Doc's Sports Northwestern Wildcats Football Betting Preview
by Doc - 8/30/2011
Predicted Overall Record 9-3 (5-3 in Big Ten)
Click the link for the 2011 Northwestern Wildcats football schedule.
I really like this Wildcat team and have them rated higher than most experts do. The big key to their success will be the play and health of QB Dan Persa. He played outstanding last year before going down with an ACL injury, and there are still lingering questions going into this season about how healthy he actually is. Their road schedule is brutal this year as they must face Illinois, Nebraska, and Iowa away from Evanston.
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Strengths: There’s no question that Persa is the real deal when he is healthy. The offense could be much better than it was in 2010 since he has some playmakers around him. The team also returns numerous offensive lineman. Putting points on the board should not be a problem this year. Winning a bowl game should be the end goal this season, as Northwestern has not achieved this since 1948.
Weakness: I have already repeated this and I am beginning to sound like a broken record, but the health of Persa is still an issue. This team fell apart when he got injured last season and he will need to start all 12 games for them to be successful this year. The defensive lineman and linebackers must step up over their effort in 2010, as the Wildcats really struggle stopping the run. I would lean toward the ‘over’ in most of Northwestern’s games this season, as I expect high scoring games.
Favorable Win Against the Spread: Oct. 1 at Illinois. Last year they lost to Illinois, 48-27, in the last game of the season when they fell apart in the second half. Northwestern was really banged up at this point of the season in 2010, but that will not be the case in 2011 as they will enter this game off of a bye. They will be an underdog in this game, but a straight-up victory would not surprise me.
Favorable Loss Against the Spread: Oct. 29 at Indiana. The Wildcats will likely be more than a touchdown favorite in this game, but the last four games in this series have been decided by three points or less. An upset would not surprise me since Northwestern will be coming off four straight Big Ten games against teams that made bowl games in 2010. This seems like a perfect spot for an upset.
Closing Thoughts: I believe Northwestern’s true colors will come out in Game 1 of the season at Boston College. This will be a barometer of how good this team actually is. I was going to use them as a selection, but the questions surrounding Persa made me lay off of this game. The Wildcats will be a factor in the Big Ten this season with 80 percent of their letterman returning. A trip to Pasadena is certainly not out of the question.
Doc’s Sports is set to embark on their 40th year in the sports handicapping business this football season. Yes, Doc started the company back in 1971 and still spends his weekends in front of the TV watching numerous games throughout the day. We are again expecting a monster season in college football anchored by our weekly selections from the Big Ten Conference. Our main office is located right in the heart of Big Ten Country and each year we fully expect to hit 2 out of every 3 college football picks we release from this conference. Jump on board now with a full season football picks package from Doc’s Sports!
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