Where: Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee
Date & Time: Friday, December 29, 2017 at 4:30 PM ET
Spread: Northwestern Wildcats -6
Over/Under Total: 51
Quick Pick: Northwestern Wildcats-6 (buy it down if you need to)
The game is played in Nashville, Tennessee at the Nissan Stadium, home of the Pro Football NFL Team, Tennessee Titans. The game has been around since 1998, when it was played at Vanderbilt Stadium.
This game has been referred to and played under the names of Music City Bowl, HomePoint.com Music City Bowl, Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl and Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl presented by Bridgestone.
The Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl features teams with conference tie-ins from the ACC or the BIG 10 and the SEC. This year, the Kentucky Wildcats will be the SEC representative, while the Northwestern Wildcats will represent the BIG 10.
The Kentucky Wildcats have played in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl more than any other team, coming in with 4 prior appearances and a 2-2 record. This will be the first time that the Northwestern Wildcats will play in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.
Previous Matchup History
The Kentucky Wildcats and the Northwestern Wildcats have only played each other one time, if you even consider these stats with the game being played…..in 1928!!! In that game, NW won the game 7-0 in a lack of offensive outing by both teams in Evanston, Illinois.
Kentucky Wildcats 7-5 (SEC)
The Kentucky Wildcats are 7-5 SU and 3-9 ATS on the regular season. They were not a team that many bettors made money on as they only covered the spread in three games all year. Kentucky ended up finishing up the regular season with only covering 1 game in their final 8 games!!!
They ended up going 3-2 SU on the road but only 2-3 ATS this year but this really isn’t much of a travel, with the University of Kentucky only being a 3 hour drive from Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. In the last 4 games that Kentucky played at Nissan Stadium, the fans traveled well with the average attendance being roughly 63k fans in attendance. Kentucky ended up losing 3 of their final 4 games of the year, with their only win coming on the road against Vanderbilt 44-21.
Kentucky has relied heavily on QB Stephen Johnson. Johnson completed 60.7% of his passes for 2048 yards. Johnson threw 10 touchdowns and only 4 INT’s on the year. The Wildcats also rode a heavy rushing attack this year from RB Benny Snell Jr. Snell has ran the ball 256 times for 1318 yards and a whopping 18 touchdowns.
The Kentucky Wildcats have appeared in 16 bowl games and have a .500 record of 8-8. They have lost their last 3 bowl games against Georgia Tech in the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl by the score 33-18, Pittsburgh Panthers in the 2010 BBVA Compass Bowl by the score 27-10 and the 2009 Music City Bowl to the Clemson Tigers 21-13. They will be looking to snap that 3 game losing streak with a win over Northwestern.
Northwestern Wildcats 9-3 (BIG 10)
The Northwestern Wildcats ended their regular season with a 9-3 SU and ATS record. Unlike the Kentucky Wildcats, NW was a great play for bettors this year covering the spread in 9 of the 12 games. NW was one of the hottest teams in the country to close out the year, as they won their final 7 games both SU and ATS
Enter Info about conference championship game and how they got to bowl
The Northwestern Wildcats will lean on QB Clayton Thorson. Thorson has completed 60.8% of his passes for 2809 yards. He has thrown 15 touchdowns but struggled with control throwing 12 INT’s. Justin Jackson has been the workhorse for the Wildcats. He has ran the ball 255 times for 1154 yards and 9 touchdowns. The Wildcats will look to send Jackson out in style as a winner in his final game in Northwestern.
Northwestern has only appeared in 13 bowls in the history of the program and their record is just 3-10. They have won 2 of their last 3 bowl games and come into this one with a win over Pittsburgh Panthers in the 2016 Pinstripe Bowl.
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Handicapping
Justin Jackson is the type of player that can take over games and carry teams to wins on his back. He led NW to many wins and defenses are absolutely forced to stack the box because of his elusiveness and running capabilities. The fact is since he has been in NW, he has been the workhorse and is the main source of offense. They will NOT let him go out as a loser! He will run between the tackles and find holes along the line, where they will chew up the clock and yardage!
We have the Northwestern winning this game by nearly 3 touchdowns. This is a big win for us as the line in this game is only NW -6, buy it down if needed. We like this one as we think it is a good line and one we can take advantage of. Bet it and forget it!
Spooky Express Pick: Northwestern -6
Note: This bowl game is being handicapped and broken down weeks in advance of the game being played. Please be sure to check back periodically to determine if any changes have been made and be sure to check the day of the game, to receive and over/under plays that we may provide.
**Update** Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
We already gave out Northwestern and hopefully you got them early with us because the line has went up to 8 or 8.5, I’ve seen it even as high as 9 point!!! That is why we released this early because we had that feeling this line would increase! We will also be adding a total for this game, as we like the over here. We will make it a 1 star play but buy it down to 49.
Northwestern -6 (3 out of 5 Stars)
Northwestern vs. Kentucky Over 49 (1 out of 5 Stars)