[7:30 PM] Minnesota @ #19 Nebraska

Who will WIN this matchup?

Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-2)

@ #19 Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-2)


Current odds:

Minnesota Golden Gophers: (+184)

Nebraska Cornhuskers: (-210)


ESPN simulations have Nebraska as 59.1% favorites to win the game.

60% of sports bets are currently on Nebraska to win as (-210) favorites.

Nebraska raced out to its first 7-0 start since 2001 before the Badgers pulled out a 23-17 decision in Madison to end October but showed virtually no resistance last week in a 62-3 rout at Ohio State for the program’s worst loss since a 70-10 beating by Texas Tech in 2004. To add insult to injury, the Cornhuskers lost Tommy Armstrong Jr. to a first-half concussion, which makes the senior quarterback’s availability this weekend versus the Golden Gophers something of a question mark.

Minnesota pulled into a first-place tie with Wisconsin and Nebraska atop the West last week, outscoring Purdue 21-3 in the second half to beat the Boilermakers 44-31. The Gophers have won four straight conference games after dropping their first two, but they have done so against teams with a combined five league victories. They will wrap up their regular season by playing ranked foes in two of their final three contests, including this contest and a road tilt at No. 7 Wisconsin on Nov. 26.

Sophomore running back Rodney Smith leads the conference with 13 rushing touchdowns and has topped 100 yards in every game during the winning streak, finding the end zone eight times over that stretch. Mitch Leidner (1,505 passing yards, 12 total TDs), who is the only quarterback in school history to pass and run for at least 30 touchdowns, accumulated a season-high 305 total yards and scored a pair of rushing touchdowns in last week’s triumph. The Gophers will be shorthanded on defense this week as Cody Poock (shoulder) will undergo season-ending surgery in the near future, while fellow linebacker Nick Rallis must sit out the first half Saturday as a result of the targeting penalty that led to his ejection near the end of last week’s win.

If Armstrong is unable to pass concussion protocol in time, the Cornhuskers would turn to senior Ryker Fyfe, who went 5-of-18 for 52 yards with an interception against Ohio State and does not pose nearly the same kind of running threat (16 career carries for 20 yards) as Armstrong. Cethan Carter returned from a three-game absence due to an elbow injury and was one of only three players to catch a pass versus Ohio State; the senior has 52 career receptions and could work his way up to second place on the school’s all-time list among tight ends if he can manage 16 more catches over the final four games.

Nebraska has won 18 consecutive night home games and is 44-5 all-time in such contests.


StreakSmarts Pick: #19 Nebraska Cornhuskers

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick