Nebraska vs Iowa : The Heroes Trophy might only be seven years old, datingback to when Nebraskajoined the Big Ten in 2011 and began playing Iowa again annually. However, the Iowa vs. Nebraska rivalry dates all the way back to 1891 and it will only gain steam as Scott Frost looks to make the Cornhuskers perennial contenders in the Big Ten West.
For this year’s tilt, the Hawkeyes are 8.5-point favorites, up one from the opening line. The over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 53 in the current Iowa vs. Nebraska odds. Both teams won outright and against the spread last time out, so before you lock in any selections, you’ll want to see the Iowa vs. Nebraska picks from SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh.
The renowned co-founder of AccuScore, Oh simulates each game 10,000 times using the SportsLine Projection Model. He has built a sizable profit picking college football in 2018 and he has had an especially keen eye for the tendencies of Nebraska football, boasting a nearly perfect 6-1 mark in games involving the Cornhuskers. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, he has locked in a strong against the spread pick for Iowa vs. Nebraska. You can only see it at SportsLine.
Oh knows Iowa has an uncharacteristically dangerous passing attack in 2018. If you take away Iowa’s win over Maryland where high winds limited them to 86 yards passing, the Hawkeyes are averaging almost 264 yards per game through the air.
Quarterback Nathan Stanley has benefited from a number of receiving options. Tight end T.J. Hockenson is one of the best in the nation, with 41 catches for 663 yards and six touchdowns. Meanwhile, wideouts Noah Fant, Nick Easley, Brandon Smith and Ihmir Smith-Marsette all have at least 292 yards receiving.
Nebraska’s secondary will be taxed to cover all those options, meaning a strong day from Stanley could spell doom for Cornhuskers’ backers.
However, Oh also knows that this is a much different Nebraska team than the one that opened up the season with six straight losses, making a cover for Iowa anything but guaranteed.
In the past five games, Nebraska has four wins, with their only loss coming at Ohio State by just five points. One of the big reasons Scott Frost’s team is turning things around is that the Cornhuskers are running the football a lot more effectively.
They’re averaging nearly 50 yards more on the ground in their past five games (242.4) versus their first six games (192.7). Nebraska is also averaging 6.4 yards per carry in those five games versus 4.8 in its first six. That’s a 33 percent uptick, and if the Cornhuskers can run the ball that efficiently against a tough Iowa defense, they’ll have a chance to cover.
We can tell you Oh is leaning toward the under, but his much stronger play is on the side. He has crunched the numbers and discovered a crucial x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back. He’s sharing what it is only at SportsLine.