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Northwestern Wildcats 2014 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2014-15 Football Previews – (Big 10) – Wildcats

Northwestern was unbeaten and ranked 16th in the nation heading into their home contest against Ohio State last year. They ended up losing in heartbreaking fashion despite playing very well, and after that loss Northwestern’s season would never be the same.

Big Ten 2014-2015 College Football Preview – Northwestern Wildcats (Link)
Head Coach: Pat Fitzgerald
2013 Record: 5-7
Northwestern Odds to win the National Championship: +30,000
Season Win Total: 6.5

The Wildcats lost seven consecutive games before winning their season finale. It was a year of so many close misses for the Wildcats. It’s a year I’m sure they’d like to forget.

I’m a big believer in Pat Fitzgerald and his system. Despite their lack of success on the field last year, the Wildcats are returning a ton of talented starters. Northwestern returns 9 starts on offense and 8 starters on defense.

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They lost just 14 letterwinners from last season. No one in the Big Ten returns more. This team is going to come prepared for this season, and I think they are flying under the radar too much right now.

Let’s take a closer look at this team.

Team Strengths:

Venric Mark was never healthy last year, but he will be ready for this season. When healthy, Mark is one of the most dangerous players in the nation. Mark is an excellent runner and he also excels at catching passes out of the backfield. In addition, he is arguably the best kick returner in the nation. Northwestern will be a much better team if Mark can stay healthy in 2014. Justin Jackson is also a future star at the running back position.

Northwestern’s group of wide receivers is as deep as they have been in a very long time. Tony Jones, Christian Jones, Kyle Prater, and Miles Shuler should form one of the best groups of pass catchers in the Big Ten. Keep in mind that Northwestern returns passing quarterback Trevor Siemian too, so the Wildcats should have a great passing attack.

It hasn’t been a strength in the past, but the Wildcats secondary should be a strength this season. Northwestern returns four very good starters in the secondary, and I expect this group to be much improved. Daniel Jones missed all of last year with an injury and he’s back in the fold as well. The team returns six secondary players with a wealth of experience.

Team Weaknesses:

Northwestern’s defensive line wasn’t particularly strong last year, and they lost their star from that group when Tyler Scott graduated after last season. This group lacks a strong run stuffer or a great pass rusher. The defensive front is also one of the few areas where I would consider Northwestern to be short on depth.
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Northwestern lacks a leader at linebacker as well. The Wildcats don’t have that guy who gets into the backfield and worries the opposing quarterback. This is a group of guys who are a little less athletic and skilled than the average Big Ten linebackers. Pat Fitzgerald and his coaching staff know how to coach this position, but will that be enough?

2014-2015 Northwestern Football Prediction: 8-5

I expect a significant jump in Northwestern’s win total from last year.

The Wildcats are one of my favorite season win total “overs” this year. Pat Fitzgerald is a terrific coach, and this team is going to come into the season with a chip on their shoulder trying to prove last year was a fluke.

They were so close in so many games a year ago, and the Big Ten isn’t particularly strong this year. Look for them to bounce back big this year.

I see a minimum of eight wins for Northwestern.

Northwestern Football Schedule

  • 8/30/14 TBD CAL
  • 9/6/14 TBD NIU
  • 9/20/14 TBD WIU
  • 9/27/14 TBD @PSU
  • 10/4/14 TBD WIS
  • 10/11/14 TBD @MINN
  • 10/18/14 7:30 PM ET NEB
  • 11/1/14 TBD @IOWA
  • 11/8/14 TBD MICH
  • 11/15/14 3:30 PM ET @ND
  • 11/22/14 TBD @PUR
  • 11/29/14 TBD ILL

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About Kyle Hunter

Kyle Hunter sports picks – A degree in finance and a great ability to follow important trends and statistics set him apart from the rest. Totals are Kyle's specialty, so look for a lot of totals picks from NBA, NCAAF, & the NFL. Check out his plays today.


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