College Football Week 13: Nebraska At Iowa Big Ten Tilt Likely To Be Low Scoring

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 6:03 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 6:03 PM UTC

The sixth installment of the Heroes Game between Nebraska and Iowa kicks off at Kinnick Stadium Friday afternoon, the final regular-season contest for each Big Ten program. The Hawkeyes are 3-point opening favorites with a total TBA due to Cornhuskers QB questions.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-2 SU, 7-3 ATS)

Nebraska’s quarterback situation should be clearer by Wednesday, but the forecast is gloomy all in all. Regular starter Tommy Armstrong Jr. sat out last week's game with a hamstring injury, and his playing status is unknown. Head coach Mike Riley told reporters the senior is getting healthier but wanted to see how he did at Tuesday’s practice before making a call.

Backup Ryker Fyfe, meanwhile, broke a bone in his left wrist in the 28-7 win over Maryland last weekend. It’s his non-throwing arm, so he’ll wear a cast and is available. Regardless of whomever takes the first snap at Iowa neither will be 100 percent.

Also on injury-watch are sophomore wide receiver Stanley Morgan and junior kicker Drew Brown, each going through concussion protocol. The Huskers will win the Big Ten West Division with a victory here and a Wisconsin loss Saturday to Minnesota.

A few trends to consider: Dating back to 2013, the Cornhuskers are 7-1 ATS as single-digit road underdogs on college football odds with four contests going to overtime. The 'under' is 8-2 in Nebraska’s games this season.


Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4 SU, 5-6 ATS)

The Hawkeyes have not covered three spreads in a row since midway through the 2014 season, but look to do as a 3-point chalk in this one after beating the number against Michigan and Illinois the last two times out. The defense has allowed 13 points total over its past 8 quarters, 40 points below projected in the betting market. Overall, the unit’s .252 opponent points per play against FBS opponents ranks eighth best nationally.

Scoring is Iowa’s kryptonite/ It averages 26.0 per game against FBS competition, but that number is skewed from a couple of big-point efforts against lousy teams. In seven games against foes with a winning record, the Hawkeyes post 19.3 per game, with more than 21 points just once. In fact, they are 2-4 on college football picks when allowing 17 points or more in a game, unable to keep up in most. Nebraska has scored that many in every contest but one this season.


Final Analysis

This matchup has kicked off within a field goal spread in each of the last three seasons with the away team winning outright in all. The Hawkeyes have never won back-to-back in the series, and the offense leaves a lot to be desired here. Expect a low-scoring game. It’s cold, players are dinged up.

Nebraska has faced three defense allowing less than 20 points on the year entering contests against Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Ohio State. The Huskers scored 24, 17, and 3 in those. The Hawkeyes average 18.8 points per game in four against those, while yielding less than 23 per game. Both teams are run-first, hard-nosed units. Hitting 40 points combined may be far-fetched.

NCAAF Free Pick: 'Under'Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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