NIU vs UAB 2018 Boca Raton Bowl Betting Lines & Preview

NIU vs UAB 2018 Boca Raton Bowl Betting Lines & Preview

Written by on December 17, 2018

Bowl season got off to a good start last Saturday, with no less than 5 very entertaining games played over the weekend. We don’t need to wait very long for more bowl action this week, though, as things get started early with a game on Tuesday. All told, there are going to be 9 bowl games played between now and Saturday night, and we are going to do all we can to cover these games and get some predictions out to you ASAP.

We will get the ball rolling with what could be a defensive struggle in the Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday night. We have a pair of conference champions facing off in this one, with the Conference USA Champion UAB Blazers going head to head with the NIU Huskies of the Mid-American Conference. In terms of wins and losses, it was certainly a better season for the Blazers, but they will be taking nothing for granted against a team that was a bit of a surprise champion. UAB is in as a 2 ½ point favorite, with the point total set at 42 ½.

NIU vs UAB 2018 Boca Raton Bowl Betting Lines & Preview

  • When: Tuesday, December 18 at 7 PM EST
  • Where: FAU Football Stadium, Boca Raton
  • TV: ESPN
  • Radio: TuneIn
  • Live Stream: WatchESPN
  • 2018 Boca Raton Bowl Betting Lines: UAB -2.5 (Total 42.5)

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Weather Forecast

  • Partly Cloudy: 21°C/69°F
  • Humidity: 75%
  • Precipitation: 6%
  • Cloud Cover: 55%
  • Wind: 6 mph N
  • Stadium Type: Open

Why bet on the NIU Huskies?

Northern Illinois finished their regular season on a bit of a sour note, losing back to back games but doing just enough to get into the Mid-American Conference Championship Game. They went into that match-up versus Buffalo as a 3 ½ point underdog, and for the longest time in that game, it looked as though they might be on to their 3rd straight loss.

The Huskies came up big on the 4th quarter, though, coming back to grab a 30-29 win. That was actually a bit of an explosive outburst for a team that averages a little over 20 PPG this season, and they made need more of the same against a Blazers D that allowed just 17 PPG this year. In their last 5 bowl games, the Huskies have gone 0-5 SU and ATS.

Team Stats

  • Average Score For: 20.69
  • Total Yards: 325.00
  • Rush Yards: 171.46
  • Passing Yards: 153.54
  • Average Score Against: 21.54
  • Total Yards: 347.84
  • Rush Yards: 109.69
  • Passing Yards: 238.15

Why bet on the UAB Blazers?

It is more than fair to suggest that the UAB Blazers are a bit of a Cinderella story. The athletic department made the tough decision to shut down the football program a few short years ago, but after a 2-year absence, the Blazers returned and capped off a glorious second season back in college football with a win over Middle Tennessee in the Conference USA Title Game.

Like the Huskies, UAB had lost back to back games to end their regular season, but they were then able to rise up as an underdog, albeit a small one, to win when it really mattered. The Blazers covered the spread in 7 of their last 10 games and were 6-3 ATS in their 9 games as a favorite this season. 

Team Stats

  • Average Score For: 29.31
  • Total Yards: 400.08
  • Rush Yards: 208.62
  • Passing Yards: 191.46
  • Average Score Against: 17.31
  • Total Yards: 300.15
  • Rush Yards: 119.00
  • Passing Yards: 181.15

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2018 Boca Raton Bowl Betting Trends

  • Northern Illinois is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Northern Illinois is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Northern Illinois’s last 13 games
  • Alabama-Birmingham is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games
  • Alabama-Birmingham is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Alabama-Birmingham’s last 5 games

Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction for the 2018 Boca Raton Bowl

While these two teams are best known for their defensive prowess, it is worth noting that each of the last 3 Boca Raton Bowl games has gone OVER. The same is true of 4 of the last 5 games for UAB. I like the Blazers to win and cover, and I am going with the OVER.

Score: NIU Huskies 23 – UAB Blazers 27