It’s been a troubling season for both of these teams and SCott Frost still doesn’t have a win in his first year with Nebraska. It at least showed some fight last week in Wisconsin, though getting another road Game doesn’t help in hopes of a win. Northwestern was just a -3.5 point favorite with an over/under of 60 as of Wednesday at YOUWAGER Spotsbook.
This spread is a bit small considering the improvement Northwestern has made the last two weeks. It let one slip away against Michigan, losing 20-17, and then took down Michigan State in East LAnsing last weekend, 29-19. It looks like the oddsmakers still aren’t giving the Wildcats much respect and there are reasons for that. When these teams met last year, Northwestern won in overtime via its rushing attack with 232 yards on the ground. Unfortunately, that may not work in this year’s matchup.
The problem for the Wildcats is that their top running back has just 57 yards and they are averaging 2.4 yards per carry as a team. John Moten was relegated to the bench last week as Drake Anderson and Solomon Vault combined for 15 carries and 18 yards. The loss of running back Jeremy LArkin could be a burden on this offense for the rest of the season if they can’t figure things out. The good news is that Nebraska is allowing more than 200 rushing yards and a ridiculous 39.2 points per Game. Sure, they’ve played some good offenses, but those are terrible numbers no matter who you play, especially playing in back-to-back road Games. The good news for Northwestern is that Clayton Thorson opened up the offense against MSU and threw for 373 yards. His numbers are still iffy with six touchdowns, five interceptions and 6.84 yards per attempt, but as a Four-year starter, he at least has the experience to get this offense moving, especially against a bad defense.
The one thing Nebraska has been able to do with Adrian Martinez at quarterback is Scoreand that’s why this spread is so close. He’s been great the last couple Games, throwing for 707 yards and rushing for 146 more on the ground. While that hasn’t been enough in losses, that’s at least giving the offense a spark and if Martinez can lead the offense to 24 points at Wisconsin, he should be close to that number in Northwestern. Of course, he still needs help, whether that’s Devine Ozigbo in the running Game or JD Spielman and Stanley Morgan catching passes. Northwestern has a good defense and usually plays better at home and that’s something to keep in mind if planning to bet on the road team.
The Cornhuskers are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 Games on grass and 5-2 ATS in their last seven on the road, yet 1-5 ATS in their last six overall. The Wildcats have covered in their last six home Games against a team with a losing road record and are 21-5 ATS in their last 26 Conference Games. The road team has covered in the last five meetings, but Northwestern is 5-2 ATS in the last seven.
Our Pick – Northwestern -3.5