With Northwestern vs. Ohio State on deck, College GameDay heading to Evanston, and six damn days between us and the Game of the Northwestern Century, it's important to have something that keeps our excitement merely "dangerously high" instead of "no seriously you're so excited you're probably going to die." Las Vegas does that by reminding us that Northwestern will probably lose Saturday: the Wildcats are 5.5-point underdogs to Ohio State.
Note that I used the word "probably." Ohio State is very, very good. The Wildcats aren't expected to win. They really shouldn't.
Luckily, the thing that excites me isn't the probability that Northwestern will beat Ohio State: It's the possibility. If you watched the Buckeyes Saturday night, you know they're not unbeatable: Wisconsin had the ball with the opportunity to tie the game late, although, it, um, didn't go well. It's the possibility.
5.5 points is much lower than I expected the line to be, and I'm very okay with it. Vegas puts the difference between Ohio State and Northwestern in front of a super-hyped home crowd at less than a touchdown. That's a loose ball that bounces Northwestern's way or a trick play. We should temper our expectations, but, Northwestern CAN win this game.