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College Football Betting Preview: Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers

August 31, 2023


Scott Frost was supposed to turn the Nebraska program around and was one of the hottest names as head coach when he was hired by the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2018, however, Frost never had a winning season at Nebraska during his coaching tenure. As a result, the Cornhuskers fired Frost midway through last season and hired Matt Rhule as their next head coach in the offseason. 

Rhule had an unsuccessful tenure as the head coach for the Carolina Panthers, however, he was able to turn the Baylor program around after the Bears faced many sanctions under Art Briles. This season, Nebraska enters the year with an over/under win total of 6 wins which means they are projected to be a borderline bowl-eligible team, and based on Vegas odds the Cornhuskers are projected to be the 8th best team in the Big Ten in Rhule’s first season at head coach.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers finished last season with a record of 9-4 which led to a 4th place finish in the Big Ten West and a spot in the Pinstripe Bowl against the Syracuse Orange in which the Golden Gophers won by a score of 28-20. Minnesota enters this season with an over/under win total of 7 wins which means they are projected to make a bowl game for the 3rd consecutive year and based on Vegas odds are projected to be the 7th best team in the Big Ten Conference.

BookMaker has the Minnesota Golden Gophers listed as 7.5-point favorites at home against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Thursday in week 1 of the college football season. Minnesota has dominated the series winning seven of the last ten including the previous four matchups in a row while going 6-4 ATS in the last ten and 2-1 ATS in the last three games in the series. Nebraska finished last season with a record of 5-7 ATS overall, 2-2 ATS on the road, 4-3 ATS as an underdog, and 5-4 ATS in conference games while Minnesota finished with a record of 7-6 ATS overall, 5-2 ATS at home, 6-5 ATS as a favorite, and 5-4 ATS in conference games.

This matchup should be tightly contested even though Minnesota has dominated the series as of late, winning seven of the last ten including the previous four matchups in a row. The Golden Gophers enter the season with a slightly better over/under win total of 7 wins while the Cornhuskers have an over/under win total of 6. Matt Rhule is arguably the best coach the Cornhuskers have had since the Tom Osborne era and I look for Rhule to turn around the program quickly. 

Nebraska may not get the win in this matchup, however, I look for it to be a closer game than indicated by Vegas odds which is why I am buying the .5 point and taking the Nebraska Cornhuskers +8 on the road against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on BookMaker for week 1 of the college football season on Thursday night.

Spooky Express Pick: Nebraska Cornhuskers +8

Written By: Daniel Newton