Nevada +24 2.2% play
Northwestern returns 16 starters, but they lose their best player in my opinion in receiver Austin Carr who had a sensational year last year. This is a team that has played down to their competition under Pat Fitzgerald. In 2016 they lost 7-9 to Illinois State as double digit favorites. In 2014 they lost ATS as TD or more favorites in three straight games to open the season. In 2013 they lost ATS to Western Michigan and Maine as huge dogs. This is a team thatÃ¢ÂÂs not really used to being a big favorite and when they are they typically donÃ¢ÂÂt blow teams out. The hype is there with Thorson at QB, and I think 24 points is far too many. Northwestern most likely looking past Nevada and towards their road game at Duke, a big one in non-conference play.
Meanwhile Nevada is on my list of teams for most improved in 2017. Nevada has an Alabama transfer in David Cornwell Jr. running the air raid offense and I am predicting a major improvement in the offense as I see them putting up points. Cornwell was the #6 QB out of high school, but did not play at Bama. What I am most excited about is NevadaÃ¢ÂÂs defense, which brings in a new defensive coordinator in Jeff Casteel. Casteel will bring with him and heÃ¢ÂÂs a 3-3-5 defense which is always difficult to prepare for. I imagine Clayton Thorson really is not used to seeing this type of defense and it prove difficult to put up a lot of points against. Nevada also has 9 returning starters on defense that over achieved last year and will likely improve again.
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