The unranked Minnesota Golden Gophers have won three straight since dropping their regular season opener and enter this contest coming off a narrow 27-24 win over Ohio in Week 4 despite failing to cover the spread as a 7.5-point home favorite.
Despite committing an insane six fumbles, Minnesota regained five of them and were led to victory as quarterback Mitch Leidner completed 22 of 32 passes for 264 yards and running back Shannon Brooks added 82 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.
For the season, Leidner is completing 58.7 percent of his passes for 878 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Leidner has thrown a touchdown pass in four of his last five games. Minnesota is averaging just 19.2 points per game (120th), but is limiting the opposition to just 18.5 points per game defensively.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 22, 2015
The 16th-ranked Northwestern Wildcats didn’t look particularly good, but still managed to squeak past Ball State in its 24-19 Week 4 win, though they never came close to covering the spread as a 17.5-point home favorite.
Northwestern limited Ball State to 5-for-16 success on third downs and got a fine performance from quarterback Clayton Thorson as the strong-armed signal-caller completed 18 of 31 passes for 256 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. The ‘Cats were led to victory on the legs of running back Justin Jackson as the fleet-footed sophomore rushed 33 times for 184 yards.
For the season, Thornton is completing 53.2 percent of his passes for 583 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. Northwestern Wildcats ground game is averaging 265 yards per contest, and Justin Jackson leads the s averaging 25.0 points per game (95th) while limiting their opponents to just 8.8 points per game to rank third in the nation.
How To Bet The College Football Week 5 Minnesota Golden Gophers Vs Northwestern Wildcats College Football Week 5 Spread
What: Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-1) at No 16. Northwestern Wildcats (4-0)
When: Saturday, October 3, 2015
Kickoff: 12:00 PM ET
Where: Evanston, IL
Stadium: Ryan Field
Weather: 60° F / More Sun Than Clouds
Spread: Northwestern -5.5
Moneyline: Minnesota +180 vs Northwestern -220
Watch: Big Ten Network
Stream: Big Ten Network
Listen: Minnesota vs Northwestern
65 percent of the betting public likes Northwestern to cover the spread, but I’m going with the 35 percent of public bettors that likes Minnesota for the upset ATS cover at the very least.
Minnesota has compiled a perfect 8-0 ATS mark in their last eight road games against Northwestern while also going 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings overall.
Backing up my pick for a Minnesota cover is the fact that the Underdog is 6-2 ATS in their last eight meetings while the road team has gone 13-3 ATS in their last 16 meetings.
Right now, I’m thinking this contest has the look of a classic field goal vs field goal game.