Northwestern vs Rutgers Prediction - College Football Picks 9/3/23

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (0-0) vs Northwestern Wildcats (0-0)

Game Info: Sunday, September 3, 2023 at 12:00 pm (SHI Stadium)

Betting Odds: Rutgers Scarlet Knights -6.5 -- Over/Under: 40.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Northwestern Wildcats and Rutgers Scarlet Knights face off on Saturday in a Week 1 College Football showdown at SHI Stadium. 

Northwestern Looks to Move On

It seemed to be a normal offseason for Northwestern until it wasn’t. There were allegations of hazing and it ended up leading to the firing of Pat Fitzgerald. There was hope that Northwestern was finally going to turn the corner, but now they seem to be back at step one. Northwestern brought in a big transfer in Ben Bryant who played some really good football last year for Cincinnati. The offensive line is usually the strength of Northwestern, but they have lost some key pieces from last year's team. Last season the run defense was awful for Northwestern, and the hope is some of the guys they brought in can help improve that. In the secondary, corners AJ Hampton and Cameron Mitchell are gone and losing both is going to really hurt the defense this year. 

Northwestern Betting Trends

  • Northwestern has lost each of its last nine games against non-AP-ranked teams.
  • Northwestern has failed to cover the spread in six of its last seven games in September.
  • Northwestern has lost the first half in 12 of its last 15 games against conference opponents.
  • Each of Northwestern's last four games in September have gone UNDER the total points line.

Rutgers Already in a Must Win Position

It might only be Week 1, but Rutgers seems to be in a must win position already. Greg Schiano is trying to rebuild this Rutgers program but last year they finished with only four wins. There is hope that Rutgers can get over the six game hump this season, but if they were to lose this game, there would be a lot of chatter about how good this team actually is. On offense, the issue has been the quarterback, and there is some concern that part of the team won’t be much better this year. Gavin Wimsatt is going to be the starting quarterback here, and they need him to be good here. The strength of this team is with the defense, and it’s going to need to step up in a big way here. Max Melton and Robert Longerbeam both look like they could be stars in the secondary. 

Rutgers Betting Trends

  • Rutgers has lost 23 of its last 24 games against conference opponents at SHI Stadium.
  • Rutgers has covered the spread in nine of its last 10 season openers.
  • Rutgers has lost the first half in each of its last three games against conference opponents.
  • Each of Rutgers' last four home openers have gone OVER the total points line.

Shane’s Free Pick

This game might set football college football 100 years. Ben Bryant was a good addition for Northwestern, but Rutgers defense is going to be so good this year, and the Scarlet Knights will step up here. I am also not sold on Gavin Wimsatt and the Rutgers offense is going to really struggle to move the ball here. This is a game that could finish 6-3 and I don’t think that would shock anyone. This game won’t have more than 30 points total score and the under is going to cash. 

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

NFL & NCAAB Best Bets for Today Picks & Predictions Sunday 12/10/23 | 7 Picks in 5 Minutes

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