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Northwestern Wildcats at Michigan State Spartans - 10/15/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Northwestern Wildcats (2-3) at Michigan State Spartans (2-3)

College Football: Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 3:30 pm (Spartan Stadium)

The Line: Michigan State Spartans -6.5 -- Over/Under: 42.5 See the Latest Odds


We’ve got an interesting Week 7 college football matchup headed our way from Spartan Stadium in East Lansing on Saturday, October 15, as the Northwestern Wildcats visit the Michigan State Spartans. 

The Wildcats come into this game at 2-3, winning two out of three games after dropping their first pair. In their latest victory, Northwestern put up a 38-31 win over Iowa, with Justin Jackson and Austin Carr coming out as the day’s heroes. Jackson ran 26 times for 171 yards and a TD, while Carr caught six passes for 73 yards and three touchdowns to help seal Northwestern’s victory. QB Clayton Thorson got in on the action for the Wildcats as well, with an 18-of-30 line for 164 yards and the three scores. 

Northwestern Wildcats at Michigan State Spartans - 10/15/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction


So far this year, Thorson has managed to put up a 92-of-169 line for 1120 yards and an 8:4 TD:INT ratio, while Jackson leads Northwestern’s running game with 109 carries for 510 yards and four scores. Carr is far and away the Wildcats’ best receiver with 32 catches for 465 yards and six TDs. 

Over on the Michigan State side, they’re also coming in at 2-3 this year, winning their first pair and dropping their most recent three games. The Spartans’ most recent defeat came at the hands of BYU in a 31-14 result. Michigan State was down just three points heading into the fourth quarter, where they were outscored 21-7 to seal the loss. QBs Tyler O’Connor and Damion Terry combined to give the Spartans a 13-of-21 line for 121 yards, no TDs and an interception, while Gerald Holmes led the rush with 15 carries for 57 yards and one score. 

So far this season for Michigan State, O’Connor leads the QB battle with a 78-for-128 line for 976 yards and an 8:5 TD:INT ratio. L.J. Scott is out in front of the rushers with 70 carries for 311 yards and two touchdowns, while R.J. Shelton is the Spartans’ leading receiver on 21 receptions for 262 yards and two scores. 

Northwestern is 4-1 ATS in their last five road games, and 5-2 ATS in their last seven conference games. Northwestern is also 5-2 ATS versus a team with a losing record, and 2-5 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win. 

Meanwhile, Michigan State is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games, and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS loss. Michigan State is also 1-4 ATS versus a team with a losing record, and 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. 

When Northwestern’s offense is clicking, it’s pretty fun to watch. It seems like the Wildcats are getting the kinks worked out, as they’ve scored at least 24 points in two of their last three games. Defensively Northwestern is performing admirably as well, allowing 24 points or fewer in four of five. On the other hand, Michigan State has dropped off the map during this losing streak, scoring a combined 41 points over three games. That combination makes me a little nervous about the Spartans’ chances here, so I think Northwestern will at least cover, if not win outright.

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