By Dan Kilbridge | | 4 mins
College Football Dog Of The Week: Eastern Michigan & ‘Pollo’
College football handicapper Dan Kilbridge will start by examining the college football spreads at sportsbooks and picking his favorite underdog to cover the spread or win straight up that week. We then connect with a shelter near that team’s campus to share one lovable dog who could complete your family huddle.
It’s all about cashing bets and rescuing pets with Dog of the Week.
Dog of the Week is heating up with back-to-back outright winners after Notre Dame’s blowout win over Wisconsin. We’re looking to make it three straight with our favorite Week 5 dogs – Eastern Michigan is a +2.5 underdog at Northern Illinois on major betting apps, and Pollo is a two-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier mix out of Ypsilanti who’s ready to meet his forever teammates.
Before we dive in, good news to report: Hamburger, the first dog we highlighted three weeks ago, has been adopted from the the Champaign County Humane Society. Fletcher and Billie Jean, two other dogs we’ve featured, are still looking for a home. Let's get all these pups adopted.
The Pick: Eastern Michigan +2.5 over Northern Illinois
Odds are current at publication. Betting sites may indicate odds changes closer to kickoff.
We’re soaring like an eagle this week and believing in Eastern Michigan as a 2.5-point underdog at Northern Illinois. Eastern Michigan is off to a 3-1 start and coming off a 59-21 win over Texas State. Oddsmakers expected a closer game with the Eagles a -7.5 favorite, but Eastern has won all three games by 20-plus points.
This week marks the first time the Huskies have been favored since they were giving 3.5 points in a Nov. 20 home game against Eastern Michigan last season. The Eagles won that game in a 45-17 blowout.
This should be a closer matchup, but we still like Eastern Michigan getting points with a strong chance to win outright. The offense is starting to heat up behind Cincinnati transfer quarterback Ben Bryant, and the Eagles are taking care of the little things – they’re converting 50% of third downs and 80% of fourth downs, they don’t take a lot of penalties and they’re +2 in the turnover department.
Bryant should have plenty of time in the pocket as the Huskies don’t pressure the quarterback. That’ll allow a balanced offense to thrive on the ground against a Northern Illinois defense giving up 240 rushing yards per game.
On the other side of the ball, Northern Illinois quarterback Rocky Lombardi has struggled with ball security throughout his career. The Michigan State transfer has already thrown five interceptions in four games as the Huskies continue to make a lot of mistakes, including bad penalties.
These teams are pretty evenly-matched in terms of skill and athleticism, but the Eagles play smarter with better intangibles. Eastern Michigan has also been the best road cover team in the nation since 2016, going 22-9 against the spread in its last 31 away games.
We like the Eagles to keep it going Saturday with a cover and outright win at Huskie Stadium. Bet on it with Caesars Sportsbook.
Risk Free Bet up to $1,500
The Pup: Pollo
Pollo is a two-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier mix who was found as a stray and never claimed. With proper training, he’s since bulked up to a healthy weight of 60 pounds with a tail that never stops wagging. This happy-go-lucky pup is highly food-motivated and knows the basic playbook with commands like “sit” and “shake.” He’s also a great walking buddy and loves to run around the yard.
You can find out more about Pollo at the Friends of Michigan Animals Rescue Website.
The Friends of Michigan Animals Rescue is open Monday-Saturday by appointment only. For more information, please call (734) 461-9458.