Ohio State vs. Nebraska Odds, Picks: Can Cornhuskers Keep it Close? (Saturday, November 6)

Ohio State vs. Nebraska Odds, Picks: Can Cornhuskers Keep it Close? (Saturday, November 6) article feature image

Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

  • Ohio State enters its game against Nebraska as 14-point favorites, according to updated odds at DraftKings.
  • The Cornhuskers have not fared well in one-possession games this season, but they hope to get on track this week.
  • Check out BJ Cunningham's top bet for this matchup here.

Editor's Note: It was announced Saturday morning that Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson will miss Saturday's game against Nebraska.

Ohio State vs. Nebraska Odds

Saturday, Nov. 6
12 p.m. ET
Ohio State Odds
-115o / -105u
Nebraska Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Ohio State Buckeyes continue their quest toward the Big Ten Championship when it heads to Lincoln to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday.

Ohio State won an emotional game against Penn State, 33-24, last Saturday night in Columbus, but it was closer than many expected. But the Buckeyes' offense has been humming since their loss to Oregon at home, as the unit has put up over 30 points in five straight games.

First-year starting quarterback CJ Stroud is starting to put his name in the Heisman conversation, but the Buckeyes defense will need to improve if it wants to get past solid Michigan State and Michigan teams in the last two regular-season games.

Nebraska lost yet another one-score game last weekend to Purdue, which brings Scott Frost's record to 5-18 in one-score games. Nebraska is now 3-6 on the season, but it has outscored its opponents by 86 points.

In the last two meetings between these teams, the Buckeyes outscored the Cornhuskers, 100-24.

Will there be another blowout on Saturday?

Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State Offense

The Buckeyes' offense might be the best in the country right now. Ohio State leads the country in yards per play (8.1).

The ground game, led by freshman TreVeyon Henderson, has been unstoppable this season, as Henderson is gaining a crazy 7.9 yards per rush. The Buckeyes rank eighth in EPA/Rush, 24th in Rushing Success Rate and have the third-best run-blocking grade in the country, per PFF.

However, the Buckeyes are one of the more balanced teams in the country, running the ball 50.96% of the time. That is mainly due to how good Stroud has been the last four games.

In his last four games against Rutgers, Maryland, Indiana and Penn State, Stroud is averaging 11.1 yards per attempt with 15 touchdowns and zero interceptions. On the season, Stroud has a passing grade of 91.1 with 16 big-time throws and five turnover-worthy plays, per PFF.

The problem is Nebraska has a really good secondary that is 20th in terms of coverage grade. We'll see if Stroud continues to have the Buckeyes as the third-best EPA/Pass offense after this contest.



— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) October 31, 2021

Ohio State Defense

While the offense has been putting up big numbers, the OSU defense has been somewhat struggling.

Sure, it held Akron, Rutgers, Maryland and Indiana under 20 points, but in Ohio State's two biggest games of the season (against Oregon and Penn State), the Buckeyes were gashed for a combined 5.84 yards per play.

The biggest problem with Ohio State this season is its secondary. The Buckeyes are 55th in EPA/Pass, 85th in Passing Success Rate and 73rd in coverage, per PFF.

Even though Nebraska is 3-6, it is a top-15 passing offense in terms of Success Rate, so it should be able to throw the ball with more success than Penn State was able to do last Saturday night.

Ohio State's front seven has been pretty good against some very poor rushing offenses, as its last five opponents are outside the top 100 in rush yards per attempt. If we go back to the Minnesota and Oregon games at the beginning of the season, those two squads combined to average 5.36 yards per rush.

Nebraska has a top-30 rushing offense, so the Buckeyes could struggle to get off the field on Saturday.

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Nebraska Cornhuskers

Nebraska Offense

Despite their terrible record, the Cornhuskers' offense has been really good this season. The Cornhuskers are gaining 6.5 yards per play and rank 24th in EPA/Play.

The question surrounding the Nebraska offense every single season is if Adrian Martinez can hang onto the ball. He threw picks against Purdue last weekend, but when he's not turning the ball over, he's been very efficient.

The Cornhuskers are 25th in Passing Success Rate and Martinez is averaging 9.4 yards per play. Nebraska is having issues protecting him — it is 123rd in terms of a pass blocking grade, per PFF — so that is very troubling against an Ohio State defense that is eighth in creating Havoc.

Nonetheless, Martinez should be able to throw on a poor Ohio State secondary.

Adrian Martinez is SHMONEY 💰

Nebraska is back in the game with another TD #CFBpic.twitter.com/SXTq1YI3WP

— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 18, 2021

The Nebraska rushing attack has also been very efficient, gaining 4.8 yards per rush, ranking 11th in Rushing Success Rate, ranking 33rd in Offensive Line Yards and ranking ninth in Rushing Explosiveness.

The Huskers should have much more success than Penn State did last Saturday against Ohio State's front seven.

Nebraska Defense

Nebraska's front seven has been really good this season, especially against the run, which is huge in this matchup. The Cornhuskers are only allowing only 3.8 yards per rush.

Nebraska is also 26th in EPA/Rush allowed, 40th in Defensive Line Yards and most importantly, fifth in Rushing Explosiveness Allowed, which will be key against an Ohio State offense that is No. 1 in big plays this season.

The secondary has been pretty solid as well, allowing only 6.3 yards per attempt, which is the 16th-best mark in the country. It also is graded as the 20th-best unit in terms of coverage grade, per PFF.

I think the unit will be able to slow down Stroud and the Ohio State passing attack.

Ohio State vs. Nebraska Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Ohio State and Nebraska match up statistically:

Ohio State Offense vs. Nebraska Defense
Rush Success2480
Line Yards1140
Pass Success581
Pass Blocking**2161
Big Play141
Finishing Drives725
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Nebraska Offense vs. Ohio State Defense
Rush Success1115
Line Yards333
Pass Success2585
Pass Blocking**12320
Big Play5966
Finishing Drives5924
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling5730
Middle 8771
SP+ Special Teams1128
Plays per Minute4030
Rush Rate50.6% (96)59.8% (32)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Ohio State vs. Nebraska Betting Pick

Nebraska is not your typical 3-6 team, as its offense is top 30 in both EPA/Pass and EPA/Rush. The question is, can Martinez hold onto the ball?

If he plays a clean game, Nebraska will contend with Ohio State, considering the Buckeyes' secondary has been horrible this season. Additionally, the Nebraska rushing attack will be the best Ohio State has seen since Oregon, which could be a problem for the Buckeyes' front seven.

I only have Ohio State projected as a -11.78 favorite on the road in Lincoln, so I think there is some value on the Cornhuskers at home at +15 (PointsBet). I would play it down to +14.

Pick: Nebraska +15

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