The undefeated Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-0) host the Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-2) this weekend for a BIG 10 West showdown in Minneapolis. Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM EST on Saturday, October 12th at TCF Bank Stadium and the game will be televised on FS1.
Taking a look at the Week 7 college football odds, Minnesota opened as a 7-point home favorite earlier this week. That spread has increased by half a point after early betting, as the Golden Gophers are currently listed at -7.5. The total for the game is sitting at 54 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Minnesota vs Nebraska
Nebraska has now won three out of their last four games after an impressive 13-10 home win over Northwestern. The Cornhuskers scored seven unanswered points in the first quarter and never looked back, giving up just ten total points the rest of the way. QB Adrian Martinez was 13/20 for 145 yards through the air while also adding 26 yards on the ground. Wan’Dale Robinson scored the only touchdown of the game for Nebraska, finding the end zone on one of his seven carries for 44 yards. Robinson also lead the way for the receiving corps, hauling in seven receptions for 123 yards. As a whole, the offense generated well over 300 total yards against a pretty tough Wildcats defense.
The Cornhuskers defense was outstanding against Northwestern, giving up under 300 total yards of offense and just a single touchdown. Nebraska was especially solid defending against the pass, holding Wildcats QB Aidan Smith to 136 yards through the air while also recording one interception.
Minnesota has still let to lose a game this year, as they beat Illinois 40-17 at home last weekend to move to 5-0 overall. The Golden Gophers actually trailed 7-3 at the end of the first quarter but quickly rallied back before the half, outscoring the Fighting Illini 13-3 en route to a 3+ touchdown victory. QB Tanner Morgan went 9/17 for 155 yards and three touchdowns in the win, while Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks exploded for a combined 322 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 40 carries. WR Rashod Bateman also chipped in with a solid outing, catching two passes for 70 yards. Overall, Minnesota racked up almost 500 total yards of offense and scored five touchdowns against a shell-shocked Illinois defense.
The Golden Gophers were very solid on the other side of the ball against the Fighting Illini, holding the offense to just over 250 total yards and not allowing a single touchdown. Minnesota did a great job defending against the pass, surrendering only 157 yards though the air and forcing an interception as well.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Minnesota -7.5
Until it is announced whether or not Cornhuskers QB Adrian Martinez is going to be able to start on Saturday, I’m not comfortable taking Nebraska on the road in this matchup. While this spread does look fairly accurate to me, I think that the Golden Gophers still do offer a tiny bit of value due to the fact that Martinez has not been able to practice all week and is still questionable (at best) heading into the weekend. Minnesota has also won every single game they have played this season and are currently tied for first overall in the BIG 10 West. While Nebraska has also played well to start the year, backup QB Noah Vedral is extremely untested and completed just two of five passing attempts against Northwestern in Week 6. If Martinez is unable to go or limited in any fashion on Saturday, the Golden Gophers should be able to cover this spread with relative ease. I would also like the UNDER on 54 total points scored as well, since the Cornhuskers could have a tough time getting rolling on offense with Vedral under center.
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Nebraska has also not fared all that well against the spread as of late, going only 1-5 ATS through their first six games this year. The Cornhuskers are also 0-2 ATS in their only two road games on the season. Although Adrian Martinez will make the trip to Minneapolis with the team, I would be extremely surprised if he is even close to 100% healthy by kickoff – and that’s if he even is able to play at all. I’ll roll the dice and look for the Golden Gophers defense to take advantage of all the uncertainties surrounding Nebraska on offense – give me Minnesota to cover at home!