It is expected to be a defensive battle when the Auburn Tigers face the Northwestern Wildcats in the 2021 Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day in Orlando. Northwestern (6-2) started the season with five straight wins and was riding high after beating No. 10 Wisconsin. A loss to Michigan State the following week was a disappointment, and the Wildcats couldn’t keep up with Ohio State in a 22-10 loss in the Big Ten title game. Auburn (6-4) fired coach Gus Malzahn after it lost to three top-five teams and the offense struggled against top competition, which could be problematic against a Wildcats defense that allows less than 16 points per game.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET at Camping World Stadium. The Wildcats are four-point favorites in the latest Auburn vs. Northwestern odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 43.5. Before considering any Northwestern vs. Auburn picks, be sure to check out the college football predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $3,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It enters bowl season a sizzling 56-36 on all top-rated picks, returning over $400. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Auburn vs. Northwestern in the Citrus Bowl 2021. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college football odds and betting trends for Northwestern vs. Auburn:
- Auburn vs. Northwestern: Wildcats -4
- Auburn vs. Northwestern over-under: 43.5
- Auburn vs. Northwestern money line: Tigers +160, Wildcats -190
- AUB: 0-3 ATS as an underdog this season
- NW: 7-1 ATS overall this season
Why Northwestern can cover
Northwestern is 6-1-1 against the spread this season, and the defense ranks fifth in scoring (15.5) and is 14th against the pass (182.3). The unit has forced 18 turnovers, and the linebackers are the heart of the unit. Paddy Fisher (74 tackles), Chris Bergin (69) and Blake Gallagher (74, two sacks) don’t let much slip by, and they have combined for five takeaways. Big Ten Freshman of the Year Brandon Joseph has six interceptions, tied for most in the nation.
Eku Leota has four sacks, and the defensive front should be able to pressure Tigers QB Bo Nix into mistakes. He has been taken down 20 times and has seven interceptions. The Wildcats are 4-0 ATS in their last four against a team with a winning record. They have five rushers who have topped 200 yards, and freshman Cam Porter (4.9 per carry) and Evan Hull (8.8 on 23 carries) should find some holes against an Auburn defense that yields 163 per game on the ground.
Why Auburn can cover
Auburn is 6-1 against the spread in its last seven non-conference games, and it should be able to exploit Northwestern’s weakness with its running game. The Wildcats give up 156.5 yards per game on the ground (54th in FBS), and the Tigers have the SEC Freshman of the Year in running back Tank Bigsby (questionable, undisclosed). He has rushed for 834 yards, averaging six per carry, and has five touchdowns. Nix has contributed 356 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.
Nix has thrown for 2,123 yards and 11 TDs, and wideout Seth Williams topped 625 yards. The Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last six after allowing less than 275 yards in their previous game, and they have faced far better offenses. They allowed 19 rushing yards and had two interceptions in the finale against Mississippi State. Linebackers Zakoby McClain (101 tackles, three sacks) and Owen Pappoe (three sacks, two takeaways) are the catalysts.
How to make Auburn vs. Northwestern picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning under the total, projecting both teams will combine to score less than 40 points. It also has generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Northwestern vs. Auburn? And which side of the spread hits over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Auburn vs. Northwestern spread to back, all from the advanced model on a 56-36 run on its top-rated college football picks this season.
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