Northwestern vs. Minnesota - 11/18/17 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-5) at Northwestern Wildcats (7-3)
College Football: Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm (Ryan Field)
The Line: Northwestern Wildcats -7 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Minnesota Golden Gophers and Northwestern Wildcats meet Saturday in college football action at Ryan Field.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers look for their sixth victory of the season to become bowl eligible for a sixth straight year. The Minnesota Golden Gophers have lost five of their last six road games. Conor Rhoda is completing 54.1 percent of his passes for 839 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions. Rhoda and Demry Croft have combined for nine touchdown passes and eight interceptions this season. Tyler Johnson and Phillip Howard have combined for 809 receiving yards and seven touchdowns while Nate Wozniak has seven receptions. The Minnesota Golden Gophers ground game is averaging 195.7 yards per contest, and Rodney Smith leads the way with 799 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, Minnesota is allowing 20.4 points and 334.1 yards per game. Thomas Barber leads the Minnesota Golden Gophers with 93 tackles, Carter Coughlin has 5.5 sacks and Jacob Huff has three interceptions.
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The Northwestern Wildcats look for their sixth straight victory to improve the quality of their upcoming bowl game. The Northwestern Wildcats have won seven of their last nine home games. Clayton Thorson is completing 60.2 percent of his passes for 2,583 yards, 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Thorson has one or less touchdown passes in five of his last six games. Bennett Skowronek and Flynn Nagel have combined for 984 receiving yards and six touchdowns while Macan Wilson has 31 receptions. The Northwestern Wildcats ground game is averaging 134.8 yards per contest, and Justin Jackson leads the way with 844 yards and eight touchdowns. Defensively, Northwestern is allowing 23.1 points and 388.5 yards per game. Paddy Fisher leads the Northwestern Wildcats with 95 tackles, Joe Gaziano has six sacks and Kyle Queiro has three interceptions.
The Golden Gophers are 7-2-4 ATS in their last 13 road games, 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 games on grass and 23-6-2 ATS in their last 31 games in November. The Wildcats are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 conference games, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games and 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Golden Gophers are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 meetings in Northwestern, 9-3 ATS in their last 12 meetings and the road team is 13-5 ATS in their last 18 meetings.
Minnesota is coming off its best win of the season in a blowout over Nebraska and has two shots left against ranked teams to clinch a chance at a bowl game. The problem is that the Northwestern Wildcats are finally playing with some consistency and looking like the dark horse Big Ten contender I pegged them as before the season began. The defense is getting stops when it needs to, the offense is moving the ball and the Wildcats have become pros when it's time to finish in the fourth quarter / overtime. Minnesota has had almost no success on the road and doesn't know how to finish games. This is a contest that the Northwestern Wildcats win by double digits.