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Nebraska vs. Northwestern picks, best bets for Week 0

We have a Big Ten showdown in Ireland to get us going in Week 0. We go over the game and make our picks below.

Buffalo v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

The marquee game of the Week 0 slate will happen across the pond as the Nebraska Cornhuskers meet the Northwestern Wildcats at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. The game will kick off at 12:20 p.m. ET and will air on Fox.

Nebraska is coming off a frustrating 3-9 season in 2021 where all nine of its losses came by single digits. Fifth-year head coach Scott Frost is a prime hot seat candidate heading into the new year and must get the Cornhuskers to a bowl game to stay on with his alma mater. Four-year starting quarterback Adrian Martinez has departed the program and in his place is Texas transfer Casey Thompson.

Northwestern also went 3-9 last season, a steep dropoff from making the Big Ten Championship Game the year prior. The Wildcats were demolished by Nebraska 56-7 in early October of last year and lost their final six games of the season. Ryan Hilinski projects to be the starting quarterback while offensive tackle Peter Skoronski is being hyped up as a first-round pick in next year’s NFL Draft.

Here’s all the data you’ll want, and a pick for the game!

SP+ Rankings

Nebraska: 44 overall, 53 offense, 33 defense
Northwestern: 89 overall, 107 offense, 60 defense

Injury update

Nebraska

WR Decoldest Crawford - out for season (knee)
TE Chris Hickman - questionable (foot)
TE Thomas Fidone II - questionable (knee)

Northwestern

None listed

ATS/Total

Against The Spread

Nebraska: 0-0 ATS
Northwestern: 0-0 ATS

Total

Nebraska: Over 0-0
Northwestern: Over 0-0

Returning/Overall Talent from 247Sports

Nebraska: 94 overall, 92 offense, 89 defense
Northwestern: 65 overall, 53 offense, 8 defense

Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Nebraska -11
Total: 51.5
Moneyline: Nebraska -490, Northwestern +390

Opening line: Nebraska -10.5
Opening total: 51

Weather

53 degrees, 5 to 10 MPH winds SSE, 24% chance of rain

The Pick

Nebraska -11

Nebraska experienced a near historic level of bad luck in close games last year and knows the narrative around the program would be different had a few of those games gone the other way. The Cornhuskers had to replace a lot of talent on offense, but the Thompson should provide an immediate upgrade at quarterback for Frost’s program.

We’ll predict that the Huskers handle business and cover against a Northwestern team that is still coached by Pat Fitzgerald, who has yet to fully embrace the concept of “offense”.

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