The Minnesota Golden Gophers (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten West) visit the Northwestern Wildcats (2-8, 0-7) Saturday for a noon ET kickoff at Ryan Field. We analyze the Minnesota-Northwestern odds and betting lines, while providing college football betting tips and advice on this matchup.
The Golden Gophers are ranked 11th in the Amway Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports. They’re 10th in the College Football Playoff Rankings.
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Minnesota at Northwestern: Three things to know
1. Minnesota suffered its first loss of the season last week, dropping a 23-19 decision at then-No. 23 Iowa Hawkeyes. The Gophers still control their own destiny to win the division and make their first Big Ten Championship Game. After Northwestern, they close the regular season at home against second-place Wisconsin, which is one game back.
Northwestern snapped a seven-game losing streak by stepping out of conference for a 45-6 rout of lowly UMass (1-10) last Saturday. It’s been a tough season for the ‘Cats, who a year ago won the Big Ten West and lost to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game.
2. Gophers QB Tanner Morgan, who has thrown for 707 yards in the last two games, is in the concussion protocol. With his status for Northwestern uncertain, Cole Kramer or Jacob Clark – both true freshmen – could start.
3. Northwestern has won the last two head-to-head meetings, 24-14 at Minnesota last season and 39-0 at home in 2017.
Minnesota at Northwestern: Odds, betting lines and picks
Odds via BetMGM ; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated Thursday at 2:15 a.m. ET.
Minnesota 35, Northwestern 17
AVOID. Minnesota’s -667 is too chalky. Every $6.67 wagered on the Gophers to win outright would profit $1 if they do so (Ex: Bet $66.70 to profit $10). Betting on Northwestern (+450) pays 4.5-to-1, but the Wildcats are not winning Saturday no matter who’s behind center for the Gophers. I just can’t suggest to anyone to lay that kind of wood.
Against the Spread (ATS)
MINNESOTA (- 12.5, -134) is the STRONGEST PLAY. With a full week to fume about the Iowa loss, the Gophers will take out their frustrations on the Wildcats, who are 2-8 against the spread this season. The Gophers are 6-3-1 ATS in 2019.
New to sports betting? Every $1.34 wagered that Minnesota will win by 13 or more points will profit $1.
The OVER39.5 (- 115) is worth a small play. Minnesota averages 35.7 PPG and is 6-4 O/U this season. Northwestern ranks 129th (out of 130 teams) with 14.5 PPG and it’s 3-7 O/U. Even if Minnesota’s Morgan sits, look for WRs Rashod Bateman (945 receiving yards, 7 TDs) and Tyler Johnson (900 receiving yards, 9 TDs) to have big games. Meanwhile, Northwestern should be able to move the ball behind freshman RB Evan Hull, who ran for 220 yards on 24 carries vs. UMass last week.
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Johnny’s 2019 college football record: 7-5. Strongest plays: 3-3.
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