Wisconsin hosts Nebraska in a huge Big Ten matchup this Saturday. The winner between Nebraska and Wisconsin, although not having College Football Playoff implications, could have implications for the Big Ten Championship game. The cherry on this game is that the winner walks away with the Freedom Trophy. Click here for more FBS betting odds.
No. 11 Nebraska Cornhuskers at No. 22 Wisconsin Badgers
When: Saturday, Nov. 15 at 3:30 pm ET
Where: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI
Betting Line: Wisconsin -6
Moneyline: Cornhuskers +190 vs Badgers -230
Week 12 Betting Tips Analysis Nebraska Vs Wisconsin
The 8-1 Nebraska Cornhuskers don’t have a shot at the College Football Playoff because their lone loss was to Michigan State, a team who up until last week was ranked in the Top 6 with the Selection Committee. Because the Spartans were pummeled by Ohio State, MSU allowed the Buckeyes to score 49 points in a big home loss, Nebraska didn’t move up the rankings far as it could have.
— Nebraska Huskers (@Huskers) November 10, 2014
Nebraska will need to not only win out but beat ranked teams like Wisconsin impressively to get into the good graces of the Selection Committee. That could be an issue. The Cornhuskers have a very good offense. It averages 490.6 yards per game and 40.4 points per. Nebraska rushes for 280 yards per contest, but their best running back, a true Heisman Trophy candidate, Ameer Abdullah, is questionable for the game. Indications suggest that Abduallah won’t play on Saturday.
If he doesn’t, Wisconsin will definitely have an edge on offense because their Heisman Trophy candidate, Melvin Gordon, is healthy. Gordon leads a rushing attack that’s averaging 325.7 yards per contest. Gordon has rushed for over 200 yards 3 times this season. He’s averaging an incredible 7.6 yards per carry and he’s racked up over 1500 yards rushing already this season. Gordon has also scored a combined 21 touchdowns.
Nebraska’s defense is allowing teams to run for 124 yards per game, and the Black Shirts haven’t faced a runner as talented as Gordon yet this season. Will it be able to at least slow down the Heisman trophy candidate? It doesn’t look like it. Gordon has blasted teams with much better run defenses than what Nebraska brings to the table.
Almost as important is the fact that the Wisconsin defense allows only 94.3 yards rushing per game on the ground. Nebraska doesn’t throw the ball very well. The Cornhuskers average only 209.9 passing yards per game.
The trends do point to Nebraska covering in this contest, though. The Cornhuskers are 6 and 0 against the spread in their last 6 road games, 5-1-1 against the spread in their last 7 games overall and 3-0-1 against the spread in their last 4 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game. Wisconsin is 22-8-1 ATS in their last 31 games following an ATS victory and 6-2-1 against the spread in their last 9 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
Nebraska’s rush defense just doesn’t appear good enough to contain Wisconsin’s rush offense. Gordon should be able to rack up at least 150 to 200 yards on the ground against Nebraska. If Abdullah doesn’t play, and Nebraska can’t counter Gordon’s performance, the Badgers should be able to cover the spread in this Big Ten matchup.