Camellia Bowl Prediction: Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois Odds, Spread, DFS Picks, and More

    Will Arkansas State or Northern Illinois end the 2023 season on a high? Step this way for the latest odds, DFS picks, and a Camellia Bowl prediction.

    Two 6-6 teams descend on Montgomery, AL as the Arkansas State Red Wolves of the Sun Belt take on the Northern Illinois Huskies of the MAC collide in the 2023 Camellia Bowl.

    Will Northern Illinois or Arkansas State end college football season in style? Ahead of the game, we’ve got the latest college football betting odds, DFS picks, and a Camellia Bowl prediction.

    Camellia Bowl Betting and DFS Preview

    All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook and correct as of Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. Want to take advantage of the Camellia Bowl odds? Visit the College Football Network live college football odds page to place bets in your state.

    • Spread
      Arkansas State -3
    • Moneyline
      Arkansas State -162, Northern Illinois +136
    • Over/Under
      53.5 points
    • Game time
      Noon ET
    • Location
      Cranston Bowl, Montgomery, AL
    • Predicted Weather at Kick
      69 degrees, 7 mph winds, mostly cloudy
    • How to Watch
      ESPN, FuboTV

    Willing to bet on the Red Wolves? Feel the Huskies pulling you toward a gamble on the underdog? If you’re going to take advantage of the Camellia Bowl odds, consider some of the following factors before you part with your hard-earned cash.

    It’s been over 10 years since Northern Illinois and Arkansas State last met, but the Huskies hold a 7-1 head-to-head advantage, having won the last two encounters. They’re the underdog here against a team with a 1-1 record in the Camellia Bowl, but while Arkansas State has a lot of talented playmakers, there are reasons to believe that Thomas Hammock’s Huskies can pull off a shock.

    Arkansas State is a three-point spread favorite and will enter the game with a 1-1 record covering when being fancied pregame. The one time covering the spread as a favorite was against FCS Stony Brook, with their failure to cover coming last time out in defeat to Marshall. Northern Illinois has thrice covered as a favorite this year and can make that four on Saturday afternoon.

    The two teams have combined to go 12-12, covering the points total, and this game has the potential to go several ways. Based on Arkansas State’s porous defense and — despite only averaging 25.2 points per game on offense — Northern Illinois’ ability to take advantage of some clear weaknesses, our Camellia Bowl predictions see the teams sail just over the total point line.

    Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays

    Arkansas State Depth Chart | Northern Illinois Depth Chart

    • QB Jaylen Raynor, Arkansas State
    • QB Rocky Lombardi, Northern Illinois
    • RB Ja’Quez Cross, Arkansas State
    • RB Zak Wallace, Arkansas State
    • RB Cedric Hawkins, Arkansas State
    • RB Antario Brown, Northern Illinois
    • RB Gavin Williams, Northern Illinois
    • RB Justin Lynch, Northern Illinois
    • WR Corey Rucker, Arkansas State
    • WR Jeff Foreman, Arkansas State
    • WR Courtney Jackson, Arkansas State
    • WR Trayvon Rudolph, Northern Illinois
    • WR Jalen Johnson, Northern Illinois
    • WR Dane Partridge, Northern Illinois
    • TE Miller McCrumby, Arkansas State
    • TE Grayson Barnes, Northern Illinois
    • TE Chris Carter, Northern Illinois

    There are seven college football games on Saturday to compile your DFS team from. If you’re new to DFS, Fanduel Superflex contests require you to select a quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, and a “Superflex” that can be any of the above or a tight end.

    Starting your Camellia Bowl picks with a player who could decide the entire direction of the game, Northern Illinois running back Antario Brown should be in consideration for one of your RB spots or your flex selection. Brown rushed for over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career and leads the team in scores. He has a favorable matchup to add to his 187.4 points this year.

    MORE: College Football Bowl Opt-Out Tracker

    Courtney Jackson and Ja’Quez Cross are viable DFS options from Arkansas State, but if the Red Wolves are to live up to their status as the favorite, then quarterback Jaylen Raynor will be the difference maker. The highest-scoring fantasy asset on show in the Camellia Bowl, his dual-threat ability has resulted in 202.82 fantasy points this year.

    The status of one of this game’s most explosive playmakers is currently up in the air, and you should tread cautiously. Trayvon Rudolph previously entered the transfer portal but is back with the Huskies and is listed on the depth chart for the Camellia Bowl. Whether the short turnaround time impacts his game contribution is not the uncertainty you want to get into.

    Prediction for the Camellia Bowl

    Okay, so we’ve furnished you with the Camellia Bowl odds and some DFS picks. Now, it’s time to close this thing out with our prediction. Can the Red Wolves end the season with a winning record for the first time since 2019?

    Or will the Huskies win this dog fight to record their first bowl game win since a Dave Doeren-led Northern Illinois to the 2011 Bowl?

    In many respects, it’s been a remarkable season for Arkansas State and head coach Butch Jones. The Red Wolves’ four Sun Belt wins match their combined tally from the previous three seasons. Meanwhile, hitting six wins to reach the Camellia Bowl means they won more in 2023 than in the 2022 and 2021 campaigns combined.

    Headlined by a 77-31 win over Texas State, their offense has undoubtedly been their strength this year. Quarterback Jaylen Raynor has been an electric dual-threat who averaged 9.0 passing yards per game while finding the end zone 20 times this season. He’s showcased the ability to maneuver in the pocket, evade pressure, and deliver the ball to all levels of the field.

    Although Northern Illinois hasn’t routinely been tested through the air, when they have been, they’ve proved effective. The Huskies rank seventh for passing touchdowns allowed and rank in the top 25 in the nation across several defensive metrics.

    As a result, they’ve allowed just 21.2 points per game, helped by a shutout of Western Michigan late in the season.

    Yet, the Arkansas State defense holds the key to this game. The Red Wolves rank 107th nationally for points allowed while ranking 118th for rushing yards allowed per game. They’ve given up 4.76 yards per carry to the ground game, which they simply can’t afford to do against a back of the caliber of Northern Illinois’ Brown — who is set for Camellia Bowl MVP honors.

    Prediction: Arkansas State 27, Northern Illinois 30

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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