This weekend’s game between Nebraska & Miami is pivotal in shaping the direction of the betting season and how these teams feel about themselves heading into conference play.
The Huskers smoothly strolled past South Alabama at home, but they know that beating a Sun Belt team isn’t really much of a basis for measuring how good a team this is. That moment of measuring awaits in South Florida against the Hurricanes. Nebraska needs to find out how its speed matches up against Miami’s speed on the perimeter of the field. That might be the battle within the war which proves to be decisive.
Miami really struggled in the first half of its game at Florida Atlantic last Friday night. The Hurricanes had a real problem blocking FAU’s defensive front, which means that Miami’s offensive line is probably the unit of the team which has to improve more than anything (or anyone) else in this game against Nebraska. Miami thinks it can throw the ball down the field against Nebraska’s defense, but it has to be able to protect its passer first. The Huskers will bring a lot more muscle than Florida Atlantic ever did or could.
The College Football Betting Odds has set 3 points for Miami in some places, but it’s 3.5 here and in a number of other places. Why is Miami a field goal favorite? The home-field advantage is in effect here. Put this game in Nebraska, and you’d almost certainly see the Huskers favored by at least three points as well. Nebraska is not yet seen as a program strong enough to make this long cross-country trip and win in what could be hot and humid conditions. The fact that Mike Riley is in his first season coaching Nebraska probably feeds into the idea that the Huskers won’t win.
Must Read: Numbers that Stand Out in Week 3
The Huskers have tight end Cethan Carter listed as questionable due to a suspension. Punter Sam Foltz is questionable for this game with an ankle, stemming from an injury suffered in week one against BYU. Linebacker Dedrick Young is questionable for undisclosed reasons, as is linebacker Josh Banderas. Defensive end Jack Gangwish will miss this game with an elbow injury. Wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El is out indefinitely with a foot injury. Tight end David Sutton will miss this game with an ankle injury.
Miami has running back Gus Edwards out for the season with a foot injury. Wide receiver Braxton Berrios is questionable with a knee injury. Linebacker Juwon Young is questionable with a foot injury. Defensive back Ryan Mayes and wide receiver Stacy Coley are questionable with hamstring injuries. Linebacker Darrion Owens is out for the season with an ACL injury.
Handicapping The Game
Miami’s offensive line is such a problem that Nebraska should be able to get a good pass rush going. Unless Nebraska’s secondary completely collapses, the Huskers should win this, so lock Nebraska with your Saturday College Football Picks.
College Football Pick: Nebraska +3.5 at 5Dimes.