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Washington Huskies vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers 2010 Free Holiday Bowl Pick

No. 18 Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Washington Huskies Gambling Preview + Predictions

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2010 Holiday Bowl Preview – Huskies vs. Cornhuskers Lines

Date/Time: Thursday, December 30, 10 PM ET
Venue: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego CA
Broadcast: ESPN / ESPN3
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Washington Huskies Betting Lines from Bodog
Money Line: Washington (+450) Nebraska (-650)
Spread: Nebraska -14
Over/Under: 53

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No. 18 Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Washington Huskies Preview

Washington (6-6) already played Nebraska (10-3) this season and lost to them badly 56-21 and at home no less. If they play anything like they did in that game in the Holiday Bowl they will be in big trouble. College football lines have Nebraska as a big 14-point favorite, which may be kind, with a total of 53.

Sitting at 3-6 it looked pretty bleak for the Huskies, but they won their last 3 games of the season to become bowl eligible. Nebraska lost their last game of the season in the Big 12 championship game and they lost 2 of their last 3 games overall.

In their last games of the season Washington needed a late TD to beat in-state rival Washington State 35-28 while Nebraska lost to Oklahoma 23-20 in the Big 12 title game, which cost them a shot at a BCS bowl.

This season neither team was a great one to wager on with the Huskers going 6-6-1 ATS and the Huskies going 5-6-1 ATS. Both of these teams are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 bowl games.

Can Washington keep Nebraska and their 9th ranked rushing offense from killing them in this game? In the first game between the 2 the Huskers ranked up 383 rushing yards and the Washington run defense only ranks 103rd in the nation. Also, Washington QB Jake Locker, who was a pre-season Heisman candidate, has to play better than he did in the early season loss to the Huskers. That is a major understatement, as in the game he had his worst passing game of the season only completing 4/20 passed for 71 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT. That will not be easy since the Nebraska pass defense ranks 7th in the nation.

The Huskers have no lack of weapons that can run the ball with the great trio of RB Roy Helu Jr. (1,211 yards 11 TD), duel-threat QB Taylor Martinez (942 yards 12 TD), and RB Rex Burkhead (912 yards 7 TD). The Huskies really have to worry about Martinez, who killed them earlier in the season with 137 rushing yards and 3 TD and 150 passing yards with a TD.

As stated before Locker obviously has to play better and to do that he will need 2 things, which are protection from his offensive line and help from the running game. Nebraska has a solid pass rush ranking 32nd in the nation with 31 sacks and even with Locker’s mobility the offensive line was in the middle of the pack this season giving up 24 sacks.

Washington RB Chris Polk (1,238 yards 8 TD) has to take some pressure off Locker by picking up some yards against a Nebraska rushing defense that only ranks 53rd in the nation. In the loss to the Huskers earlier this season he only picked up 55 yards on the ground averaging a pretty weak 3.2 yards per carry. One thing that Washington has going for them is that they will not have to face Huskers’ DT Baker Steinkuhler, who had 46 tackles and 3.5 sacks this season, as he is suspended for this game after a drunk driving arrest.

Even with a great game from the offensive line and Polk Locker will still have to step up and come up with some big plays. This is especially the case if the Huskies’ D cannot, somewhat, contain the Nebraska rushing offense. WR Jermaine Kearse (62 rec 1,001 yards 12 TD) is his big play WR and he will have to make some big plays in this Holiday Bowl.

Washington will need a lot of things to happen for them to pull off the upset. However, the main thing will not happen, as they will not be able to stop the Huskers from racking up the rushing yards. On top of that I think the Huskers’ D will play well and not allow Locker to have a big game. Take the Huskers to cover the 14-point spread in this game.

Betting Trends

Washington is 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games and 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog of 10.5 or more and Nebraska is 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games and 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games as a favorite of 10.5 or more.

Pick: Nebraska -14

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