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Washington vs. Nebraska Free Pick and Betting Preview

9/17/11

Nebraska hosts the Washington Huskies Saturday in what will be their 3rd meeting in a little over a year. They played early on last year with Nebraska winning 56-21 and then again in the Holiday Bowl with a much different result, Washington on top 19-7. This time around, Nebraska opened up as a -17.5 home favorite and early money, perhaps with that bowl game in mind, has moved the number to -16.5 across the board.

Washington had a nice year last season, going 7-6 and beating teams like Syracuse, USC, Oregon State, UCLA and Cal while coming up short, way short, against the likes of Stanford, Arizona and Oregon. So, a good team. A competitive team, but not a great team. Certainly not a team that could hang with the nations elite, week after week. While they return a bunch of starters from a year ago and have a veteran team in general, one very important player from a year ago is missing. QB Jake Locker, who is now in the NFL.

Nebraska returned 5 on offense including QB Taylor Martinez and 7 on the defense. But they have been unimpressive in their first two games. The beat Chattanooga 40-7 but struggled against Fresno at times. It was a 28-26 game early in the 4th. Same deal for Washington. They struggles against Eastern Washington, winning 30-27 but did beat a decent Hawaii team last week with Keith Price looking like Jake Locker. They jumped in front 21-0 but Hawaii was able to fight their way back and make it close.

We agree with the line move in this one. At +17 or more, the Huskies start to look attractive. Tough to make a call when using Hawaii and E Wash defenses as a barometer, but it appears as though Washington can still move the ball and with Nebraska giving up 29 to Fresno, that would seem to leave the back door wide open in a spot like this. We'll consider Washington at +17 or more.

** This is a revenge game for Nebraska. If you think revenge isn't big in college football, think again. Here's a quote from a Nebraska player.

“I’ve never been a big guy into revenge or anything like that,” offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles said Monday, “but I think we have a chip on our shoulders as a team. It’s something that has sat in the back of our heads since last December, how we finished the season.”

Along those same lines, there's pressure on Nebraska to win big. Here's another quote, this time from coach Bo Pelini.

“I mean, there’s consternation around here if you don’t win 50-0 every week,” Pelini said. “That’s just part of the deal. I look at the reality of where we are and where we need to go to get better and to get wins. That’s all I focus my efforts on. “If I start worrying what the public thinks, I’ll end up in a rubber room probably.”

I'd translate that to say, "we'll win by a ton if we can". But again, the number is too high to get involved with the Huskers.

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