Free NCAA Football Prediction: Spartans vs. Wildcats Odds
Looking for Michigan State Spartans vs. Northwestern Wildcats free picks? College football betting sees the Spartans taking on the Wildcats on Friday, September at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football game Week 1 predictions like this Michigan State Northwestern free pick.
College Football Handicapping Analysis: Week 1
Michigan State Spartans vs. Northwestern Wildcats
Date: Friday, September 3, 2021
Time: 9:00 pm EST
Venue: Ryan Field
NCAA Football ATS Spread Odds: Spartans +3, Wildcats -3
NCAA Football Moneyline Odds: Michigan State +131 | Northwestern -157
NCAA Betting Total Odds: O/U 45
Year 1 at Michigan State did not go so well for coach Mel Tucker. He is hoping for more success in Year 2 but the outlook is not looking great.
Last year Northwestern did another one their crazy outperform expectation jobs. Does that mean they have to crash down to earth this season?
I feel like Northwestern is definitely one of those teams you don’t want to play in Week 1. You know they are going to be ready to go.
Michigan State Spartans
MSU is looking for more consistency this season. QB Rocky Lombardi transferred out and Anthony Russo has transferred in. Russo has lots of experience from Temple and will be much better in protecting the ball.
Michigan State has to find a way to put more points on the board this season. They averaged 18ppg a year ago, which was last in the Big Ten.
The Spartans were also last in the conference in points allowed. That must have killed Tucker, who oversaw some very stingy defenses when he was at Georgia.
A better offense will help the defense out too. There is a lot of room for improvement from last year, that is for sure.
Northwestern had one of the stingiest defenses in the country last season and they rode it all the way to a Western Division title. They were 1st in the Big Ten in points allowed and 5th nationally.
They only return 4 starters on defense though so it is going to be a challenge for them to be as sturdy as they were a season ago.
That means they need more from their offense. They are once again going to be relying on a transfers QB at quarterback. Peyton Ramsey was solid for them last year but they have not always had luck there.
The job looks like it will be Ryan Hilinski’s. The former South Caroline QB has they physical tools to be effective but sometimes the coaching has got in the way too.
Michigan State was one of only 2 teams to beat Northwestern a year ago. I wouldn’t call is a major revenge spot but there could be a little more juice there.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Michigan State’s last 5 games when playing Northwestern
- Michigan State is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Northwestern
- Northwestern is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games at home
- Northwestern is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Free Week 1 NCAA Football Pick
This one is a tough call with the spread telling us there is not much of a gap between the two programs right now. I think you have to go with the homeside.
4* Free Week 1 NCAA Betting Pick: Northwestern -3
There are definitely better value plays on the board this week but taking Northwestern at home in the first game of the season is a bet on their preparedness.I can get behind that even though there are question marks.
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