North Dakota vs. Nebraska Football Picks, Betting Odds, Predictions: How to Bet Total on Saturday

North Dakota vs. Nebraska Football Picks, Betting Odds, Predictions: How to Bet Total on Saturday article feature image

Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images. Pictured: Casey Thompson (Nebraska)

  • Nebraska takes on North Dakota in a college football Week 1 matchup.
  • Scott Frost's seat is red hot after the Cornhuskers lost to Northwestern last week as a double-digit favorite.
  • How is Tanner McGrath betting this game? Read below to find out.

North Dakota vs. Nebraska Odds

Saturday, Sept. 3
3:30 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
North Dakota Odds
-110o / -110u
Nebraska Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via WynnBET. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Oh, brother, Nebraska has done it again!

Scott Frost's seat is boiling hot after the Huskers blew an 11-point lead to Northwestern on their way to losing their Week 0 battle.

This year was supposed to be different.

Who loses to Northwestern?

Frost & Co. will attempt to bounce back against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks. UND went just 5-6 last year in the Missouri Valley, including a 48-24 loss to Utah State as six-point dogs.

Nebraska is 7-0 SU against FCS opponents since 2010, but also just 3-4 ATS in those games.

The line has opened at Nebraska -21.5 and stayed steady — same with the total at 50.

Let's find some value.

North Dakota Fighting Hawks

There are reasons to be optimistic about the Hawks. They lost five games by an average of 4.6 points, all by single digits. They lost to eventual FCS champion NDSU by just six points and had a chance to take the lead in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Tommy Schuster is back after leading the Missouri Valley in completion percentage (65.5%) while tossing 2,500 yards and 13 touchdowns.

He loses his top backfield weapon (Otis Weah) and the best offensive lineman (Matt Waletzko), but almost the entire receiving corps is back.

The defense is in flux. It'll be nice to have Devon Krzanowski back anchoring at middle linebacker — he led the team in tackles last season — but there are five positional battles, and they're relying on upperclassmen to take big steps in the secondary.

It's also worth mentioning that the Hawks are trying to re-tool their entire special teams unit.

North Dakota has no idea what it’s doing on special teams lmao

— Tanner McGrath (@tannerstruth) September 1, 2022

That might be a sign that UND is going to lose a few more close games this season.

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Nebraska Cornhuskers

Nebraska out-played Northwestern in plenty of ways. The Huskers had a higher Success Rate, dominating on Passing Downs, won the Explosiveness battle and slightly outscored Northwestern in Finishing Drives.

I think the Mark Whipple-Casey Thompson experiment is going to work. Thompson dropped over 350 yards, and Northwestern went into the half with a Passing Downs Success Rate of over 70%.

This offense came out of the gate firing.

5 for 6 for 68 yards and a TD on the opening drive? Texas should have gone after this Casey Thompson kid in the portal.

— Robert Behrens (@rcb05) August 27, 2022

But then the typical Nebraska mistakes kicked in.

They missed a field goal to end the first half. Thompson threw two picks in the second half, including a game-ending one in the fourth quarter.

That absurd onside kick in the third quarter immediately led to a Northwestern touchdown. And what do you know, Northwestern gained 1.46 Average Expected Points to Nebraska's 0.93 because of field position alone.

It was a ridiculous decision that flipped everything. Look at College Football Data's Predicted Winning Probability model for the game:

It's also very clear that this defense is much worse than advertised. Northwestern has an improved offensive line, with a couple of very talented tackles in front of decent backfield depth. But to absolutely carve up Nebraska for 214 rush yards and two scores on 47 attempts is absurd.

And Ryan Hilinski decimated Nebraska's younger secondary, completing over 70% of his passes with a 2:0 TD-to-INT ratio.

It's early, but I've learned two things about Nebraska so far:

  1. This is going to be an over team.
  2. They're going to keep losing close games.

North Dakota vs. Nebraska Betting Pick

There's a good chance Nebraska bounces back and just crushes North Dakota. But I hate betting Frost as a double-digit favorite, even if he has split his opportunities ATS in the spot.

However, as I mentioned, Nebraska is going to be a great over team. The offense should put up numbers on a North Dakota defense that is still trying to make the pieces fit.

Plus, I think the Fighting Hawks have a chance to maybe put together one, two or three scoring drives considering just how ridiculous the Huskers' defense looked last week.

Remember, North Dakota does return a lot of offensive production.

Over 50 feels fine to me. I probably want to bet it up to 51.5.

Pick: Over 50 (Play to 51.5)

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