North Western Will Tune up the Volume Against Kentucky in the Music City Bowl

music city bowl

Justin Hilbert

Saturday, December 16, 2017 1:03 PM GMT

Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017 1:03 PM GMT

The halfway point of a busy Friday, Dec. 29th of five bowl battles is the Music City Bowl. From the SEC is Kentucky and from the Big Ten is Northwestern, in a contest with the lowest total of the day.

Free College Football Picks - Northwestern -7
Best Lines are Available at Pinnacle (-106)
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When last checking the college football odds, the total on this tilt was 51 points and Northwestern was a touchdown favorite. In this bowl tilt, the underdog has taken 11 of the past 19, but is just 1-4 ATS in the last five years.

This encounter will be on ESPN at 4:30 EST.

Kentucky Preview

Kentucky (7-5) has been a bettors nightmare for Big Blue supporters at 3-9 ATS for the season, covering just once in eight tries since the end of September. The biggest drag on these Wildcats was the defense. After generating 15 turnovers in the first half of the season, Kentucky only had five more the rest of the year, including four games with none. The run defense was shredded for 227.1 yards a contest in their last half dozen starts and in the two games they held opponents under 100 yards rushing, they were torched for 690 yards passing. Kentucky averaged only 25.1 PPG and prefers to run and mix in the short passing game. There scoring output was similar to ranking 103rd in total offense.

Northwestern Preview

Contrast the Blue Wildcats to the Purple 'Cats, who enter this bowler on a 7-0 SU ATS streak. Northwestern (9-3) looked lost to start the season for a squad that was supposed to give Wisconsin a challenge in the Big Ten West. These northern Wildcats were 2-3 SU and ATS after being blasted by Penn State, but found offense against Maryland and defense versus Iowa and were on their way. As it turned out, this was the kind of team coach Pat Fitzgerald expected, one that could move the chains running or passing. The defense ending up limiting foes to just 19.8 PPG and finished 9th in the country in run defense.

Music City Bowl Outcome

In looking at this confrontation of Wildcats for college football picks, there will be contrarian thinkers who believe both teams will do an about face in this bowl. I will not be among them. Kentucky was an ordinary team and that is mostly what Northwestern handled during their seven-game winning and spread streak. Coach Fitzgerald's squad also has sizable differences on offense and defense. With Northwestern 8-1 ATS after scoring 37 points or more in last game and Kentucky 3-11 ATS after allowing 42 points or more, it's the crew from Evanston by 14.

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