Check out our NCCA Basketball Picks for Nebraska vs. Creighton

Willie Bee

Sunday, December 8, 2013 2:09 PM GMT

Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013 2:09 PM GMT

The college basketball odds for the match-up between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Creighton Bluejays are out. Who should we be backing with our free picks here?

Sure, it may not have the same feel or generate anywhere near the buzz as Duke vs. North Carolina or Kentucky taking on Louisville.  But Sunday's matchup between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Creighton Bluejays is every bit as intense of a rivalry to their fans and players.

The battle for bragging rights in Southwest Nebraska is set for a tip-off from CenturyLink Center Omaha is set for 6 PM (ET), and FOX Sports will provide the telecast.  Creighton is big 13 point chalk for the contest, while a total has yet to show up on SBR's live college basketball odds.

This year's matchup is the 47th in a series that began in 1922, with Nebraska on the good side of the all-time record at 25-21.  Creighton, however, has emerged victorious in the last two meetings, taking last December's very physical contest in Lincoln by a 64-42 count.  Laying eight on the road, it was the sixth straight to me the Bluejays covered the spread vs. the Cornhuskers.

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'Huskers Face First True Road Test Of Campaign

Tim Miles and the Cornhuskers are making the short trek up I-80 for this game, just the second time they've left the campus in Lincoln and their first clash in a hostile gym.  Nebraska (6-2 straight up, 4-3 against the spread) enters Sunday's tilt in the midst of its second 3-game win streak of the season, and is arguably coming off its best performance.

The 'Huskers hosted the final game of this past week's Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and knotted this year's series between the two conferences with a 60-49 win vs. the Miami Hurricanes.  Favored by five, Nebraska jumped to a 5-0 lead and never trailed the entire evening at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln.

Terran Petteway, Nebraska's leading scorer (15.8 ppg), couldn't find the net in the first half when he missed all five of his field goal attempts, but came on with 14 points in the final 20 minutes, including the team's last five points from the charity stripe.  The final score never quite got to the scoreboard hurdle, extending the run to three consecutive 'under' winners for Cornhusker backers.

The only other time the 'Huskers left Lincoln was just before Thanksgiving when they participated in the Charleston Classic, a trip that included back-to-back losses before beating Georgia in the consolation bracket.  Massachusetts and Alabama-Birmingham handed Nebraska the two defeats, and did so primarily by finding it easy to score on the Cornhuskers.  Miles' squad ranks in the top 50 of the country allowing just over 64 points per game, but the Minutemen and Blazers each shot better than 50% and scored 183 points (91.5 ppg) between them.

'Jays Start Homestand Leading Into Big East Slate

It has been a bit of a struggle recently for Greg McDermott and Creighton.  The Bluejays (6-2 SU, 3-3 ATS) began the season just outside the top 25 before rising to No. 20/18 with a 5-0 start.  That was before traveling west to the Wooden Classic and suffering a pair of upset losses to San Diego State and George Washington.

Things are going about as well as you might expect for the coach's son, however.  Doug McDermott ranks sixth nationally averaging 24.4 points per game, and the two-time All-American also leads the team with 6.8 boards per contest.

The 6-8 senior scored 30 in the loss to SDSU, the third time this year he's reached that mark in a contest, but then had his worst performance since early last season in the follow-up vs. George Washington.  McDermott's seven points (2-for-11 shooting) were the fewest he had scored since netting only five vs. UAB in Nov. 2012.

So the question now becomes whether or not to go against Creighton's cover streak in the series or lay the 13?  My decision is to ride the chalk for my free college basketball pick.

NCCA Basketball Pick: Creighton -13

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