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Northern Illinois vs. Duke - 12/26/17 Quick Lane Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction

NIU Huskies (8-4) at Duke Blue Devils (6-6)

College Football: Tuesday, December 26, 2017 at 5:15 pm (Ford Field)

The Line: Duke Blue Devils -5.5 -- Over/Under: 47 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Duke Blue Devils and Northern Illinois Huskies meet Tuesday in the college football Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field.

The Duke Blue Devils look for a winning season for the fifth time in the last six years and their second bowl win in the last three years. The Duke Blue Devils have just four bowl victories in their school history. Daniel Jones is completing 55.7 percent of his passes for 2,439 yards, 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Jones has two touchdown passes three of his last five games. T.J. Rahming and Johnathan Lloyd have combined for 1,097 receiving yards and two touchdowns while Chris Taylor has 20 receptions. The Duke Blue Devils ground game is averaging 167.9 yards per contest, and Shaun Wilson leads the way with 743 yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, Duke is allowing 20.8 points and 335.4 yards per game. Joe Giles-Harris leads the Duke Blue Devils with 117 tackles, Mike Ramsay has 5.5 sacks and Mark Gilbert has six interceptions.  

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Northern Illinois vs. Duke - 12/26/17 Quick Lane Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Northern Illinois Huskies have won six of their last eight games and look for their first bowl victory since 2011. The Northern Illinois Huskies have lost each of their last four bowl appearances. Marcus Childers is completing 57.3 percent of his passes for 1,440 yards, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions. Childers has two or more touchdown passes in four of his last eight games. Spencer Tears and Chad Beebe have combined for 878 receiving yards and five touchdowns while Christian Blake has 38 receptions. The Northern Illinois Huskies ground game is averaging 187.2 yards per contest, and Jordan Huff leads the way with 740 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, Northern Illinois is allowing 20.8 points and 328 yards per game. Bobby Jones IV leads the Northern Illinois Huskies with 97 tackles, Sutton Smith has 14 sacks and Jawuan Johnson has five interceptions.

The Blue Devils are 19-6-1 ATS in their last 26 non-conference games, 13-1 ATS in their last 14 games on fieldturf and 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Huskies are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games, 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 neutral site games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The over is 5-1 in Huskies last 6 games overall and the under is 9-1 in Blue Devils last 10 games overall.

This line has shot up from where it opened, and I'm not sure I'm on board with where all the money is going. Duke has lost six of its last eight games and has struggled on the offensive end in those games, scoring 17 or less points in five of its last eight contests. Say what you want about the teams Northern Illinois plays, but the Huskies have a top-20 defense and are fifth in the country with 41 sacks. NIU is going to get after Duke and will make this a game. There's also some motivation on the Huskies side, as Northern Illinois hasn't won a bowl game since 2011. Motivation and wanting to be here is key in capping bowl games. I'll take the Huskies and the points.

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