Notre Dame vs. Northwestern College Football Pick Betting Odds

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Notre Dame

at

Northwestern

College Football

Pick

Betting Odds

11/3/18

Notre Dame is planning to continue its run to the College Football Playoff and while this Game may look easy from the outside, it’s far from it. Northwestern is suddenly the favorite to win the Big Ten West and a real threat to the Irish’s undefeated record. Still, the Fighting Irish opened as -8 point road favorites with an over/under of 53.5 at YOUWAGER Sportsbook.

Northwestern continues to play to the level of competition, almost beating Michigan and then taking down Michigan State by 10 points and Wisconsin by 14. The Wildcats also beat Nebraska and Rutgers, but those came by a combined six points. As for Notre Dame, it’s been a mixed bag of results from barely getting past teams early in the season with Brandon Wimbush at quarterback, to blowing everyone out but Pittsburgh with Ian Book. This is still just its third true road Game and Northwestern is never an easy place to play.

The Wildcats are finding ways to win even though none of their offensive numbers stand out. Quarterback Clayton Thorson has just 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on 6.52 yards per attempt, while running back Isaiah Bowser has come on the last couple Games with back-to-back 100-yard outings. Similar to the Wisconsin win, Bowser is going to be fed the ball around 30 times in order to control the Game, and playing at home, that could work. 

Notre Dame’s defense isn’t elite according to the numbers, allowing 146 rushing yards per contest and if the Wildcats continue to move the ball with Bowser, that should keep this Game close. It wouldn’t be surprising if it went similar to the Michigan Game for Northwestern, as it battled defensively, but just didn’t have enough to keep the Wolverines off the scoreboard.

That could be the issue again because Northwestern hasn’t seen many good offenses on its winning streak. Book is rolling with the Irish, completing 76.5% of his passes for 13 touchdowns and 8.71 yards per attempt. While he’s thrown an interception in each of the last three Games, he’s completed more than 80 percent of his passes in the last two. It’s hard to see that happening against this defense and the same goes for the running Game that’s averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Dexter Williams has been great at 6.9 ypc, but he struggled against Pitt and while Jafar Armstrong is back from injury, he’s not the running back to worry about. The Wildcats are also allowing 146 rushing yards per Game and they’ll likely focus on that first before trying to take down Book.

Northwestern already battled Michigan in a 20-17 loss and this has the makings of another close Game. The Fighting Irish are 4-1 ATS in their last five overall and 4-0 ATS in their last Four on the road. The Wildcats are 1-5 ATS in their last six in non-Conference play. These teams last played in 2014 so there are no relevant trends between them.

Our Pick – Northwestern +8.5