Iowa vs. Northwestern Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Iowa is the slight favorite, as the Hawkeyes are getting odds of -1.5 points against Northwestern. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 47 points. Iowa has won three of the last four in this series and the Hawkeyes have covered the spread in three of the last four as well. The public is currently putting 72 percent of the wagers on the Hawkeyes on the road. Saturday’s game takes place from Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois and will air live on ESPN2.
Iowa is coming off a 45-16 win over Illinois to improve to 4-2 on the season and 1-2 in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes are just 3-3 against the spread this year, including 0-2 ATS on the road. Iowa is holding opponents to 18.7 points per game despite allowing 388.3 yards per contest. On offense, Iowa is putting up 28.8 points and 356.7 yards per game. Nathan Stanley has thrown for 1,290 yards and 15 touchdowns to lead the offense while Akrum Wadley has 483 rushing yards and four scores. Wadley also has 15 catches for 258 yards and three touchdowns.
Northwestern is coming off a 37-21 win at Maryland last week to improve to 3-3 on the season and 1-2 in the Big Ten. The Wildcats are also 3-3 against the spread while going 1-2 ATS at home. Northwestern is averaging 27.5 points and 402.8 yards per game on offense this season. Clayton Thorson has thrown for 1,496 yards and eight touchdowns to lead the offense, but he also has nine interceptions. Justin Jackson is the leading rusher with 510 yards and six touchdowns. Defensively, Northwestern is allowing 25.5 points and 376.3 yards per game.
Iowa is always a tough out, but the Hawkeyes haven’t looked good on the road. Now it faces a Northwestern team that is 8-3 against the spread in its last 11 conference games. The home team is also 5-2 against the spread in the last seven of this series. This should be a gritty defensive battle. While the Wildcats are turnover prone, I think they will avoid those at home and find a way to cover the small spread, or take home the upset win.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREDICTION: NORTHWESTERN +1.5