The Huskers are 2-3 with losses to Georgia Southern and Northwestern. Scott Frost has been fired. The Huskers are trending downhill quickly.
Perhaps it’s finally time to buy them. The Scarlet Knights got their big upset over Boston College but have struggled since. They can’t create offense no matter what they try and instead rely on their defense to keep them in games.
Can the Scarlet Knights break the trend and take advantage of a pathetic Nebraska team?
Can the Cornhuskers bounce back and finally win a game against a somewhat-respectable opponent?
Let’s break it down. Read on for our Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights Broncos odds, picks, and predictions.
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights Odds
All the sharp money is on Nebraska and the under. Both numbers have moved 1.5 points since the opener and both are taking the sharp money.
The early indications are on those two lines, but let’s dig more into this matchup before we make a decision on the best angle to bet.
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights Prediction
We thought that positive regression was going to come.
We thought that bringing in Mark Whipple and Casey Thompson would fix the offense.
We thought the defense would be good enough for the offense to win some games.
Nope. Same old Nebraska.
For what it’s worth, this offense has been pretty good. They’re top-30 nationally in both Rush Success and Pass Success Rate as Casey Thompson is PFF’s 14th-ranked quarterback. He’s made a whopping 12 Big Time Throws this season and is averaging over 8 yards per attempt.
But the defense is horrific. It’s arguably the worst defense in the league, currently ranking outside the top 90 FBS teams in:
- Rush Success Rate Allowed
- Pass Success Rate Allowed
- Defensive Line Yards
- Havoc Created
- Points per Opportunity Allowed
Nebraska is allowing 470 yards of total offense per game and over five yards per carry. It’s horrendous.
Luckily, Rutgers can’t move the ball at all. The Scarlet Knights rank outside the top 90 in all the above offensive categories. They couldn’t crack the five-yard-per-play mark against Iowa or Boston College.
But Greg Schiano knows how to build a defensive line. The Scarlet Knights are third in the nation in Defensive Line Yards and allowing less than three yards per carry. They can’t tackle, but they live in the backfield and provide more flexibility for their secondary.
I think that Rutgers does exactly that – lives in the backfield – against Nebraska. They should fluster Thompson and confuse Whipple. But on the contrary, they will barely move the ball on offense and play at an absurdly slow tempo.
Therefore, I like the under. Defense travels better than offense, so I expect Nebraska to struggle to score. Meanwhile, Rutgers has scored a combined 36 points in its last three games, including 16 against Temple’s defense.
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights Key Matchups
Key Matchup: Nebraska’s Front Seven against Rutgers Rush Attack
Rutgers managed to run for over 200 yards against Boston College. But that is an ACC defense that returned little talent and has no support.
Nebraska has allowed every offense it’s faced so far to roll over them on the ground. Interim head coach Mickey Joseph and new defensive coordinator Bill Busch need to stop the pain. This is the best offense to do that against.
If Nebraska can’t stop the Rutgers rush attack and cash the under for us here, especially when all the sharps are on it, it’s time to say goodnight to any hopes of Rutgers competing for the rest of the season.