• Paul Compton

Outback Bowl: Northwestern vs Tennessee

The SEC is still the toughest conference in college football, no matter what the anecdotal evidence wielding haters might say. As such, Tennesse had the 5th hardest schedule this year, while 10 of the top 12 toughest schedules went to SEC teams. To finish up 8-4 is not a bad season for TENN, that was the preseason betting number Over/Under set for them. Northwestern, however, far exceeded expectations, winning 10 games versus an O/U line of 6 wins. They did so by catching some teams at the right time and winning all the close games, which involves more than your fair share of luck. NW did it with pretty consistent defense, and what I wouldn't even call a one-dimensional offense -- more like a halfdimensional offense: they could run the ball okay at times, pretty consistently in every game accept their two blowout losses, with a gawdawful pass offense that 7 "worst" games on the season and not even a single "best." You can count on three fingers the number of times they threw for 6+ ypp in a game. Yes, NW faced a pretty tough schedule of B1G defenses...but still. Quite simply, that kind of offensive "production" shouldn't work against Tennessee, who has a pretty good defense, especially against the run. They held ALA to fewer rush yards than any other team this year. NW finished the year playing pretty tough run defense, but their pass defense was slipping. As such it should be a pretty good battle against a tough running Tennesse team. With even luck, TENN should get the win and cover, if just barely.

Recommended investments were: TENN -8 0.7%, 2 team teaser TENN -2 & ORE -1 teaser 1%, Under 49 (-107 5D) 0.7%