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Stories

Sports news with a Vegas perspective.

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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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College Football Northern Illinois Huskies at Western Michigan Broncos Start Time, Odds, Free Pick

Hot: Jarvion Franklin, RB, Western Michigan

The Western Michigan Broncos welcome in the Northern Illinois Huskies in college football action Friday. The game is scheduled for an 11:00 a.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPNu. Currently the odds for the game have the Broncos favored by a touchdown to get the win.

A bigtime battle in the MAC takes place with this contest between teams with identical 6-1 records in the conference. Both schools are tied with Toledo atop the MAC West standings with the record, but the Huskies beat Toledo while the Rockets knocked off Western. Either team can find a way to the title game with a win, especially Northern Illinois who already owns a win over Toldeo. The Broncos can reach the title game with a win and a Toledo loss to Eastern Michigan, which certainly isn't likely.

Since losing to Toledo in double overtime way back on October 4, the Broncos have won six straight games. Jarvion Franklin might be the best freshman in the county nobody knows about as the Broncos tailback has better than 1,400 yards and 23 touchdowns on the season. Western will certainly want to get the running game going while playing at home in this game, defending their home turf. Toledo is the only team to have won in Kalamazoo this season.

Northern Illinois has only lost once on the road themselves, which came against Arkansas earlier this season. The Huskies aren't as explosive as they have been in recent seasons but they do still score quite a bit of points, ranking 55th best in the country with 30.5 points per game. Western, on the other hand, scores better than 35 points per game on average this year.

Both defenses are pretty solid as well. Western gives up just 23.2 points per game (36th nationally) while the Huskies surrender just 24.5 points to opponents. This is going to be a good game between two solid teams, but the point spread does seem a bit high. Unless the Broncos come out and absolutely dominate in the run game, Northern Illinois should be able to keep this one close.

Free Pick: Western Michigan 31, Northern Illinois 27

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