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Northwestern Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers Outback Bowl Predictions, Odds, Picks and NCAA Football Betting Preview – January 1, 2015

Northwestern Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers Outback Bowl Predictions, Odds, Picks and NCAA Football Betting Preview – January 1, 2015

New Year’s Day can’t get any better with an explosive matchup between the Northwestern Wildcats and the Tennessee Volunteers in the Outback Bowl. The two feature some of the country’s best offenses, which should provide plenty of fireworks well after New Year’s Eve. Read on as we take a look at this thrilling matchup.

If you’re up for more bowl games on New Year’s Day, then check out our complete previews for the Citrus Bowl’s Michigan vs. Florida and the Fiesta Bowl’s Notre Dame vs. Ohio State.

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Northwestern Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers Preview

Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

When: Friday, January 1, 12:00 PM ET

Line: Northwestern Wildcats (+8) vs. Tennessee Volunteers (-8); total 47.5view all NCAA Football lines

TV Broadcast: ESPN 2

Betting on the Northwestern Wildcats (10-2)

The Northwestern Wildcats have a chip on their shoulders. Despite finishing second in the Big Ten with a stellar 10-2 record, the Wildcats missed out on a bigger bowl game. But if they want to show their frustrations, then they’ll need a much better performance than their average of 333 yards per game.

[sc:NCAA240banner ]The Wildcats struggle to move the football. They struggle even more when they’re in the red zone. The Wildcats have only scored a touchdown in 39.4 percent of their red zone trips, the worst in the Big Ten this season. But if there’s one thing Northwestern is good at, it’s defense. They allow just 16.4 points per game, seventh in the nation.

Anthony Walker Jr. anchors the Northwestern defense as a 6-foot-1, 235-pound linebacker. He leads the team with 113 tackles, including 19.5 for a loss, while registering four sacks. Walker ranks fifth in the Big Ten in tackles and tied for the lead in stops behind the line of scrimmage.

While Walker leads the defensive effort to stop Tennessee’s vaunted offense, the running game headed by the backfield duo of Justin Jackson and Dan Vitale. Jackson leads the team as a bruising running back, racking up 1,344 yards and four touchdowns this season. Meanwhile, Vitale could help spread the offense as a catching back with a team-high 355 yards receiving and four scores.

Jackson and Vitale will have some support in the forms of Clayton Thorson and Warren Long. The two running backs each have five touchdowns to lead the team in rushing scores. Having so much talent in the running game should help Northwestern chew out the clock to keep Tennessee’s offense off the field.

The Wildcats have won their last five games, going 4-1 ATS.

Betting on the Tennessee Volunteers (8-4)

Northwestern vs Tennessee 2016 Outback Bowl Predictions and Preview

For the Tennessee Volunteers, football is all about its offense drowning their opponents in points. They outscored their opponents 412-254 in the regular season, despite facing some injury issues toward the latter part of the year. It’s not all offense, though. The Vols also happen to have one of the SEC’s best linebackers solidifying their offense.

Tennessee is led by dual-threat quarterback Joshua Dobbs. He’s been very good as both a passer and a runner this season. Dobbs has completed 59.9 percent of his passes for 2,125 yards with 15 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He’s also scrambled for 623 yards and nine scores.

A pair of running backs helps keep the pressure off Dobbs. Jalen Hurn and Alvin Kamara have been solid runners this season. Hurd leads the backfield with 253 carries, 1,158 yards and 11 touchdowns. Kamara has been a very strong change-of-pace back averaging 6.7 yards per carry this season with six total rushing scores.

Having three strong runners should help the Vols crack Northwestern’s solid front seven, which has allowed just 117.8 yards rushing per game.

The Vols ended the regular season on a five-game win streak, but have gone just 3-2 ATS.

Writer’s Prediction

Northwestern’s (+8) defense shines as they win the Outback Bowl. Create a betting account now and win big this exciting bowl season.

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Written by Kevin

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