Minnesota vs. Nebraska Game Preview and NCAAF Betting Analysis
— Nebraska Football (@Nebraska) October 14, 2015
Betting on the Minnesota Golden Gophers
The Golden Gophers are coming off a 41-13 rout over Purdue last week. QB Mitch Leidner completed 8 of his 12 passes for 59 yards and accounted for three TDs (two passing, one rushing) with one INT. Backup QB Demry Croft also showed some ability as a runner, posting a long run of 34 yards last weekend. Shannon Brooks was also instrumental in the win, as he rushed for 176 yards with one TD on 17 carries, while Brandon Lingen had three receptions for 22 yards with two TDs. These offensive pieces should be the focal point of the Gophers attacking unit on Saturday, as they hunt of their fifth victory of the season.
Defensively, Minnesota is allowing impressively allowing just 19 PPG along with 306.2 YPG. The defense shut down the Boilermakers for three quarters after Purdue had scored a touchdown on the game’s opening drive. Defensive back Jalen Myrick starred in that game with a pair of interceptions, including his second career pick-six.
As far as injuries go, it is worth noting that Antonio Johnson, Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Robert Ndondo-Layare remain questionable for the weekend game.
Betting on the Nebraska Cornhuskers
The Cornhuskers season-long nightmares continued last Saturday, as they lost 21-23 to Wisconsin, a game they’d have won if they hadn’t shifted down gears in the second half to allow the Badgers back into the game in the second half.
Even with the loss, QB Tommy Armstrong Jr. has been a solid dual threat component that has constantly impressed as the driving force for the Cornhuskers’ offense. On the season, Armstrong has been strong-armed with 1,500 passing yards and 12 TDs (against 6 INTs), while also showing strength on the ground with 206 rushing yards and 2 TDs.
In his last outing, Armstrong completed 11 of his 28 passes for 129 yards and a TD. Andy Janovich was also a key piece in that game, rushing for 59 yards on three carries and a TD, while Alonzo Moore had one reception for 41 yards and a TD as well.
As far as recent efficiency goes, Armstrong and Leidner don’t compare too far. Nebraska’s ground game, averaging 193.6 yards per game this season, will therefore need to feature strongly here to give the Cornhuskers some edge over Minny’s ground game that is averaging 172 yards per game.
In the defensive side of things, the Cornhuskers are allowing 23.8 PPG, which isn’t that bad or good either. As a big concern, though, Nebraska’s secondary sits last nationally in pass defense, allowing a freaking 353.8 yards per game. Given Leidner’s strength is in his arms, it is safe to say that the Huskers will have their hands real full. Chris Weber (who leads the Cornhuskers with 42 tackles), Freedom Akinmoladun (4.5 sacks) and Nate Gerry (two interceptions) will must therefore be prepared for a team-leading performance at the back.
Even more notably, Nebraska’s defense has been stout against the run, solidly averaging 95.3 yards per game, good for eighth-best in the nation. Essentially, this means that Brooks and his runners won’t be having much fun like they did against Purdue’s poor run defense.
Key Betting Trends
- The Golden Gophers are 4-1 SU in their last five games
- The Cornhuskers are 2-5 SU in their last seven games
- The Golden Gophers are 8-2 SU in their last 10 games at home
- The Cornhuskers are 1-4 SU in their last five games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in four of Minnesota’s last six games
- The total has gone OVER in 12 of Nebraska’s last 17 games
- The total has gone UNDER in nine of Minnesota’s last 13 games at home
- The total has gone OVER in five of Nebraska’s last six games on the road
Minnesota vs. Nebraska Game Prediction
Though they are a team with some talented pieces on both sides of the line of scrimmage, the Cornhuskers have a knack for allowing big plays on the defensive side of the ball, while the offense has been blowing hot and cold almost equally. This makes it difficult to trust them against the Golden Gophers, who have a consistent formula of stringing several stops together defensively and taking good advantage of their offensive opportunities. Added to the home ground support, I’m confident that the Gophers will pull through to win this game, most likely with a cover, though in a relatively low-scoring game that will keep the total UNDER.