The Nebraska Cornhuskers will look to stay hot when hosting Big Ten foe Purdue on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET).
After opening as a 6.5-point favorite, Nebraska is now down to -2.5 (-110) on the spread and -145 on the moneyline. Meanwhile, the Boilermakers are +2.5 (-110) on the spread and +125 to win outright. The projected total is 40 (Over -105, Under -115), down from 42.5.
Can the Cornhuskers take care of business at home? Read on as we break down the Purdue vs Nebraska betting odds in our college football game preview.
Location: Memorial Stadium; Lincoln, NE
Purdue vs Nebraska Betting Trends
The Purdue Boilermakers are 2-5 against the spread, including 1-4 over their last five games. The total has gone Under in four of Purdue’s last six games. The Nebraska Cornhuskers, meanwhile, are 2-4 ATS in their last six games and 3-4 overall. The total has gone Under in 12 of Nebraska’s last 16 games, including seven of the last nine at home. That’s important to remember when assessing the Purdue vs Nebraska betting odds.
Cornhuskers Trending Up
The Nebraska Cornhuskers edged Northwestern 17-9 in Week 8, moving above .500 for the first time this season following an 0-2 start. The Cornhuskers were fueled by their defense, which matched their season-high with eight sacks and held a second straight opponent under 10 points.
Despite failing to cover the spread for the third time in four games, the Cornhuskers, an 11-point favorite, moved to 2-2 in Big Ten play and 4-3 overall under first-year head coach Matt Rhule.
Nebraska’s inefficiency on offense continues to be a concern. The Cornhuskers have scored 20 points or fewer in three straight games and are averaging just 18.7 points on the season, ranking 119th among FBS teams. Much of that can be chalked up to the continued development of sophomore Heinrich Haarberg, who’s completing only 51.3% of his passes. Against Northwestern, Haarberg was 8 of 17 for 85 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
Projected for 6.0 wins, Nebraska will need to go no worse than 3-2 on the remaining NCAAF schedule to surpass expectations. But the Cornhuskers may just as likely settle for a push, which would be enough to qualify for a bowl game for the first time since 2016. Remarkably, that’s the last time the Cornhuskers, one of college football’s most storied programs, finished with a winning record (9-4) in the NCAA football standings.
It’s possible that drought ends this year, but the Cornhuskers will clearly need more from their offense.
All Eyes on the Future
The Purdue Boilermakers are coming off a bye. The Boilermakers have dropped two straight and four of their last five games, most recently falling 41-7 to Ohio State on Oct. 14.
Now 2-5 (1-3 in Big Ten) in head coach Ryan Walters’ first season, the Boilermakers look increasingly unlikely to hit their projected win total of 5.0. They haven’t given bettors any reason to believe they can go on a run.
Like Nebraska, the offense has been an ongoing issue. The Boilermakers have scored only 21 points over the last two games and are averaging only 23 points on the season, tied for 99th in FBS. The jury is still very much out on junior Hudson Card, a 60.6% passer in his first year with Purdue. The former Texas transfer has thrown seven touchdowns compared to five interceptions but has also been sacked 17 times.
The Boilermakers are relatively young aside from Card, and they continue to show it during their tough start. They’ve dropped back-to-back games against the spread and four of their last five. A 17-point underdog against Ohio State, the Boilermakers found themselves down 20-0 at halftime en route to their most lopsided loss of the season.
Handicapping the Game
Both teams have seen better days. Nebraska has looked improved of late, but its offense still leaves much to be desired. And while Purdue’s future might be bright under Walters, a finalist for the 2022 Broyles Award as defensive coordinator at Illinois, the Boilermakers are still awfully young at several spots.
The Cornhuskers have the deserving edge in the Purdue vs Nebraska betting odds, but Under 40 is also worth considering given the ineptitude of both offenses.
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