The Northwestern Wildcats ventured into rare territory last season as they finished the year with a 10-3 record after defeating Mississippi State 34-20 in the Gator Bowl. The strong campaign marked the first time since 1995 that Northwestern notched double digit wins. The Wildcats are hoping for more of the same this season with most of last year's squad returning to Evanston. And, of course, along with 10 plus wins, Northwestern would also like to duplicate another '95 achievement, which is win a conference title. The latest 2013 college football predictions from 5Dimes would indicate the Wildcats may fall short in both cases. Northwestern is a fifth choice to win the 2013 Big Ten Championship at +900 odds ($100 wins $900) and it is favored to win fewer than 8.5 regular season games at -230 odds ($230 wins $100).
The Wildcats 2013 schedule lends itself to a strong start as they should open 4-0 after a fairly soft non-conference slate; however, their conference lineup is a daunting one. Northwestern opens league play with a home game against Ohio State and it also hosts Michigan and Michigan State later in the season. The Wildcats are lined as a +7 home dog against the Buckeyes and a +2 home dog opposite the Wolverines (line opened with Northwestern a -3 favorite); they are slight favorite against Michigan State at -1.5.
Road games against Wisconsin and Nebraska look like potential losses as well. Northwestern is getting seven points against the Badgers and it should draw underdog status against the Huskers as well, despite a stunning 28-25 upset of Nebraska in Lincoln two years ago.
Northwestern Wildcats 2013 College Football Predictions:
Northwestern Odds to win the 2014 BCS National Championship +17500
Northwestern Odds to win the 2013 Big Ten Championship +900 (five of 12)
Northwestern Odds to win the 2013 Big Ten Legends Division +325 (four of six)
Northwestern Regular Season Wins: Over 8.5 (+170), Under 8.5 (-230)
Northwestern Wildcats 2013 Schedule:
8/31 at California
9/14 Western Michigan
10/5 Ohio State
10/12 at Wisconsin
10/26 at Iowa
11/2 at Nebraska
11/23 Michigan State
11/30 at Illinois
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