Once upon a time, Nebraska was the Gold Standard of College football betting. The Big Red rarely spilled red ink and was a favorite among gamblers. From 1970 through 1997, the Cornhuskers won five national championships. Nebraska finished in the top 25 every year from 1969 through 2001. But in 1993, head coach Frank Solich was fired for winning “only” ten games. Following that has been an era of mediocrity. Illinois is known as a basketball school. Head Coach Brett Bielema arrives to try and change that perception. Bielema won three Big Ten titles as head coach of Wisconsin.
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Information
Nebraska Cornhuskers at Illinois Fighting Illini CashBet Odds Analysis
On this occasion, the sportsbook wagering handle will be hot and heavy. This matchup is the first nationally televised game between major opponents for the 2021 college football season. Nebraska remains something of a “name brand” team. Whenever the Big Red shows signs of life, the media hypes them into being more than they are. Older gamblers have a hard time forgetting the glory years of coaches Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne. Thus, they remain a consistent favorite and often an overlay.
Illinois is a tough sell to the masses. Since 2002 the Fighting Illini have only one top twenty final ranking. Further, in this era of plentiful bowl games, Illinois has only two bowl appearances since 2012. Brett Bielema was respected for his time in Wisconsin. However, most gambler’s latest memory of him is flaming out with the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Frost Seeks to Avoid Turning Into Flames
In December of 2017, Scott Frost was hired to rave reviews as head coach of Nebraska. Frost grew up in the Cornhusker State. Most important of all, he quarterbacked the Big Red to their last national championship in 1997.
Frost found coaching fame as the offensive coordinator of the Oregon Ducks. There he tutored Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota. And Frost masterminded one of the most terrifying offenses in college football history. Subsequently, he moved on to become head coach of the Central Florida Knights. In his second season, he burst into Betting on college football prominence. UCF went undefeated and beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl. When he arrived back at Nebraska, he was hailed as the White Knight riding in on his horse to save the program.
Since arriving at Lincoln, Frost has struggled to move the needle. Nebraska failed to post a winning season in his first three years. And the Huskers have not come close to being a legitimate bowl program. Quarterback Adrian Martinez was Frost’s first major recruit upon his arrival. However, Martinez has often struggled to hold on to the starting job. Of great concern is that he hasn’t progressed much, if at all, after three years as the starter.
Bielema Seeks to Add Fight to Illini
While at Wisconsin, Brett Bielema has an impressive bet on NCAAF record of 68-24. His last three Badgers teams qualified for the Rose Bowl. But Bielema wanted to get out from under former coach and then-athletic director Barry Alvarez’s shadow. From this point, he took the Arkansas job. Although he led the Hogs to three straight bowl games, inconsistency and a 4-8 campaign in 2017 sealed his fate.
Specifically, Bielema is a native of Illinois. The Fighting Illini administration believes his knowledge of the state and past Big Ten success could lead to a program renaissance. But Bielema inherits a program that has suffered from terrible recruiting. He’ll need time to make his stamp.
Nebraska Cornhuskers at Illinois Fighting Illini CashBet Free Pick
In this situation, Illinois will fight harder than ever for their new coach in his debut game. Since Frost took over Nebraska, they have covered only 35% of their games as Betting on NCAAF favorites. On the whole, Nebraska has done nothing to justify this price.
Nebraska at Illinois CashBet Best Bet:
Illinois Fighting Illini
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