(NCAAF) Western Michigan vs. NIU, 11/23/2021 7:00 PM, Score: 42 - 21
Point Spread: -3.00 | -115.00 Western Michigan (Away)
Result: Win
8* Western Michigan (7:00 ET): It speaks volumes that the last place team in the MAC West (Western Michigan) is favored here (on the road, no less!) against the team that has already sewn up the division title, that being Northern Illinois. Perhaps part of that is NIU potentially looking forward to next week’s MAC Championship Game against whomever wins the East Division (will be Miami or Kent State). But the reality of the matter is that the Huskies aren’t a very good team. Despite being division champs - and an 8-3 overall SU record - they have a -20 point differential for the season!

Now part of that is due to the non-conference slate, which included a 63-10 loss to Michigan. But even still, the Huskies’ YTD point differential in MAC games is only +20. This despite having a 6-1 conference record! Not only do they have four wins by two points or less this season, including THREE one-point victories, but last week’s game vs. Buffalo was an OT affair. Northern Illinois’ largest win of the season over an FBS foe was eight points against lowly Bowling Green. They have arguably been the “luckiest” team in all of College Football in 2021.

As for Western Michigan, they suffered a one-point LOSS to rival Eastern Michigan last week. That was yet another game where the Broncos came in as road favorites. I faded them, thinking the number was too high, which it clearly was. But the Broncos did end up with an edge in total yards (485-422) and were up 21-9 in the third quarter. This is a team that earlier in the year went to Pitt and won 44-41! Unlike Northern Illinois, WMU has a positive point differential this season. Though already bowl eligible, getting a 7th win would be huge for the Broncos as it would probably ensure they actually go to a bowl game (in the past, there have been some six-win MAC teams not selected by a bowl). Before the season, many thought WMU would win the MAC West and NIU (winless in 2020) would finish last! Lay the points. 8* Western Michigan