Week 13 College Football Betting: #14 Nebraska Cornhuskers at Iowa Hawkeyes

#14 Nebraska Cornhuskers at Iowa Hawkeyes
Friday, November 23, 2012, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
Kinnick Stadium – Iowa City, Iowa
Opening Line: Nebraska -14 1/2
Current Line: Nebraska -15
Opening Total: 53
Current Total: 53
Opening Money Line: Nebraska -650 / Iowa +475
Current Money Line: Nebraska -650 / Iowa +475

Nebraska travels to Iowa in a huge game for the Cornhuskers. If Nebraska wins they go to the Big Ten Championship game.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers can clinch the Legends Division championship and a berth in the Big Ten Championship game next week with a win Friday at the Iowa Hawkeyes. Both teams are headed in opposite directions. Nebraska has won 5 straight games, while Iowa has lost 5 straight.

This is the 43rd meeting between the schools and Nebraska leads the series 27-12-3, including 8-6 in Iowa City. The Cornhuskers have won the last 4 games in the series, including 20-7 last year in Lincoln. Nebraska and Iowa will play for the Heroes Game Trophy, created last year when Nebraska joined the Big Ten.

Nebraska is 9-2 overall and 6-1 in the Big Ten under coach Bo Pelini. The only losses came at UCLA 36-30 and at Ohio St 63-38. The Cornhuskers have home wins over Southern Miss 49-20, Arkansas St 42-13, Idaho St 73-7, Wisconsin 30-27, Michigan 23-9, Penn St 32-23, and last week against Minnesota 38-14, along with road wins at Northwestern 29-28 and Michigan St 28-24. The Cornhuskers are 6-4-1 ATS and the total is 6-3-1 this season. Nebraska was a 21 point favorite against Minnesota and the total was 52.

Nebraska is averaging 478.9 yards per game on offense, including 222 passing yards and 256.9 rushing yards. Nebraska is outscoring teams 38-24 this season. The Cornhuskers are in the top 25 nationally in total offense and scoring, and #8 in rushing. Nebraska is -8 in turnovers with 27 giveaways. Nebraska has allowed 22 sacks this season and averages 64.8 penalty yards per game. The Cornhuskers are 71/156 on third and fourth down conversions and 44/52 scoring in the red zone with 33 touchdowns. On defense, Nebraska is allowing 329.1 yards per game including 157.6 passing yards and 171.5 rushing yards. The Cornhuskers are #19 in total defense and #2 against the pass nationally. Nebraska has forced 28 sacks and 19 turnovers. Cornhusker opponents are 60/181 on third and fourth down conversions and 28/36 scoring in the red zone with 17 touchdowns. Nebraska has 3 defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Quarterback Taylor Martinez has completed 187 of 294 passes (63.6%) for 2,420 yards, with 21 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Martinez also has 140 carries for 792 yards and 8 touchdowns. Running back Ameer Abdullah has 200 carries, 1,021 yards and 8 touchdowns, along with 22 catches, 164 yards and 2 touchdowns. Abdullah also has a punt return for a touchdown. Rex Burkhead has 47 carries, 405 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 4 catches and a touchdown. He is doubtful with a knee injury after missing the last four games. Imani Cross has 52 carries, 289 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Braylon Heard has 41 carries, 269 yards and 2 touchdowns. Fullback Mike Marrow is also out indefinitely with a knee injury. Receiver Kenny Bell has 44 catches, 789 yards and 8 touchdowns. Bell is questionable with an ankle injury. Quincy Enunwa has 33 catches, 400 yards and a touchdown. Kyler Reed, Jamal Turner, Ben Cotton, and Steven Osborne also get significant catches.

Iowa is 4-7 and 2-5 in the Big Ten under coach Kirk Ferentz. Until this season, Iowa had won at least 6 games every year since 2001. The Hawkeyes have wins over Northern Illinois in Chicago, home wins over Northern Iowa 27-16 and Minnesota 31-13, along with a 19-16 win at Michigan St in double overtime. Iowa has home losses to Iowa St 9-6, Central Michigan 32-31, Penn St 38-14, and Purdue 27-24 along with road losses at Northwestern 28-17, Indiana 24-21, and last week at Michigan 42-17. The Hawkeyes are 3-8 ATS and the total is 4-6 this season. Iowa was a 17 point underdog at Michigan and the total was 47.5.

Iowa is averaging 320.6 yards per game on offense, including 196.1 passing yards and 124.5 rushing yards. The Hawkeyes are being outscored 24-21 this season. Iowa is 100th or worse nationally in all offensive categories out of 124 FCS teams. Iowa is +9 in turnovers with only 6 giveaways. The Hawkeyes are averaging 34.4 penalty yards per game and have allowed 15 sacks this season. Iowa is 40/117 on third and fourth down conversions and 16/21 scoring in the red zone with 11 touchdowns. On defense, the Hawkeyes are allowing 392.4 yards per game including 233.7 passing yards and 158.6 rushing yards. Iowa has forced 15 turnovers and 6 sacks. Hawkeye opponents are 58/116 on third and fourth down conversions and 24/30 scoring in the red zone with 19 touchdowns. Iowa has 4 defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Iowa quarterback James Vandenburg has completed 212 of 365 passes (58.1%) for 2,157 yards with 7 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He has 3 rushing touchdowns this season. Running back Mark Weisman has 130 carries, 724 yards and 8 touchdowns, along with 15 catches, 90 yards and a touchdown. Damon Bullock has 135 carries, 513 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 18 catches for 167 yards. He is questionable with a back injury. Receiver Keenan Davis has 46 catches, 560 yards and a touchdown. Kevonte Martin-Manley has 49 catches, 552 yards and 2 touchdowns. C.J. Fiedorowicz has 39 catches, 377 yards and a touchdown. Jordan Cotton has 12 catches, 172 yards and a touchdown, along with a kick return for a touchdown. Three offensive linemen are listed as questionable for the Nebraska game.

Nebraska is 4-0 ATSĀ  in road games against teams with losing home records, 3-0-1 in Big Ten games, after a straight up win, in November, and overall, 5-1-1 after passing for 280 yards or more, 6-2-1 on fieldturf, 3-1-1 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 25-51-2 after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 5-11 in Friday games, 3-7 after allowing less than 20 points, 2-6 against teams with losing records, 1-4 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards and 275 total yards and 1-5-1 in road games.

Iowa is 5-0 ATS allowing more than 40 points, 3-0-1 at home against teams with winning road records, 35-17-1 after a straight up loss, 3-7 after allowing more than 450 yards, 2-5 at home, 2-7 against teams with winning records, 1-6 after scoring less than 20 points, 0-5 after scoring 20 points or less, overall and in Big Ten games, 0-4 after failing to cover, in November, and on fieldturf.

One team is -8 in turnovers, yet has won 9 games. The other is +9 in turnovers, but has won 4 games. I guess my point is stats don’t always tell the whole story. Nebraska should win this game, but Iowa will play hard with a chance to play spoiler.

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