College Football Betting - Iowa vs. Northwestern Week 5 Predictions & Free Picks

Iowa Hawkeyes Player Celebrates

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 6:47 PM GMT

It's a potentially important game in the Big Ten West Division with a noon kickoff from Iowa City on Saturday as defending division champion Iowa hosts Northwestern. The Hawkeyes are -13 on college football odds with a total of 43.5.

Wildcats Underachieving Thus Far
Northwestern (1-3, 0-1 Big Ten) was expected to be contender in the West Division this year but had embarrassing home losses to Western Michigan and Illinois State to open the season. The Wildcats then closed out their non-conference slate with a win over Duke but lost 24-13 at home to No. 20 Nebraska last week to open Big Ten play.

This was not a good offensive team last year and little has changed. Receiver Austin Carr has been one bright spot on that unit. He had eight catches for 109 yards and a TD vs. the Cornhuskers and leads the Big Ten with 28 catches for 392 yards. He's the first Wildcat with a TD catch in three straight games in five years. The defense was excellent in 2015 but was destroyed by Nebraska for 556 yards of offense, including a whopping 310 on the ground. The Huskers lost two fumbles or the score would have been worse.

Recurring theme this year, Coach Pat Fitzgerald said after the loss to the media. We beat ourselves. Too many self-inflicted wounds. Holding calls. Missed field goals. Missed extra points. Bad eyes. Bad tackling. I'm really disappointed.

NU could have a new kicker for its first road game of the year after Jack Mitchell missed a point-after try and a 27-yard field goal attempt against Nebraska. Matt Micucci could take over Saturday depending on the week of practice.

The Wildcats are 1-3 ATS on college football odds and 0-4 O/U.

 

Hawkeyes Lose Top Receiver
Iowa (3-1, 1-0) fell out of the polls following a 23-21 home loss to FCS powerhouse North Dakota State on Sept. 17. The Hawkeyes opened Big Ten play last week at  Rutgers and didn't play well in a 14-7 ugly win. Akrum Wadley scored the winning 26-yard touchdown run with 8:35 left and the Iowa defense made it stand up. Rutgers actually outgained Iowa 383-355. Frankly, Iowa's best player was punter Ron Coluzzi, who was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week.

It was the Hawkeyes' ninth straight regular-season conference win and seventh straight Big Ten victory on the road. Senior QB C.J. Beathard has yet to lose a Big Ten regular-season game in his career. Against Rutgers, he led a fourth-quarter game-winning drive for the fourth time in his career.

The Hawkeyes did lose a key player to injury against Rutgers as receiver Matt VandeBerg broke his foot and will miss several weeks, perhaps the rest of the regular season. He leads the Hawkeyes in receptions (19), receiving yards (284) and receiving touchdowns (three) and led the team with 65 catches for 703 yards in 2015.

This is Homecoming for Iowa, which is 13-3 in those games this century. Against Northwestern, Iowa has won four of the last five meetings, including a 40-10 rout last year in Evanston when both teams were ranked. Wadley ran for 204 yards and tied a school record with four rushing touchdowns. Iowa had 492 yards, while the Wildcats had just 198 yards and three turnovers. The Hawkeyes also have won three straight at home in the series.

Iowa is 1-3 ATS on college football picks and 1-3 O/U.

 

NCAAF Free Picks: 'Under' for sure and give the points while it's under two touchdowns. The 'under' is 4-0 in NU's past four in the Big Ten and 4-0 in Iowa's past four after a win. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings. 

Remember to drop by SBR's list of the best-ranked bonuses, and find out which of the top sportsbooks is offering the top rated sportsbooks.

 

Free College Football Pick: Under 43.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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