The No. 22-ranked Michigan Wolverines (5-2, 3-0 Big Ten) are traveling to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) in what promises to be a thrilling showdown between two heated rivals.
Both sides are looking to win the Legends Division of the conference and make it to the championship game, where they could play for the right to go to the Rose Bowl. This is an extremely important matchup, and both teams are capable of victory—which is why it’s so hard to predict the outcome.
Regardless, we are going to try to pick the winner, and to make it even more exciting (and potentially profitable), we are doing it against the spread.
Keep reading to find out where to watch this contest, our leans for the over/under and point spread, a recent injury report, keys to the game and more.
Where: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb.
When: Saturday, October 27 at 8 p.m. ET
Watch: ESPN 2
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Spread: Nebraska -2.5 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
Go with Nebraska spotting less than a field goal at home, especially after it built momentum for this game with an epic 29-28 win over Northwestern.
The Huskers are raring and ready to take on a hung-over Wolverines team that managed to squeak by Michigan State last week in a 12-10 victory—the 900th win in school history.
It’s going to be a close one in Lincoln, but we like Big Red to cover—their first since a 73-7 shellacking of Idaho State on Sept. 22.
Over/Under: 57.5 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
This game should fall right around the set total, but we are leaning under. Both teams tend to go over, but the recent trend has been towards low-scoring, tight matchups. This is to be expected as the season wears on.
The Cornhuskers know how to put points on the board, but Michigan’s defense is stout—giving up just 16.4 points per game. We see this one ending up at 50, so even a garbage-time touchdown won’t allow for a backdoor cover on the over.
Injury Report (via CollegeInjuryReport.com)
CB Raymon Taylor, PRB, Arm
RB Rex Burkhead, DBT, Knee
Keys to Michigan Win
Denard Robinson has to bring his “A” game if the Wolverines are going to pull this one off away from the Big House.
The senior signal-caller was an early Heisman candidate, but he’s had some recent struggles, including a poor game against the Spartans, when he went just 14-of-29 for 163 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.
He was able to get it going on the ground (20 carries for 96 yards), but those figures aren’t anywhere near his career averages.
Shoelace needs to step up and start making better decisions as a passer, which will open up a world of possibilities on the ground for him and his teammates.
Keys to Nebraska Win
QB play will also be the key for the Blackshirts, as Taylor Martinez is up against one of the most elite secondary units in college football.
If the junior can perform like he did last week against the Wildcats (27-of-39 for 342 yards and three touchdowns), the Huskers will have no problem running away with the victory.
However, he’s also prone to bad games, as evidenced by his 15-of-25, three-interception stinker in a 63-38 loss to Ohio State.
While Martinez can scramble with the best of the, the fate of this game will be decided by how well he does with his arm.
Prediction: Nebraska 27 - Michigan 23
Which team will win?
This game is going to come down to the final few drives of the fourth quarter. Expect it to be a low-scoring, back-and-forth affair until then, when Martinez and Robinson attempt to outduel one another for the win.
We are giving the edge to the Cornhuskers, who will drive a stake into the heart of the Wolverines and hand them their first conference loss of 2012.