June 21, 2021
2021 Northwestern Wildcats Betting Odds, Predictions, Preview
It might be rather surprising to some, but Northwestern is one of just four teams in the Big Ten to have multiple appearances in the Big Ten Championship Game. They have two appearances, in 2018 and last season, in 2020. That's one more than Penn State, and two more than Michigan. The Wildcats always seem to be rather underrated, but they seem to overachieve and always serve as a thorn in the side of their conference mates.
Northwestern has just seven starters returning from last season's West Division winning team, though, and they'll have a new man under center. QBs Ryan Hilinski and Ryan Johnson will do battle for the starting job, and they'll have RB Cam Porter to hand off to, making their job much easier. The receiving corps is also a little inexperienced, as no returning player at either wideout or tight end had more than seven catches in 2020. So the offense could be a bit sluggish, especially early in the season.
True freshman WR Jordan Mosley might get a long look, and transfer WR Stephon Robinson also could be in line for a large role.
On defense, the Wildcats must replace LB Chris Bergin and S Brandon Joseph, two of a handful of solid producers who have since moved on. The defense allowed just 4.9 yards per play in 2020, but could be quite a bit more giving with a lot of new faces in key places. True freshman LB Mac Uihlein could be a future star, and CB Cameron Mitchell will look to step up in the secondary.
Northwestern was an outstanding 6-1-1 ATS during the regular season, and they picked up an impressive 35-19 win in the VRBO Citrus Bowl to cap off an outstanding 7-2 SU season. Can they come close to that type of production in 2021?
Well, the non-conference schedule isn't very daunting. They should sweep all three non-league games against FCS Indiana State, and Ohio, sandwiching a road trip to Duke. The opener against Michigan State on Friday, Sept. 3, at home is also very winnable. We could see a ranked Wildcats side heading into Nebraska on Oct. 2, another winnable game, and they have a home date with Rutgers on Oct. 16. It wouldn't be particularly shocking to see six wins in the first six games, although they'll likely stumble at least once or twice, perhaps in the opener and/or in Nebraska.
While the Wildcats are fortunate enough to miss Ohio State and Penn State on the schedule, they still travel to Michigan and Wisconsin for a couple of tough assignments. And you never know in a rivalry game against Illinois, a road trip to close out the season.
There are a lot of questions for the Wildcats with so many new starters, but at least seven wins should be a good possibility. The lean is to play the OVER, as they should be able to grab at least four wins in the first six games, and at least three wins in the final six.
Preseason Best Bet: Over 6 Wins (-113)
2021 Northwestern Wildcats Schedule
Win Total Odds
Northwestern Odds to win 2021 Big 10 Championship
The Wildcats overachieved, and took advantage of a collapse by Wisconsin, and won the tiebreaker against Iowa thanks to a narrow 21-20 road win on Halloween 2020. But they're not going to sneak up on anyone, and with QB Patrick Ramsey deciding to try his hand in the NFL, the Wildcats have a ton of questions on the offensive side of the ball. No title shot is coming this season.
Northwestern Odds to Win 2021-22 College Football Playoff
We won't see the Wildcats competing for a playoff spot anytime soon, as they'll have their hands full just gaining bowl eligibility this season.
2020 Northwestern Wildcats Betting Results
Betting on the 2021 Northwestern Wildcats
Where can I bet on the 2021 Northwestern Wildcats football team?
There are several legal sportsbook options in the United States. Visit our sportsbook directory to find online sportsbooks where you can bet on the Northwestern Wildcats.
Legal Wagering in Illinois
What other College Football bets are available?
Bets can be placed nearly every team in the FCS. Check out our NCAA Futures Odds to see odds to win the NCAA championship and each conference or visit our main NCAA Football page for the latest betting news.
What’s Northwestern's point spreads for each of their games?
College Football odds are generally released early in the week when the game is scheduled to be played. For weekly odds, check out our College Football Vegas Odds page.
Where can I learn how to bet on College Football?
To learn more about betting on College Football, check out our football betting tutorial.