Penn State faces Northwestern. Our college basketball odds series includes our Penn State Northwestern prediction, odds, and pick.
The Penn State Nittany Lions take on the Northwestern Wildcats. Check out our college basketball odds series for our Penn State Northwestern prediction and pick. Find how to watch Penn State Northwestern.
The Northwestern Wildcats have never made the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons. They’re getting closer to achieving that elusive goal. It is very important, however, to win this game and avoid what would be a bad loss which drags down the Cats’ overall resume. Keep in mind that Northwestern lost at home to Chicago State, one of the worst losses suffered by any bubble team this season in college basketball. Without that loss, Northwestern would be safe for the NCAA Tournament. As is, the Wildcats still have work to do. Beating Penn State wouldn’t improve Northwestern’s resume, but it would prevent the resume from becoming noticeably worse. Sometimes the point of winning is not to improve one’s outlook but to avoid a worsening of one’s outlook. That’s what Northwestern is trying to do here: avoid a loss which would cause a lot more sweating on Selection Sunday.
Other than the Chicago State loss, the one other main problem Northwestern has had this season has been its inability to finish games on the road. Playing at home, that’s not a concern for the Wildcats here. If they lose at home to Penn State, they would fail on a scale exceeded only by that hard-to-believe Chicago State game.
Here are the Penn State-Northwestern College Basketball odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Basketball Odds: Penn State-Northwestern Odds
Penn State Nittany Lions: +7.5 (-102)
Northwestern Wildcats: -7.5 (-120)
Over: 144.5 (-115)
Under: 144.5 (-105)
How To Watch Penn State vs Northwestern
Time: 1:00 pm ET / 10:00 am PT
TV: Big Ten Network
Stream: fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why Penn State Could Cover the Spread
The Northwestern Wildcats have a lot of potential as a team, but they remain exasperatingly inconsistent. Northwestern led Minnesota by eight points with nearly six minutes left in regulation last Saturday and couldn’t finish off the win, falling to the Golden Gophers. Northwestern led Purdue by five points with under three minutes left a few days before that Minnesota game and could not finish off the win. Northwestern’s problems might primarily exist on the road and not at home, but the Chicago State loss did come at home, and it speaks to NU’s occasional lapses in focus and concentration. As long as some of those lapses recur, Penn State can and will keep this game close enough to cover the spread.
Also realize that Northwestern plays to its competition. This team very nearly swept Purdue, a team likely to get a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Yet, NU lost to Chicago State and has been undisciplined on the road. This team throws the switch on and off. That’s an immature team ready to be picked off at home in an upset.
Why Northwestern Could Cover the Spread
The Wildcats are a better team than Penn State. The Nittany Lions are a lower-end team in the Big Ten which has shown occasional flashes of quality but nothing on a particularly sustained basis, nothing which would suggest the Nittany Lions are ready to go on the road and put forth the kind of comprehensive performance which will give themselves a good chance of winning.
Final Penn State-Northwestern Prediction & Pick
Northwestern is unreliable on the road, but reliable at home. Ergo, take Northwestern.
Final Penn State-Northwestern Prediction & Pick: Northwestern -7.5