Nebraska vs Northwestern Betting Favorites, Odds to Win, and Analysis

Nebraska vs Northwestern Betting Favorites, Odds to Win, and Analysis

Written by on August 24, 2022

The first major conference game of the 2022 college football season is from Big Ten country but also played in Ireland as Nebraska takes on Northwestern on Saturday afternoon. The Huskers are solid favorites on the NCAAF odds.

How to Bet Nebraska vs. Northwestern NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 12:30 PM ET
  • Where: Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
  • TV: Fox
  • Stream: Fox Sports Go
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Nebraska -13.5 (total 50.5)

Last Meeting

Nebraska’s only Big Ten win last year was a 56-7 home rout of Northwestern. Nebraska finished with 427 rushing yards, its second-highest total in a Big Ten Conference game, trailing only 458 vs. Illinois in 2014. Nebraska’s seven rushing touchdowns were its most in a Big Ten Conference game. The Huskers’ 49-point margin of victory marked the first time in six meetings in Lincoln since 2011 that the final Nebraska-Northwestern margin was more than seven points. The combined margin in the previous five meetings in Lincoln was 18 points. Nebraska’s 49-point victory matched the largest win margin in the series – Nebraska’s 66-17 win in 2000 Alamo Bowl.

In 10 previous games as Big Ten foes, the two teams had split 5-5 with eight games decided by just one score with the Huskers outscoring the Wildcats by a total of six points (252-246) in the 10 games.

Why Bet on Nebraska?

Last season, Nebraska finished 1–8 in Big Ten action and 3–9 overall. However, all nine of Nebraska’s losses were by single digits. Since Coach Scott Frost was hired in 2018, he has not finished a season with a winning percentage above .500.

This will be the Nebraska debut of new starting QB Casey Thompson, a transfer from Texas. Thompson started 10 games for the Longhorns last season, throwing for 2,113 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He completed 63.2 percent of his passes and posted a passer rating of 154.7.

Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple will call plays on the sideline in Ireland. Coach Scott Frost said it’ll help to have Whipple calling plays so he’s not “staring at a playsheet.” Frost said he’ll watch more of the opposing defense and look for weakness.

Nebraska returns 46 letterwinners from last year’s team, bringing back five full-time defensive starters and four offensive starters plus nine other players (seven on offense and two on defense) who started multiple games in 2021. The Huskers have bolstered their roster with the addition of 44 newcomers, including 22 transfers, 18 of whom have previous playing experience at the FBS or FCS level.

The Huskers have won 98 of their 132 season openers, winning their first game more than 76 percent of the time while posting a 98-29-5 record. Nebraska is 32-4 in its first game of the season dating back to 1986. Nebraska is 11-3 when it opens the season against a conference opponent. The Huskers are facing a conference foe in the season opener for just the fifth time since 1950, but Saturday marks the third consecutive year that Nebraska begins the season with a Big Ten Conference game.

Nebraska is not only 14-1 all-time in the month of August, but the average score of those 14 games has been 39-16. The Huskers are 7-1 in August when facing a current Power Five Conference opponent, with the average score of those six contests being 34-12.

The only other international game in Husker history was Nebraska’s victory over Kansas State at the 1992 Coca-Cola Classic in Tokyo, Japan.

Why Bet on Northwestern?

Redshirt freshman QB Brendan Sullivan and Ryan Hilinski battled for the starting quarterback job at Northwestern and it’s presumed Hilinski will start here but both might play. Sullivan is a former three-star recruit who was considered the 49th-best quarterback and 17th overall player in Michigan from the 2021 prep cycle. He didn’t play at all last season. Hilinski was a four-star prospect who originally attended South Carolina before transferring over to Northwestern. He completed 95-of-176 passes for 978 yards with three TDs and four picks.

Left tackle Peter Skoronski enters the season projected as a consensus first-round pick for the 2023 NFL Draft, ranked as the No. 1 tackle in the draft by Pro Football Focus. Including Skoronski, the ‘Cats will return four of their five starters from 2021 on the offensive line, a unit that helped Evan Hull rush for 1009 yards last season. Hull is one of 3 returning Big Ten running backs that rushed for 1.000 yards last season.

The NW defense will be led by junior linebacker Bryce Gallagher. Statistically, Gallagher was one of the team’s most productive defenders last season and is the top returning tackler after notching 89 total tackles in 2021. He was also one of three juniors selected as a 2022 captain.

The linebacker unit will have new faces in the starting lineup after the graduation of third-team All-Big Ten selection Chris Bergin, and Gallagher said the newcomers’ training camp performances excited him. Redshirt junior Wendell Davis Jr. transferred from Atlantic Coast Conference champion Pittsburgh and brings starting experience to the Cats’ defense, while junior Xander Mueller will look to expand his role after registering 19 tackles as a sophomore.

Saturday’s opener will mark the 200th career game coached Pat Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is already Northwestern’s career leader in games coached for the program (2nd-most is Pappy Waldorf, who coached 101 games for the Wildcats from 1935-1946 with a record of 49-45-7. He will become just the eighth coach in Big Ten history to coach 200 games for a Big Ten school, joining Kirk Ferentz (288; 2nd all-time) as the only two active coaches.

Northwestern is 12-4 in season openers under Fitzgerald. The Wildcats have never lost consecutive season openers in the Fitzgerald era. his will mark Northwestern’s first-game played outside of the United States in program history.

Game Trends

  • Wildcats are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in August.
  • Wildcats are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
  • Over is 5-2 in Cornhuskers last 7 conference games.
  • Favorite is 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.

Expert Prediction

  • Nebraska 24, Northwestern 20
 
 

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