Game Time: 12:00 pm ET, Saturday, September 18, 2021
Venue: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Where to Watch: BTN
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Point Spread: Wolverines -27, Huskies +27; Over/Under: 55.5 points
Bet365: Point Spread: Wolverines -27, Huskies +27; Over/Under: 55 points
BetMGM: Point Spread: Wolverines -27, Huskies +27; Over/Under: 55 points
Northern Illinois Huskies: 1-1 (3rd place, MAC West)
Michigan Wolverines: 2-0 (6th place, Big Ten East)
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Northern Illinois Huskies vs Michigan Wolverines Preview and Analysis
Northern Illinois Huskies: lost 1
Michigan Wolverines: won 2
This season the Northern Illinois Huskies are averaging a 56.6% completion percentage, 184.5 passing yards, and 1.5 touchdowns per game through the air. They also averaged 204.5 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns per game on the ground. The Michigan Wolverines are averaging a 62.5% completion percentage, 130 passing yards, and 1.5 touchdowns per game through the air. They also averaged 339 rushing yards and 3.5 touchdowns per game on the ground.
This season the Northern Illinois Huskies are allowing teams a 57.1% completion percentage, 180 passing yards, and 1.5 touchdowns per game through the air. They also allow 232 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns per game on the ground. The Michigan Wolverines are allowing teams a 54.1% completion percentage, 242 passing yards, and 1 touchdown per game through the air. They also allow 84.5 rushing yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game on the ground.
Huskies vs Wolverines Prediction
The NIU Huskies are coming into this college football game with a 1-1 record overall and they will be playing their 3rd non-conference game in a row now. They won their first game of the college football season against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 22-21 in a 1 point squeaker victory for them. They went on to lose in their last game 50-43 to the Wyoming Cowboys. Rocky Lombardi struggled a lot in that game completing 19/36 passes for 233 yards, 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions. Harrison Waylee had a massive day as he led the team in rushing with 179 yards and 2 touchdowns on 26 carries. Clint Ratkovich also had a nice day with 63 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on 6 carries. Cole Tucker led the team in receiving with 72 yards on 6 receptions while Trayvon Rudolph was not far behind him with 65 receiving yards and 1 touchdown on 2 receptions. CJ Brown led the defense with 7 solo tackles and 3 assisted ones while Devonte O'Malley had the only sack for them in the game. NIU's offense has been averaging 389 total YPG while their defense is allowing opponents 412 YPG. They have scored 65 points in their 2 games this regular season while allowing 71.
The Michigan Wolverines are coming into this game with a 2-0 record overall but have yet to play any conference games on the schedule. They won their first game of the season against the Western Michigan Broncos 47-14 and went on to win their last game as well against the Washington Huskies 31-10. Cade McNamara really did nothing at the quarterback position in that game as he completed 7/15 passes for 44 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. It was the running game that ran the show for the Wolverines in that game. Blake Corum led the team with 171 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on 21 carries while Hassan Haskins had 155 rushing yards and 1 touchdown on 27 carries. Cornelius Johnson led the receivers with 33 yards. Vincent Gray led this defense with 5 solo tackles and 1 assist. No one had an INT in this game but 3 different players recorded a sack with Aidan Hutchinson leading the way with 2.5. Michigan's offense is averaging 469 total YPG while their defense is allowing opponents 326.5 YPG. They have scored 78 points in their first 2 games of this regular season while allowing 24 in those games.
Michigan is coming into this matchup as a massive favorite and they have definitely not had trouble with their offense moving the ball and putting up points on the board. Their defense has been good as well, not allowing any teams more than 14 points in a game this year. NIU has been giving up a lot of yardage in their games but their offense has been moving the ball up the field well also. The value may be on NIU to cover the spread as 27 is a lot of points and Michigan will need to hold them to 0 to cover that.
Huskies Wolverines Prediction: Our NCAAF Pick for Saturday, September 18, 2021 (12:00 pm ET start time) is Wolverines 34 Huskies 13.
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NCAAF Betting Trends
Northern Illinois Huskies: 7-4 ATS in road games. 6-2 ATS after 1 or more consecutive losses against the spread.
Michigan Wolverines: 6-4 ATS as a home favorite. 6-3 ATS after a win by 17 or more points.
Northern Illinois Huskies: D. Lafayette (S) Ques Sat - Undisclosed injury.
Michigan Wolverines: R. Bell (WR) out for season - Knee injury.
Players to Watch
Northern Illinois Huskies: Tyrice Richie is one player to watch in this one. He leads his team with 104 receiving yards and he will be the go to guy for passes in this game. Look for him to have a big game as they will need to throw the ball a lot, most likely playing from behind in this one.
Michigan Wolverines: Ronnie Bell is one player to watch in this game. He leads his team in receiving with a team-high 76 yards. Daylen Baldwin is also a player to watch here. Michigan is not throwing the ball a lot but when they do they have some good receivers that can make some big plays in these two.
"Coach Hammock made it very clear about what kind of identity we're going to have on offense and that's going to be running the football. He actually singled out the tight ends as being an extension of that run game. The better we do, the better off the run game will be. We take pride in making sure that we are an extension of that O-line." - Jason Onyebuagu on they type of offense that he is a part of on this team.
“Big fan of it. It’s not something that’s been easy for a no-huddle team to achieve. Definitely warms the cockles of the heart. A seven-minute drive. That’s equivalent in the no-huddle world to a good ole 10-, 11-, 12-minute drive. … It’s a good thing to possess the ball. All about possessions. Possession is nine-tenths of the law so when you can have more than them it’s a good thing.” - Jim Harbaugh about keeping possession of the ball on long drives.
Northern Illinois Huskies
WR Richie, Tyrice
WR Rudolph, Trayvon
WR Travis, Messiah
TE Joiner, Miles
QB Lombardi, Rocky
RB Waylee, Harrison
FB Ratkovich, Clint
WR Baldwin, Daylen
WR Johnson, Cornelius JR
WR Sainristil, Mike
TE All, Erick
QB McNamara, Cade
RB Haskins, Hassan
Statistical Leaders (Stats)
Northern Illinois Huskies
Passing: R. Lombardi (369)
Rushing: H. Waylee (323)
Receiving: T. Richie (104)
Touchdowns: H. Waylee (3)
Sacks: D. Rayner (1)
Tackles: L. Deveaux Jr. (13)
Passing: C. McNamara (180)
Rushing: B. Corum (282)
Receiving: R. Bell (76)
Touchdowns: B. Corum (4)
Sacks: A. Hutchinson (3.5)
Tackles: J. Ross (8)
Northern Illinois Huskies: Thomas Hammock (3rd season)
Michigan Wolverines: Jim Harbaugh (7th season)
81 degrees F partly cloudy, 67% humidity, 0% chance of rain, up to 7 mph wind speeds NW.