Big Ten College Football Odds: Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Nebraska Cornhuskers

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Nebraska is 11.5 point favorites, but its recent play is hardly the reason: Can the 1-2 Huskers turn it around in 2017?

Rutgers at Nebraska
Time: 2:30 PM CT, Saturday
Spread: NEB -11.5
Total: 47

Odds c/o 5dimes

The Nebraska Cornhuskers have had a tough going in 2017. As losers of its past two contests, it now hosts Big Ten rival Rutgers Saturday at 2:30 PM (Central Time) on the Big Ten Network, hoping to gain some momentum before its schedule gets significantly more challenging in the upcoming weeks.

Nebraska should (?) be able to do just that as 11.5 point favorites against Rutgers, and this game may be on the low-scoring side with college football oddsmakers setting the over/under at a paltry 47 points.

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Nebraska, thought to be a tough defensive team, has given up 42-points or more twice already this season, however, making the betting total a rather juicy proposition, and with bettors being heavily enticed to wager the ‘over’ on it.

Last week, the Huskers fell 21-17 to Nothern Illinois, and it fired AD Eichorst as athletic director, with hopes that it can somehow turnaround a program that seems to be in a total downward spiral. The Huskies became the first non-Power 5 conference team to defeat Nebraska since 2004, and the Huskers see it as a sign more than a harbinger, hoping this season can still be salvaged despite the defensive ineptitudes and all-around poor play. What makes the loss perhaps toughest is that Nebraska handled its business in a matchup strictly based on yardage.

The Huskers had 384 total yards and held NIU to just 213— but the Huskies found its ways to exploit Nebraska, using some costly Huskers’ turnovers and producing touchdowns from its defense. Nebraska also botched several punts and gave the Huskies excellent field advantage, while three Huskers’ interceptions from Tanner Lee were hardly any sort of blessing, either. At this point, there are so many issues for Nebraska, that is tough to pinpoint any few cards as the reason its house of cards has crumbled in 2017.

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The fact that Nebraska is getting such mediocre production from Mikale Wilson and the rest of its ball-carriers is just icing on the cake, for a team both lacking an identity and looking like a doormat in its conference now, which is uncharted territory for the proud program. Can it turn it around this week against Rutgers? There are a lot of reason to believe so, most of which have to do with Rutgers’ own issues—which abound nearly as aplenty as Nebraska’s.

The only seeming difference is that Rutgers is used to losing football games, and in a tough Big Ten, perhaps we are seeing the beginning of some powers being upended. A 11.5-point spread is certainly generous one might think, at least given that Nebraska has yet to back up a single claim to fame in this young season.

Rutgers is 1-2 on the season. It lost back-to-back contests to start the year, but the opener was against No. 8 overall Washington. Last week was a pleasant break from the struggles, and the Scarlet Knights dominated Morgan State in a 65-0 shutout that hinted freshman quarterback Jonathan Lewis just may be a savior to a program long in need of it.

Lewis threw just two passes, but one was for a touchdown, and his rushing certainly was what raised the eyebrows. Lewis had four TD runs and was good for 58 yards on 11 carries. A few others got in on the action in the rout, with Raheem Blackshear leading the team with 102 yards and a pair of TDs, as well. Rutgers scored seven rushing touchdowns and averaged six yards-per-carry on 54 (!) total attempts.

Kyle Bolin played the role of the traditional quarterback, and he had success in throwing 11 of 17 for completion while recording a touchdown and no interceptions. It is hard to draw a litany of positive conclusions against a non-FBS opponent, but it was certainly a positive note for the team as it now faces Nebraska—perhaps not quite as the underdog college football oddsmakers are billing it to be. In fact, this has the makings of another absurd upset in a season that has been hardly short of them already.

Rutgers will face Ohio State next week, so a taste of victory before hosting the Buckeyes would be a good note for this team, as it tries to gain some confidence in this young season.

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