Iowa vs. Nebraska Odds, Picks and Predictions: How to Bet Friday’s Big Ten College Football Rivalry Game (Nov. 26)
Matthew Holst/Getty Images. Pictured: The Iowa Hawkeyes football team.
- The Iowa Hawkeyes (+1) and Nebraska Cornhuskers kick off their annual Big Ten rivalry game on Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET.
- Nebraska opened as a 4.5-point favorite over the ranked Iowa Hawkeyes, but significant betting volume pushed the point spread all the way to Iowa -1.5 before settling around a pick'em across the betting market.
- The over/under of 40 is so low that you'd think this was Army vs. Navy, but should that deter you from betting the under?
Iowa vs. Nebraska Odds
-105o / -115u
-105o / -115u
When Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011, the conference did its best to manufacture a rivalry between the Cornhuskers and the Hawkeyes.
It makes sense because each program is the most important team in its respective state, and each has a passionate fanbase with plenty of tradition.
Iowa has largely dominated the matchup to this point, as it’s won six in a row in the series and seven of the last 10 overall. The Husker faithful will be fired up to end that streak in this one and keep their consecutive sellout record alive.
Scott Frost has gotten the backing from his AD that he will return in 2022, and after a season full of close losses, this Nebraska team desperately wants to end the year with a win over a ranked opponent.
Can the Huskers finally finish off a game, or will Iowa complete another 10-win season under Kirk Ferentz? Let’s find out.
The Hawkeyes continue to keep the train rolling and still have a path to the Big Ten Championship game heading into the final week of the regular season. For Iowa to advance to Indianapolis, it needs to win Friday afternoon and then have Minnesota upset Wisconsin on Saturday.
Alex Padilla got his second career start last Saturday against Illinois, and the sophomore really struggled. Padilla completed six of his 17 attempts for 83 yards and threw an interception. It sounds like he will get the nod once again this week, with Spencer Petras’ status still up in the air.
Expect Iowa to continue to feed running back Tyler Goodson and hope he can break a few long ones, just as Braelon Allen did last week against the Nebraska defense.
Iowa should continue to struggle to get anything going through the air, so if Nebraska can contain Goodson, it should be in position to force the Hawkeyes into plenty of punting situations.
Meanwhile, the Hawkeye defense continues to carry this team and keep it afloat. Iowa has stuffed the run all year, coming into this one ranked inside the top 20 in both Defensive Rush Success Rate and Line Yards.
Against the pass, the Hawkeyes are just as consistent, and with Adrian Martinez now out for this contest, this secondary will be licking its chops.
Iowa has done a fantastic job of limiting big plays all year, and without Martinez’s rushing ability to worry about, look for the Hawkeyes to be extra aggressive in their blitzing.
It’s hard for me to remember a 3-8 team that has been more competitive than the 2021 Cornhuskers.
Nebraska has quite literally lost every single close game it’s been in this season. All three victories came by 25 points or more, and the Huskers have not lost a single game by double digits.
Can they finally get over the hump and beat a ranked foe this week? Well, I certainly liked their chances with Martinez under center. Unfortunately, Frost announced Monday that Martinez will be out for this one, and freshman Logan Smothers will make his first career start against the Hawkeyes.
Nebraska will need to lean on its defense, which has been pretty darn consistent throughout the year. Nebraska is the only team that has been able to have any sort of success against C.J. Stroud and the Ohio State offense.
The Huskers don’t allow big plays, and they have been phenomenal in the red zone, coming in at 13th in the country in Defensive Finishing Drives.
Slowing down Goodson will likely go a long way in deciding the outcome of this game, and the Huskers have been pretty consistent against the run throughout the year.
Iowa vs. Nebraska Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Iowa and Nebraska match up statistically:
Iowa Offense vs. Nebraska Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Nebraska Offense vs. Iowa Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||5||127|
|Plays per Minute||101||36|
|Rush Rate||56.8% (51)||58.3% (39)|
Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.
Iowa vs. Nebraska Betting Pick
This line opened with Nebraska as a 3.5-point favorite, but that was before the Martinez news came out. Since then, the number has moved 4.5 points, with Iowa currently sitting as a 1-point favorite at the time of writing.
I think both offenses will really struggle to move the ball in this one. Neither passing attack is set up to have success, and both teams boast secondaries that limit big plays.
The turnover battle will go a long way in deciding this game, and I think the home Lincoln crowd could really make things difficult for Padilla.
I loved Nebraska in this matchup with a healthy Martinez. Despite his absence, I still trust Nebraska to find a way to finally get it done in this one. I understand the definition of insanity is expecting a different result when the same thing happens over and over.
That said, with Frost returning next year, I think his players will rally around him and want to finish the year the right way. l like the Huskers’ chances in what should be a tight, lower-scoring game.
I’m also going to play the under in this matchup as neither offense is explosive, and neither team will be in a hurry when it has the ball. With a low total of 41, there is certainly the concern of a defensive or special teams touchdown, but even if one of those happens, the lack of offensive firepower still gives this under a decent chance.
Give me the Huskers and the under in what should be a rock fight in Lincoln on Friday afternoon.
Pick: Nebraska ML +105 · Under 42
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