If you want to watch some great offensive football, and bad defense, on Saturday, be sure to tune into the MAC Championship game at Noon on Saturday. The Kent State Golden Flashes will take on Northern Illinois for the right to call themselves conference champions. Golden Flashes head coach Sean Lewis has done a tremendous at Kent since taking over in 2018. He’s 19-22 with the Golden Flashes, which is impressive considering the program was in a steep decline when he took the job. As for Northern Illinois head coach Thomas Hammock, this is his first trip to the MAC Championship since taking over in 2019. He’s 13-17 at Northern Illinois, but many of those losses came during the 2020 COVID-plagued season. Both teams know how to score points, and a lot of them, making for a fun college football betting matchup.
The following Kent State vs Northern Illinois college football betting preview will give you the current odds, betting trends and a prediction for the MAC Championship Game.
Kent State vs Northern Illinois College Football Betting Preview
2021 MAC Championship Game
Kent State (7-5, 6-2 MAC) vs Northern Illinois (8-4, 6-2 MAC)
Date: Saturday, Dec. 4th, 2021
Time: Noon EST
Venue: Ford Field — Detroit, MI
Kent State Preview
Sean Lewis and the Golden Flashes are the fastest team in the NCAA, in terms of how long it takes between snaps. They do a 30-minute script session every practice week where they try to get 125-150 plays off within that time. It’s honestly crazy. On average, the Golden Flashes snap the ball every 17 seconds!
However, even if you play fast, you need the talent that can play fast. The Flashes have that in quarterback Dustin Crum, who was named MAC Offensive Player of the Year. He’s being looked at by multiple professional teams and Saturday could be a huge game for him. Out wide, watch out for Dante Cephas. He’s a big, strong and physical wide receiver who Crum looks to on deep passes. The running game is by committee, with the Flashes averaging 247.2 rushing yards per game.
Defense will be a huge component if the Flashes want to win a MAC Championship. Their defense is ranked in the bottom third of the NCAA. They have been picked apart by crossing routes and other short routes all season. However, if the Flashes can get even 2-3 stops, it will bode well for them in winning the game.
Northern Illinois Preview
Thomas Hammock has done a great job with the program since taking over. Quarterback Rocky Lombardi has been great at times this season, but he has also looked lost at times. The ex-Michigan State quarterback has Trayvon Rudolph as his favorite target on the outside. He’s already caught seven touchdowns this season. Jevyon Ducker, Clint Ratkovich and Harrison Waylee are the running backs for the Huskies. They’ve combined to find the end zone 18 times on the year.
The Huskies have a tough task ahead of them with the Kent State offense. It’s nearly impossible to beat Kent State when they have their running game and passing game going. With that being said, if the Huskies can neutralize one of those offensive attacks, they will have a much better shot at winning the MAC title.
Kent State vs Northern Illinois Odds and Spread
Moneyline: KSU: (-165) | NIU: (+140)
Spread: KSU: -3.5 (-110) | NIU: +3.5 (-110)
Total: 74.5 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)
Public (Spread) Betting via Action Network: KSU: (63%) | NIU: (37%)
Kent State College Football Betting Trends
- Kent State is 6-6-0 against the spread (ATS) this season.
- The Golden Flashes have an ATS record of 5-1 in their six games as a favorite of 3.5 points or more.
- Kent State is 6-2 ATS and overall when the team churns out over 453.1 yards.
Northern Illinois College Football Betting Trends
- Northern Illinois is 7-4-1 ATS this year.
- The Huskies have turned the ball over 16 times, seven fewer than the Golden Flashes have forced turnovers (23).
- Northern Illinois’ games this season have hit the Over on seven of 12 set point totals (58.3%).
Kent State vs Northern Illinois Prediction
This Kent State vs Northern Illinois college football betting prediction uses the ESPN Football Power Index (FPI). It gives Kent State a 50.2% chance to win the game.