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Northwestern 2015 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2015-2016 Football Previews (Big Ten)- Wildcats

Northwestern battled through a bunch of injuries and finished a disappointing 5-7 last year. The Wildcats have finished with a sub .500 record in three of the past four seasons.

NCAA Football Gambling Lines

Big 10 Lines

Big Ten 2015-2016 College Football Preview – Northwestern Wildcats
Head Coach: Pat Fitzgerald
2014 Record: 5-7
Odds to Win College Football Championship (from BetOnline): +25,000
Odds to win Big Ten (from BetOnline): +8,000
Season Win Total (from 5Dimes): 6

It looked like Pat Fitzgerald had this team ready to turn the corner, but they haven’t been able to do it. Will things improve this year in Evanston?

Both of the last two seasons, Northwestern has been one of the most injured teams in the nation. If this team can stay healthy, they’ll have a chance to improve. Still, they have lost some key pieces from last year’s team.

The Wildcats are usually at a talent disadvantage against most opponents in the Big Ten, and that is definitely the case again this year.

Team Strengths:

The single biggest strength of this team is clear and that is the running back position. Justin Jackson averaged 4.8 yards per carry despite running behind an offensive line that wasn’t good.

Jackson has all the strength and shiftiness necessary to be an excellent back. He’s also a good pass catcher out of the backfield. Warren Long and Solomon Vault provide some quality depth at this spot also.

Northwestern’s secondary should be good. The Wildcats return seven of their top eight in the secondary and they’ll also get a nice boost from redshirt freshman Parrker Westphal. Nick VanHoose is one of the best cover corners in the Big Ten.

The defensive line should be very good. Greg Kuhar is a 310 pound defensive tackle who does a great job clogging up the running lanes. While Northwestern has some issues with depth at other positions, depth is a major strength on the defensive line. Seven of their top eight on the line return from last year.

Team Weaknesses

You have to start at quarterback. Clayton Thorson and Zack Oliver are doing battle for the starting job.

MyBookie

Thorson has the higher upside, so I’m going to assume he earns most of the playing time, but he still has to learn the offense. Thorson will have to prove he can be consistent enough in the passing game. I don’t expect too much from this spot in 2015.

Chi Chi Aruguzo was the heart and soul of the defense last year, and this year’s group of linebackers are going to be much weaker with him gone. Jimmy Hall was another sure tackler who is gone from last year. Northwestern will be asking a bunch of inexperienced guys to jump right in and produce in this unit.

Northwestern’s special teams unit was the worst in the Big Ten last year. There is no real reason to expect them to be much better this year either. This is a facet of the game that can be overlooked by many, but it could cost them several close contests.

Northwestern Wildcats 2015-2016 Prediction: 6-7

Northwestern doesn’t look to have enough talent to get above the .500 mark. Their schedule is easier than most inside the Big Ten, but they host Stanford in a very tough non-conference opener.

Fitzgerald is a good coach, but the talent gap between the Wildcats and the top of the Big Ten is too much to overcome.

Northwestern Wildcats 2015 College Football Schedule

Regular Season
Date Time vs
9/5/15 TBD STAN
9/12/15 TBD EIU
9/19/15 12:30 PM ET @DUKE
9/26/15 8:00 PM ET BALL
10/3/15 TBD MINN
10/10/15 3:30 PM ET @MICH
10/17/15 12:00 PM ET IOWA
10/24/15 TBD @NEB
11/7/15 TBD PSU
11/14/15 TBD PUR
11/21/15 TBD @WIS
11/28/15 TBD @ILL

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