Big Ten Football Odds: Penn State Nittany Lions at (21) Northwestern Wildcats

christian hackenberg-penn-state-2014Penn St- (21) Northwestern
Time: NOON EDT
Spread: NW -2
Total: 41

Betting odds c/o Bovada

Northwestern is slotted No. 21 in the AP rankings and is 6-2 this season with a 2-2 record in Big Ten play. The Wildcats will play host to Penn State Saturday in a game NCAA football oddsmakers are setting 2-points in favor of Northwestern.

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Last week Northwestern knocked off Nebraska 30-28 to snap a two game losing streak that saw the team lose to then-No. 18 Michigan and then-No. 17 Iowa. The Wildcats won the contest over the Cornhuskers by a 37-yard TD pass to Dan Vitale and a field goal from Jack Mitchell. Clayton Thorson threw 13 of 28 for 177 yards with a TD but no picks. He also rushed for 126 yards on nine attempts with a rushing TD.

RB Justin Jackson was not as successful, managing just 40 yards on 14 carries, with no run exceeding eight yards. Vitale caught five passes for 55 yards, while Jackson came from the backfield to catch two passes for 55 yards. Nick VanHoose came up with an interception in the game.

PSU is riding a two-game win streak since losing to Ohio State three weeks ago. It has knocked off Maryland and Illinois but faces a much tougher test this week with Northwestern.

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Last week, though, it blanked Illinois 38-0. QB Christian Hackenberg threw 21 of 29 for 266 yards with two TDs and no picks. In the backfield Saquon Barkley rushed for 84 yards on 20 carries with a TD, and WR Chris Godwin caught seven passes for 76 yards and a TD.

Troy Reeder caught an interception and Koa Farmer returned a kick for 57 yards. It was a dominant performance by the Wildcats who looked great defensively in holding Fighting Illini QB Wes Lunt to 129 yards on 16 of 37 passing. Illinois backfield was consistently thwarted and had just 37 yards on 27 carries.

Hackenberg is now 128 of 235 passing on the season (54.5 percent) for 1,787 yards with 13 TD passes and just two INTs. His passer rating is 134.9. Barkley has 716 yards on the season and is averaging 6.6 yards per carry with five TDs on the year. No. 2 back Akeel Lynch has 278 yards on 54 carries (5.1 yards per) with a pair of TDs.

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RECENT TRENDS
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Penn State
Nittany Lions are 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games.
Under is 4-0 in Nittany Lions last 4 games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game.
Under is 4-0 in Nittany Lions last 4 vs. a team with a winning record.

Northwestern
Wildcats are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a bye week.
Over is 5-1 in Wildcats last 6 games in November.
Over is 5-1 in Wildcats last 6 conference games.

Head to Head
Favorite is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
Nittany Lions are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Northwestern.

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