Northwestern +8 the College Football Pick as Nebraska Won't Cover

David Lawrence

Monday, October 19, 2015 2:01 PM GMT

Monday, Oct. 19, 2015 2:01 PM GMT

The Wildcats had every reason to feel great in early October, but after getting roughed up for a 2nd straight week. Can this team bounce back against Nebraska & should the be our week 8 pick? 

Momentum
The Wildcats crumbled against Iowa at home, in a game where the winner was going to take charge in the Big Ten West. Northwestern was flattened by Iowa’s offensive line, which cleared out big holes for backup running back Akrum Wadley, who ran for over 200 yards in this game and dominated with the help of his offensive linemen. Northwestern hasn’t had a good offense this season, but its defense was supposed to be a strength. It wasn’t in this game. If the Wildcats can’t rely upon their defense, they have nothing. This team has to be able to play defense at a high level to compete well in any game it plays.

Nebraska, losing one game after another at the very end of regulation or in overtime, finally avoided late drama by pounding Minnesota. The offense clicked, and the defense made more than enough plays to create a comfortable win, one which will make everybody breathe more easily in what has been a very trying first season for Riley and a new coaching staff.

 

Line Moves
Nebraska started as an eight-point favorite, and those College Football Odds have remained in place. There really hasn’t been much time for the line to move, but since it hasn’t, it means bettors aren’t exactly flocking to Northwestern’s side. The blowout loss to Iowa at home on Saturday exposed the Wildcats’ many weaknesses on offense. Clayton Thorson is a very young and unsteady quarterback who doesn’t look ready for the spotlight. Even when Northwestern beat Stanford and Duke, Thorson didn’t play all that well. He avoided big mistakes, but Northwestern’s offense did not produce a lot of points. In the 19-10 win over Duke, Northwestern scored seven points on special teams, meaning that the offense scored 12. The offense scored 16 against Stanford, so with Nebraska beating Minnesota handily on the road, bettors are not shying away so far from an eight-point spread, which seems somewhat large.

 

Notable Injuries
Northwestern offensive lineman Adam DiPietro is out indefinitely with a leg injury. Cornerback Kyle Queiro is out indefinitely with an arm injury. Wide receiver Flynn Nagel is out indefinitely with an arm injury. Wide receiver Austin Carr is questionable with an undisclosed condition. Cornerback Matthew Harris is out indefinitely with a facial injury.

Nebraska has linebacker Chris Weber listed as questionable for this game with a neck injury. Offensive lineman Nick Gates is questionable with an ankle injury. Tight end David Sutton is expected to miss eight weeks. Defensive end Jack Gangwish is expected to miss three weeks. Defensive lineman Kevin Williams is out indefinitely with an undisclosed condition. Defensive lineman Kevin Maurice is out indefinitely with a foot injury. Linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey is likely out for this game with a groin injury.

 

Handicapping The Game
The Wildcats are too offensively limited to win this game outright, but their defense should be a lot better and will keep this game close. Nebraska will win by six points, so take Northwestern on the spread for your College Football Picks.

College Football Pick: Northwestern +8 at Pinnacle.

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