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Northern Illinois vs. Kent State picks and best bets for Mid-American Conference Championship

The Northern Illinois Huskies and Kent State Golden Flashes meet this week in the MAC Championship. We break down all you need to know.

Northern Illinois Huskies offensive lineman Marques Cox in action against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The MAC Championship Game is one of two title games taking place in the early window on Saturday, December 4th at noon ET from Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The Northern Illinois Huskies last played for a conference championship in 2018, while the Kent State Golden Flashes’ last appearance was in 2012 when they lost to the Huskies in double overtime. These programs faced each other earlier this season in a 52-47 victory for Kent State in early November.

Here’s all the data you’ll want, and a pick for the game!

SP+ Rankings

Northern Illinois: 101 overall, 74 offense, 118 defense
Kent State: 89 overall, 44 offense, 115 defense

Injury update

Northern Illinois

WR Tyrice Richie - Out (foot)
WR Cole Tucker - Probable (undisclosed)

Kent State

No new injuries to report


Against The Spread

Northern Illinois: 7-4-1 ATS
Kent State: 6-6 ATS


Northern Illinois: Over 7-5
Kent State: Over 5-7

Returning/Overall Talent from 247Sports

Northern Illinois: 110 overall, 107 offense, 114 defense
Kent State: 113 overall, 117 offense, 107 defense

Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Kent State -3.5
Total: 76
Moneyline: Kent State -160, Northern Illinois +140

Opening line: Kent State -2
Opening total: 72

The Pick

Under 76

I understand both defenses are very bad at stopping opponents from putting up a ton of points, which is why we have a total at 76 as we get closer to kickoff. While the defenses have struggled, how confident should you be in their offensive abilities? Both teams rank outside the top 40 in yards per play, and defenses should bring some level of intensity in a championship game.

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