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Northwestern Texas Tech Spread Line and Bowl Predictions

The inaugural Dallas Ticket City Bowl in Dallas, TX (12:00pm ET) featuring the Northwestern Wildcats (7-5) out of the Big 10 taking on the Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-5) out of the Big 12, will be an exciting under-the-radar game that will feature two very prolific offensive teams. Northwestern has lost 5 out of their last seven games, including a 70-23 shellacking at Wisconsin in their season finale on November 27 after starting the season 5-0. Texas Tech started the season 1-3, before closing with wins in 3 out of their last 4 games including a 35-20 win over Houston on November 27.

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Northwestern comes into the game without the services of All-Big 10 quarterback Dan Persa, who suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury in the win over Iowa on November 13. Without Persa, who had been averaging 310 yards per game of total offense and with Evan Watkins under center, Northwestern lost their last two games including a 48-27 loss to Illinois. Northwestern has allowed 3.3 sacks per game, and Watkins is not nearly as mobile as Persa under center so this could be a key factor in the game. Leading rusher Mike Trumpy may also miss the game with a wrist injury suffered against Illinois. Defensively the Wildcats rank near the bottom nationally with 409.7 YPG allowed 230.5 through the air and 179.2 on the ground.

The Red Raiders’ spread offense averaged 32.1 points per game and 314.8 yards per game through the air, 8th best in the nation. Senior quarterback Taylor Potts, a two-year starter, threw for over 3,300 yards with a 66 percent completion percentage and 31 touchdowns with only 8 interceptions. Lyle Leong, a high school teammate of Potts’, is his top receiving target with 64 receptions for 808 yards and 17 touchdowns. Defensively the Red Raiders rank among the worst in the nation with 453.7 yards per game allowed and 30.3 points per contest.

Northwestern has not won a bowl game since 1949, seven straight bowl losses. This will be the first meeting for Northwestern and Texas Tech. Northwestern is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games and 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games overall. Texas Tech is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 bowl games and 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite. The over is 9-3 in the Wildcats’ last 12 games against a team with a winning record and 10-4 in their last 14 games overall. The over is 4-1 in Texas Tech’s last 5 non-conference games and the under is 8-2 in their last 10 games against a team with a winning record.

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Northwestern vs. Texas Tech Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:

Northwestern Wildcats +9.5
@ Texas Tech Red Raiders -9.5

Game Total:

Over: 60.5 (110)
Under: 60.5 (110)

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Northwestern vs. Texas Tech Prediction for Dallas Ticket City Bowl:

Over/Under Prediction (Top Play) – With both teams unable to stop opposing offense, or even slow them down very much; this should be a field day for both offensive units. Potts will almost certainly have a big day against the Wildcats’ 8th ranked secondary, and Watkins should be able to take advantage of the Red Raiders’ 119th ranked pass defense as well assuming that his offensive line gives him time to throw.

PREDICTION (TOP PLAY) – Over 60.5

Spread Prediction – Northwestern is missing its starting quarterback, and the Wildcats will not be as explosive on offense as they have been throughout the season. Texas Tech will be ready to go on offense and should be able to move the ball at will through the air against the Wildcats. Watkins should be able to have some success against a porous Texas Tech secondary as well but he has been mistake prone since taking over for the last two game of the season, throwing 4 interceptions. Quarterback play, as it usually is, will be the difference in this game and that favors the Red Raiders.

PREDICTION– Texas Tech -9.5

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