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2018

Nebraska Cornhuskers

College Football

Betting Preview

After a completely defunct 2017 for Nebraska, things are looking up with the hiring of Scott Frost from UCF. Frost has a lot of work to do with a team that finished 4-8 last year, but the Cornhuskers have always been a team that recruited well in the middle of the country. Their first order of business in the offseason was finding a quarterback to fit the new offense, although that may be decided during the season. Mostly due to Frost, the Huskers were projected to finish second in the Big Ten West according to the National Championship spring odds (+15000) from 5Dimes Sportsbook.

Coming out of the spring, redshirt freshman Tristan Gebbia and freshman Adrian Martinez were the top two candidates for the quarterback job. Martinez had a great spring game, but there’s no telling how the competition will play out. The big thing for the Huskers will be to gel the offensive line after the run game was non-existent last season. Devine Ozigbo (493 yards) will fight with last year’s backups for playing time in addition to JUCO transfer Greg Bell, who had a solid spring. Receiver should also be set with Stanley Morgan (986 yards, 10 TDs) and JD Spielman (55 receptions, 830 yards) ready to return to their roles. Surprisingly, Spielman had spring odds of +10000 to win the Heisman. There’s little experience at quarterback, but that may be best for the new offense under Frost.

The defensive transition may be just as big with new coordinator Erik Chinander having a lot of work on his hands. The Huskers managed just 14 sacks and gave up a ridiculous 5.6 yards per carry last year. But as with any coaching staff, there was plenty of hype in the spring that the defense was improving with numerous players stepping up. Carlos Davis is expected to make a jump at end, while Dedrick Young and Will Honas should keep the defense afloat at inside linebacker. It’s the same in the secondary with Lamar Jackson and DiCaprio Bootle the expected starters at corner, while freshman Ethan Cox made a name for himself in the spring.

There’s no doubt Nebraska will look like a different team in 2018 and has a good shot to reach a bowl, but winning the Big Ten is a reach in Frost’s first season. While the non-conference games are all winnable, the Cornhuskers have to travel in three of their first four conference games to Michigan, Wisconsin and Northwestern. Then you throw in trips to Ohio State and Iowa in addition to hosting Michigan State and it’s one of the most difficult schedules in the Big Ten. The Huskers will have to improve on both sides of the ball if they want to reach a bowl. That may require winning all of their semi-difficult, non-conference games in addition to every home game it’s favored in. If not, the Huskers may have to steal a road game at the likes of Northwestern or Iowa, which isn’t impossible, but not something to bet on from a team that is rolling with a completely different system.

 

2018 Nebraska Cornhuskers Football Schedule

Sept. 1 vs. Akron

Sept. 8 vs. Colorado

Sept. 15 vs. Troy 

Sept. 22 at Michigan

Sept. 29 vs. Purdue

Oct. 6 at Wisconsin

Oct. 13 at Northwestern

Oct. 20 vs. Minnesota

Nov. 3 at Ohio State

Nov. 10 vs. Illinois

Nov. 17 vs. Michigan State

Nov. 23 at Iowa

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