Game Time: 12:00 pm ET, Saturday, October 16, 2021
Venue: Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
Where to Watch: BTN
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Point Spread: Rutgers NL, Northwestern NL; Over/Under: NL points
Bet365: Point Spread: Rutgers PK, Northwestern PK; Over/Under: NL points
BetMGM: Point Spread: Rutgers NL, Northwestern NL; Over/Under: NL points
Rutgers Scarlet Knights: 3-3 (7th place, Big Ten East)
Northwestern Wildcats: 2-3 (7th place, Big Ten West)
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Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs Northwestern Wildcats Preview and Analysis
Rutgers Scarlet Knights: lost at home on Oct. 9 against the Michigan State Spartans 31-13.
Northwestern Wildcats: lost on the road on Oct. 2 against the Nebraska Cornhuskers 56-7.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights Analysis
Rutgers is coming into this game with a 3-3 record overall and they are 1-1 in their road games this season where they will be in this game. This will be their 4th conference matchup of the year and they are already in a very bad position with a 0-3 record in their conference games this season. Those 3 losses came against the Michigan Wolverines, the Ohio State Buckeyes, and Michigan State in their last game. After starting the season 3-0 they have lost their last 3 games coming into this one. They lost 31-13 to MSU in their last game, a game that they were trailing in the entire time. Noah Vedral played alright completing 15/30 passes for 208 yards, zero touchdown passes and zero interceptions but nothing too great. Isaih Pacheco led the team in rushing with 47 yards on 11 carries but they did not get much of a run game going in that one. Shameen Jones led the receivers with 110 yards on 7 receptions while Jovani Haskins had 52 receiving yards on 3 receptions. Christian Izien led the defense with 7 solo tackles and 3 assisted ones while Olakunle Fatukasi had 4 solo tackles and 4 assisted ones. No one on the defense recorded a sack and Alijah Clark came away with the only interception for them in that game. They have scored 162 points in their first 6 games averaging 27 PPG and they have allowed their opponents to score 137 points against them allowing 22.8 PPG. The Rutgers offense is averaging 354.7 YPG while their defense is allowing 366.8 YPG.
Northwestern Wildcats Analysis
Northwestern is coming into this game with a 2-3 record overall and they are 2-1 in their home games this season where they will be in this game. This will be their 3rd conference matchup on their schedule and they are already down with a 0-2 record in their conference games this season. Those 2 losses came against the Michigan State Spartans and Nebraska in their last game. Ryan Hilinski played pretty well in that one as he completed 25/39 passes for 256 yards and 1 touchdown. Evan Hull led the team in rushing with 31 yards on 7 carries but the team did not really have much of a run game going for them in that one. The receiving corps did have a nice day as Stephon Robinson Jr. led the receivers with 116 yards and 1 touchdown on 8 receptions while Malik Washington had 64 receiving yards on 3 receptions. AJ Hampton led the defense in that game with 5 solo tackles and 1 assisted. Brandon Joseph also played well with 4 solo tackles and 6 assisted ones while Cameron Mitchell was right behind him with 4 solo tackles and 1 assisted one. No one on the defense came away with a sack or an interception in that game. They have scored 110 points in their first 5 games averaging 22 PPG and they have allowed their opponents to score 136 points against them allowing 27.2 PPG. The Northwestern offense is averaging 369.2 YPG while the Northwestern defense is allowing 451.6 YPG.
Rutgers vs Northwestern Prediction
After a good start to their season, Rutgers has struggled in their last 3 games but this is a game that they should be able to win. They have only scored 13 points in each game against Big Ten competition but they have played 2 of the top 3 teams in the conference. Northwestern is allowing a lot of yards on defense and they just allowed over 50 points against Nebraska in their last game. Rutgers is moving in the right direction this year while Northwestern has been moving the opposite way in the last few years. The best bet to make in this game is on Rutgers moneyline or on them to cover the spread here.
Rutgers Northwestern Prediction: Our NCAAF Pick for Saturday, October 16, 2021 (12:00 pm ET start time) is Rutgers 27 Northwestern 20.
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NCAAF Betting Trends
Rutgers Scarlet Knights: 160-168 ATS in all games. 96-120 ATS against conference opponents. 90-111 O/U in all games. 53-69 O/U as an underdog. 37-48 O/U in road games.
Northwestern Wildcats: 182-162 ATS in all games. 46-32 ATS when the total is between 42.5 and 49. 120-93 ATS as an underdog. 127-108 ATS against conference opponents. 113-143 O/U in all games. 28-49 O/U when the total is between 42.5 and 49. 52-78 O/U in home games.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights: B. Melton (WR) Ques Sat - Shoulder injury. R. O'Neal (OL) Out indefinitely - Leg injury. C. Long (DB) Out indefinitely - Suspension. M. Melton (DB) Out indefinitely - Suspension.
Northwestern Wildcats: J. Jefferson (WR) Ques Sat - Undisclosed injury. A. Marty (QB) Ques Sat - Upper Body injury. B. Holman (WR) Out Indefinitely - Head injury.
Players to Watch
Rutgers Scarlet Knights: Isaiah Pacheco is one player to watch in this contest. He leads his team in rushing yards and in touchdowns scored this season. He was quiet in their last game and will be looking to bounce back in this game with a better performance. He is a big focal point of this offense so look for him to make some big runs and find the end zone in this one.
Northwestern Wildcats: Stephon Robinson Jr. is one player to watch here. He leads his team in receiving yards this season. He is coming off of a good game where he had over 100 yards receiving and he will be looking to keep that up in this game. They will need a good performance from him if they want to win this game so look for him to make the big catches down the field in this one.
"I look at this game, we gave up big plays. We gave up four big plays. We haven't done that. We haven't given up big plays. You give up big plays, it's going to be hard to do anything, right? You're behind the 8-ball." - Greg Schiano on why his team lost to MSU in their last game.
"Obviously not our night and credit Nebraska. They played incredibly well and were able to execute their option plays in the first half, and that kind of snowballed." - Pat Fitzgerald after his team lost to Nebraska in a blowout in their last game.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
WR Aron Cruickshank
WR Bo Melton
WR Jones, Shameen
TE Haskins, Jovani
QB Vedral, Noah
RB Pacheco, Isaih
WR Washington, Malik
WR Bryce Kirtz
WR Robinson Jr., Stephon
TE Mangieri, Charlie
QB Hilinski, Ryan
RB Hull, Evan
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Passing: N. Vedral (1122)
Rushing: I. Pacheco (327)
Receiving: B. Melton (253)
Touchdowns: I. Pacheco (3)
Sacks: J. Turner (3)
Tackles: O. Fatukasi (33)
Passing: H. Johnson (424)
Rushing: E. Hull (509)
Receiving: S. Robinson Jr. (309)
Touchdowns: E. Hull (4)
Sacks: A. Adebawore (2.5)
Tackles: C. Bergin (35)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights: Greg Schiano (13th season)
Northwestern Wildcats: Pat Fitzgerald (16th season)
58 degrees F partly cloudy, 58% humidity, 0% chance of rain, up to 15 mph wind speeds NW.