The Nebraska Cornhuskers are currently the best three-win team in the nation. Last week, Nebraska lost another one possession game to Wisconsin. In their last five games, the Cornhuskers have lost every game by single digits. Nebraska just can’t close out games.
Therefore, Nebraska will play their final game of the season looking to save head coach Scott Frost’s job, at home, against a ranked Iowa opponent.
Iowa will take the road with their three-game winning streak. Those three wins weren’t against any of the premier Big Ten teams, however. The Hawkeyes will certainly need to be prepared for Nebraska. They’ve got all the talent in the world but have been a bit unlucky throughout the season.
Nebraska has nothing to play for but could be a spoiler to the Iowa Hawkeyes. Here’s our picks and predictions on what the outcome could be in this Big Ten rivalry matchup.
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- Opening Line: Iowa -4.5, O/U45
- Current Line: Iowa -1.5, O/U 41
- Last meeting: November 227, 2020, Iowa 26, Nebraska 20
The Nebraska Cornhuskers are 3-7 on the year after scoring more points than they’ve allowed all season long. The Cornhuskers average 28.5 points per game while allowing 22.5 points per game. They also average nearly 100 yards more on offense compared to how much they allow on the defensive end.
This team doesn’t know how to close, but they certainly know how to cover.
Still, Iowa is 9-2 on the year and have looked fantastic on the defensive end, allowing just 16.9 points per game. The defense has really dominated in every area but the coverage has been the most impressive area this season. The rushing defense has also allowed just 103.6 yards per game and has been excellent too.
On offense, there’s nothing special about Iowa. Spencer Petras has thrown for nine touchdowns in nine games, with six interceptions on the season, and is questionable for this game after missing the last two games. If he’s unable to return, it’ll be Alex Padilla under center. He’s got a QBR of 49.1 on the season. He’s really nothing special and will be outplayed by Nebraska’s Adrian Martinez.
Martinez has thrown for 14 touchdowns and rushed for 13 more this season. However, he can be erratic with his arm as he’s thrown 10 interceptions on the season as well. Martinez is ultra-dynamic but seems to fold under pressure late every time. It also doesn’t help when the pressure gets to him nearly every snap as the pass protection has just been absolutely dreadful this season.
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- Hawkeyes are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0.
- Under is 4-0 in Hawkeyes last 4 games after accumulating less than 275 total yards in their previous game.
The entire public now knows how great Nebraska is at covering. Everyone, including the sharps, are smacking Nebraska in their final game of the season. Meanwhile, Iowa is still 9-2 on the year and have a terrific defense with their starting quarterback potentially returning.
Nebraska will be one of the best three-win teams in the nation for years but Iowa has a lot more to play for in this rivalry and clearly have the better team moving forward. With the line movement, it’s time to take Iowa at this price.
Pick: Iowa -1.5 (-110)
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Jason Radowitz is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Jason, check out his archive and follow him @Jason_Radowitz.