College Football Picks: Nebraska vs. Michigan

Willie Bee

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 7:47 PM GMT

A week after being manhandled by Michigan State, the Michigan Wolverines can all but gift wrap the Legends Division of the Big Ten for their rivals from East Lansing this Saturday, and the college football oddsmakers like their chances to do just that.

Week 11 is filled with seemingly one marquee matchup after another, and that has pushed Nebraska's trip to Ann Arbor to take on the Wolverines to the back burner a bit. The clash between two of only eight Div. 1/FBS schools with 800+ wins is still getting national recognition on the telly, however, with the 3:30 PM (ET) kickoff finding ABC's B-team of Sean McDonough and Chris Spielman behind the mics, and the lovely Shannon Spake roaming the sidelines.

The early NCAA betting had the Wolverines laying 6.5 points before that spread moved up a half to -7 against the Cornhuskers. SBR's live college football odds listed a 57.5 point total as of Tuesday afternoon.

[gameodds]6/248592/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Michigan leads all collegiate gridiron programs with 914 wins, Nebraska coming in at the No.4 position among top-level teams with 866. The Wolverines also lead this series 4-3-1, the squads splitting the past two seasons since the Cornhuskers joined the Big Ten, the totals also halving. Last year's tilt in Lincoln was dominated by NU's defense that held the Wolverines to 188 total yards in a 23-9 Nebraska victory.

Take a look at our SBR's College Football Picks for Week 11 Betting Odds Report

Big Red, Maize & Blue Meet Off Different Outcomes

The two teams are very similar statistically, but enter Saturday's fracas following very different results in Week 10.

Nebraska (6-2 straight up, 4-4 against the spread) narrowly avoided its second consecutive conference defeat with a 27-24 win over Northwestern, scoring the winning touchdown on a Hail Mary from midfield as the clock ran out. Ron Kellogg III relieved starting quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. after an interception-laden effort, and connected with Jordan Weterkamp on the 49-yard scoring strike.

Armstrong, a redshirt freshman, got the start for the 'Huskers in place of 1st-string quarterback Taylor Martinez who is doubtful again this week with a hip injury. All signs point to Armstrong getting the start vs. Michigan, and Kellogg, a former walk-on, waiting in the wings.

Michigan (6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS) was soundly whipped at Michigan State last Saturday, 29-6, as the Spartans defense smothered the Wolverines. State continually overpowered Michigan's O-line, ringing up seven sacks and limiting the Maize & Blue to -48 yards rushing. Two Matt Wile field goals were all the Wolverines put on the scoreboard after they entered the game averaging over 42 points per game.

Wolverines Put Home Winning Streak On Line

Bo Pelini knows his Nebraska team was very, very lucky last week against Northwestern, and Brady Hoke knows his Wolverines were simply outplayed in nearly every phase of the game vs. the Spartans. How well each head coach gets his squad to put both games out of their minds is paramount to victory in this week's contest.

In addition to Martinez's injury, the Cornhuskers are also listing wideout Jamal Turner (toe) and tight end Jake Long (hamstring) as questionable. Hoke and the Wolverines are waiting to hear if offensive tackle and team captain Taylor Lewan might face a possible suspension from an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in last week's setback.It has been a while since anyone beat the Wolverines at Michigan Stadium, 19 games to be exact, the longest home win streak going these days. It has been even longer that the Cornhuskers tasted victory on this field, a little more than 51 years as a matter of fact, Nebraska's lone win at the Big House coming in 1962.

The long-term weather forecast is calling for a chilly and potentially damp afternoon in Ann Arbor. Temps are expected to remain in the mid-to-upper 40s during the game with a 30% chance of rain, along with a 12-15 mph wind from the SSW.

I haven't been impressed by Devin Gardner at Michigan as much as some people, though last week's performance can be blamed more on the strength of Michigan State's defensive front than Gardner's fault. Still, I could easily see Gardner having a decent game and Michigan bouncing back in good fashion, though seven is too much for me to lay. Instead, my college football pick is on the 'under' for this one.

My pick: Nebraska-Michigan Under 57.5

Season record: 18-7 (+9.3 units); four picks pending