Friday NCAAF: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Pick
Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-7 SU, 5-5-1 ATS) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4 SU, 7-4 ATS)
When: Friday, November 23rd, 2018 – 12:00 PM ET
Where: Kinnick Stadium - Iowa City, Iowa
Point Spread: NEB +7.5 / IOWA -7.5
Power Ratings: Iowa -18
Takeaways From Week 12
It wasn’t pretty, but the Cornhuskers secured their fourth win in their last five contests by virtue of a 9-6 win at home against the Michigan State Spartans. It was a simply of field goals, and the better kicking team was Big Red. The Scott Frost Era is finally underway as Nebraska looks a transformed team coming down the back-stretch. Their sole loss over this five-game docket was a 36-31 loss on the road at Ohio State.
The Hawkeyes snapped a three-game losing streak with style when they blanked the Illinois Fighting Illini 63-0, covering easily as a 15-point favorite. The victory marks Iowa’s second shutout win of the 2018-19 season and their highest scoring total season-to-date.
How the Public is Betting the Nebraska-Iowa Game
Presently, we have seen 56% of the consensus like the Hawkeyes, but the line has remained stagnant. It is worth mentioning that -7.5 is generally a favorite-friendly number that is designed to attract action on the underdog under the guise of a win even if the dog loses by a touchdown. With this being established, the metrics indicate that Iowa is supremely undervalued as they should be spotting upwards of three-plus scores to their rivals.
The Hawkeyes come into The Battle for the Heroes Trophy on a three-game winning streak in this rivalry series. While doing so, Iowa has also gone 3-0 ATS over this span. Last year, Iowa absolutely decimated Nebraska on its own field defeating the Cornhuskers 56-14.
There are no noteworthy injuries that are of concern to either team in their Black Friday collision.
When Nebraska Has the Ball
With an offensive mind like Scott Frost at the helm, the Nebraska offense is quite efficient. The Cornhuskers collate a 22nd-ranked 461.3 yards per game. Big Red loves to roll up its sleeves and run first as they average 215.3 yards per game on the ground (28th in America). Leading the charge is a pure bull running back in Devine Ozigbo who has gathered 1,032 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Nebraska also has a receiving option to keep defenses honest as wide-out Stanley Johnson is just 77 yards short of a 1,000-yard receiving campaign.
When Iowa Has the Ball
The bad news for Nebraska is that Iowa is a defense-first team. This is an outfit that operates out of a first pro set look with their tight-ends being their most prominent weapons. The Hawkeyes boast not one but two stand-outs at this position, Noah Fant and T.J Hockenson. The two playmakers lead Iowa’s receiving corps in receiving yards (Hockenson has 663 on the year). Both Fant and Hockenson are a virtual mismatch anywhere they go. Both are 6’5 and over 240 pounds and will be quite the challenge to contain as Nebraska’s defense has given up a 94th ranked 245.5 yards per game through the air.
The Cornhuskers stand at 0-4 SU on the road this year. This is a significant revelation by virtue of the fact the Cornhuskers are 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings. However, the good news for Cornhuskers takers that may impel action on them is the narrative that the Road Team is 4-1 ATS in the last five encounters between both sides.
The present forecast for this contest calls for a cold and wet day in Iowa City with temperatures hanging around the low 40’s with a 93% chance of precipitation. Winds will be also blowing at 13.46 miles per hour which could create horizontal rain and make the air feel colder than it actually is.
Keith Pick to Cover the Spread: Iowa -7.5
According to the Power Ratings, we are getting a huge here by laying the touchdown-plus with the Hawkeyes as this team should be accompanied by a much bigger price tag. However, the stock on Nebraska is through the ceiling as they have looked as good as any team in the country as of late. With improvements being clear and evident, many suspect this could be the first signature win of Head Coach Scott Frost. However, the problem is that Kinnick Stadium is one of the most notoriously hostile environments in all of college football. We have seen Ohio State’s College Football Playoff dreams come crashing down here in 2017 and an undefeated Michigan was stunned here in 2016. The rumor is that the visiting team’s locker room is painted pink which disarms the opposition before kick-off. The Black and Yellow won’t have to resort to such measures. Nebraska’s wins as of recent came against mediocre competition for the most part as they own blowout wins against FCS Bethune Cookman, an Illinois team that will not be going to a bowl game, and a Minnesota team that can very well likely miss the post-season. The Michigan State win is overstated as the Spartans were just worn out from playing a brutal schedule and coming up with more losses than they bargained for. Iowa also won’t make the mistake of Ohio State and fail to prepare for Nebraska. This is easily the most stringent test that the Huskers will have in a nearly a month and a half, and they will flunk it horribly.