The 21st-ranked Stanford Cardinal are 12-point favorites over the Northwestern Wildcats as both squads kick off their 2015 college football campaign in a Big 10 vs. Pac 12 inter-conference tilt. The game kicks off this Saturday, Sept 5th at 12 PM in Boise, Idaho.
The Cardinal look to bounce back from an underwhelming 8-5 season last year. The Wildcats finished a second straight season with a 5-7 record last year and a Cardinal upset would do wonders for this program.
Analyzing The Stanford Cardinal at Northwestern Wildcats Betting Line, My Free Pick & How To Watch
#21 Stanford Cardinal vs Northwestern Wildcats
Date: Saturday, September 5, 2015
Start Time: 12:00 PM ET
Location: Boise, ID
Stadium: Bronco Stadium
Odds: Stanford -12
Game Total: 47
Radio: Stanford vs Northwestern
TV Info: ESPN
Stream: Watch ESPN
Why Bet On Stanford To Cover the 12-point Spread Against Northwestern?
David Shaw has been as good of a coach in college football the past few years as anybody. Although Stanford routinely doesn’t recruit the type of players that the SEC schools, the Big 12 and the rest of the Pac 12 recruits, year in and year out Stanford wins a lot of football games.
Last season was sort of an anomaly in the sense that Stanford went 8 and 5. They didn’t win 9 games, which is something Shaw usually does with the Cardinal. This season could be Shaw’s most challenging yet as he’ll need to rebuild the Pac 12’s best defense from a season ago. Stanford led the conference in overall defense. The Cardinal allowed 282.4 yards per game. That’s incredible considering that the Pac 12 is known for high-powered offenses that routinely score points in the 30s and 40s.
Although the linebacking corps is strong with Kevin Anderson and Kevin
Kalambayi both returning, the defense must be rebuilt along the defensive line and in the secondary. Shaw has some experienced players in the secondary, but he has nothing that resembles the players he had last season.
Northwestern plays a spread offense that will look to give time to their quarterback and open up holes for their running back. Unless the defensive line helps Anderson and Kalambayi, both who play outside linebacker, pressure the QB, it could be a long day for the Cardinal defense.
Why Bet On Northwestern To Cover the 12-point Spread Against Stanford?
The Northwestern Wildcats return 15 starters. That’s a big number. Many of those starters return on defense where Northwestern could be very good. The defensive line needs to play better, but there’s experience there. There is also experience at cornerback, one of the toughest positions to play in all of football.
Northwestern’s biggest issues could be with their offense. Although the offensive line has experience, many of the players changed positions leading to inconsistency last season. The quarterback situation is a mess. While Stanford has Kevin Hogan penciled in as their starter, Northwestern will go with either sophomore Matt Alviti or freshman Clayton Thorson. If Alviti or Thorson gets protection from the offensive line, there are plenty of talented playmakers for either QB to get the ball to.
One of those playmakers, sophomore Justin Jackson, had six 100 yard rushing games in 2014. Jackson is fantastic. He’s the sort of back that offensive lines love to block for. He and Northwestern’s offense will have to be great in order to stick with Stanford in this game.
Stanford will win, but I don’t think they the Cardinal will cover the 12-point spread. Bet on Northwestern at +12. My final score prediction is: Stanford 24, Northwestern 14.