College Football Week 6 Predictions: Wisconsin Badgers vs. Northwestern Wildcats

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Northwestern Wildcats
Saturday, 10/4/14, 3:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Wisconsin -9.5
Current Betting Line:  Wisconsin -7.5
Opening Total:  47
Current Total:  47
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Wisconsin Badgers have ran for 250 or more yards in three of their four games in 2014
The Wisconsin Badgers have ran for 250 or more yards in three of their four games in 2014

Wisconsin is riding a three-game win streak as it prepares to open its 119th season of Big Ten Conference play, while it also looks to capture its third consecutive meeting in this particular series.  The Badgers are led by Heisman Trophy candidate Melvin Gordon, as he ranks fifth nationally in averaging 153.0 rushing yards per game, which can’t be ignored when making your Week 6 college football predictions.  He needs just 60 yards to become the 11th 3,000-yard rusher in school history.  Wisconsin is 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS as road favorites the last two-plus seasons, with no clear edge in terms of the betting total (3-3 Over/Under).

The Badgers lead the Big Ten in both scoring defense and total defense, which is important to consider when looking over the college football odds page, as senior linebacker Derek Landisch leads that group in racking up 1.5 tackles for loss per game and has three sacks.  Wisconsin has rushed for at least 250 yards in three of its first four games, while it paces the country in averaging 7.04 yards per rushing attempt.

Northwestern has won back-to-back games, including a 29-6 victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions as 10.5-point road underdogs in its conference opener last Saturday, while going UNDER the betting total for a fourth consecutive contest.  The Wildcats rank third in the Big Ten and 19th nationally in giving up just 16.8 points per game—caused by holding opponents to single-digit scoring totals in consecutive games for the first time since 2008.  Northwestern is 7-4 SU and 9-2 ATS in its last 11 opportunities as home underdogs of 7.5 to 10 points.

The Wildcats need a big game out of quarterback Trevor Siemian, who has just two touchdown passes on the season, and none in the past two games.  He was sacked five times and connected on just 13 of 34 pass attempts for 163 yards against the Badgers a year ago.  Siemian will be looking to target tight end Dan Vitale in the middle of the field, who enters with 18 catches for 216 yards.

Sports bettors will likely back the Badgers due to their 5-1 SUATS mark in October the last two-plus seasons.

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