How Does Nebraska’s NCAA Investigation Impact the 2021 College Football Betting Market?
Steven Branscombe/Getty Images. Pictured: Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost.
The Action Network’s Brett McMurphy reported early Wednesday morning that the Nebraska football program faces potential probation for several NCAA violations.
In the immediate aftermath of that news, the biggest question on bettors’ minds is: Should this news impact betting investments for the 2021 season? If so, then how much?
How Previous Suspensions Have Impacted Betting
Arizona State is currently under investigation for similar allegations, including off-campus workouts. The NCAA has yet to rule on the Sun Devils, including whether or not any of the coaches will face suspension.
If indeed Scott Frost is suspended, then the question becomes: Does Frost’s absence warrant any change to Nebraska’s power rating?
The last time a high-profile coach was suspended was Urban Meyer in 2018.
The Action Network projected Meyer’s worth at 2.5 points to Ohio State’s power rating. That 2.5-point adjustment was accurately reflected in the Buckeyes’ odds with Ryan Day serving as the interim head coach, notably including Ohio State’s neutral-site matchup vs. TCU on Sept. 15 of that season.
How Important is Scott Frost to Nebraska?
Since 2018, Frost is 0-8 against teams that finished in the AP Top 25. Moreover, during the same timeframe, the former Nebraska quarterback is 3-14 against teams with a record over .500.
Frost recently handed over play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Matt Lubick. The head coach reserves the right to veto plays on any down and distance, but the move to Lubick minimizes the power rating change if Frost is suspended.
Would Frost’s Suspension Impact Futures & Week Zero Odds?
The Action Network projects the Cornhuskers at 5.9 wins — under the market-wide number of 6.5 as of writing.
One of the wins needed for Nebraska to eclipse its 6.5-win total is the season-opener against Illinois, who hosts Nebraska as a 7-point underdog.
The suspension of Frost would certainly move Illinois through +6.