One on the Gridiron and Two on the Hardwood

Rod Carey has the Huskies in position for another BCS berth in his first full season as head coach.

With the number of college football games now starting to dwindle during the week, I have to start turning my attention to the National Basketball Association a little more now. It’s pretty clear to see who is winning and who is losing in the NBA right now but will you benefit from this?

A couple of NBA games are below but first, the only college football game in town is up next.

Western Michigan (+33) at Northern Illinois – There is one college football game to wager on this evening and the spread alone is enough to scare many bettors away. Unbeaten Northern Illinois will host 1-10 Western Michigan.

This will be senior night in DeKalb and besides the emotions that go along with that, the Huskies are playing for all kinds of stakes.

Next week, they will play either Bowling Green or Buffalo in the Mid-American Conference Championship game and should they win that, they will be headed back to a BCS bowl for the second straight season.

Bowling Green and Buffalo meet on Friday in Western New York with the winner going to the MAC title game.

For Western Michigan and first-year head coach P.J. Fleck this is a game where you just ‘get through it.’ The Broncos are over-matched at nearly every position and will continue to play younger players in hopes of building for the future.

I expect WMU to play hard as the game is on national television. They will not want to be embarrassed. Look for them to establish the run early in an effort to keep Jordan Lynch and the Huskies’ offense on the sideline.

Northern Illinois is 7-0-1 against the spread in their last eight homes games against Western Michigan. The Broncos meanwhile are 4-9 against the spread in their last 13 road games.

If you’re looking for over/under advice, the number is 63.5. The number has gone under in four of the Huskies’ last five meetings with Western Michigan in DeKalb so keep that in mind. I’m going to buck that trend because the Huskies give up about 25 points a game and for a Broncos’ team that averages about 17 points per game that is welcome news.

Of course the bigger factor is that NIU scores just under 43 points per game too. I like the over tonight and I like Northern Illinois to cover the monster spread.

Two From the Association

Jason Kidd is off to a rough start in his first season Brooklyn's head coach.

Brooklyn (+1) at Toronto – The Raptors lead the Atlantic Division at 6-7. Yes, I said, “Lead the division at 6-7.” They host the extremely disappointing Brooklyn Nets who are currently in the Atlantic Division cellar.

Both teams are in the bottom half of scoring in the NBA but the difference is on the defensive end where the Raptors are tied for fifth and the Nets for 25th. I like the Raptors to cover tonight.

New York (+8) at Portland – The Knicks are 3-9 while the Blazers are 12-2. This shouldn’t be too difficult should it? Both teams play pretty comparable defense but the offensive end is a different story.

The Knicks rank just 24th in scoring at 93.3 points per game while the Blazers are averaging 104 points per contest. New York Head Coach Mike Woodson has said his team is not in panic mode and frankly they shouldn’t be.

When the division leader is under .500 you begin to feel better about yourself. That said, I still look for a Blazers’ win in Portland tonight and I like them to cover.