College Football Picks: Northwestern Offense to Wake Up vs. Iowa in Week 7

Steven Suarez

Monday, October 12, 2015 5:59 PM GMT

Monday, Oct. 12, 2015 5:59 PM GMT

The Wildcats received a wake-up call last weekend at the hands of Michigan, and now they face another difficult test against the Hawkeyes. Which college football picks are we adding to our tickets?

Odds Overview
After being brought back down to earth, it's going to be very interesting to see how Northwestern responds this weekend. As far as the college football odds go, the Hawkeyes actually find themselves priced out as underdogs for a second straight week, only this time it comes despite them being back at home.

As of now the lines have Iowa favored by a single point, while the total had yet to have been released. Considering both of these two defenses have been outstanding for the most part, we can expect a low opening number for Saturday's matchup.

 

Northwestern Wildcats
The Wildcats' confidence levels were bursting out of the seams after a red-hot 5-0 start, but they were taught a major lesson in a 38-0 loss to Michigan this past weekend. Obviously, Northwestern didn't even come close to covering the spread for those that backed them as underdogs.

Whenever you get shut out like that, it's hard to find any positives whatsoever. The Wildcats went down 21-0 in the first quarter and never recovered, as they mustered up just 168 yards of total offense, with both Clayton Thorson and the passing game and Justin Jackson and the run game getting stuffed. Defensively, Northwestern had their worst showing of the season by far, as they were unable to stop the Wolverines from dominating (201 yards and three TDs) on the ground.

One would think there's no place for the Wildcats to go but up after such a disheartening performance on both sides of the ball. Still, Iowa has been playing great football so far this season, so it's not going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination this Saturday.

 

Iowa Hawkeyes
After consisently proving their worth week in and week out, the Hawkeyes have risen to #17 in the AP poll. They've still yet to lose a game and have a nice road win over Wisconsin on their resume already. 

This past week, Jordan Canzeri ran wild, helping Iowa to a 29-20 win over Illinois at home. The senior running back has earned the starting role because of his stellar play, and he was incredible against the Fighting Illini, racking up 43 carries for 256 yards and a touchdown while also adding two catches for 15 yards and another score in what was a career-best performance. QB C.J. Beathard completed 15-of-31 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns (and added 29 rushing yards), while Jerminic Smith led all receivers with four catches for 118 yards.

Like Northwestern, Iowa has been relying heavily on a stout defense, as the Hawkeyes are surrendering 16.2 points per game, ranking them 18th in the nation. With both teams playing a bruising style of football, we should be on the lookout for hard-nosed, highly competitive game this weekend.

 

NCAA Football Pick
There's no denying how impressive Iowa has been this season, and it's never going to be easy going against a team that's played so well.

That being said, this sets up as a nice bounce-back spot for Northwestern. The Wildcats, now humbled after getting totally outplayed by a superior Michigan team, will return home, where they've already beaten a top-notch program in Stanford. The crowd has been a big boost for Northwestern, and we should expect more of the same this weekend.

Last week aside, these Wildcats have been terrorizing opposing offenses, and they should be able to keep Iowa relatively in check. Northwestern is still surrendering a mere 12.2 points per game, good for eighth in the nation, so we shouldn't let one letdown influence our college football picks too much. We're going to back Northwestern in this situation.

College Football Pick: Northwestern +1 at BetOnline

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2823928, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,19,93,92,238,349], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

comment here