Holiday Bowl: Cornhuskers vs Trojans Odds
The National University Holiday Bowl Bowl betting action sees the Nebraska Cornhuskers taking on the #24 USC Trojans on Saturday, December 27th at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Cappers Picks provides free NCAA football handicapping tips all season long.
The biggest storyline in this game is the ongoing whirlwind of negative attention brought on by the firing of head coach Bo Pelini at Nebraska. Now at Youngstown State, Pelini is being replaced by Oregon State’s Mike Reilly, who is stepping back and letting 8-year Cornhusker assistant coach Barney Cotton.
College Football Lines
2014 Holiday Bowl
Nebraska (9-3, 5-3 Big Ten) @ #24 USC (8-4, 6-3 Pac-12)
Saturday, December 27th 8:00 PM ET @ Qualcomm Stadium – San Diego
NCAA Football Spread: USC -7
NCAA Football O/U: 51.5
***2014 CFB BONUSES***
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Both Nebraska and USC are known as big time football schools. Oddly enough, this is only the fifth time these two will meet, with USC leading the series 3-0-1. And as the first year under Steve Sarkisian at the helm, the Trojans are trying to avoid a 5 loss campaign.
The Cornhuskers and Trojans both had stellar play from their big 3: their #1 starting QB, RB, and WR that propelled them both into this bowl game. While conference titles would have been nice, these two schools are happy to be duking it out in San Diego.
Cotton, who will be taking over the team for the game, has been a coach at the school for 8 years and was also an offensive lineman there as a student-athlete. He’ll be looking to keep the team focused and prepared coming into this huge game.
Tommy Armstrong Jr. has been stellar for the Cornhuskers. He was 152 of 294 passing for 2,314 yards, 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also has 133 carries on the ground, netting 664 yards and 5 scores. His biggest target through the air has been Kenny Bell. Bell has 40 receptions for 717 yards and 5 touchdowns.
The second leading receiver on the team, Jordan Westerkamp, has 41 receptions for 666 yards and 4 touchdowns.
On the ground, you couldn’t hear about top running backs this season without hearing Ameer Abdullah’s name. So far, he has 237 carries for 1,523 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also has 16 receptions for 208 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The defense is going to have their hands full in this one. Team leaders on defense showed their worth this season, only losing 3 games in their 2014 campaign…so far. Zaire Anderson is leading the team in tackles with 95, Randy Gregory has the lead with 7 sacks and Nate Gerry has 5 interceptions for the Husker defense.
Cody Kessler stood out in a big way this season for the Trojans. Clearly the #1 starter coming out of camp, Kessler took the job and ran with it. This season, he has amassed 3,505 yards, 36 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on 292 of 413 passing.
On the ground, Javorious “Buck” Allen (I don’t get it, either) has been the clear leader this season. With 250 carries, Allen was able to rack up 1,337 yards and 9 scores on the ground. He was also third on the team in receiving with 40 catches for 442 yards and a touchdown.
After Allen is Justin Davis, who had 125 carries this season for 550 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Nelson Algholor is leading the receivers this season. So far, he has 97 catches for 1,223 yards and 11 touchdowns. JuJu Smith is next with 51 receptions for 658 yards and 5 touchdowns of his own. George Farmer had 24 catches for 310 yards and 4 touchdowns.
The Trojan defense has been no slouch this season, either. Giving up 23.8 points per game, the team is looking to let Su’a Cravens, who has 16 tackles for loss, loose on the Nebraska offense.
The Cornhuskers should also be wary of Hayes Pullard, who has been a terror in the USC defense all year.
NCAA football handicapping trends
- Cornhuskers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games
- Cornhuskers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs. Pac-12
- Trojans are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 bowl games
- Trojans are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Bowl games
- Trojans are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 vs. Big Ten
Holiday Bowl Prediction
This has the makings to be a very good game. Despite the fact the teams will match up well on the field, you have to keep into consideration the level of disappointment the Husker players showed after the loss of Pelini.
Free 4* NCAA Betting Pick: USC -7
Their attitude will make or break the game for them as they can take the emotional momentum and use it against the Trojans or they can continue to focus on the negative and let it affect their play.
Final Holiday Bowl Score: Nebraska 20 – USC 38
Either way, I honestly believe USC just has too much firepower for Nebraska to keep up with.