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Nebraska Cornhuskers Celebrate

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 3:59 PM GMT

A couple of 2-0 squads square off in an interconference tilt on Saturday's college football betting card, and we've got a free NCAAF pick for Oregon and Nebraska.

A lot has changed since the Oregon Ducks and Nebraska Cornhuskers last got together on a gridiron. More change could be coming -- if only with regards to their fortunes in the present season -- when they collide in a nationally televised contest this Saturday in Lincoln.

Memorial Stadium will once again become the 3rd-largest city in Nebraska for the 3:30 PM (ET) broadcast on ABC. It's the first real test for both schools, the Ducks ranked 20/21 in the two conventional polls while the Cornhuskers are hanging around outside both sets of rankings.

By virtue of having home field advantage, Nebraska is the favorite. Bookmaker, one of SBR's top-rated sports books, has the 'Huskers -3, that spread having bounced a half-point either side of a field goal since it was initially sent out. The total has been on the rise at the same shop, starting at 70½ and rising to 73.

It has been almost exactly 30 years since the teams played a little pigskin. The most recent meeting was in 1986, a 48-14 Cornhuskers victory in Lincoln. Back then, Nebraska was a powerhouse and Oregon football still hadn't received its first big payday from Nike. They also met a couple of times in the 70s, both of those matchups ending in Nebraska victories, and split a pair of clashes in the early-50s.

 

If It Walks Like A Duck And Quacks Like A Duck...
More than a few folks believe Oregon is currently living in the polls based on its recent reputation. After making it to the first College Football Playoff Championship two years ago, the Ducks fell off a bit last year when they went 9-4 and dropped the Alamo Bowl to TCU.

A big problem in the four losses last season was defense, so head coach Mark Helfrich brought in former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke to rework that side of the ball. So far, not much has changed. Oregon did win its first two games this year, but failed to cover the NCAA football odds against either Cal-Davis and Virginia. The Ducks allowed an average of 390 yards in the two contests, 82nd in the country, along with 27.0 PPG (80th).

The only injuries to report are at tight end, a position that could be very thin for the Ducks this time. Starter Pharaoh Brown is fine, but backup Johnny Mundt is nursing a sore knee while 3rd-stringer Evan Baylis has a bad foot. Both are listed as questionable to face the Cornhuskers.

 

'Huskers Begin Season With Consecutive Covers
Nebraska had little trouble in taking out Fresno State and Wyoming the first two weeks, and the college football bettors who got behind the Cornhuskers as 29 and 26½ point chalk, respectively, were quite pleased with the efforts. Mike Riley's offense, under the direction of senior Tommy Armstrong Jr., showed off its versatility in relying on the run against the Bulldogs and turning to the pass last week vs. the Cowboys.

Armstrong may have to do without two of his favorite receivers, Alonzo Moore and Brandon Reilly. Moore, who leads the team with six catches for more than 200 yards, is questionable with a shoulder injury while Reilly is under the same heading with a whammy to his hammy. Nebraska also might be without defensive tackle, Mick Stoltenberg. The redshirt sophomore injured a knee in the win over Wyoming and is questionable for Saturday's game.

Rain this week in Lincoln should clear out by Saturday when a very nice forecast is being offered up. Mostly sunny skies are expected with a kickoff reading in the mid-70s on the thermometer and a light northerly breeze.

My gut is telling me the Cornhuskers are in for a good day, and that makes my free college football pick an easy play on Big Red.

As a friendly reminder, make sure that you check SBR's best sportsbook bonuses, and find out who is giving out the best deal!

 

Free College Football Pick: Nebraska -3 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker
Season: 8-6 (+2.05)

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