn Byrd led the defense in that game with 5 solo tackles and 2 assisted tackles. No one on the defense recorded a sack for them or came away with an interception in that one.
Kentucky is entering this game with a 3-0 record overall to start their college football season and they will be playing their 3rd home game of the season as they are 2-0 in their home games this year. They won against the Youngstown State Penguins in their last game at home 31-0. Will Levis started that game at QB and he completed 27/35 passes for 377 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Kavosiey Smoke led the team in rushing with 66 yards and 1 TD on 18 carries. Dane Key led the team in receiving with 90 yards and 1 TD on 6 receptions. Jordan Wright led the defense in that game with 3 solo tackles and 1 assisted tackle. Darrion Henry-Young led the defense in sacks with 1 while Carrington Valentine came away with the only interception for them in that one.
Northern Illinois vs Kentucky Prediction
The current betting odds have NIU listed as a 26.5 point underdog in this game according to Draftkings Sportsbook. NIU just lost at home to Vanderbilt but they played well in that game at home, only losing by 10 points to a team from the SEC. Now they are on the road but NIU does have a good team and this is a program that is normally always competing for a title in their conference. Kentucky has been having a great season so far as they are undefeated and just pulled off a huge win at home against YSU where they shut them out, but even the week before they went on the road and beat Florida by 10 points. This is a very good Kentucky team this year but they have a great defense that really wins their games for them. Their offense is not great, they do enough to get the job done but they do not score a lot of points in their games. Even if NIU didn't score at all in this game, Kentucky would use their defense more to win the game as they would not need much offense. Kentucky's defense is not that good where they will keep NIU completely off the board though and NIU will score some points to keep this game closer. Kentucky will always be at an arm's length in this game because of their defense though and they will not need to score a lot of points to win once again. The best way to place a bet here is on NIU to cover the spread in this game.
Northern Illinois Kentucky Prediction: Our NCAAF Pick for Saturday, September 24, 2022 (7:00 pm ET start time) is Kentucky 31 NIU 13.
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NCAAF Betting Trends
Northern Illinois Huskies: 51-26 ATS as a road underdog. 87-53 ATS in road games. 6-1 OVER when the total is between 49.5 and 56.
Kentucky Wildcats: 17-33 ATS after gaining 325 or more passing yards in last game. 8-4 OVER as a favorite of 21.5 to 31 points. 44-27 OVER as a home favorite.
Northern Illinois Huskies: R. Lombardi (QB) Ques Sat - Knee. T. Rudolph (WR) out for season - Knee.
Kentucky Wildcats: J. McClain (RB) Ques Sat - Undisclosed. C. Rodriguez Jr. (RB) Elig Oct 1 - Suspension. R. Jefferson (RB) out for season - Knee.
"I thought he (Hampton) handled it well. I thought he was prepared and he's taken a lot of snaps. Obviously he's played just one game of football for us but he came in and was able to execute the offense. But when your backup quarterback comes in everybody else around him has to play better." - Thomas Hammock after his team’s loss against Vanderbilt in their last game.
"Just appreciative to get this opportunity. The great coaches that have been here, way back starting in 2013. The commitment from Mitch (Barnhart), Mark (Hill), Dr. Capilouto, you know, it's been a group effort. Really greatly appreciate all the past coaches from from the dog days, you know, early on till now, because there's been a bunch of really good people and great players...such appreciation for the players all the way back to 2013 till now. I love each and every one of them. And it's really fun." - Mark Stoops on becoming the winningest coach in Kentucky history.
Northern Illinois Huskies
WR Tucker, Cole
WR Thornton, Shemar
WR McCray, Fabian
TE Soraghan, Liam
TE Tewes, Tristen
QB Lombardi, Rocky
RB Brown, Antario
FB Lampe, Brock
WR Key, Dane
WR Brown, Barion
WR Robinson, Tayvion
TE Bates, Brenden
TE/FB Dingle, Jordan
QB Levis, Will
RB Smoke, Kavosiey
Northern Illinois Huskies
Passing: R. Lombardi (530)
Rushing: A. Brown (203)
Receiving: C. Tucker (278)
Touchdowns: C. Tucker (3)
Passing: W. Levis (882)
Rushing: K. Smoke (178)
Receiving: D. Key (226)
Touchdowns: D. Key (3)
Northern Illinois Huskies: Thomas Hammock (4th season)
Kentucky Wildcats: Mark Stoops (10th season)