Nebraska Washington Spread Line and Holiday Bowl Predictions

This year’s Holiday Bowl in San Diego, CA (10:00pm ET) features the number 18-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-3) out of the Big 12 taking on the Washington Huskies (6-6) of the Pac 10. The Cornhuskers missed out on a BCS bowl berth when they lost to Oklahoma by a score of 23-20 in the Big 12 Championship Game on December 4 to close the season. Washington has won three straight to end the season, including a 35-28 win over in-state rival Washington State on December 4 in their last regular season contest. The Cornhuskers will be playing their last game as a member of the Big 12 before they move to the Big 10 next season, and the Cornhuskers will be looking to go out in style.

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Nebraska as usual, features one of the top rushing offenses in the country led by dual-threat quarterback Taylor Martinez. The Cornhuskers average 261.5 rushing yards per game, 8th best in the nation while putting up 32.7 points per contest, and Martinez has run for 942 yards and 12 touchdowns awhile throwing for 1,578 yards and 9 more touchdowns. Running back Roy Helu has run for 1,211 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Huskers are strong on defense as well, allowing 17.2 PPG, 8th best in the nation and 294.8 YPG, also 8th best in the country.

Washington, despite the presence of Jake Locker at quarterback, has averaged only 22.1 PPG on offense this season, ranking 93rd in the nation. Locker has had a disappointing season, slowed by rib and thigh injuries for most of the season, throwing for 2,209 yards and 17 touchdowns while running for 302 yards and 5 five touchdowns. Running back Chris Polk, with 1,238 yards rushing and 8 TDs, will be a key against Nebraska if the Huskies hope to pull off the upset. The Huskies’ defense has been porous this season, ranking 107th in the nation with 200.9 rushing YPG allowed and 94th in the country with 31.2 PPG allowed.

Washington is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games in December but 0-3-1 ATS when facing a team with a winning record. Nebraska is 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 bowl games. The over is 4-0 in Washington’s last 4 games against the Big 12 and 5-1 in their last 6 non-conference games. Longer term, the over is 19-7-1 in the huskies’ last 27 game against a team with a winning record and 8-3 in their last 11 December games. The under is 12-4 in Nebraska’s last 16 games on grass. The two teams met earlier in the season when Nebraska routed the Huskies 56-21 in Seattle on September 18.

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Nebraska vs. Washington Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:

Nebraska Cornhuskers -13
@ Washington Huskies +13

Game Total:

Over 52.5 (-110)
Under 52.5 (-110)

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Nebraska vs. Washington Predictions for Holiday Bowl:

Spread Prediction (Top Play) – The Cornhuskers have one of the best pass defenses in the country, with only 159.9 YPG allowed and Locker struggled mightily in their first meeting this season going 4-20 for 71 yards and two interceptions. Expect more of the same in this game, Locker is not a consistently accurate passer and his scrambling ability has been hampered by injuries this season so the Cornhuskers should be able to come after him all game long. Washington also matches up poorly with Nebraska on defense where their soft run defense should allow Martinez and Helu to have a field day. The Huskies have made great strides this season, but they do not have the talent to stay on the field with Nebraska at this point.

PREDICTION (TOP PLAY) – Nebraska -13

Over/Under Prediction – Take the over here as Nebraska may go over the total on their own. Washington is not tough enough on defense to contain the Cornhusker’s athletes and Nebraska will likely allow at least a few points in garbage time as Locker will probably play better than he did in the previous meeting and will likely be throwing a lot with the Huskies playing from behind for most of the evening.

TOTAL PREDICTION – Over 52.5