Eastern Michigan heads back on the road to Northern Illinois and is opening up Mid-American Conference play Saturday.
The Eagles are 3-1 following a 59-21 thumping of the Texas State Bobcats at Rynearson Stadium in Week 4.
Will the hosting Huskies prove to be a speed bump to the Eagles, or will Eastern fly on as the West Division foes open up league play?
Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois: NCAA Football Odds
Eastern Michigan a slight underdog for first time in two weeks
It’s not quite a pick ’em, but oddsmakers are predicting a battle between the Eagles and Huskies, with Northern Illinois getting the edge.
At first look, FanDuel Sportsbook gave 1.5 points to Eastern. WynnBet Sportsbook and BetMGM Sportsbook both had the Eagles at +2.
On the moneyline, BetMGM offered +100 for Eastern and -120 on the Huskies. WynnBet gave +110 and -130, respectively, for its moneyline odds, and FanDuel offered +104 to Eastern and -128 to Northern Illinois.
WynnBet and FanDuel each set the over/under for the MAC foes at 62.5 points, and BetMGM’s was set at 63.5.
Both Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois have each hit a combined 62.5 points with opponents twice this season.
Check the real-time odds in the tracker above for the best value on each side of the spread, moneyline and points total.
How to watch: Eastern Michigan Eagles at Northern Illinois Huskies
- What: Eastern Michigan (3-1, 0-0 MAC) at Northern Illinois (2-2, 0-0 MAC)
- When: 2:30 p.m. ET, Saturday
- Where: Huskie Stadium, DeKalb, Ill.
- Online livestream: ESPN+ (Announcers: Doug Sherman, Stan Routt)
- Radio: 89.1 WEMU-FM
Eagles gave Bobcats too much to handle
Eastern Michigan went into their home against a Texas State team favored by 5.5 to 6.5 points. But they shattered those numbers in the 59-21 win against a team depleted by COVID-19, attacking on the ground and through the air.
Quarterback Ben Bryant finished 20-for-33 passing for 228 yards and rushed for 52. He threw for three touchdowns and rushed 39 yards for another.
Receiver Dylan Drummond had five receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown. Drummond also tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Thomas Odukoya.
Jawon Hamilton rushed for 53 yards on 10 carries, and Samson Evans gained 36 yards on 10 carries and scored twice.
Receivers Latrell Fordham and Hassan Beydoun rounded out the crew of seven Eagles who found the end zone last weekend. Fordham finished with four receptions for 58 yards and the score; Beydoun caught four passes for 27 yards and a touchdown.
Eastern netted 499 yards and 33 first downs against Texas State. The Eagles controlled possession 34:08 to 25:52 and had no turnovers to the Bobcats’ one.
Northern Illinois wins big at home
The Huskies gained a total of 574 yards on offense in its 41-14 win against the Maine Black Bears last weekend.
Quarterback Rocky Lombardi, a transfer from Michigan State, was 17-for-24 with 282 passing yards and a touchdown. Lombardi also rushed for 119 yards and scored three touchdowns on the ground.
Freshman running back Harrison Waylee had 23 carries for 130 yards and a touchdown. Senior running back Clint Ratkovich had seven carries for 38 yards.
Ratkovich also caught two passes for 25 yards and a touchdown.
A bulk of the Huskies’ 282 receiving yards went to Cole Tucker, who netted 114 yards on four receptions.
Before the win, Northern Illinois dropped the previous two games, including a 63-10 loss to Michigan in Ann Arbor in Week 3.
Can Eastern Michigan spoil the Northern Illinois homecoming?
Northern Illinois has the upper hand in the rivalry, with a 33-16-2 record against Eastern, but the Eagles are on a two-game win streak against the Huskies.
They won the last meeting, 41-33, at home. The Eagles’ largest margin of victory against the Huskies was a 45-17 win at Northern Illinois in 2019. Before that victory, the Eagles had not beaten the Huskies since 2007.
Northern Illinois is playing host for its 114th homecoming game.