Orange Bowl odds: Florida State vs Northern Illinois betting preview, pick, trends

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Florida State has dominated at bowl time, going 8-0-1 ATS in the past nine bowl seasons. But with underdogs biting hard, are the Orange Bowl odds of 14 points too high against the motivated Northern Illinois Huskies? Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN.

The MAC gets a rare crack at a BCS bowl when the 12-1 Huskies of Northern Illinois challenge the 11-2 Seminoles of Florida State in the Orange Bowl New Year's Day night down in suburban Miami.

The early Orange Bowl betting odds listed the 'Noles as 14-point favorites over the Huskies, but that number has since been bet down to -13 at most outlets. Also, the total on the Orange Bowl started at 58, and had held steady in the early betting.

The spread poses a challenge for FSU, which has romped to a 8-0-1 ATS mark in its past nine bowl games. Of note, underdogs are 7-2 ATS in the past nine Orange Bowls.

Northern Illinois won the MAC championship last year, and was expected to contend for it again this season. The Huskies then opened with an 18-17 loss to Iowa, but have won every game since. However, as you might expect, NIU did not exactly play a Murderer's Row of a schedule.

Full Orange Bowl matchup stats, handicapping preview and trends | Get bowl updates via Twitter

The Huskies beat Tennessee-Martin, Army and Kansas in non-conference play, then rolled through the MAC unscathed, outlasting Kent State in the conference championship game 44-37 in overtime. Led by fringe Heisman candidate QB Jordan Lynch, who rang up a 24/5 TD/INT ratio passing and ran for 1,770 yards and 19 more scores, NIU averaged 486 YPG on offense, 250 of those on the ground, and 41 PPG.

But as will happen in this college football world, the Huskies became victims of their own success when, on the day before it was announced they would be playing in the Orange Bowl, head coach Dave Doeren left the program to take over at North Carolina State. So NIU is now being led by Rod Carey, who began this season as the Huskies' offensive line coach.

Florida State, meanwhile, was supposed to win the ACC this season and contend for a spot in the BCS title game. And while the 'Noles came through on winning the conference title, they came up short in playing for all the marbles. FSU shot out of the gate this year, with five straight wins, putting up some huge offensive numbers. But the Seminoles then went to Raleigh, coughed up a late lead and lost to N.C. State, 17-16.

Florida State then won its next five games to win the ACC's Atlantic Division, but ended its regular season with a 37-26 upset loss at home to in-state rival Florida. The Seminoles then defeated Georgia Tech in underwhelming fashion in the ACC championship game, 21-15.

Paced by senior quarterback E.J. Manuel and a balanced running attack, Florida State averaged 466 YPG on offense and 40 PPG this year.

Playing against the weekly expectations on the college football betting boards, Northern Illinois is 9-2-2 ATS this season, while Florida State is just 3-9 vs. the numbers.

The Huskies are playing in a bowl for the fifth-straight season. Last year NIU beat Arkansas State in the GoDaddy Bowl, 38-20. The Seminoles have won their last four bowl games. Last year they beat Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl, 18-14.

Orange Bowl Pick: Northern Illinois is a nice story, with a talented quarterback, but the Huskies just don't have enough to contend with FSU's talent and athleticism. We'll give the points and take the Seminoles. (courtesy of PickShark.com)

Look through SB Nation's many excellent college football blogs to find your team's community.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.