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UCLA vs. Nebraska Week 3 College Football Betting Preview

#16 UCLA Bruins vs. #23 Nebraska Cornhuskers – Week 3

Kick-Off: Saturday, September 14th 2013 at 12:00pm ET
Where: Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska
TV: Watch Live on ABC

The #23 Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-0) have beat Wyoming (37-34) and Southern Miss (56-13) to start the season. These two cupcake opponents haven’t told us anything except that Nebraska will have to step it up if they want revenge on the #16 UCLA Bruins (2-0).

UCLA beat Nevada 58-20 in week 1 and had a bye last week. Last year the Cornhuskers went into the Rose Bowl Stadium and came away with an embarrassing 36-30 loss after allowing 653 total yards on offense (2nd Highest Total Allowed in Nebraska History).

Current Betting Lines in Bruins vs. Cornhuskers

The point spread opened up at –4 in favor of Nebraska and early action came in on the home team. The spread jumped up to –6 for a bit, but is now back down to –4.5 points at most bookmakers. The over/under game total is set very high at O/U 70 points.

Bovada Sportsbook Live Odds
Point Spread
Money Line
Game Total
UCLA Bruins
+4.5 (-110)
Over 70 (-110)
Nebraska Cornhuskers
-4.5 (-110)
Under 70 (-110)

What QB Will Allow His Team to Win on Saturday

I think the most important aspect of this match-up will be what QB will shine and give his team the best chance to win? These two teams both have elite signal callers. Taylor Martinez and Brett Hundley will need to perform to their best if they want to win.

In last year’s match-up Martinez went 17/31 for 179 passing yards, 0 TD’s and 1 INT. Brett Hundley completed 21/33 pass attempts for 305 yards 4 TD’s and 0 INT’s. Hundley definitely won the passing battle at home last season, but now UCLA is on the road.

Hundley looked great in his only game this season. He went 22/33 for 274 passing yards and 2 TD’s. He also rushed the football 7X for 63 yards and 2 TD’s against Nevada. Now that Franklin is in the NFL this Bruins offense revolves around Hundley.

In two games this season Martinez is 32/45 for 325 passing yards, 6 TD’s and 1 INT, but the level of competition has been low. He has also gained 114 rushing yards on 22 carries. Last year against UCLA he rushed for 112 yards and 1 TD on 13 carries.

Martinez is a dual-threat QB, but he’s much more dangerous on his feet. If the Bruins want to win on the road they need to ensure they limit the rushing yards of Martinez and not allow him to get outside. I give the QB edge to the Bruins in this match-up.

How Important Will the Run Game Be in This Match-Up

Both teams rank in the T10 in rushing early in the season, but that doesn’t tell us too much because of the opponents that they’ve played against. The Cornhuskers have averaged 330 RYPG (8th) after two games and they have four players with 10+ carries already.

Ameer Abdullah leads Nebraska with 36 carries for 228 rushing yards (2 TD’s). Imani Cross has been impressive as well and has 119 rushing yards on 17 carries (3 TD’s). However, last season the Bruins only allowed 3.4 yards per rush attempt (37th) defensively.

Jordan James has taken over for Franklin in UCLA and looked great in week 1. James had 21 carries for 155 rushing yards (7.4 Avg.) and 1 TD against Nevada. A total of 7 players carried the football for UCLA in week 1 and they gained 345 yards on 47 carries.

Nebraska has allowed an average of 140.5 RYPG on defense this season against two cupcake opponents. Last season they struggled against the rush also and they allowed opposing teams to gain an average of 4.9 rushing yards per carry (90th).

Nebraska has the better rushing game this season, but defensively the Bruins are better at stopping the rush. If the Cornhuskers are unable to shutdown the Bruins rushing attack than this is going to be a long game for Nebraska fans on Saturday afternoon.

Nebraska vs. UCLA Week 3 Best Bets

I’m predicting that the Bruins will keep this game close and cover the point spread. They may even win the game SU. The Bruins are a team full of confidence heading into Lincoln this weekend and they know they can beat the Cornhuskers after winning last season.

Nebraska isn’t as strong on defense as they once were and UCLA has a potent offense led by Hundley. I expect the Bruins to run the football early on in this match-up and they should have success. As I showed you above, the Cornhuskers struggle against the run.

Both teams can put up points and that isn’t going to change this week, but the over/under is way too high to bet. I actually think the game has a chance to go over the total of 70 points, but I never bet totals this high unless I expect the game to go under.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting.

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