The Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-6) will host the Iowa Hawkeyes (8-3) at Tom Osborne Field in Lincoln on Friday. It’ll be a Big 10 West battle, with the Huskers needing a victory to get into a bowl game for the first time since 2016, and the Hawkeyes looking to reach 10 wins on the season.
Iowa has won four of its last five games, while the Huskers are coming off a 54-7 route of Maryland last week. Nebraska is 3-3 at home this year, and the Hawkeyes are 2-2 on the road. So who has the edge in this one? Here’s a game preview followed by trends and our prediction.
The Huskers will be looking to beat the Hawkeyes for the first time since 2014, and the team has minced no words leading up to Friday’s contest. “Those guys don’t really like us,” Nebraska linebacker Collin Miller said this week. “You don’t like anybody that’s in the Big Ten. Years and years, we haven’t liked them. They haven’t liked us too much. We haven’t won in a couple of years. We just want to bring that back and show everybody Nebraska’s back here against Iowa and that we’re here to stay,” Miller said.
Leading the attack for Nebraska will be sophomore quarterback Adrain Martinez, who has 1,906 yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions on the season. Martinez could also give Iowa fits with his ability to scramble. He has 582 yards rushing and seven touchdowns already this year, and if he heats up, this game could get interesting.
On defense, the Huskers have been lackluster at best this season. They’re giving up 30.4 points a game, and it will be of paramount importance for them to buckle down against a Hawkeyes unit that hasn’t been that effective themselves. Iowa is averaging just under 20 points a game this season, so if the Huskers can tighten up on defense, they have a shot in this one.
The Hawkeyes have relied on a strong defense all season, and they will need to do so again here. Iowa is second in the Big 10 behind Ohio State, giving up just 12.5 points a game. They’ll be facing a Nebraska offense that is averaging 25.3 points a game.
On offense, the Hawkeyes are led by senior quarterback Nate Stanley, who has 2,639 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions on the season. Stanley will have to be extremely efficient and effective, and he should get more than a few opportunities to expose this Nebraska secondary.
Trends, Predictions and Pick
Spread: Nebraska +5.5
Over/Under: 44.5 points
Odds Shark currently has the Hawkeyes winning by a predicted score of 31-23, with Iowa covering the spread and the total score going over 44.5 points.
Some relevant trends surrounding the game courtesy of Odds Shark:
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Iowa’s last 7 games.
- Iowa is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games.
- The Hawkeyes are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games against Nebraska.
- Iowa is 5-1 SU in their last 6 games against Nebraska.
- Nebraska is 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games.
- The Huskers are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games.
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Nebraska’s last 6 games against Iowa.
- Nebraska is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games at home.
We’re with Odds Shark here. Iowa’s defense has been stout all season, and they’ll want to finish their season strong. Nebraska should put up a fight at home, however, and this is shaping up to be a high-scoring matchup. We like the Hawkeyes to win and cover.
Final Prediction: Iowa 33, Nebraska 24