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Stanford vs. Northwestern - 9/5/15 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Northwestern vs. Stanford

College Football: Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 12:00 pm (Ryan Field)

The Line: Northwestern +12 -- Over/Under: 45 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Stanford Cardinal and Northwestern Wildcats play Saturday afternoon at Ryan Field.

The Stanford Cardinal hope to reach a bowl game for a seventh straight season and have won 19 games the last two years. Kevin Hogan completed 65.9 percent of his passes for 2,792 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Devon Cajuste and Austin Hooper combined for more than 1,000 receiving yards and eight touchdowns while Michael Rector had 24 receptions as a junior. Christian McCaffrey will lead the way at running back after rushing for 300 yards as a freshman. Defensively, Blake Martinez returns at linebacker after racking up 101 tackles, Peter Kalambayi had 9.5 tackles for loss and Harrison Phillips had two sacks.

Stanford vs. Northwestern - 9/5/15 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Northwestern Wildcats hope to get back to a bowl game after winning just 10 games their last two seasons. Clayton Thorson will take over at quarterback, a talented recruit who had offers from some of the top schools. Dan Vitale and Cameron Dickerson combined for more than 700 receiving yards and three touchdowns while Miles Shuler had 23 receptions as a junior. Justin Jackson returns at running back after racking up 1,187 yards and 10 touchdowns. Defensively, Traveon Henry returns at safety after picking up 73 tackles, Anthony Walker had nine tackles for loss and Dean Lowry had four sacks.

The Cardinal are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 non-conference games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games. The Wildcats are 2-11 ATS in their last 13 home games and 6-16 ATS in their last 22 games overall. 

Northwestern is one of the best coached teams in the country and should be ready for a terrific season opener that could set the tone for the season. Yes, Stanford is the better and more talented team, but the Wildcats have some nice playmakers in place and should be able to give the Cardinal a scare. I like the points here. 

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Northwestern Wildcats +12

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