Nebraska Win-Total Prediction

College Football Predictions: Is 7 wins too high for Nebraska? 8/14/17

Will the Nebraska Cornhuskers avoid a losing season in 2017? Here’s our breakdown of what to expect from them this season.

According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Nebraska is listed with 85/1 odds to win the College Football Playoffs this season. The Cornhuskers are also listed with 22/1 odds to win the Big Ten in 2017. When it comes to the over/under for regular-season wins, Nebraska is listed at 7. The over carries a line of -105, while the under has a money line of -125.

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Mike Riley is stepping into his third season as head coach of the Cornhuskers this year. His first two seasons have seen him post a 15-11 record overall and 9-8 record in the Big Ten. In his first season, 2015, Nebraska went 6-7 overall and 3-5 in the Big Ten. Riley followed that up with a 9-4 record and 6-3 mark in the 2016.

Nebraska struggled on offense in 2016, averaging just 26.5 points and 381 yards per game. The Huskers will have a new face under center this year as Tanner Lee takes over for Tommy Armstrong Jr. Lee is a transfer from Tulane that hasn’t played since 2015. He threw for over 3,500 yards in his two years with the Green Wave. He also has 23 touchdowns with 21 interceptions. Nebraska also loses its top rusher in Terrell Newby, but the team is hoping Devine Ozigbo can step up. He rushed for 412 yards on 97 carries last season. Stanley Morgan Jr. is the only returning receiver with any stats of note and he only had 33 catches for 453 yards and two scores.

Defensively, Nebraska was pretty strong in 2016. The Huskers allowed just 22.8 points and 351 yards per game. Unfortunately for the Huskers, they had massive graduation losses from the unit. Leading tackler Josh Banderas and sack leader Ross Dzuris are both gone. One of the leading returners is Kieron Williams, who had a team-high five interceptions in 2016. Aaron Williams and Chris Jones are also back in the secondary, which should be the strength of the defense. Nebraska is hoping junior Freedom Akinmoladun can step up on the pass rush. He had four sacks in 2016, which is the most of any returning player.

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Nebraska will host Arkansas State and Northern Illinois in on-conference play, but also make a trip to Oregon in Week 2. Big Ten play features home games with Rutgers, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Northwestern and Iowa. Road trips will be made to Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota and Penn State. While the Huskers get their tougher conference games at home, I don’t like how things are shaping up. They have too many new faces to go on the road and beat Oregon, in my opinion. I also don’t see them beating Wisconsin or Ohio State at home. A road trip to Penn State seems unlikely as well. That means the Huskers would have to beat Iowa at home, Northwestern at home and Minnesota on the road to get to 8 wins. With a new QB that hasn’t had great success prior and a defense that loses a lot of key players up front, I don’t see Nebraska getting those close wins.

2017 WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: NEBRASKA UNDER 7 (-125)

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