Nebraska Betting Odds Preview
In their second season in the Big Ten last year the Nebraska Cornhuskers reached the conference championship game. Unfortunately, they got absolutely embarrassed by runaway train Wisconsin, allowing over 500 yards on the ground and 10 touchdowns. Big Red is 12-5 in Big Ten play so far, and it's the preseason favorite to win the Legends Division again. But will the Nebraska defense be any better?
The Huskers began last year with 14 returning starters from a team that went 9-4 in 2011. Nebraska then started 3-1 through its non-conference season, losing only at UCLA. NU then began Big Ten play by rallying to beat Wisconsin, but gave up an early lead and got punked by Ohio State 63-38. Nebraska then scored twice in the last eight minutes to beat Northwestern, out-classed Michigan, got fortunate to beat Michigan State, came from two touchdowns down to defeat Penn State, and took care of business against Minnesota and Iowa to clinch the division title. But the Huskers, as field-goal favorites, then got shucked by the Badgers in the Big Ten championship game 70-31, and gave up the last 22 points of the game in losing to Georgia in the Capital One Bowl 45-31. So the Blackshirts got blitzed for 115 points over their last two games.
Nebraska finished 10-4 overall, 7-2 in conference play, and went 7-7 ATS even though they posted a -12 turnover margin. This year the Huskers return eight starters on an offense that averaged 461 YPG and 35 PPG last year, including senior QB Taylor Martinez, 1,110-yard rusher Ameer Abdullah, last year's top three receivers, and three of the big uglies up front. But only four starters return on a defense that allowed almost 28 PPG last season, including just one of the front seven. So it will be interesting to see what happens on that side of the ball for this team this season.
NU open this year's slate with five straight home games, the toughest of which will be a rematch with UCLA. The Huskers begin conference play at home against Illinois, visit Purdue and Minnesota, host Northwestern, visit Michigan, host Michigan State, visit Penn State, and end at home with Iowa. They also miss Ohio State and Wisconsin, at least until a possible conference championship game matchup. It would seem Nebraska has a chance to be 7-0 heading into the stretch of games with the Wildcats, Wolverines, and Spartans in November, and could be favored in as many as 10 games this season.
Big Ten Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of August 5
Ohio State -115
Michigan State +800