Northwestern’s home game against No. 4 Notre Dame has been circled as a popular upset pick for some weeks now. But since Northwestern is coming off of a huge win over Wisconsin and atop the Big Ten West standings, that potential upset no longer looks like a long shot.
The Wildcats are excellent underdogs; favorites … not so much. They thrive in these situations and Notre Dame is the best opponent they’ll face this season. Can they pull off the upset and immediately shake up the College Football Playoff standings?
Date: Saturday, Nov. 3 | Time: 7:15 p.m. ET
Location: Ryan Field — Evanston, Illinois
TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN
Notre Dame: Does it matter that the undefeated Fighting Irish are No. 4 in the first College Football Playoff Rankings — behind one-loss LSU? Hardly. They’re in the field as of today and they’ll be in the field a month from now if they keep winning. They’re one of the few teams that, in this game of mental gymnastics and inconsistent logic for postseason participation, actually controls its destiny. The only thing that matters is seeding because of matchups.
However, the next month could prove to be Notre Dame’s most difficult. This game in particular is ripe for upset alert, but in two weeks the Irish play Syracuse, which, after Clemson, has an argument to be the ACC’s second-best team. November is tricky and the first test of this team’s mettle down the stretch begins in earnest.
Northwestern: This game won’t affect the Big Ten standings one way or the other, but this is a chance for Northwestern to make a major statement. The Wildcats are 0-5 against top-10 teams dating back to 2011 when they last won against then-No. 10 Nebraska 28-25. Pat Fitzgerald’s program is typically good enough to notch a win here and there vs. a ranked opponent, but doesn’t always have the top-end talent to stay with elite teams.
This team feels different. It’s rectified the second-half woes that plagued it earlier in the season and the emergence of running back Isaiah Bowser has at least provided some balance to the offense.
Game prediction, picks
Not only is Northwestern batting 1.000 against the spread as an underdog, it’s 3-1 straight up in those games and the only loss was by three to Michigan. (Northwestern was leading in that game, too.) So the trend says take the Wildcats and the points. The real question is whether Fitzgerald’s team has enough to pull off a second straight upset. Bowser and the new-look rushing attack may be the difference. Pick: Northwestern +9.5
What college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 10? And what contender will get stunned by a huge underdog? Visit SportsLine to see which teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from a proven computer model that has returned over $4,000 in profit over the past three seasons.
Source: Read Full Article