Northwestern vs. Duke - 9/17/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Duke Blue Devils (1-0) at Northwestern Wildcats (0-1)
College Football: Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 8:00 pm (Ryan Field)
The Line: Northwestern Wildcats -6 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Duke Blue Devils and Northwestern Wildcats meet Saturday night at Ryan Field on the BTN.
The Duke Blue Devils look for a strong victory to bounce back from an ugly home loss to Wake Forest. Daniel Jones is completing 65.1 percent of his passes for 521 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Jones has completed 11 passes this season of 15 or more yards. Johnathan Lloyd and Anthony Nash have combined for 256 receiving yards and one touchdown while T.J. Rahming has 10 receptions. The Duke Blue Devils ground game is averaging 172.5 yards per contest, and Jela Duncan leads the way with 140 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Duke is allowing 15 points and 250.5 yards per game. Joe Giles-Harris leads the Blue Devils with 21 tackles, A.J. Wolf has three sacks and Breon Borders has one interception.
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The Northwestern Wildcats are still looking for their first win after being upset last week by Illinois State. Clayton Thorson is completing 50.8 percent of his passes for 387 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. Thorson has two touchdown passes in his last seven games. Austin Carr and Justin Jackson have combined for 200 receiving yards and one touchdown while Macan Wilson has two receptions. The Northwestern Wildcats ground game is averaging 104.5 yards per contest, and Jackson leads the way with 163 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, Northwestern is allowing 15.5 points and 394 yards per game. Jaylen Prater leads the Wildcats with 25 tackles, Ifeadi Odenigbo has one sack and Jared McGee has one interception.
The Blue Devils are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 road games and 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 non-conference games. The Wildcats are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. ACC. The Blue Devils are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Northwestern.
I'm not sure how you can back either one of these teams with any sort of confidence, as they're both coming off brutal losses, especially Northwestern. The Wildcats are also dealing with an injury to Jackson, as he's questionable with a lower-body injury, and if he can't go I'm not sure how they score. This is one of those games you avoid at all costs. However, if forced to pick, I'd side with the Wildcats at home.
Northwestern needs this win more, is better defensively and handeled Duke on the road last season.