Last Updated Dec 22, 2021, 10:38 AM

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Predictions

Nov. 25, 2021
Jonathan Willis
VI Betting Expert

It’s been a brutal year for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. They are 3-8 and 1-7 in Big Ten play, but they have a +7 point differential in conference games.

Nebraska hasn’t lost a game by more than nine points this season despite playing heavyweights like Oklahoma, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin.

They will look to close out the season with their first win in almost two months when they face the Iowa Hawkeyes on Black Friday in Lincoln.

Score Prediction

  • Iowa 17 Nebraska 14

Best Bets

  • Iowa -1
  • Under 41

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Predictions

We are set to see two backup quarterbacks square off in this game.

Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez will miss the season finale against Iowa with a shoulder injury, while the Hawkeyes’ Spencer Petras is now listed as the team’s back-up quarterback.

That has led to the total in this game dropping by three points since it opened, but it hasn’t fallen far enough.

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Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Betting Odds

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Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Betting Resources

  • Matchup: Big Ten
  • Date: Friday, November 26, 2021
  • Venue: Memorial Stadium
  • Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
  • TV-Time: Big Ten, 1:30 p.m. ET

Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 9-2
  • ATS: 6-5
  • O/U: 4-7
  • SU - Away: 3-1
  • ATS - Away: 3-1

Alex Padilla has replaced Spencer Petras as Iowa’s starting quarterback through a combination of injury and ineffectiveness. Padilla hasn’t been much better than Petras though, completing 47% of his passes for 522 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. His numbers were awful last week against Illinois as he completed just 6 of 17 passes for 83 yards with an interception.

Tyler Goodson should have his first 1,000-yard season in 2021. Goodson ran for over 100 yards in wins over Illinois and Northwestern, but he is averaging just 4.4 YPC as defenses have had a better job against this run game.

Tight ends are an important part of Iowa’s offense under Kirk Ferentz, and the Hawkeyes are likely to have another high draft pick at the position in Sam LaPorta. LaPorta has 37 receptions for 425 yards and two touchdowns this season, and he is a solid run blocker too.

Iowa’s defense is ranked 4th in Defensive SP+. The Hawkeyes rank eighth in scoring defense (16.9 PPG) and 11th in total defense (314.7 YPG). They have been superb against the pass and the run, and they rank first nationally with 21 interceptions.

Nebraska Cornhuskers Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 3-8
  • ATS: 6-4-1
  • O/U: 5-5
  • SU - Home: 3-3
  • ATS - Home: 3-3

Logan Smothers will make his first career start for Nebraska this week. The freshman from Muscle Shoals, Alabama has seen limited action this season, but he is a mobile threat that will run often on Friday. Smothers has completed 7 for 11 passes for 119 yards, and he has run 13 times for 69 yards coming into this game.

Nebraska has two nice options for Smothers to target in the passing game. Samori Toure had 11 receptions for 263 yards and two touchdowns in losses to Ohio State and Wisconsin, and tight end Austin Allen has 36 receptions for 547 yards and two scores on the season. No other player has more than 25 catches for Nebraska this year.

This ground game has not been too effective despite having a mobile threat like Martinez at the helm. Nebraska is averaging just 4.6 YPC, and their numbers have been significantly worse in Big Ten play. Martinez has 13 of Nebraska’s 28 rushing touchdowns this year, so Smothers or someone else will have to step up in the red zone.

The Cornhuskers have the 17th ranked defense in the country per SP+. Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander has done a great job with the Cornhuskers’ defense, as they have kept Nebraska in every game this year.

Inside the Stats - Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Record: 9-2
  • Points Scored: 281
  • Points Allowed: 186
  • PS/G: 25.5 PPG
  • PA/G: 16.9 PPG

Inside the Stats - Nebraska Cornhuskers

  • Record: 3-8
  • Points Scored: 289
  • Points Allowed: 261
  • PS/G: 26.2 PPG
  • PA/G: 23.7 PPG

Key Players to Watch

  • IOWA: RB Tyler Goodson (945 rushing yards, 6 TDs)
  • NEB: TE Austin Allen (36 receptions, 547 yards, 2 TDs)

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Betting Conclusion

The under is the best bet in this game considering the strength of the defenses and the inept offenses. Nebraska would be a nice play with Martinez under center, but Iowa is the choice with Smothers making his first start.

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Betting Trends

  • The Hawkeyes enter this game on a 1-4 ATS skid
  • Nebraska has lost five straight games, all by single digits
  • The 'over' is on 4-1 run in this series
  • The visitor is 6-2 ATS in the last eight H2H encounters

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