Stanford at Northwestern NCAAF Betting PreviewWhen: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, September 5, 2015 Where: Ryan Field, Evanston, Illinois NCAA Odds: Stanford -12
Why Bet on the Northwestern WildcatsNorthwestern (5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS, 5-7 O/U) hopes to get back to a bowl game in 2015 after winning five games in each of the last two seasons. Talented redshirt freshman Clayton Thorson will take over at quarterback this season and he’ll be throwing the rock to receivers Dan Vitale and Cameron Dickerson, a pair that combined for more than 700 receiving yards and three touchdowns last season. Northwestern’s offense will revolve around talented sophomore running back Justin Jackson after watching the fleet-footed back rush for 1,187 yards and 10 touchdowns a year ago. Defensively, Northwestern will be led by linebacker Anthony Walker and safety Godwin Igwebuike. The two combined for five interceptions and a forced fumble as redshirt freshmen and both become full-time starters this season with Igwebuike joining three returning starters in the secondary including safety Traveon Henry (73 tackles).
Why Bet on the Stanford CardinalStanford (8-5 SU, 6-6-1 ATS, 3-9 O/U) enters the 2015 season looking to reach the double-digit win plateau after falling to just eight victories in 2014. The good news for the Cardinal is that they will be led blossoming signal-caller Kevin Hogan, a third-year starter that completed 65.9 percent of his passes for 2,792 yards with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions last season. Hogan’s top two targets will be receivers Devon Cajuste and Austin Hooper. The pair combined for more than 1,000 receiving yards and eight touchdowns last season while sophomore Christian McCaffrey will lead the way at running back after rushing for 300 yards as a freshman. Defensive leaders Blake Martinez returns at linebacker after recording an impressive 101 tackles last season while linemate Peter Kalambayi is back after racking up 9.5 tackles for loss.
My Expert Game Analysis, Betting Trends and PickStanford ranked in the top 10 in points allowed last season, finishing second in the nation by allowing just 16.4 points per game. The Cardinal also finished seventh in rushing defense (104.5 yards per game), eighth in passing defense (177.9 ypg) and third in total defense (282.4 yards per game). Clayton Thorson is a dual threat four-star prospect, but he’s also very inexperienced and I expect Stanford’s stout defense to take full advantage of that fact. The Cardinal are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 non-conference games while Northwestern has gone 2-8 SU and ATS in their last 10 home games. Stanford wins and narrowly covers the spread.
Over/Under Total Trends
- Under is 16-5 in Cardinal last 21 games overall.
- Under is 20-8 in Cardinal last 28 road games.
- Under is 5-0 in Wildcats last 5 games in September.
- Under is 5-1 in Wildcats last 6 non-conference games.
- Under is 19-7 in Wildcats last 26 home games.