College Football Picks: Minnesota vs. Northwestern

Joe Freda

Monday, October 14, 2013 3:34 PM GMT

Saturday’s college football betting has Pat Fitzgerald's Northwestern Wildcats hosting the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Ryan Field, in Evanston, IL. Kick for this match is scheduled for 12 p.m noon ET on Saturday.

The Northwestern Wildcats have dropped two straight matchups, while logging a 0-4 spread record over their past month of action. Minnesota, on the other hand, have seen the ‘Over’ cash at 2-0 in their pair of road spots. What do the college football odds tell us about this game?

Wildcats crushed in Madison

Northwestern’s latest defeat came in last weekend’s 35-6 spanking as an 11-point road dog against the Wisconsin Badgers, who cashed as ‘chalk’ for my followers. The Wildcats were held to 241 total yards, controlling the ball for a sparse 22 minutes of possession.

Wildcats quarterbacks Kain Coulter and Trevor Siemian combined to connect 17-of-39 strikes, while struggling on third downs with a 2-for-17 conversion clip. Northwestern’s Rashad Lawrence and Christian Jones logged four catches each, uniting for 116 receiving yards.

Northwestern’s defense gave up 286 rushing yards, including a 71-yard touchdown dash from Badgers running back Melvin Gordon. Wildcats mates Ibraheim Campbell and Jimmy Hall grabbed one interception each, while the lopsided affair’s 41 points dipped ‘Under’ the total of 58.5.

Gophers return from slide

Minnesota last saw action on October 5th, with a 42-13 loss as an 18.5-point road dog to the Michigan Wolverines. The Golden Gophers were outscored in the second half, 28-6, capped off by a late “pick six” from quarterback Mitch Leidner.

Leidner found tight end Maxx Williams for his side’s sole touchdown, completing 14-of-21 passes for 145 yards. The freshman added a team-high 66 rushing yards under center, while moving the chains for 16 first downs in 34 minutes of possession.

The contest’s combined 55 points jumped ‘Over’ the ‘total’ of 50.5, with Minnesota’s defense allowing the Wolverines to convert 10-of-13 third downs. Golden Gophers placekicker Chris Hawthorne went 2-for-2 with field goals, moving to a perfect 5-for-5 away from home.

Back the ‘Under’ in Evanston

Northwestern enters Saturday’s duel with its share of injuries, including quarterback Kain Coulter and running back Venric Mark being listed as “questionable.” The weather forecast in Evanston calls for 49 degrees, with 10 mph winds and a 20 percent chance of rain.

I am backing the ‘Under’ here, looking for a tight contest as part of Saturday’s sports picks.

Northwestern has seen the ‘Under’ cash at 2-1 in its three home battles against unranked foes, allowing 21.7 PPG. Wildcats defensive mates Tyler Scott and Ibraheim Campbell lead the Big Ten Conference in sacks and interceptions, respectively, with four each.

Minnesota’s octane dropped once entering conference play, with its squad held to 10 PPG in its last two affairs. The ‘Under’ is 3-1-1 in the Golden Gophers’ last five matchups against Big Ten foes, while collecting at 2-0 in the team’s latest pair of battles with Northwestern.

Northwestern should look to bounce back in a stingy effort here, with the ‘Under’ cashing at 5-0 after its last five defeats. For your college football picks, look for the Wildcats’ defense to hold serve on Ryan Field’s grass, adding another winning ticket for ‘Under’ backers in the wager’s 11-4 mark through their last 15 home dates.

[gameodds]6/247117/?r3=43-349-192-19-999997-118-238-227/us&r-1=43-349-192-19/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Bet the Minnesota/Northwestern game to go UNDER at Bet365

(Totals for this week's games haven't gone into full release yet, so make sure you shop around before placing your wagers)

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