College Football Week 5 Picks: Northwestern Wildcats vs. Penn State Nittany Lions

Northwestern Wildcats vs. Penn State Nittany Lions
Saturday, 9/27/14, 12:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Penn State -10
Current Betting Line:  Penn State -11
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Penn State Nittany Lions are 5-0 ATS in their last five games against the Northwestern Wildcats
The Penn State Nittany Lions are 5-0 ATS in their last five games against the Northwestern Wildcats

Northwestern snapped its two-game losing streak in picking up a 24-7 win over Western Illinois as 25.5-point home favorites last Saturday, while losing the statistical battle and going UNDER the total for the third time in as many opportunities this season.  The Wildcats have yet to defeat the Nittany Lions under head coach Pat Fitzgerald, which is important to consider when making your Week 5 college football picks, but he has won both head-to-head matchups with James Franklin.  Northwestern is 3-8 SU and 6-5 ATS as underdogs the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 7-4 in that situation.

The Wildcats have one of the best defensive playmakers in the Big Ten Conference with  end Ifeadi Odenigbo, who forced three fumbles last week and tallied two sacks.  Northwestern is also getting solid production from true freshman tailbacks Justin Jackson and Solomon Vault, who are averaging a combined 4.53 yards per attempt on the ground.

Penn State is 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in its first four games under former Vanderbilt Commodores head coach James Franklin, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college football odds page.  The Nittany Lions lead the nation in allowing opponents to average just 11.0 points per game, while they limited UMass to just three years rushing on 28 carries in last week’s 48-27 victory as 27-point home favorites.  Penn State is 8-3 SUATS in September since 2012, with the UNDER going 7-4 in those 11 opportunities.

The Nittany Lions are 68-21-5 SU all-time in Homecoming games, with wins in eight of their last nine contests in front of the alumni crowd.  Penn State’s offense has the ability to put up points quickly with sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg under center, as he’s completed 91 of 150 passes for 1,261 yards and four touchdowns with five interceptions.

Sports bettors will likely back the Nittany Lions due to their 5-0 ATS mark in the last five meetings in this series.

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