THE BETTING BASICS
Current Line: Nebraska -12
Moneyline: Nebraska -410/Northwestern +320
Over/Under: 41 (-110 both ways)
ESPN Analytics Matchup Predictor: Huskers 69.6%/Northwestern 30.4%
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
HOW SHOULD YOU SPEND YOUR MONEY
The straight spread opened at -9 and quickly shot up to -12 suggesting the bettors believe we’ll be getting the Northwestern who struggled to beat lowly Howard and not the one who came back against Minnesota.
The 41 O/U seems a bit high initially as the Wildcats will likely struggle to score. However the Huskers are candidates to have breakout on offense as 1) Northwestern has given up points to some bad offenses and 2) despite the rash of season-ending injuries, a banged-up Huskers squad will be as healthy as they have since opening day.
Three tempting individual numbers worth noting:
- Heinrich Haarberg O/U 53 1⁄2 and Anthony Grant O/U 74 1⁄2 yards rushing. The Wildcats give up over 172 ypg rushing and the Huskers should top this with Grant and HH getting the majority of those yards.
- Thomas Fidone O/U 24 1⁄2 yards receiving - once again this seems low. If he gets just two grabs on the day - not an unreasonable expectation - he should top this.
But once again, let’s turn to Mark who puts his money where his mouth is - and he is currently 5-1 on the season:
“I like Nebraska -12 1⁄2 because Northwestern is more concerned with slapping peepee’s than winning football games. Huskers vs. Wildcats has only been close under their shamed former head coach, Pat Fitzgerald. Our defense is dominant and the offense will find a sort of scoring rhythm. Not perfect, but they can’t score on us.”
Well, there you have it. The lesson as always? Our conference is just creepy.
As I stated above, our biggest boost is what will be a much cleaner injury report for the active roster. Heinrich is now the clear QB1 but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them both line up in the gun on a 4th and short or goal line situation. (Two-fold reason to do this - 1) try to catch Northwestern off-guard and 2) give future opponents something else to worry about.)
Northwestern runs about a 50/50 run/pass split but struggles to establish the run only averaging around 3 ypc. That doesn’t bode well against the Polar Bear and the rest of that front and middle 6.
When the Huskers have the ball they will be facing a squad who’s been giving up yards on the ground. If the Wildcats try to load up a little more to stop the ground game, Haarberg should have as much open field to throw in as he’s seen. Coupling that with Matt Rhule’s determination to get the ball to Kemp more may lead to Haarberg’s first 200 yard day.
Head Coach David Braun came to Northwestern this season from North Dakota State where he served very successfully as their defensive coordinator for several years which he also does now in a dual role. So what I said above may not fall that way as Braun will obviously have ideas of his own on how to stop us. Will it be enough to overcome their lack of talent?
The biggest intangible here is the history between these two. It’s almost always been a nail biter. The question is will this trend continue without Fitzgerald on the Northwestern sideline?
GAME DAY INFO
Date/Time: Saturday, October 21 at 2:30pm CDT
Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln NE
Surface: Field Turf (Crafted by The Bobfather himself in Husker Valhalla)
Series Record: Nebraska leads the all-time series 9-7. This is the 12th straight year the Huskers have played Northwestern with 9 of those games being decided by one score or less.
TV: The game will be televised on the B1G Network with Play-by-Play: Cory Provus; Analyst: Jake Butt (huh-huh, his name is “Butt”); Sideline: Brooke Fletcher. It can be streamed on the Fox Sports app with a login from your service provider.
Radio: Huskers Radio Network. The audio can also be streamed live for free at Huskers.com or the Huskers App. The crew will be: Greg Sharpe, Damon Benning, and Jessica Coody. The pre- and post-game shows will be handled by Matt Coatney, Tommy Armstrong & Ben McLaughlin.
More streaming options: The official Huskers App is available on iTunes and Google Play. You can access the Spanish broadcast on Huskers.com the Huskers app with Kike Morales, Oscar Monterroso & Hannah Bassham.
- The series is currently even at 6-6 since the Huskers joined the Big 10.
- Their will be more fans in attendance at this game than in Northwestern’s last 4 games combined.
- As part of a season long celebration of the 100 Year Anniversary of Memorial Stadium, the Huskers will be sporting alternate uniforms with a patch celebrating the the milestone on the shoulders and a blue outline around the numerals.
- The blue is a nod to the first ever game in Memorial Stadium for which Oklahoma showed up with crimson unis. To avoid confusion, the Huskers donned blue jerseys for the contest.
- Of the six contests held in Lincoln since joining the conference, Nebraska has twice defeated the Wildcats on the final play of the game - the Hail Mary in 2013 and a field goal as time expired in 2019.
- Just throwing that out there.