Kansas at Nebraska -35 O/U 60.5
Recommendation: See analysis
Saturday, 4 pm PT
The storyline for this weekend's Kansas vs. Nebraska matchup is obviously KU head coach Turner Gill's return to Lincoln. Gill enjoyed a storied career as a Cornhusker during the mid-80s. He finished fourth in the Heisman voting in 1983 and went a perfect 20-0 as a starting quarterback in Big Eight play. Nebraska means a lot to Turner Gill and Gill means a lot to Nebraska. Here is a recent article from KUsports.com talking about the emotions between Gill and his former coach Tom Osborne
Often times when games are projected to be so one-sided it is tough to find a viable edge. Nebraska is no question the class of this matchup and capable of naming whatever score it so chooses. Kansas is coming off a miraculous come-from-behind win over Colorado in which it scored 35 fourth quarter points, while NU is off a miracle finish of its own. There will be plenty of motivational talk of Gill wanting his kids to do him proud, but in the end, there is little to no on-field matchups that favor the visiting side.
I think we’ll see Nebraska storm out to a comfortable lead, which puts the first half line of -21 slightly more attractive than the game line of -35. But the better angle may be to wait for halftime to make a play. Assuming the Cornhuskers do create a sizable margin, we’ll likely be left with 30 minutes of “garbage time” to contend with. Going back to the Gill/Nebraska relationship, I don’t feel as if Nebraska will attempt to run up the score. This is one of the unique situations in college football where we can use respect and not wanting to embarrass a fellow comrade to our advantage. In projecting a sizable halftime lead, Nebraska will stick to a conservative game plan and do whatever necessary to establish a sound victory but again, not rub it in the face of Gill and his Jayhawks. The other benefit is that teams down big points don’t attempt field goals; they go for touchdowns, which for the Kansas offense won’t be easy no matter what intensity or lack thereof is present in the second half.
At the Sportsmemo College Football Live In-Game blog (Saturday 10 am - 3 pm PT), we provide thoughts, analysis and halftime recommendations from the Sportsmemo Handicappers. Our halftime plays have gone 40-24 63% heading into this week’s action. One of the stronger angles used by some of our handicappers has been to play second half totals under during blowouts. Which such a large college football card, I don’t see much value in getting involved in this contest from a first half or full game standpoint. What I can suggest is to track this contest and see what options are available at halftime. If Nebraska holds a big margin at the break, I recommend looking to play the second half under the total.
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