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Rutgers vs. Northwestern - 10/20/18 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Northwestern Wildcats (3-3) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-6)
Date & Time Saturday October 20, 2018, 12:00 PM (EDT)
The Line
The Line: Rutgers Scarlet Knights +20.5 -- Over/Under:
TV Channel
BTN
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CFB | Northwestern Wildcats (3-3) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-6)
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Northwestern Wildcats and Rutgers Scarlet Knights meet Saturday in college football action at HighPoint.com Stadium.

The Northwestern Wildcats look for their third road victory of the season to get a game above a .500 record. The Northwestern Wildcats have won each of their last five road games. Clayton Thorson is completing 62.6 percent of his passes for 1,755 yards, nine touchdowns and seven interceptions. Thorson has three touchdown passes in three of his last four games. Flynn Nagel and Bennett Skowronek have combined for 952 receiving yards and three touchdowns while Cameron Green has 30 receptions. The Northwestern Wildcats ground game is averaging 69.8 yards per contest, and Jeremy Larkin leads the way with 346 yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, Northwestern is allowing 26.2 points and 403.8 yards per game. Blake Gallagher leads the Northwestern Wildcats with 61 tackles, Joe Gaziano has 3.5 sacks and JR Pace has three interceptions. 

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights need a victory here in order to snap a six-game losing streak and keep their slim bowl chances alive. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights have lost each of their last three home games. Artur Sitkowski is completing 49.7 percent of his passes for 758 yards, three touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Sitkowski has two touchdown passes and eight interceptions in his last three games. Jerome Washington and Bo Melton have combined for 404 receiving yards on 32 receptions while Raheem Blackshear has 26 receptions. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights ground game is averaging 134.4 yards per contest, and Blackshear leads the way with 376 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Rutgers is allowing 36 points and 426 yards per game. Trevor Morris leads the Rutgers Scarlet Knights with 62 tackles, Mike Tverdov has three sacks and Damon Hayes has two interceptions.

The Wildcats are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games in October, 21-5-1 ATS in their last 27 conference games and 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 games overall. The Scarlet Knights are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 conference games, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games on fieldturf and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The under is 5-2 in Scarlet Knights last 7 conference games and the over is 15-5-1 in Wildcats last 21 road games.

The Northwestern Wildcats were lucky to beat a winless Nebraska last week, but the good news is they've easily played their best football on the road this season. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights haven't changed much from past years, as the losses seem to get uglier by the week and the offense has produced no more than 17 points in each of their last six games. The Northwestern Wildcats have failed to cover six of their last nine games when favored by at least 17 points. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights have failed to cover 11 of their last 15 games when an underdog of at least 17 points. Laying this much chalk with a hit or miss Northwestern team isn't ideal, but backing Rutgers doesn't make sense, as this team has failed to cover big numbers for years. Also, Northwestern has been one of the better covering teams in the country the last few years, which includes 21 covers in its last 27 Big Ten games. The trends heavily favor Northwestern in this one.

Pick:
Northwestern Wildcats -20.5

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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