Oddsmakers Questionable on Huskers in Early Lines
The Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada has released its early lines for top college football matchups of the 2012 season. The Huskers are listed in 5 of 16 high profile Big Ten conference and non conference games. As the season begins and wears on, lines always will shift and change each week. For now, the Huskers are not heavily favored in any conference game, but are considered close in their underdog games.
Nebraska's biggest spread is against UCLA where they are a 6 and a half point favorite to win. Phil Steele called the Husker non conference slate one of the softer ones in the conference. Nebraska may be in good shape heading into conference play if they are heavily favored in the first four games.
In the conference home opener, Nebraska looks to be a favorite by the standard field goal against Wisconsin. The Badgers do not generally perform well in this situation, as they have lost the first conference road game 6 out of the last 7 years. A prime time game at Memorial Stadium is not going to lessen the pressure on Wisconsin either.
The Huskers are underdogs in the rest of the important games listed. For Nebraska's trip to Columbus, the Buckeyes are favored by 2 points. As was the case last year in new venues, the Huskers may be overwhelmed by the quality of opponent, experiences, and crowds. It would be a surprise if Ohio State was not favored, even in the wake of the sanctions the program received last year.
Nebraska is then a home dog against Michigan by 2. This one is also unsurprising. It may be a game billed as Martinez versus Robinson, but a team effort is what led to the blowout last year. The Huskers should look to be competitive at home this fall, regardless of the opponent. This may end up being the closest home game of the year for Nebraska, and has significant division implications.
Michigan State is a home favorite against the Huskers by 5. This game is probably the biggest question mark for Husker fans. Hitting the road after playing a tough Wolverines squad could lead to a let down. The Spartans are poised to take advantage and this game may end up deciding which team would take a trip to the conference championship game.