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Big 10 Football Pick
After sitting on the outside of the Top 25 for a couple weeks, Michigan is back on the good side with three straight wins. The only problem they have is that they may not beat a ranked team all year. Their two losses were to Alabama and Notre Dame and the Big 10 has been terrible this season. Their last game of the season is at Ohio State who isn't eligible for BCS play. Nebraska is in the same situation, although their win over Wisconsin a few weeks ago may be able to help them later in the season. Each school is coming off two really close wins in which they were at least TD favorites.
The Cornhuskers haven't covered in three straight games while the Wolverines are 3-4 ATS on the year. Michigan's defense has picked it up a lot since their second game, but a large reason for that could be because of poor offenses. Nebraska has given up plenty of points, but they have also played teams that could actually score. Last year in Michigan, the Wolverines held down Taylor Martinez for 171 total yards to win convincingly 45-17. Expect a bigger fight this year from the Cornhuskers, especially in Lincoln.
Martinez has improved greatly this year in the passing game. He already has two more touchdowns than all of last year and completing 10 percent more of his passes. Of course, he also has 86 carries for 403 yards and six TDs which is a nice weapon to have. No one has been able to stop their offense yet this year, as they score over 40 points per game. The fewest points they've scored all year was 29 last weekend at Northwestern. Rex Burkhead still isn't completely healthy which means Ameer Abdullah will once again see a good amount of touches. He's averaging 5.9 yards per carry for seven TDs. Kenny Bell continues to be Martinez's top option through the air with 540 yards and five touchdowns.
An offense like the one Nebraska has tends to give the Wolverines trouble. That shouldn't be a problem for Denard Robinson and company, though. While they were stifled for just four field goals against Michigan State last week, the Cornhuskers don't have near the quality of defense the Spartans do.
Robinson's passing was supposed to be improved in his senior year, but his completion percentage has actually decreased in three straight seasons. He is not throwing the ball well and only has nine TDs compared to nine INTs. His legs have bailed him out all season which is why they are still scoring over 30 points per game. Robinson already has 121 carries for 900 yards and six TDs. Fitzgerald Toussaint has been the main problem in the backfield as he's averaging only 3.5 yards per carry. That totals only 283 yards, 617 less than his QB. WR Drew Dileo was a big factor in last week's game with four catches and 92 yards, but he still only has 10 receptions on the year.
The Wolverines are only 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 road games, but Nebraska hasn't been great since joining the Big 10 with a 1-5-1 ATS record in their last seven conference games. The under has hit five times in Michigan's last seven road games.
This might be a good one to stay away from. Our numbers say Michigan is the side, mostly as a result of their defense. Nebraska has been able to put points on the board every time they have taken the field this year so it will be interesting to see what they can do against the best defense they have faced to date. Nebraska also has a revenge motive as a result of getting blown out last year and they get this game at home, in prime time under the lights in what should be a frenzied atmosphere.
Just a lean but our numbers say the underdog Wolverines win straight up by 13. Michigan +2.5
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