Notre Dame vs Northwestern NCAAF Odds, Pick and Predictions

by Rick Rockwell
on November 1, 2018

Minute Read

On Saturday, the #4 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish head to Evanston, Illinois, to take on the scrappy Northwestern Wildcats. Notre Dame is looking to keep their undefeated season going and position themselves for a CFP spot at the end of the year. Northwestern is hoping to pull off the huge upset, while still fighting to win the Big Ten West Division. Kickoff inside Ryan Field is at 7:15 PM ET.

For those looking to jump straight into the betting action, here are the top sites we recommend:

Notre Dame vs Northwestern Live Odds and Betting History

The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

Betting Data Notre Dame Fighting Irish Northwestern Wildcats
Current S/U record 8-0 5-3
2018 Home 5-0 2-3
2018 Away 3-0 3-0
2018 ATS 4-4 4-4
2018 ATS Home 2-3 2-3
2018 ATS Away 2-1 2-1
2018 O/U 4-4 4-4
2018 O/U Home 1-4 2-3
2018 O/U Away 3-0 2-1

Notre Dame vs Northwestern NCAAF Game Preview

Saturday’s matchup marks the 49th time these two teams have played against each other. Currently, the Fighting Irish have a commanding lead in the series with an all-time record of 37-9-2. It’s been 4 years since they last played against each other and NW won that game 43 to 40. Prior to that, they haven’t played one another since 1995, which NW also won.

Notre Dame (8-0) is coming off a dominating 44-22 win over Navy last weekend. The Fighting Irish seemingly imposed their will against Navy all game long. This weekend, Notre Dame will have a tougher challenge against Northwestern, but one they’re definitely up for. Can ND improve to 9-0 on the season?

Northwestern (5-3) is coming off an impressive 14 point win over the previously #20 ranked Wisconsin Badgers last weekend. The victory gave the Wildcats a 1.5 game lead in the Big Ten West Division over Wisconsin and Iowa. Northwestern is looking to improve to 6-3 by knocking off ND from their pedestal. Can the Wildcats shock the Fighting Irish on Saturday?

The spread for this game has seen some movement since opening at -8 for Notre Dame. After the initial opening, the majority of online betting sites saw the spread drop down to 7 before slowly climbing back up to 9.5 points in favor of the Fighting Irish. The Over/Under opened at 53.5 total points and remains unchanged with most online sportsbooks.

Free NCAAF Sports Bet and Game Prediction: Wildcats +9.5 pts

Let me start off by saying that I believe Notre Dame will win this game. However, I think it’s going to be a lot tougher than the near double digit spread that oddsmakers think the Fighting Irish will win by. If you look at Northwestern’s resume, you will see some impressive performances. However, you will also see that the Wildcats play to their level of competition. For example, NW loses to Duke and Akron, but defeats Michigan State and Wisconsin.

The Wildcats almost upset the Wolverines in Evanston, as they lost 20-17 after leading for most of the game. They were able to go on the road to upset the previously #20 ranked Michigan State Spartans the very next week. But, they then only beat Nebraska and Rutgers by 3 points each, and those two teams are at the bottom of the Big 10. After that, they host the #20 ranked Wisconsin Badgers and beat them by 14.

So, I expect the Wildcats to play up to their level of competition this weekend and give the Fighting Irish all they can handle. That starts with a solid NW defense. The Wildcats allow 23.6 ppg and 366.8 total ypg. The Fighting Irish allow 341.3 total ypg and 19.1 ppg. As you can see, the Wildcats have a comparable defense to the Fighting Irish and have played 3 ranked teams in that process. Not to mention, they also beat Purdue who gave Ohio State their only loss on the season.

Last weekend NW outrushed the vaunted Wisconsin running game 182 yards to 165 yards. They will need to continue that success this weekend if they want a shot at winning the game. Notre Dame is averaging 188.5 rushing yards per game and the NW defense allows 146 rushing ypg. Furthermore, ND put up 254 rushing yards last weekend against Navy. So, the Wildcats are going to have a tough challenge on their hands this Saturday with ND running back Dexter Williams who’s been coming on strong as of late. Last weekend, Williams had 142 rushing yards and 3 TDs.

In the passing game, ND has a huge advantage. And, if they can contain NW’s QB Thorson from running for first downs and TD’s then I believe ND will win this game handedly. As for NW, they will have to do their best to prevent ND QB Ian Book from throwing the ball all over the field. Fortunately, NW’s pass defense is solid as they only allow 220.8 passing ypg.

With all of that said, I’m not confident in the Fighting Irish covering 10 points and here’s why: they are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 November games, 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games between Weeks 10 through 13, 3-6 ATS in their last 9 grass games, and 8-9 ATS when playing teams with a winning record. Although ND is a much better team this year than the last two years, it’s hard to have confidence in them covering this spread on the road against a NW team that beat Wisconsin and almost beat Michigan at home.

Furthermore, NW is 16-7 ATS following a Big 10 game, 11-5 ATS following a Big 10 win, 8-2 ATS after winning 2 games or more in a row, 10-5 ATS when playing teams with a winning record, and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games during Weeks 10 through 13. NW is also 11-5 ATS in their last 16 overall games.

I don’t like the ND moneyline either, despite my confidence in them winning. I believe Ian Book will be the reason ND wins this game as he outduels Clayton Thorson. However, I think that NW will score some garbage time points that cuts ND’s lead to under 10 by time it’s all said and done. Take NW and the points at home.

Notre Dame vs Northwestern Betting Recap:

  • Oddsmaker: BetOnline
  • Money lines: Fighting Irish (-370) and Wildcats (+310)
  • Spread: Notre Dame -9.5 (-115)
  • Over/Under: 53.5 total points (-110)
  • Prediction: Notre Dame 35 – Northwestern 27
Pick: Wildcats +9.5

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