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Stanford football 12 to 12.5 point favorites at Northwestern

Go to Rule of Tree to learn more about the Cardinal. Go to Inside NU for more on the Wildcats.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Stanford Cardinal get set for their Pac-12 underdog bid for another conference championship. Kevin Hogan (Two time Pac-12 champion!) and David Shaw are looking to return to the top of the Pac after an off year.

It starts on the road in Chicago against a rebuilding Northwestern squad. The Wildcats are coming off a disappointing season, but they generally play pretty tough at home and could give Stanford a bit of a challenge. Unfortunately they are losing a lot of offensive talent from an already disappointing offense, and that should mean the depth of the Cardinal defense will be able to feast.

The over/under is set at 45, which is just about right for two teams that will have plenty of salt on the defensive side. I'd expect Stanford will have enough offense to get past Northwestern, but this could be pretty close in the second half if it's typical Shaw football. There's a lot of different places Stanford can go depending on how ready the talent left is set to execute.