The remaining unbeaten teams in the Big Ten Conference West Division meet in what could decide the division championship when the 10th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers face the host No. 19 Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday. Wisconsin (2-0), which has had two games cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, has been impressive in its two wins, including a 49-11 triumph last week at Michigan. Northwestern (4-0), meanwhile, has been dominant as well and is allowing opponents just 14 points per game. The Wildcats are coming off a 27-20 win at Purdue last Saturday.
Kickoff from Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill., is set for 3:30 p.m. ET. Wisconsin leads the all-time series 60-36-5, including a 29-19-1 edge in games at Evanston. The Badgers are 7.5-point favorites in the latest Wisconsin vs. Northwestern odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 44. Before making any Northwestern vs. Wisconsin picks, check out the college football predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of almost $3,900 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It is a sizzling 39-21 on top-rated picks through 11 weeks of the 2020 college football season, returning over $1,000 in profit already. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Wisconsin vs. Northwestern. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college football odds from William Hill Sportsbook and trends for Northwestern vs. Wisconsin:
- Wisconsin vs. Northwestern spread: Wisconsin -7.5
- Wisconsin vs. Northwestern over-under: 44 points
- Wisconsin vs. Northwestern money line: Wisconsin -320, Northwestern +250
- WIS: Is 54-16 (.771) under sixth-year coach Paul Chryst
- NW: Has forced at least two turnovers in four consecutive games
Why Wisconsin can cover
Redshirt quarterback Graham Mertz has been on fire to start his collegiate career, completing 32 of 43 passes (74.4 percent) for 375 yards and seven touchdowns. He has not thrown an interception and has a rating of 201.4, fifth-best in the nation. In the season opener against Illinois, he completed 20 of 21 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns. Mertz, the first freshman in 42 years to start a season opener for Wisconsin, owns the nation’s top pass efficiency rating in the red zone (367.7), going 8-for-9 for 63 yards and six touchdowns.
Sophomore running back Nakia Watson leads the Badgers’ ground game. He is the team’s top returning rusher after carrying 74 times for 337 yards and two touchdowns last year. So far in 2020, Watson has rushed for a team-high 135 yards and two scores. He also had 35 receptions for 463 yards and six touchdowns.
Why Northwestern can cover
Despite that, the Badgers are not a lock to cover the Wisconsin vs. Northwestern spread. That’s because the Wildcats have played the Badgers tough since 2000, splitting 14 matchups. Senior quarterback Peyton Ramsey leads Northwestern in passing, completing 73 of 111 attempts (65.8 percent) for 723 yards and six touchdowns. He has been picked off four times, but has a rating of 131.1. He is also the team’s third-leading rusher, carrying 34 times for 122 yards (3.6 average) and one TD.
Sophomore running back Drake Anderson is Northwestern’s leading rusher with 43 carries for 198 yards (4.6 average) and two touchdowns. He also has one reception for 21 yards. His best game was in the season opener against Maryland, when he carried 10 times for 103 yards and a score. For his career, Anderson has 209 carries for 868 yards (4.2 average) and five touchdowns. He also has seven receptions for 49 yards.
How to make Wisconsin vs. Northwestern picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total. In fact, it says Mertz will be held to fewer than 170 yards passing and one touchdown, while Northwestern running backs will be held to fewer than 110 yards and one score. It has also generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Northwestern vs. Wisconsin? And which side of the spread cashes in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Wisconsin vs. Northwestern spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up almost $3,900 on its top-rated college football spread picks, and find out.