Poinsettia Bowl Breakdown

Poinsettia Bowl: Can Northern Illinois slow down the Boise State run game?

Two longtime mid-major powerhouses meet up in the Poinsettia Bowl today as Northern Illinois takes on Boise State.

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According to oddsmakers at RealBets, Boise State is favored in this game, as the Broncos are getting odds of -9.5 points against Northern Illinois today. The over/under total for the contest has been set at 57 points. These two meet today at 4:30PM ET on ESPN. The game takes place from Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA.

Northern Illinois was the runner-up in the MAC, going 8-5 overall and 7-4-2 against the spread. Boise State was 8-4 on the season and 6-6 against the spread, finishing out of the Mountain West Conference race. Both teams bring a strong offense to the field, as each averages over 33 points and 425 yards per game. The big difference on paper is the Boise defense, which is giving up just 21.3 points and 342.1 yards per game.

NIU isn’t bad defensively either, but they give up nearly 400 yards per game. That should open the door up for the Broncos’ offense, which is led by Jeremy McNichols, who has run for 1,244 yards and 18 touchdowns this season. The 5-9 sophomore running back has run for over 100 yards in seven straight games and run for over 120 yards in five straight. Look for more of the same today against the NIU run defense, which ranks 64th in the nation against the run, allowing 166.8 yards per game.

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