The Quick Lane Bowl has been played for years the day after Christmas. However, one possible good change for this contest is they have more favorable 5:15 EST start, which should help viewing.
Duke (6-6, 6-5-1 ATS) took about the most difficult route to make it to Detroit and the sportsbooks college football odds have them as 5.5-point favorite over Northern Illinois (8-4, 6-6 ATS), with a total of 47.5. In the past 20 contests in this bowl, the favorite is only 9-11 ATS and quite a bit worse of late at 1-4 against the spread.
Here is look at both combatants.
The Huskies were thought to be in transition this season, especially on offense. What carried Northern Illinois early was their defense, which had ball-hawking skills the first half of the season with 17 forced turnovers in six games and featuring two cornerbacks with NFL ability. Once the quarterback situation was settled on, the offense blossomed in MAC play and on the season the Huskies averaged 30.2 points a contest. Because the offense averaged two turnovers a game, the defense permitted more points in the second half of the season, but Duke might find the Huskies hard to run on since they only allowed 2.8 yards a carry.
It was a wild ride for the Blue Devils this season. They opened 4-0, but a 31-6 home beat down by Miami-FL triggered a six-game losing streak (0-5-1 ATS).