The 30th Outback Bowl will see the Wildcats going head to head against the Volunteers.

Outback Bowl: Northwestern vs Tennessee NCAAF Betting Predictions

Written by on December 31, 2015

The Tennessee Volunteers and Northwestern Wildcats both ride five-game winning streaks into the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day, set to kick off at high noon Eastern time from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. With a win, Northwestern could complete its first 11-win season in school history. Tennessee enters the game as a nine-point favorite, and the over/under total is 45 points. Read on to discover our NCAAF betting predictions!View full TV schedule here.

Why should you pick Northwestern (+9)?

The Wildcats got out to a 5-0 start (4-1 ATS), winning against Stanford in Week 1 as a 10-point underdog at home. They fell to Iowa and Michigan in consecutive weeks after that 5-0 start but then won their last five to finish that 10-2 season. Northwestern has a solid defense, holding their last three opponents to 14 points or below. They have been competitive all season and have that Stanford win as a big asterisk on their resume.Northwestern is heading into the Outback Bowl with a solid defense.

Why should you bet on the Volunteers (-9)?

Tennessee had a big lead on Oklahoma in Week 2 before allowing the Sooners to come back and take the victory. They got off to a disappointing 3-4 start as their young players had a hard time holding onto leads, and they fell 28-27 in their SEC opener at Florida. If they had won that game, they would have been more in the conversation for the SEC East title. They then lost to Arkansas at home but won six of their last seven. During their last five games, Tennessee has only given up an average of 16 points per game.

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

Given the two strong defenses on the field, I don’t see a nine-point spread as realistic for this matchup. I like Tennessee’s resume for the season a little better, especially given their strong play at Florida, their strong performance against OU, and their winning streak to end the season in the tough SEC. I think they will win, 23-20, but I think that Northwestern will cover.