Northwestern vs. Rutgers Prediction: Odds, Spread, DFS Picks, and More

    This Rutgers Scarlett Knights and Northwestern Wildcats prediction and preview highlights one of the first Big Ten matchups of the 2023 season.

    This early Big Ten matchup could help these two teams pick up a much-needed win in the conference as the Rutgers Scarlet Knights host the Northwestern Wildcats.

    Neither team did much damage in the Big Ten last season, as Rutgers started at 3-0 in non-conference play before winning just one Big Ten game the rest of the season. Northwestern fared worse by only beating Nebraska in week one of the regular season before losing 11 straight games after that. These two teams need to start with a win to gain some momentum for what seems like a rough season ahead for both.

    Northwestern vs. Rutgers Betting and DFS Preview

    • Spread
      Rutgers -6.5, Northwestern +6.5
    • Moneyline
      Rutgers -250, Northwestern +190
    • Over/Under
      40.5 points
    • Game time
      12:00 p.m. EST
    • Location
      SHI Stadium, Piscataway Township, NJ
    • Predicted Weather at Kick
      83 degrees, mostly sunny, winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph
    • How to Watch

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    Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays

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    Looking for each team’s depth chart? Click the appropriate link to view.
    Northwestern Depth Chart | Rutgers Depth Chart

    • QB Gavin Wimsatt, Rutgers
    • QB Ben Bryant, Northwestern
    • RB Samuel Brown V,
    • RB Kyle Monangai
    • RB Cam Porter
    • WR Naseim Brantley
    • WR Chris Long
    • WR Bryce Kirtz
    • TE Johnny Langan
    • TE Thomas Gordon

    Northwestern will roll with former Eastern Michigan and Cincinnati quarterback Ben Bryant as he is in the final season of his college career. Bryant has proven to be a winner and a high-performing quarterback in the past, throwing 35 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in the last two seasons as a starter.

    Unfortunately for him, he only has two returning starters on offense from last season, so he might be a reach to start for at least the start of the season.

    Rutgers quarterback Gavin Wimsatt might not fare much better in fantasy as he is coming off a lackluster 44.8 completion percentage in five starts last season for Rutgers. Wimsatt has looked much better in spring ball, leading to him getting the starting job for at least the beginning of the season. He should be avoided as an option until proven otherwise.

    A suggestion for fantasy is to take a chance on the two Rutgers running backs, Samuel Brown V and Kyle Monangai, as they return to being the top two rushers from last season’s team. They combined for 819 yards and five touchdowns. Three of their offensive linemen were starters from last season, so put more faith in the running game, especially with the Wildcats ranking 109 against the run last season.

    Wide receiver Naseim Brantley and tight end Johnny Langan are the safest bets as pass catchers for Rutgers. Of the returning players, Langan leads the team in receiving categories, so he could be in for a career season at tight end.

    Brantley was one of the FCS’s top receivers, with Western Illinois totaling 893 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. He has a chance to be the Scarlett Knights’ top receiver this season and start with a bang against a weak Northwestern defense.

    Prediction for Northwestern vs. Rutgers

    Everyone should expect a classic Big Ten slug match, with the running games being the feature of the game. Northwestern has a proven quarterback compared to Rutgers, but the main problem is that it’s really all the Wildcats have outside of Bryant.

    It’s been a nightmare of an offseason for Northwestern after the controversy surrounding former head coach Pat Fitzgerald with accusations of hazing on the football program. Now David Braun takes over as head coach for the Wildcats and can only hope to produce more than one win compared to last season. Seven total starters returning from last year’s unit could either spell trouble for the Wildcats or be a blessing in disguise.

    Rutgers is finally starting to turn the table in the Big Ten as they are becoming more competitive than they ever have since joining the conference. Head coach Greg Schiano has a lot to do with changing the culture of the program. There were still tough games last season for them, but the improvement is there with the hopes that this season is the one to turn it all around.

    Rutgers’ program is in much better shape than Northwestern’s. Neither school is expected to make much of a run in the Big Ten or even appear in a bowl game. They each need to rebuild and restructure to have a decent season in 2023.

    This matchup should show which school is in a better position right now compared to the other. The gut feeling is to trust the stability more; that advantage goes to Rutgers for now.

    Rutgers 24, Northwestern 14

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