NCAA Football Week 1 Picks: Wyoming Cowboys vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Wyoming Cowboys vs. No. 18 Nebraska Cornhuskers
Saturday, 8/31/13, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  Big Ten Network
Opening Point Spread:  Nebraska -28
Current Betting Line:  Nebraska -29
Opening Total:  65
Current Total:  65
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Nebraska Cornhuskers have won 27 straight season-opening games
The Nebraska Cornhuskers have won 27 straight season-opening games

Wyoming is set to meet Nebraska for the seventh time in school history, as it looks for its first-ever win in the series.  The Cowboys are led by junior signal-caller Brett Smith, who was selected to the 2013 Manning Award Watch List, which is important to consider when looking over the NCAA football betting lines.  He hasn’t thrown an interception in his last 174 pass attempts—a streak that dates back to Oct. 1, 2012.  The program is 74-40-2 in season-opening games, including a 19-23-1 mark when playing on the road.  Wyoming is 2-0 as road underdogs of 21.5 or more points the last two seasons, with the OVER cashing in both of those opportunities.

The Cowboys welcome back 29 players with previous starting experience, with 16 offensive players starting in 132 combined games, while 12 defensive players have played in 125.  Wyoming is 11-13 in road games during the Dave Christensen era, including a 4-5 mark in non-conference affairs.  Seven of the program’s 12 games a season ago were decided by a touchdown or less.

Nebraska is coming off a 10-4 season in 2012, as it looks to extend the nation’s longest season-opening win streak to 28 games, with each of those contests decided by nine or more points.  The Cornhuskers are one of four schools that have won at least nine games in each of the last five seasons—joining Alabama, Boise State and Oregon in that category.  Bo Pelini’s coaching staff will have a familiar look on the sidelines, with all nine assistants returning.  Nebraska is 2-1 as favorites of 21.5 to 31 points since 2011, with the OVER cashing in all three of those opportunities.

The Cornhuskers are 32-2 all-time against current members of the Mountain West Conference, which is important to consider when making your NCAA football picks  this weekend.  Nebraska is 15-1 in home non-conference games under Pelini—winning 12 games in a row in that situation.  Quarterback Taylor Martinez is the player to watch offensively, as he’s led the team to a 12-1 record in games prior to October in his career, with the unit averaging 42.7 points over that span.

Sports bettors will likely back the Cowboys due to their 18-6 ATS record in their last 24 road games.

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