The number 7-ranked Missouri Tigers (7-3, 3-0 in the Big 12) will be traveling to Lincoln, NE this Saturday (3:30 pm ET) to take on the number 14-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers (6-1, 2-1) in a Big 12 showdown that will be their final matchup as conference rivals. Missouri comes into the contest red-hot after topping then-BCS number one Oklahoma 36-27 last week in Columbia, and Nebraska won a shoot-out over Oklahoma St last week 51-41; regaining some of the momentum they lost the previous week in falling 20-13 to Texas down in Austin. The Tigers are off to the best start in school history, and they cannot afford to lose focus in Lincoln this week if they hope to remain in contention for the Big 12 title and a possible BCS bowl berth.
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Missouri ‘s offense, led by quarterback Blaine Gabbert, is peaking at just the right time as they piled up a season-high 486 yards last week against Oklahoma with Gabbert throwing for 308 of those yards. Gabbert is having a stellar season with 1,899 yards passing and a 67.3% completion percentage to go along with 11 TDs and 3 INTs. He will look to attack a Nebraska defense that was torched for a season-high 41 points last week by then number 17 Oklahoma St.
On offense, the Cornhuskers feature dual-threat quarterback Taylor Martinez, who has run for 870 yards on the year, good for 10th best in among rushers in FBS. Martinez showed off his passing ability last week against Oklahoma St. when the freshman threw for a career-best 323 yards. He will be going up against a Missouri defense that ranks fifth in the nation, giving up only 13.1 points per game. They are vulnerable against the pass however, giving up better than 240 yards passing in each of the last four games. If Martinez can show some consistency with his passing skills to off-set his strong running game, the Cornhuskers have shown they are capable of scoring on anyone.
Missouri has won 4 out of the last 7 contests against Nebraska, although the Cornhuskers were victorious last season 27-12 at Missouri. The Tigers have won 10 out of their last 13 on the road, including a 52-17 blowout win over the Huskers in their last visit to Lincoln that snapped a 15 game losing streak at Nebraska. Nebraska is 11-5 ATS when playing a team with a winning record, but has dropped 3 out of their last 5 Big 12 contests at home including two weeks ago against Texas. The home team is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings between the two teams.
Missouri vs. Nebraska Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Missouri Tigers +7.5
@ Nebraska Cornhuskers -7.5
Over 55 (110)
Under 55 (110)
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Missouri vs. Nebraska Predictions for Week 9 Game:
Spread Prediction (Top Play) – Missouri comes into this contest riding the high of defeating then-BCS number 1 Oklahoma at home last week and they are not getting nearly enough respect as an undefeated team ranked number 7 in the country as 7.5 point underdogs here. Nebraska is known as a tough place to play, but with the Huskers dropping 3 of their last 5 at home in Big 12 play, that reputation may not be well-deserved. Missouri is a much tougher opponent than the mediocre Texas team the Huskers lost to two weeks ago, so +7.5 points is simply too much to pass up here.
Over/Under Prediction – Take the over here, both offense are rolling and both defenses appear to be trending downward after strong starts against weaker opponents. Martinez is capable of getting to the end zone with his arm as well as is feet, and Gabbert has been one of the most-consistent passers in college football this season. The Nebraska secondary has not been as good as advertised lately, and they should get a workout on Saturday. Missouri has a strong defense, but they will not be able to completely contain Martinez and the Huskers in Lincoln.
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