Each week on The Action Network Colleges Podcast, Collin Wilson and I pick our two favorite moneyline underdogs for each Saturday’s college football slate.
Well, we got back on track last Saturday with both Notre Dame and Georgia Southern getting to the window. Let’s see if we can keep it rolling in Week 11 with two Big 10 home dogs.
- 2018-19: 29-47 +4.00 units
- 2020: 7-11 +3.95 units
If you’re feeling lucky, a moneyline parlay of both pays 6-1 odds.
Wilson: Nebraska +135
- Spread: Penn State -3
- Over/Under: 56
- Date: Saturday, Nov. 14
- Time: Noon ET
- TV: FS1
- Location: Lincoln, NE
There have been plenty of peculiar numbers from college football through the first two months of this unprecedented season, but Nebraska and Penn State starting a combined 0-5 has to be up there for most shocking.
I consider this a “loser goes home for the remainder of the season” game. Nebraska may already be out of the Big Ten West race since either Northwestern or Purdue will move to 4-0 on Saturday.
Meanwhile, after Penn State’s national title hopes were dashed in a loss to Ohio State, it now has no hope of slipping into the Big Ten championship after an embarrassing loss to Maryland. With such high preseason aspirations, we could see a precipitous fall in State College after a shocking 0-3 start.
Nothing is really going right for PSU. Star running back Journey Brown medically retired from football, and current starter Devyn Ford has yet to show the explosive running we’re used to seeing in the Nittany Lions backfield. Penn State ranks 108th in Rush Explosiveness and 111th in Power Success Rate. This fares well for a Nebraska defense that sits at 40th overall in Rushing Success Rate.
The Nebraska offense will be under the microscope this weekend, as Scott Frost may elect to switch between Adrian Martinez and Luke McCaffrey at quarterback. The goal isn’t to find the hot hand, or rather maybe the signal caller that doesn’t turn the ball over.
Nebraska has at least had some promising signs on the ground. The Huskers rank second nationally in Rushing Success Rate and 33rd in Line Yards. They flashed some of that potential in the rushing attack against Ohio State’s defense in their opener.
I wouldn’t be shocked if Penn State doesn’t show up here. I do have more confidence in Nebraska still showing fight as its ultimate goal of making a bowl in Scott Frost’s third year is still achievable to make a bowl game.
Stuckey: Purdue +120
- Spread: Northwestern -2
- Over/Under: 51
- Date: Saturday, Nov 14
- Time: 5 p.m. ET
- TV: BTN
- Location: West Lafayette, IN
I know, I know: I’m not really going out on a limb here with a two-point home underdog — but cut me some slack after hitting four so far this year of six points or more. I’m basically carrying the squad.
(That prior sentence was simply a test to find out if Collin reads my portion of this article or not. I bet -120 on NO.)
Anyways, back to Purdue. From a simple value perspective, I like the Boilermakers since I make them a very slight favorite. They’ve also had an extra week to prepare and rest up ahead of this battle for first place in the Big 10 West.
Northwestern’s season opening blowout win over Maryland looks much more impressive now than it did at the time after what we’ve seen from the Terps since. However, Pat Fitzgerald’s bunch has been extremely fortunate in each of their past two wins against Nebraska and Iowa. They barely held on in both by one-possession margins after scoring 21 points. Last week, Nebraska had twice as many first downs and 125 more total yards.
Peyton Ramsey is certainly an upgrade over what Northwestern had at quarterback last season, but he’s still been shaky overall. On the other side, Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell has looked very poised in the pocket so far this season. It also helps to have stud sophomore receiver David Bell on the outside. Imagine if Purdue had both Bell and Rondale Moore out there this season.
Oh wait, that might happen on Saturday. Nothing is confirmed yet, but a little birdie told me we could see Moore make his debut on Saturday. If Moore and stud defensive end George Karlafkis (questionable) both suit up, then I really like Purdue.
Northwestern has jumped out to a 3-0 start in conference for the first time since 2000. Let’s hope history repeats itself as Purdue ended up beating Northwestern in its fourth league game that year when some guy named Drew Brees threw for five touchdowns. #BoilerUp