MetroBet takes a look at two key games on the Black Friday slate.
Nebraska Cornhuskers at Iowa Hawkeyes (-8)
Moneyline: Cornhuskers +265, Hawkeyes -325
Betting Total: 53
The Cornhuskers and Hawkeyes meet in their regular season finale on the day after Thanksgiving (Noon, FOX).
Their offenses had polar opposite performances last week, as Nebraska beat Michigan State 9-6 (their first win without scoring a TD since 1937) while Iowa crushed Illinois 63-0. The Cornhuskers simply cannot bring that kind of effort to Kinnick Stadium this Friday.
Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley seems to have a slight statistical edge over his opposite number, Adrian Martinez, but has a definite matchup advantage in this one as he faces Nebraska’s 90th-rated defense by points per game allowed. The Hawkeyes are ninth by that same measure. Martinez typically leans on solid tailback Devine Ozigbo, but he’ll be up against it with Iowa’s eighth-rated run stoppers staring him down.
The Cornhuskers have covered in six of their last seven, but the Hawkeyes are 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 home games and have covered in eight of their last 10 as home favorites of seven or more points.
Prediction: Iowa wins, 34-23
The play: Iowa -8, one unit
Washington Huskies at Washington State Cougars (-3)
Moneyline: Huskies +140, Cougars -160
Betting Total: 53
Washington State looks like a great bargain as nominal three-point favorites as they host Washington in the annual Apple Cup rivalry game on Friday night (8:30 p.m., FOX).
The Huskies’ pass stoppers are a respectable unit, 28th in the country by yards per game, but it would take a special kind of defense to slow down Gardner Minshew and the Cougars. Under the guidance of Mike Leach, Wazzou has accumulated the most passing yards of any offense in college football this season, with Minshew throwing for over 4,300 of those yards. He has 36 TD passes this year compared to just seven INTs. Jake Browning has had a decent season for the Huskies but simply can’t compare. He doesn’t draw the easiest of matchups either, as Washington State boasts a defense that allows just 22.6 points per game.
Washington bettors have been hemorrhaging money of late, as the Huskies have dropped six straight against the spread. Letdowns against Oregon and Cal in that span sunk their playoff chances. The Cougars have won seven straight, covering six times. They should be favored by far more than a field goal at home against a team they are clearly superior to.
Prediction: Washington State wins, 35-17
The play: Washington State -3, two units