Penn State Nittany Lions Vs. Northwestern Wildcats 10/6/12 Steve’s Free College Football Pick Against the Spread
The Northwestern Wildcats put their perfect 5-0 record on the line this weekend as Northwestern heads to Happy Valley to face off against the Penn State Nittany Lions.
The Penn State Nittany Lions have definitely had their share of troubles this past offseason, but credit coach Bill O'Brien for getting his team past that, and now the Nittany Lions are playing good ball, winners of their last three outings. The latest victory for Penn State came this past weekend as the Nittany Lions took care of business against Illinois, putting a whooping on the Fighting Illini 35-7. Nittany Lion QB Matt McGloin is really starting to get this Penn State offense, and McGloin was excellent against the Illini defense, throwing for 211 yards and a score. The ground game for Penn State that so desperately missed Silas Redd who departed for USC, has came around nicely and on Saturday Penn State gained 173 yards on the ground to the Illini, 100 from Sophomore back Zack Zwinak. Defensively the Nittany Lions are getting back to the dominant defense that kept this Penn State team in games last season as the Nittany Lions are giving up just over 13 points per game on average this season.
The Northwestern Wildcats are playing outstanding ball right now as the Wildcats are showing creativity in their offense (and no not just having Chuck Norris on their play cards) and most importantly the Wildcats believe they can win. Northwestern took care of business this past weekend against the Indiana Hoosiers, defeating Indiana 44-29. The Wildcats did what they were supposed to do against a lesser opponent and that is get on them early, and when the Hoosiers made a late run the Wildcats put a stop to it and answered with points of their own. Kain Colter is one of the more unique talents in the Big Ten as the Wildcat QB only threw three passes this past weekend, however Colter still had one of the top offensive performances in the conference this past weekend, rushing for 161 yards and four scores. Taking control of the passing attack for the Wildcats was Trevor Sieman, who threw for 308 yards on the day against the Hoosier secondary. If you haven't tuned in yet to watch the Wildcats, do so, as this team is unique, creative and fun to watch.
Despite all the problems, the Nittany Lions are a respectable 11-5 overall in their last 16 games, and Penn State has a good track record against the Wildcats, defeating Northwestern five outings in a row. The Wildcats are just 1-4 against the spread in their last five games against the Nittany Lions, and the total has gone over in four of the last five games for the Wildcats on the road.
These two teams are very evenly matched, and honestly this game could be a coin flip. I have considered backing the Wildcats here as I think getting a field goal advantage may be enough, but I think the total is the play. The Penn State defense has played well all season long, however this is by far the best offense the Nittany Lions have seen all year, and the Wildcats are rolling right now as Northwestern has finally cracked the AP Top 25. Be careful with this one, but I think the safest play here is with the over.