Big Ten BCS Showdown, Odds: (7) Nebraska Huskers at (11) Wisconsin Badgers

Tommy Armstrong and his Husker teammates are 8-point underdogs in a prized matchup with conference foe, No. 11 ranked Wisconsin.
Tommy Armstrong and his Husker teammates are 8-point underdogs in a prized matchup with conference foe, No. 11 ranked Wisconsin.

(7) Nebraska-(11) Wisconsin
Time: 6 PM (CT)
Spread: WIS -8
Total: 40.5

Betting odds c/o 5dimes

The No. 7 Nebraska Cornhuskers are 7-0 and have knocked off both its ranked opponents, but it finds itself 8-point underdogs to the hosting Wisconsin Badgers this Saturday in college football odds. The game will air at 6 PM (Central) on ESPN and has an over/under of 40.5 points.

Nebraska for its part, has been taking care of some weak opponents. Since its week 4 win over Northwestern, it has defeated its last three opponents (Illinois, Indiana and Purdue) by a combined total of 85 to 52. The Huskers are averaging 34.1 points per game while holding opponents to 17.7, marks good for No. 41 and No. 14 in the nation.

The rush attack has been particularly good, averaging 211.4 yards per game and ranking No. 35, and the pass game has balanced enough to render this team highly successful. The Huskers average 236.0 passing yards per game, good for No. 60, which is enough given its rather balanced attack.

Quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. is making good on his final season at Nebraska. He has thrown for 1,611 yards at a 55.4 percent clip with an 8.66 yard per attempt average. He has 11 TD passes, five interceptions and a 142.3 passer rating. Armstrong has also rushed for 380 yards on 81 carries, averaging 4.7 yards per attempt and leading the team with six rushing TDs.

Terrell Newby leads the team in yardage (511) and is second in TD runs (four). The Huskers average 4.6 yards per carry on its 319 team attempts this season and have scored 17 team rushing TDs. Comparatively, the pass has accounted for 12 TDs with a stable of active receivers.

Alonzo Moore, Stanley Morgan Jr, Brandon Reilly and Jordan Westerkamp all have over 200 yards receiving on the season. Westerkamp missed last week with a back injury, but he is expected to be good to go this week.

Moore and Reilly have been particular good for big plays, with Moore averaging 24.9 yards per reception and Reilly at a comfortable 23.0. Westerkamp leads the way in end zone catches with four of the team’s 12 passing TDs.

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Kicker Drew Brown has been good. He has connected on 7 of 9 FGA with both misses coming from behind the 40-yard line. He has knocked down a 51 yard field goal this year, and he also has hit all 29 of his extra point attempts.

Wisconsin defeated Iowa 17-9 last week to bounce back from its consecutive losses to Conference powerhouses Michigan and Ohio State. The Badgers are 5-2 but ranked No. 11, and that No. 11 ranking is somewhat deceiving. This is the best two-loss team in college football. The Badgers nearly took out Ohio State, losing in OT in week 6, and the Michigan loss came by just seven points too. This team really could easily be undefeated and in possession of one of the top-three rankings.

But it was not to be.

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Alex Hornibrook has been good for a freshman, but he has had his patches. He’s thrown for 877 yards on 65 of 115 passing with five TDs—but he has thrown six interceptions and been sacked 10 times. Last week he was 11 of 19 for 197 yards but did not throw a TD in the game. He has also rushed for a total of -67 yards combined the last four weeks. Last week he was good for -17 yards on three carries. The Michigan game was his worsts throwing game of the season when he lofted just 9 of 25 for completion and threw three picks. It is a learning process, but it helps that he has such a talented backfield to hand the football off to.

Corey Clement has been the No. 1 rusher with 617 yards on 142 carries with six TDs. The Badgers have scored 10 rushing TDs and average 3.9 yards per carry. The team has scored eight receiving TDs, and is led by No. 1 receiver and backfield option Jazz Peavy. Peavy has 383 passing yards and 127 rushing yards, and his 11.5 yards per rush lead the team. Robert Wheelwright is No. 2 in yardage with 310 on 20 catches and Troy Fumagalli is good for 303 yards on the year on 25 catches.

That trio does most of the damage for the Badgers with half the team’s TDs and well over half the yardage. Wheelwright is questionable for the game with a leg injury, though.

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