College Football Week 2 Picks: Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Northwestern Wildcats

Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Northwestern Wildcats
Saturday, 9/6/14, 3:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Northwestern -5.5
Current Betting Line:  Northwestern -7
Opening Total:  57.5
Current Total:  58
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Northwestern Wildcats have won their last 10 games versus MAC opponents
The Northwestern Wildcats have won their last 10 games versus MAC opponents

Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey named redshirt junior Matt McIntosh the starting quarterback at his weekly press conference, which is important to consider when making your college football picks, as he completed 10 of 14 passes for 87 yards and one touchdown in the team’s 55-3 season-opening win over Presbyterian last week.  The Huskies are 4-3 versus teams from the Big Ten Conference since Sept. 19, 2009, and they recorded two such wins a year ago.  Northern Illinois is 2-3 SU and 3-2 ATS as underdogs the last two-plus seasons.

The Huskies spent 11 weeks in the Top 25 in at least one poll in 2013, with 16 starters returning from that squad this season.  Since the start of the 2010 campaign, only the Oregon Ducks have won more games than Northern Illinois.  The program will be meeting Northwestern for the eighth time, as it has compiled a 0-6-1 record in the series.  It’s also important to point out that the squad has rattled off 24 consecutive regular season victories since a 18-17 loss to Iowa on Sept. 1, 2012.

Northwestern enters Saturday’s matchup carrying a 10-game winning streak against MAC opponents, with the most recent victory coming against Western Michigan last September.  The Wildcats are looking to begin a new streak of home non-conference victories after seeing their string of 16 straight such wins come to an end last Saturday against California.  Fans of the team are likely to see a true freshman carrying the ball in this matchup, as both Justin Jackson and Solomon Vault earned carries in their first career outings in Evanston last week.  Northwestern is 2-0 SUATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 7 points since 2012.

The Wildcats were the only FBS team in the country to be assessed zero pentaly yards in their season opener, which has a lot to do with head coach Pat Fitzgerald retaining his entire staff for a third straight offseason.  Northwestern has played in three overtime games the last two years as well as a total of 12 one-possession contests in that time frame.

Sports bettors will likely back the Huskies due to the Wildcats being 0-5 ATS in their last five meetings against MAC foes.

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