College Football

Week 1: Nebraska vs North Dakota 9/3/22 College Football Picks, Predictions, Odds

North Dakota Fighting Hawks (0-0) vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-1)
September 3, 2022 3:30 pm EDT
The Line: Nebraska Cornhuskers -22.5 / North Dakota Fighting Hawks +22.5 ; Over/Under: -51.5
(Get latest betting odds)

The Nebraska Cornhuskers and North Dakota Fighting Hawks square off Saturday in a week 1 college football matchup from Nebraska Memorial Stadium.

The North Dakota Fighting Hawks will look to take a step in the right direction after a disappointing 2021 campaign which saw the Fighting Hawks finish at 5-6 including a 3-5 mark in MVC conference play. Tommy Schuster is back under center for North Dakota after throwing for 2,493 yards and 13 TDs in 2021 while Otis Weah will have to be replaced after being the crown jewel in North Dakota’s backfield for the last couple of seasons. Isaiah Smith is likely the next man up for North Dakota after logging 356 yards on just 52 carries in his freshman season. Bo Belquist returns as Schuster’s top target after logging 52 receptions for 535 yards and 5 TDs last season. Garett Maag and Adam Zavainey are also back for the Fighting Hawks in the receiving corps. On defense, there will definitely be some retooling going on but there are also experienced and homegrown talents there as well. Ben McNaboe will be a familiar face up front while Jaelen Johnson and Jalen Morrison are more than capable of stepping up and rising to a starting spot in their senior seasons. Devon Krzanowski will anchor the defense for North Dakota at linebacker after leading the way with 68 tackles in 2021 while C.J. Siegel will be the main guy in North Dakota’s secondary and Richard Agyekum is expected to take on a larger role in his sophomore season.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers will look to rebound from a frustrating start to the year after a 31-28 loss to Northwestern in Dublin, Ireland. Casey Thompson threw for 355 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions on 25 of 42 passing while Anthony Grant led the ground attack with 101 rushing yards and a pair of scores on 19 carries. Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda led Nebraska with 120 receiving yards and a score on 4 receptions while Trey Palmer had a team-high 8 grabs for 68 yards and Travis Vokolek had 5 catches for 63 yards. On defense, Luke Reimer led the way with 12 total tackles including 5 solo tackles while Ochaun Mathis had 10 total tackles of his own in the losing effort.

North Dakota is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games in September and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall while the under is 5-0 in their last 5 games against a team with a losing record. Nebraska is 10-21 ATS in their last 31 home games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall while the under is 8-2 in their last 10 non-conference games.

If we were getting North Dakota State here, an FCS powerhouse, that’s a completely different story, but I just don’t think the Fighting Hawks are going to bring what they need to be able to compete in this game. Nebraska’s ticked off and tired of hearing the criticisms (albeit deserved criticisms) after their loss to Northwestern to kick off the year and I think that Nebraska comes out fired up and puts the boots to North Dakota here. It’s not something I’m going to do often, but I’ll lay the points with Nebraska here.

Chris Ruffolo's Free Pick: Nebraska -22.5

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Chris Ruffolo

Chris joined the Sports Chat Place team in August 2016 and has a proven system that combines multiple analytical and situational statistics and trends to give out thousands of winning picks over the last three years with winning records across all of the top leagues, Follow Chris Ruffolo on Twitter @ruffthepickdawg

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