The school that won four MAC championships since 2010 appears poised to make a deep run in the MAC West standings and is led by fifth-year head coach Thomas Hammock, who is 17-27 during his five seasons at NIU.
2023 Schedule one of Easiest in Nation
The Huskies have a favorable 2023 non-conference schedule that many experts and pundits agree is one of the easiest in the nation.
- September 2: at Boston College
- September 9: Southern Illinois
- September 16: at Nebraska
- September 23: Tulsa
- September 30: Toledo
- October 7: at Akron
- October 14: Ohio
- October 21: Eastern Michigan
- October 31: at Central Michigan
- November 7: Ball State
- November 14: Western Michigan
- November 21: at Kent State
The NIU offense finished 6th in the MAC in points per game and will return what should be a potent offense led by fifth-year senior QB Rocky Lombardi. Lombardi missed all but four games last season but has thrown for nearly 4000 yards during a career that began at Michigan State.
Lombardi can sling it for real, and he has dependable hands in a pair of returnees– wideout Kacper Rutkiewicz and tight end Tristan Tewes were on the receiving end of a combined nine TDs. Wideout Trayvon Rudolph missed the 2022 season with a knee injury, but if he can come close to his 2021 numbers, this offense will be a problem.
NIU had the second-best rushing offense in the conference in 2022.Antari Brown scampered for 689 yards playing backup to Harrison Waylee, who transferred to Wyoming. Brown will run behind an experienced offensive line many consider the second-best behind Toledo.
Huskies Defense Hopes to Improve in 2023
The 2022 NIU defense was one of the worst in the MAC, but they did have many injuries to deal with. Still, they allowed an 11th-best 32.8 points per game in 2022.
The defensive line should be a strength for NIU. They were fifth in sacks with a patchwork line and return tackles Devonte O’Malley and James Ester. Linebackers Jaden Dolphin and Nick Alvarado are expected to be strong against both the run and pass. The defensive secondary returns experience with last season’s leading tackler, CJ Brown, returning for his senior season.
Northern Illinois Huskies 2023 MAC Football Betting Odds
Current betting odds for the 2023 Northern Illinois Huskies football team are as follows.
- To win the MAC West Division: +600
- To win the MAC Championship: +1200
- MAC Conference Wins Over 4.5 (-125)
- MAC Conference Wins Under 4.5: (-105)
Northern Illinois Future Bets
The oddsmakers over atDraftKings Illinois aren’t showing the Huskies much love at all. There is likely only one future wager worth taking a chance at, but we’ll break each bet down and tell you what we think.
You should have as many accounts for betting apps in Illinois as possible to get the best price.
Are the Northern Illinois Huskies a Good Bet to Win the MAC West Division in 2023?
The Northern Illinois Huskies aren’t a good bet to win the MAC West Division in 2023.
NIU has the experience and the depth, but the question marks about the health of nearly every skilled returnee are less than ideal. Having MAC heavyweights Ohio and Toledo on the schedule will be difficult for the Huskies, and they likely won’t win the MAC.
Are the Northern Illinois Huskies a Good Bet to Win the 2023 MAC Championship?
The Northern Illinois Huskies aren’t a good bet to win the 2023 MAC Championship.
NIU won’t likely win their division, and in my opinion, it isn’t a good bet to make.
Are the 2023 Northern Illinois Huskies a Good Bet to Win Five Conference Games?
The 2023 Northern Illinois Huskies are not a good bet to win five conference games this season -125 at DraftKings. The better bet is for NIU to win Under 4.5 conference games -105 at DraftKings.
NIU could win five games, but health is one thing this particular NIU team hasn’t had much luck with. The Huskies have a tough conference schedule, and I have them losing at home to Toledo, Ohio, and Eastern Michigan. Their away game against Central Michigan will likely be their fourth conference loss, so my best bet for the NIU Huskies is Under 4.5 conference wins -105 (DraftKings).