2021 Cure Bowl – Coastal Carolina vs Northern Illinois

2021 Cure Bowl – Coastal Carolina vs Northern Illinois

posted December 11

The Game

It’s time for the CURE, yo.

Coastal Carolina rolls into Orlando with a mark of 10-2 but they were unable to win their division, let alone take down the Sun Belt. That was a very realistic goal heading into 2021. On the other hand, the Huskies were able to SHOCK the WORLD and win the MAC despite coming off an 0-6 record during the 2020 plandemic season. They have a record of 9-4 and are fresh off a pasting of Kent St in the conference title game.

Let’s do ittttt.

The Details

Coastal Carolina -10.5 Northern Illinois (63.5)

MEGALOCKS LINE – Coastal Carolina -10

MEGALOCKS market consensus – Coastal Carolina -10.6

“Vegas” Implied Projected Score: Coastal Carolina 37 Northern Illinois 26.5

Coastal Carolina offense vs Northern Illinois defense

The Chants boast the most efficient passing attack in college football (!) thanks to the great work of star QB G McCall (23-3 TD to INT, 73%, 12.1) who’s almost certainly gonna be 100% for this game after missing a bit of time near the end of the year. They also feature the #6 rushing attack in the nation and each of their top-three RBs average 6.5+ YPC. They hit lots of big plays and rank #2 (Ohio St) in the country in YPP (7.63). They have a lethal pair of THROW GAME targets in WR J Heiligh and superstar TE I Likely who’ve combined for over 1,800 yards and 17 TDs in 2021. This is all sad news for a Huskies D that is one of the worst in college football. They rank #113 in total D, #120 in run D, and #101 in pass efficiency D. They’ve only picked off 3 passes all year (!) and they rank #10 in the MAC in sacks and #9 in TFL/game. It’s clear that they’re not exactly the MASTERS OF PENETRATION and that they have plenty of holes that will be exploited. A silver lining? They held a very potent FLASHFAST offense in check during the MAC title game (W 41-23) and they’ve done a good job this year of protecting the D by winning the time of possession battle.

Northern Illinois offense vs Coastal Carolina defense

The Huskies CLAIM TO FAME is a ground attack that’s done excellent work so far in 2021. They rank #5 in the country in rushing offense (234 YPG, 242 in MAC play) and have been able to wear down almost every opponent on their schedule. The THROW GAME is a bit of an afterthought but they have a crafty veteran QB in Rocky Lombardi (13-8 TD to INT, 58%, 7.8 YPC) and an underrated group of WRs. It would be a bonus if they get back WR T Ritchie who’s missed the L4G. The Chants have been decent vs the run but have played a very weak schedule and note that Buffalo rushed for 199 and App St got 228. Can they hold up for four quarters? We expect Northern Illinois to have some success through the air as the Chanticleer pass D hasn’t been as deadly as LY (13-6 TD to INT, 11-16 in 2020). NIU does a great job of preventing sacks (10, T2 FBS) so it’ll be up to CC to find a way to stop the run as best they can and get off the field on 3rd down. They are #33 in the FBS in 3rd down D whilst the Huskies are #84 converting on 3rd down.

Trends, Intangibles and More!

The Chanticleers made their first ever bowl appearance last year in this very game….They fell to Liberty by a score of 37-34……Northern Illinois has lost six straight bowl games…..The Sun Belt has won the last 8 (!) bowl match-ups vs MAC competition……Four of those games were decided by double-digits…..Weather forecast looks good as we approach press time….Both teams managed to beat a common opponent (Buffalo) on the road…..NIU won 33-27 in OT…..CC won 28-25…..The Chants played a ridiculously easy schedule (#148 per Sagarin) and lost to the only two teams that they played that finished with a winning record (Appalachian St, Georgia St)…..The Huskies played the #94 ranked docket and took on bowl teams on NINE occasions…..They went 5-4 SU in those contests…..Both of these squads like to own time of possession (NIU #10, CC #15).


This is a tricky one. Coastal Carolina has a lethal offense that should be able to rip through the Huskies D but they haven’t exactly proven their mettle vs decent teams. They should be motivated to win their first bowl game in school history and will the Huskies be able to get up for this one after taking down the MAC in glorious fashion? We’ll give the nod to the team that will almost certainly be hitting more big plays. If they get a double-digit lead early it could get ugly. Then again, the Huskies have proven to be a TOUGH KILL all season long.


Lean – Coastal Carolina -10 -112

-10 -112 to -10 -118 widely available


‘Official play’ implies we have played the game for our standard wager amount.

‘Lean’ implies we are comfortable suggesting ‘small potatoes’ on the game if you want to get down on some sweet action.

‘No leanage’ implies we won’t be involved in the game from a betting standpoint. In-game wagering possibilities only.

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