Nebraska vs. Northwestern 2022 College Football Week 0 Odds, Preview & Pick

By Hank Blaine

The first Power 5 college football game of the 2022 season is from Dublin, Ireland, as Nebraska takes on Northwestern in Big Ten action. The Wildcats are technically the home team but nearly two-touchdown underdogs. Both teams are coming off a dismal 3-9 campaign in 2021. Saturday’s opener will be the 1,358th game in Nebraska football history but only the second played on foreign soil.

Before everything else, NitroBetting arms you with everything you need to kick things off on a positive note. Below, we provide event details, team and player statistics, and the latest NCAAF odds. More than that, we go the extra mile and share timely betting trends and predictions that help you secure the best picks. Check out for more sports betting odds and lines, exclusively at our online BTC sportsbook.

Nebraska vs. Northwestern Game Information

Why Bet on the Nebraska Cornhuskers?

Arguably no coach in the nation is on a hotter seat entering the 2022 season than Nebraska’s Scott Frost. His seat will be scorching hot if the Huskers are upset in this one.

Nebraska will have a new starting quarterback in Texas transfer Casey Thompson. Thompson, who transferred to Nebraska in January, started 10 games for Texas last season and led the Big 12 with 24 touchdown passes while passing for 2,113 yards and completing 63.2% of his attempts.

He had been competing with Chubba Purdy, a transfer from Florida State, and Logan Smothers for the top job. Frost said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if more than one quarterback played this season for Nebraska. Thompson underwent surgery on his throwing thumb this summer after playing with ligament damage for much of last season.

“There’s no substitute for having played a lot of college football, and there’s been fewer mistakes from him,” Frost said of Thompson. “It really was a big jump, too, from spring ball to fall. That thumb was probably bothering him worse than he let on. He’s throwing it way better now.”

The Huskers also have a new offensive coordinator in Mark Whipple, who held the same role last year at Pittsburgh. The Panthers ranked third nationally in scoring and sixth in passing in 2021. Pickett, who became Pitt’s first Heisman Trophy finalist since 2003, set numerous team records this season, passing for 4,319 yards and an ACC-record 42 touchdowns. He also broke Dan Marino’s team record for career touchdown passes with 81.

The Huskers were 1-8 in the Big Ten in 2021 but that one victory was a blowout of Northwestern 56-7. Adrian Martinez ran for a career-best three touchdowns and passed for another, and Nebraska broke big play after big play. The Cornhuskers were sharp from the get-go and dominated. The 49-point margin was Nebraska’s largest in a win against a Big Ten opponent. For Northwestern, it matched the second largest in a loss in Pat Fitzgerald’s 16 years as coach.

Before last year’s Husker win, each of the previous four meetings between Nebraska and Northwestern had been decided by one score, including back-to-back overtime wins for the Wildcats in 2017 and 2018. Overall, eight of the first 11 Big Ten meetings between the two programs have been one-score games.

Why Bet on the Northwestern Wildcats?

Northwestern likely will be starting Ryan Hilinski at quarterback. He started five games last year and had 978 passing yards. He completed 25-of-39 passes for 256 yards and his first NU touchdown against Nebraska. No. 2 receiver Malik Washington caught 44 passes for 578 yards and two scores, but the Wildcats need more downfield playmakers. Evan Hull will make a slew of catches out of the backfield. Northwestern scored 14 or fewer points in seven of their last eight games in 2021.

On defense, the Wildcats lost linebacker Chris Bergin, who led college football in tackles a year ago, and overall this defensive unit ranked just 101st nationally, allowing 429.5 yards per game, and was 89th in scoring defense (29.0 ppg). NU’s secondary doesn’t return a single player who had an interception last season.

Fitzgerald had two straight 5-7 seasons in 2013 and 2014, and that’s been the only time in 16 years the program that was once synonymous with losing had two straight losing seasons. This year’s team has the experience to be better. Nebraska has a 9-6 advantage over Northwestern all-time and is 6-5 against the Wildcats since joining the Big Ten.

Nebraska vs. Northwestern Betting Trends

  • Nebraska is 2-4 ATS in the last 6 games.
  • Nebraska is 0-6 SU in the last 6 games.
  • The total went over in 5 of Nebraska’s last 7 games.
  • Northwestern is 0-6 SU in the last 6 games.
  • Northwestern is 1-5 ATS in the last 6 games.
  • The total went under in 13 of Northwestern’s last 19 games played on a Saturday.

Nebraska vs. Northwestern Expert Betting Predictions

Nebraska 27, Northwestern 20

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*All stated odds are subject to change without prior notice.

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