Northwestern vs Stanford 2019 College Football Week 1 Lines & Game Preview.

Northwestern vs Stanford 2019 College Football Week 1 Lines & Game Preview

Written by on August 29, 2019

Two of the most overachieving programs in college football every year are academic powerhouses Northwestern and Stanford. The No. 25 Cardinal have a long home winning streak going out of conference and are almost TD favorites on the college football odds Saturday vs. the Wildcats.

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Last Meeting

Schools met to open the 2015 season at Northwestern and the Wildcats were 16-6 winners over the No. 21 Cardinal. Clayton Thorson ran for a 42-yard touchdown while playing turnover-free ball at quarterback, and Justin Jackson added 134 yards rushing. Both those guys are in the NFL now.

Anthony Walker broke up two passes and had a fumble recovery, and Kyle Queiro intercepted Kevin Hogan in the end zone with about a minute left to seal the win. The Wildcats started the season on a winning note for the first time against a ranked team since 1995. Christian McCaffrey ran for 66 yards for Stanford. He’s a star with the Panthers now.

Weather Forecast

  • Partly Cloudy: 27°C/80°F
  • Humidity: 65%
  • Precipitation: 10%
  • Cloud Cover: 22%
  • Wind: 14 mph NW
  • Stadium Type: Open

Why Bet on Northwestern?

Northwestern reached its first Big Ten title game last year but was routed by No. 6 Ohio State 45-24. The Wildcats would finish the season at 9-5 with a 31-20 upset of Utah in the Holiday Bowl. In a nine-minute stretch of the third quarter, the Wildcats turned three turnovers into 21 points. NU scored 28 points total in the third quarter to win their third straight bowl game under Pat Fitzgerald.

This year, defensive end Joe Gaziano (7.5 sacks in 2018) and linebackers Paddy Fisher (116 tackles in 2018) and Blake Gallagher (127 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss in 2018) return, giving them a top-25 defense.

Four-year starting quarterback Clayton Thorson is gone, but the Cats welcome former five-star recruit and Clemson transfer Hunter Johnson. He was rated the top quarterback in the country coming out of high school by some services and was 21-for-27 passing for 234 yards and two touchdowns against an interception in 76 snaps over seven games as a freshman at Clemson. He completed 77.8 percent of his passes and had a 167.6 pass efficiency rating. Johnson had to sit out last year.

Two of last year’s top pass-catchers in receiver Flynn Nagel and superback Cameron Green are gone, but the most explosive pass catchers, Bennett Skowronek, Kyric McGowan, and JJ Jefferson are back. So is running back John Moten IV, who battled injury for much of 2018.

NU has won a program-record eight-straight true road games. The ’Cats were a perfect 5-0 on the road last season and won their final three road games of 2017. Their last road loss came at Wisconsin on Sept. 30, 2017. The Wildcats’ eight straight road wins over Big Ten opponents is also a program record. NU’s defense has been particularly strong during the stretch, limiting opponents under 20 points five times and allowing just 17.7 points per game. Senior defensive Joe Gaziano enters the season as the nation’s active sacks leader with 21.

Team Stats

Offense
  • Points per Game: 24.21
  • Passing Yards: 239.43
  • Rushing Yards: 114.93
  • Yards per Play: 4.74
Defense
  • Points per Game: 23.21
  • Passing Yards: 261.21
  • Rushing Yards: 129.64
  • Yards per Play: 5.57

Why Bet on Stanford?

The Cardinal finished 9-4 last year, beating Pittsburgh 14-13 in the Sun Bowl. Somewhat amazing win considering the Panthers had more yards (344-208), first downs (18-12), rushes and yards (42-208, 34-103), passing yards (136-105) and third-down conversions (5-1). And Stanford was without five key starters and just 1-for-10 on third down. Quarterback K.J. Costello saw a streak of 16 games with a TD pass end.

Stanford has to replace not only running back Bryce Love (who admittedly struggled in 2018 but nearly won the 2017 Heisman) but also receivers JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Trenton Irwin, tight end Kaden Smith and four starters on the offensive line. Love struggled with ankle issues last year, which meant Cameron Scarlett, Trevor Speights and Dorian Maddox got more time in the lineup.

Northwestern vs Stanford is going to be a close one.

Only three starters are back on offense and five on defense. Costello is one of the Pac-12’s best quarterbacks. In 2018, he roasted defensive secondaries with the deep ball, leading the nation’s active quarterbacks with 1,287 yards on deep passes, those targeted 20 or more yards downfield. Costello dominated games at times and even led the conference in passer rating as well as adjusted completion percentage when under pressure.

Stanford enters 2019 as the winningest Pac-12 program of the decade. The Cardinal have won 94 games since the start of the 2010 season. Stanford’s 102 wins in the last 10 seasons are tied for the sixth-most in college football. The Cardinal have won 11 consecutive home openers, dating back to the 2008 season. In those 11 seasons, Stanford is 107-39 (.733). Stanford is 16-0 at home under David Shaw in nonconference games. The Cardinal have won their past 21 home nonconference games, with the last loss coming in 2007 against Notre Dame. Stanford is 3-0 all-time against Northwestern at home.

Team Stats

Offense
  • Points per Game: 28.38
  • Passing Yards: 273.08
  • Rushing Yards: 107.92
  • Yards per Play: 6.13
Defense
  • Points per Game: 22.92
  • Passing Yards: 264.00
  • Rushing Yards: 146.08
  • Yards per Play: 5.66

Northwestern vs Stanford 2019 College Football Week 1 Betting Trends

  • Wildcats are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games played in August
  • Wildcats are 13-2 SU in their last 15 games played in week 1
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Northwestern’s last 7 games played on a Saturday
  • Cardinal are 12-2 SU in their last 14 games at home
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Stanford’s last 9 games against an opponent in the Big 10 conference

Expert Prediction

Northwestern 21 – Stanford 24

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