College Football Week 8 Predictions: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Northwestern Wildcats

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Northwestern Wildcats
Saturday, 10/18/14, 7:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Nebraska -7
Current Betting Line:  Nebraska -6.5
Opening Total:  49.5
Current Total:  52
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Nebraska Cornhuskers have the No. 2 rushing attack in the Big Ten Conference
The Nebraska Cornhuskers have the No. 2 rushing attack in the Big Ten Conference

Nebraska had its five-game win streak to open the season come to an end last time out, as it suffered a 27-22 setback to the Michigan State Spartans as 6.5-point road underdogs on Oct. 4, while going UNDER the betting total for a second consecutive contest.  The Cornhuskers own a 5-2 SU edge in this series, which can’t be ignored when making your Week 8 college football predictions, as that record includes a 2-1 mark since they joined the Big Ten Conference.  Nebraska is 5-2 SU and 2-4-1 ATS as favorites of 3.5 to 10 points the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 4-3 in that situation.

The Cornhuskers possess one of the top rushing attacks in the country, which is important to consider when looking over the college football betting lines, as they rank second in the Big Ten and fifth nationally in averaging 303.5 yards per game on the ground.  Senior running back Ameer Abdullah is the main player to watch, as he ranks first among active players with 6,089 all-purpose yards, while sitting behind just a single player in gaining 3,855 yards on the ground over his career.

Northwestern is also looking to bounce back from a loss, as it dropped a 24-17 decision to the Minnesota Golden Gophers as 3.5-point road underdogs last Saturday, while going UNDER the betting total for the sixth straight time to open the 2014 campaign.  Over the last 180 minutes of football between these two programs, the Wildcats and Cornhuskers are separated on the scoreboard by a cumulative margin of just a single point.  Northwestern is 10-2 ATS as home underdogs of 7.5 to 10 points in its last 12 opportunities.

The Wildcats have been known to stop opposing running backs, as the three starters they’ve faced in succession are averaging 152.3 rushing yards per game in 2014.  Northwestern will need quarterback Trevor Siemian to manage the game, as he became the ninth player in school history to surpass 5,000 career passing yards, while he also set personal highs with 32 completions and 50 pass attempts last week.

Sports bettors will likely back the Cornhuskers due to their 5-0 ATS mark in their last five road games.

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