Nebraska vs. Rutgers Analysis & Point Spread Pick

by | Oct 4, 2022 | cfb

Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS) vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-2 SU, 2-2-1 ATS)

When: Friday, October 7, 7 p.m.

Where: SHI Stadium, Piscataway, N.J.

TV: FS1

Point Spread: NEB -3/RUT +3 (Bovada – Get a 50% bonus, rebates on ALL bets and FAST payouts from one of the oldest and most trusted sportsbooks on the web!)

Total: O/U 51

Outlook

Nebraska finally managed a cover at home against Indiana, but the Huskers still have a long way to go before they can be a competitive Big Ten team. Nebraska has to find four wins in its final seven games to qualify for a bowl game, and beating Indiana at home was easily the easiest win on the slate that the Huskers had remaining.
Rutgers is another matter, as the Scarlet Knights battled with Ohio State for a quarter before fading and have mostly played well outside of their trip to Columbus. At least, that’s true on the defensive side of the football, where Rutgers has been excellent throughout the season. On offense, the Scarlet Knights have looked questionable at best, as they’ve only cracked 20 points against one FBS opponent all season. Rutgers played two tough Big Ten games to start its run in the league, losing to Iowa and Ohio State.
The Scarlet Knights could have won the game with Iowa had they not shot themselves in the foot with two costly turnovers, and Nebraska doesn’t force anywhere near as many turnovers as the Hawkeyes do. With three wins on the ledger, Rutgers only has to go 3-6 in the league, and this is one of the most winnable home games left on the schedule. That means the pressure is on for Rutgers to try to get this win, and Nebraska might have a hard time matching that intensity.

How the Public is Betting the Nebraska/Rutgers Game

The public thinks that the win over Indiana was legit and has backed Nebraska enough to push the line from -2 to -3, with 54% of tickets coming in on the Huskers. The total has held firm at 51.

Injury Concerns

Nebraska:
Wide receiver Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda (undisclosed) is questionable. Tight end Thomas Fidone (knee), running back Ajay Allen (undisclosed), and offensive lineman Nouredin Nouili (suspended) are out.

Rutgers:
Quarterback Gavin Wimsatt (undisclosed) is questionable. Running back Aaron Young (undisclosed), defensive lineman Mohamed Toure (knee), and linebacker Moses Walker (knee) are out.

When Nebraska Has the Ball

Putting up points has never been the problem for Nebraska. The Huskers have scored at least 28 points in four of the five games they’ve played this year, with Oklahoma being the only exception. Casey Thompson has moved the ball well through the air, and the Huskers are averaging almost 440 yards each time they take the field. With Anthony Grant chewing up yardage on the ground and Trey Palmer proving a key part of the Nebraska pass attack, the Huskers can score from anywhere.
Where’s the problem? Nebraska has yet to face a defense quite like this one. Rutgers doesn’t allow teams to throw the ball against its secondary, something that not even Ohio State could manage. C.J. Stroud could only throw for 154 yards against Rutgers (granted, the Buckeyes already had the game put away by halftime and didn’t need to throw much in the second half), and Ohio State had to do its damage on the ground. Nebraska can put the ball in Grant’s hands and try to win the game that way, but it’s worth remembering that Ohio State is the only team that’s had success against Rutgers on the ground. The Scarlet Knights don’t beat themselves on that side of the ball; it takes a team with real talent to beat their defense.

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When Rutgers Has the Ball

Greg Schiano’s defense is good enough to get the Scarlet Knights into an upper-tier bowl game. His offense is, well, not. The running game isn’t horrible with Samuel Brown moving the ball, but Rutgers really needs to pick a back and stick with them so they can get them in a flow. Instead, three different runners and tight end Johnny Langan routinely see carries for the Scarlet Knights, and although that’s worked in terms of overall yards, it does make it hard for anyone to stand out and find holes.
The passing game is a wreck. Aron Cruickshank is an acceptable receiver, but Rutgers can’t keep a quarterback healthy. Noah Vedral did play against Ohio State, but it’s uncertain if he’ll be ready to lead the attack against Nebraska or if it will be Evan Simon again. In either case, Rutgers isn’t going to find a ton of success through the air. However, Nebraska’s defense has been so poor this season that the Scarlet Knights might not need to throw it much to win. The Huskers give up 200 yards a game on the ground, 119th in the nation. If Rutgers can keep scratching out yards, its defense is good enough to win.

More Picks: Get Dan’s betting preview of the Cornhuskers at Scarlett Knights Friday game >>>

Betting Trends

This is the matchup that so many people mocked when the Big Ten added Maryland and Rutgers to the league, as Nebraska and Rutgers really have nothing in common other than red uniforms and virtually no business playing in the same league. The schools have only met five times, all won by Nebraska. However, Rutgers has played the Huskers close in the past two matchups, losing by 10 in 2017 and seven in 2020. That said, Rutgers has one cover in its past seven home games, and the home team has never covered in the Big Ten era, with all four league meetings going to the visitor ATS.
Funny enough, the opposite trends that you would expect with these teams exist for the totals. Rutgers, with its poor offense, has gone over in four of five home games, and Nebraska has played to the under in eight of 12 road games.

Weather Report

Garden State breezes could be an issue on a chilly night in Piscataway. Temperatures will plunge to around 42 degrees, with wind sustained at seven miles per hour to the northwest but 20-MPH gusts possible.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread

Nebraska had to have that win against Indiana. I don’t think the Huskers feel the same about going to Rutgers, but Rutgers certainly will feel that way. The Scarlet Knights must have this game to have any realistic shot at a bowl, as their remaining home games after this are Indiana (winnable), Michigan, and Penn State (not so much). Lose here, and Rutgers will have to get either spring a major upset or get at least two of Minnesota, Michigan State, and Maryland on the road.
I think Schiano recognizes the desperation his team faces, and Rutgers meets the moment. Give me the Scarlet Knights. Bet your Week 6 college football picks for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% real cash bonus up to $300 when you use bonus code PREDICT100 at MyBookie Sportsbook!