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Northwestern Wildcats 2013 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2013-14 Football Previews – (Big 10) – Wildcats

Isn’t it about time that Pat Fitzgerald starts getting recognized as one of the best coaches in the country? Northwestern isn’t an easy job to get top notch recruits, so Fitzgerald had to start off winning games with far less talent than almost any other team in the Big Ten.

The Northwestern program has evolved nicely through numerous upgrades, especially at workout facilities. Now, the Wildcats are starting to be a much more formidable force in recruiting. It’s an ominous sign for the rest of the Big Ten.

Big 10 Conference 2012-2013 College Football Previews: Northwestern Wildcats (Team Link)
Head Coach: Pat Fitzgerald
2012 Record: 10-3
Northwestern Gambling Odds to win BCS Championship: +15,000
Northwestern Gambling Odds to win Big 10 Legends Division: +260
Northwestern Gambling Odds to win Big 10 Conference: +600

The Wildcats went 10-3 last year, and they didn’t do it by simply beating teams that they shouldn’t have beaten. Northwestern was in every single game, and the Wildcats had some of the best athletes on the field at all times. Last year was the program’s best season since Fitzgerald has been the coach here, and it seemed like a major turning point. After all, very narrow losses to Michigan and Nebraska were all that kept this team from winning the Legends Division last season. How will they back it up in 2013?

Team Strengths:

Who else in the Big Ten can boast of two amazing play makers in the backfield like Northwestern can? Kain Colter is a quarterback who knows the system extremely well now, and he is capable of making some great plays with his feet. Venric Mark is an amazing running back and an even better kick and punt returner. Mark is capable of taking it the distance every time he touches. The athleticism in this backfield is tremendous.

Northwestern’s strong defense starts with an impressive defensive line. The Wildcats can really get after the opposing quarterback. Tyler Scott is one of the best pass rushing defensive ends in the conference. Ifeadi Odenigbo was a highly touted recruit last year, and don’t be surprised if he breaks out with a big season.

The Wildcats are loaded with talent at linebacker. Senior Damion Probey is the best of the bunch, but he has plenty of help. Chi Chi Ariguzo is one of the most athletic linebackers in the league. This unit is going to be very solid all year long. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Team Weaknesses:

Northwestern must replace three key starters on the offensive line. The Wildcats allowed the fewest sacks in the Big Ten last year, but they’ll probably slip quite a bit in that category this season. This group doesn’t have to be awesome, but they have to be adequate enough to let the play makers in the backfield do their work.

The Wildcats have a good defense overall, but the secondary is an area of concern. When the Wildcats lost close games last year it was because their secondary was beaten in key situations. Michigan completed a 53 yard pass in the final seconds to beat the Wildcats in a game they should have won. Penn State’s Matt McGloin also chewed up this secondary in the fourth quarter last year. This unit will have to step up in 2013.

2013-2014 Northwestern Football Prediction: 10-3

I really like what Pat Fitzgerald is doing in Evanston. This team arguably has the toughest schedule of anyone in the Legends Division this year, but I still think they can get to nine or ten wins once again. They host Ohio State at home to start Big Ten Conference action. They will then go to Wisconsin the following week. As long as the offensive front holds its own this year, this team is going to be very dangerous.

2013 Northwestern Schedule

8/31/13 10:30 PM ET @CAL
9/7/13 6:00 PM ET SYR
9/14/13 9:00 PM ET WMICH
9/21/13 TBD MAINE
10/5/13 8:00 PM ET OHIST
10/12/13 3:30 PM ET @WISC
10/19/13 TBD MINN
10/26/13 TBD @IOWA
11/2/13 TBD @NEB
11/16/13 TBD MICH
11/23/13 TBD MCHST
11/30/13 TBD @ILL

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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.