Boca Raton Bowl Prediction

UAB vs. Northern Illinois, 12/18/18 Boca Raton Bowl Predictions

Following five games on Saturday, college football bowl season continues Tuesday night with a matchup between UAB and Northern Illinois in the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl at 7:00 p.m. ET. With the point spread at less than a field goal, what’s the best play tonight?

Game Snapshot

212 UAB Blazers vs. 211 Northern Illinois Huskies

7:00 p.m. ET, Tuesday, December 18, 2018

FAU Football Stadium, Boca Raton, Florida

Public Betting Trends

According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Blazers is a 2-point favorite to beat the Huskies. The total, meanwhile, sits at 42.5 points. As of this writing, 51% of the public betting tickets wagered on this matchup are on the Blazers.

UAB Blazers

UAB redshirt freshman QB Tyler Johnston III completed 9-of-15 passes for 140 yards, a touchdown and an interception while rushing for 56 yards and a score in Saturday's 27-25 win over Middle Tennessee in the Conference USA Championship Game. Johnston did all of his scoring work in the second quarter, when he connected with Andre Wilson on a 40-yard touchdown and scored on a little three-yard rush. The Blazers came away with the conference title even without a superlative game from the redshirt freshman signal-caller. He has played down the stretch in place of the injured A.J. Erdely, to mixed results. Decision-making has been an issue for him -- he threw eight interceptions over the last five games of the campaign. Whether he receives another starting opportunity in UAB's bowl game will depend on whether Erdely is able to get right over the coming weeks.

Northern Illinois Huskies

Northern Illinois redshirt sophomore QB Marcus Childers completed 21-of-33 passes for 300 yards with four touchdowns and an interception while rushing for 58 yards in a 30-29 victory over Buffalo on Friday in the MAC Championship. What a comeback. The Huskies trailed 29-10 in the third quarter, but the Huskies didn't give up, and Childers was exceptional in the second half. He made plays with his legs, but it was his right arm that led the Huskies to the championship, particularly when he targetted D.J. Brown and Spencer Tears, who both had two scores. Childers struggled down the stretch, but he certainly came up clutch on Friday. The Dollar General Bowl is very likely next for he and the Huskies.

Betting Trends

UAB

The over is 4-1 in the Blazers’ last five games overall and 7-2 in their last nine games versus an opponent with a winning record.

Northern Illinois

The under is 9-4 in the Huskies’ last 13 games overall and 7-3 in their last 10 non-conference games.

Prediction

The Huskies are winless at the betting window in their last five bowl games and are 0-4 against the number in their last four games played in the month of December. While NIU has the defense to slow down most teams, the Huskies have struggled to move the ball offensively this season. UAB is in the same boat, as the Blazers’ defense is the strength of the team and their offense has run hot and cold. That said, UAB is also 8-3 against the spread in its last 11 games overall, including in its revenge win over Middle Tennessee State in the CUSA Championship Game a few weeks ago. I like the Blazers to cap their season with another W tonight.

Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl Prediction: UAB Blazers -2

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