NCAAF Spread Favors Penn State Over Northwestern in Week 6

NCAAF Spread Favors Penn State Over Northwestern in Week 6

Written by on October 3, 2017

With all due respect to Michigan or Wisconsin or Ohio State, No. 4 Penn State looks like the team to beat in the Big Ten this year, and the Nittany Lions shouldn’t have too much trouble on Saturday when they visit Northwestern as two-touchdown NCAAF spread favorites. Although these College Football lines are looking well defined, I wouldn’t keep my eyes off of Northwestern for this one. It might even become a trap game for Penn State.

Penn State at Northwestern NCAAF Spread & Week 6 Game Preview

When: Saturday, Noon ET Where: Ryan Field, Evanston TV: ABC Stream: WatchESPN Radio: Penn State Sports Network (Penn State) / WGN 720 AM (Northwestern) Opening NCAAF Spread: PSU -14 (55.5)

Weather Forecast

  • Chance of Rain: 18°C/64°F
  • Humidity: 68%
  • Precipitation: 43%
  • Wind: 14 mph SW
  • Cloud Cover: 82%
  • Type of Stadium: Open

Last Meeting

These teams last played late in the 2015 season at Northwestern and the Wildcats won 23-21 – they were ranked 23rd that day and Penn State wasn’t in the Top 25. Jack Mitchell hit a 35-yard field goal with nine seconds left. Justin Jackson rushed for 186 yards. Saquon Barkley ran for 120 yards and had two scores, and the second with 12:22 left gave the Nittany Lions a 21-20 lead. They had a chance to take more time off the clock but Barkley was stopped short on a third and one at his own 15 with 2:25 to go.

Latest NCAAF Spread Trends

  • Penn State is 12-1-1 ATS in the last 14 games
  • Penn State is 5-0 SU in the last 5 games
  • The total went OVER in 15 of Penn State’s last 23 games
  • Northwestern is 9-4 ATS in the last 13 games
  • Northwestern is 4-2 SU in the last 6 games
  • The total went UNDER in 9 of Northwestern’s last 11 games at home

College Football Week 6 Expert Preview & Parlay Picks


Why Bet On Penn State?

The Lions (5-0) easily handled Indiana 45-14 this past week. The Hoosiers focused on stopping Barkley. On paper, it’s a smart move. Indiana’s defense limited Barkley to just 56 yards rushing, the second-lowest total of his college career in games against Power Five competition, and the Nittany Lions averaged just 5 yards per play, their lowest total in a game since last October’s win against Ohio State. Yet the offense still notched four touchdown drives, two spanning more than 70 yards, while Trace McSorley threw for 315 yards and accounted for three scores. PSU built a four-touchdown lead in the first quarter in its 11th consecutive win against a Big Ten foe, 11th consecutive win at home and 13th consecutive in a regular season game. Penn State is off to its first 5-0 start since starting the 2008 season with a 9-0 record. It was a historic afternoon for senior DaeSean Hamilton, who became Penn State’s career receptions leader. With nine receptions for 122 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, Hamilton has 181 career receptions, breaking the record of 179 held by Deon Butler. Barkley set the tone, returning the opening kickoff 98 yards for his first return touchdown.

How Well Has Barkley Done This Season?

Barkley surpassed 200 all-purpose yards for the fourth time this season and added a touchdown pass to Hamilton in the fourth quarter to become the first Big Ten player and sixth in FBS since 1996 to return a kickoff for a touchdown and throw a touchdown pass in the same game. He finished with 205 all-purpose yards with 98 yards coming on the return, 56 yards rushing on 20 carries and 51 yards receiving on four catches. Penn State held Indiana off the scoreboard in the first quarter and is the only FBS team to not allow a score in the opening frame this season. Penn State is outscoring its opponents 73-0 in the opening 15 minutes. The Nittany Lions scored 28 points in a first quarter against Indiana, marking the first time Penn State scored 28 or more points in the first quarter since 2005 at Illinois (28 points) that Penn State accomplished the feat.

Team Statistics

  • Average Score For: 41.40
  • Total Yards: 471.2
  • Rush Yards: 179
  • Passing Yards: 292.20
  • Average Score Against: 9.40
  • Total Yards: 289.2
  • Rush Yards: 127.40
  • Passing Yards: 161.80

Why Bet On Northwestern?

The Wildcats (2-2) lost 33-24 to Wisconsin. The Badgers were probably going to win anyway, but Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson took an ugly safety on the Wildcats’ last drive, sealing their defeat. Thorson was well out of the pocket and saw a tackler coming at him. He could’ve just thrown the ball away without an intentional grounding penalty, and NU would’ve retained some chance to win. Is Northwestern a safe bet in Week 6 of College Football? Senior Justin Jackson continued his climb up the Big Ten record books as he passed Javon Ringer to move into 13th all-time in on the conference’s career rushing yards list. Jackson now sits at 4,402 career rushing yards and needs just 83 yards to pass Damien Anderson as the program’s all-time leader in career rushing yards. Thorson finished the day completing 29-of-45 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns. If this comes down to the kickers, NW could pull the upset. The numbers surrounding Tyler Davis and the Penn State field-goal unit are ugly. The Lions’ first-team All-Big Ten kicker is in a slump. He’s made just 5 of 11 attempts and he’s had a kick blocked in both of PSU’s Big Ten Conference games this season. Some close games are in the forecast for PSU during the remainder of the Big Ten season. Davis is just 3-for-7 on field-goal tries of 30 or more yards.

Team Statistics

  • Average Score For: 30.25
  • Total Yards: 405.25
  • Rush Yards: 126.50
  • Passing Yards: 278.75
  • Average Score Against: 25.25
  • Total Yards: 384.25
  • Rush Yards: 145
  • Passing Yards: 239.25

Series History

  • Total Meetings: 18
  • First Meeting: November 20th, 1993. Evanston, Illinois
  • Last Meeting: November 7th 2015. Evanston, Illinois
  • All-Time Series: Penn State 13-5-0
  • Largest Margin of Victory: Penn State 49-0 (2002)
  • Longest Win Streak: Penn State 6 (2005-2012)
  • Current Win Streak: Northwestern 2 (2014-2015)

Expert Prediction & NCAAF Spread Pick

I like the Wildcats to lose by 10 so take the two touchdowns – perhaps buy it up to 14.5 points to be safe in the NCAAF spread.
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