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Northwestern vs. Tennessee - 1/1/16 College Football Outback Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Northwestern Wildcats (10-2) at Tennessee Volunteers (8-4)

College Football: Friday, January 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm (Raymond James Stadium)

The Line: Tennessee Volunteers -7.5 -- Over/Under: 45 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN2

The Northwestern Wildcats and Tennessee Volunteers play in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day at Raymond James Stadium.

The Northwestern Wildcats are looking for just their third bowl victory in school history. Clayton Thorson is completing 51.6 percent of his passes for 1,465 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. Thorson has just one touchdown pass in his last four games. Dan Vitale and Austin Carr have combined for 631 receiving yards and six touchdowns while Christian Jones has 23 receptions. The Northwestern Wildcats ground game is averaging 193.2 yards per contest, and Justin Jackson leads the way with 1,344 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, Northwestern is allowing 16.4 points and 310.5 yards per game. Anthony Walker leads the Wildcats with 113 tackles, Matthew Harris has four interceptions and Deonte Gibson has nine sacks.

Northwestern vs. Tennessee  - 1/1/16 College Football Outback Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Volunteers hope for back-to-back bowl victories for the first time since the 90s under Phillip Fulmer. Joshua Dobbs is completing 59.9 percent of his passes for 2,125 yards, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions. Dobbs has two touchdown passes in his last three games. Josh Malone and Von Pearson have combined for 765 receiving yards and five touchdowns while Josh Smith has 23 receptions. The Tennessee Volunteers ground game is averaging 223.5 yards per contest, and Jalen Hurd leads the way with 1,158 yards and 11 touchdowns. Defensively, Tennessee is allowing 21.2 points and 370.4 yards per game. Jalen Reeves-Maybin leads the Volunteers with 99 tackles, Todd Kelly Jr. has three interceptions and Derek Barnett has nine sacks.

Northwestern has been lowballed with these low lines all season simply due to a lack of offense and an ugly style of play. The prblem we have here is that Tennesse plays the same way, scoring 27 or less points in six of its last nine games. This is going to be a defensive battle due to solid defenses and both teams led by quarterbacks who much rather run than throw the ball.

Northwestern has made us a lot of money this season and with the hook on a free touchdown, I like the Wildcats once again. 

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Northwestern Wildcats +7.5

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