College Football Week 6 Predictions: Northwestern Wildcats vs. Penn State Nittany Lions
Northwestern Wildcats at Penn State Nittany Lions
Saturday, 10/8/12, 12:00 PM EST, TV: ESPN
Opening Point Spread: Penn State -4
Current Betting Line: Penn State -3
Opening Total: 47
Current Total: 49
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Northwestern is set to hit the road for the first time since its season opener on Sept. 1, as it debuted in the national rankings this week, which was caused due to the program’s third 5-0 start in the last five years. The Wildcats are coming off a 44-29 win over the Indiana Hoosiers as 12.5-point home favorites, as they racked up a school record 704 total yards on offense. “I thought we had a good plan,” commented Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald. Quarterback Kain Colter continues to impress as a playmaker, finishing with 294 all-purpose yards. Northwestern is 2-7 ATS in October the last two-plus years, with the “over” going 7-2 in those contests.
The Wildcats are aiming for their first 6-0 start since the 1962 season, which is certainly possible with their 15-8 record in true road games since 2008. Northwestern’s 394 rushing yards against Indiana was the school’s highest total since 2003, as it ranks second in the Big Ten Conference and ninth nationally in averaging 255.8 yards per game on the ground. The program will be focused on snapping a five-game losing streak in this series, considering its held a half-time lead in the last three meetings.
Penn State brings a three-game win streak into its Big Ten home opener and 93rd Homecoming game, as it comes off a convincing 35-7 victory over the Illinois Fighting Illini as three-point road underdogs. “It was an intense environment,” stated Nittany Lions senior linebacker Michael Mauti. “Our pregame locker room is always intense.” There’s no doubt that the defense will need to continue creating turnovers, as it has 11 takeaways on the season. Penn State is 4-9 ATS when playing a team with a winning record.
The Nittany Lions got a solid performance out of quarterback Matt McGloin in his last outing, completing 18 of 30 passes for 211 yards and three touchdowns. Penn State has been starting fast this season, outscoring opponents by a sizable 49-0 margin in the first quarter. The team is tied with Iowa for the No. 1 spot in the conference with a plus-1.40 turnover margin.
Sports bettors will likely play the total in this contest, as the OVER is 4-1 in the last five meetings in this series.
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