College Football Picks: Iowa vs. Nebraska

Ross Benjamin

Monday, November 25, 2013 4:28 PM GMT

Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 4:28 PM GMT

The Nebraska Cornhuskers host the Iowa Hawkeyes at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln on Friday with the opening kickoff scheduled for Noon ET. Find out where SBR has decided to place their college football picks in this matchup.

Nebraska has defeated Iowa in each of the last 2 seasons. Last year Nebraska came away with a 13-7 win in Iowa City.

Early College Football odds listed Nebraska as a 2.5 point favorits, but early sports betting action has since pushed the line to 3. At the time of publishing, most online sportsbooks had not released a total, but be sure to check back later in the week for updated betting lines.

The Hot Seat Temporarily Cooled

The proverbial hot seat that the Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Bo Pelini has been on received a temporary reprieve, after last Saturday’s 23-20 overtime win at Penn St. The Cornhuskers were led by junior running back Ameer Abdullah who rushed for 147 yards on 25 carries. Abdullah has now rushed for 1487 yards and averaged an excellent 6.4 yards per carry this season. The Cornhuskers have yet to beat a quality opponent at home this season. Their 4 wins in Lincoln came versus FBS opponents that have a combined record of 13-31 on the season. The other win came versus a FCS team South Dakota St. They were defeated at home by UCLA 41-21 and Michigan St. 41-28. 

Quietly a Very Nice Year 

The Hawkeyes Kirk Ferentz has had better teams in his tenure as a head coach at Iowa. However, this may be one of his best coaching jobs he’s done while in Iowa City. After enduring a miserable 4-8 season in 2012, expectations for the 2013 campaign were moderate at best. The Hawkeyes enter their regular season finale already bowl eligible, and a win in Lincoln would just be icing on the cake, in what has to be considered an already successful year. Iowa’s 4 losses this season have come versus opponents with a combined record of 41-4 on the year. The Hawkeyes enter this contest riding the momentum of last Saturday’s 24-21 home win over the Michigan Wolverines. They overcame a 21-7 halftime deficit, outscored Michigan 17-0 in the 2nd half, and received a winning 34-year field goal from Mike Meyer with just 6:07 left in the game. They held Michigan to a paltry 158 yards of total offense. The Hawkeyes defense is 10th nationally allowing 304.5 yards per game. 

Final Analysis 

Although Nebraska hasn’t beaten a quality opponent at home this season, the fact of the matter is they’re still 21-3 in their last 24 games in Lincoln. Iowa enters their regular season finale with a 7-4 record, and by all rights should be considered a quality opponent. However, with all due respect, they’re not in the same class with either UCLA or Michigan St., who Nebraska fell to in earlier home games this season. With everything considered, I will back the small home favorite with my college football picks in this contest.

Free College Football Pick: Nebraska -3.0 over Iowa
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