It has been a long journey to get to this point, but the regular season is coming to a conclusion in most conferences around college football and the College Football Playoff is less than a month way. A pair of top-five teams had their games postponed, but the majority of the schedule rolls on as planned. As you look to place your bets for the upcoming slate, our partners at BetMGM are here to offer you a stellar deal. New players in a state where BetMGM operates (TN, NJ, CO, IN, WV) can register their accounts with BetMGM and use the code BROBIBLE to receive a 100% deposit match up to $500.
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For every dollar that you put in, BetMGM will make it two! Once you’re signed up, it’s time to look for some value. We tried to stick with a singular lock last weekend and got burnt by Kentucky’s run game. The loss dropped us to below .500 on the season, which is a terrible feeling, but these value picks are made to be longer-shot picks and the misses only been off by a point or two, here and there. We’ll look to get back in the win column this weekend with two games that aren’t headliners, but
Here are three games that will be close down the stretch and could fall in favor of the underdog:
Minnesota vs. Nebraska
Saturday, December 12, 2020 — 12:00 p.m. EST at Memorial Stadium
Why Minnesota will win:
Mohamed Ibrahim is hard to stop. The Golden Gophers’ star running back is averaging 163.4 yards per game and has carried the offense in each of their two wins. The 5-foot-10, 210-pound bowling ball keeps his legs turning and doesn’t show signs of slowing up anytime soon.
Mohamed Ibrahim (@_MoIbrahim) leads the Big Ten with 17 broken tacklespic.twitter.com/Tdxwt2vKoI
— CFB Film Room (@CFBFilmRoom) November 25, 2020
Head coach P.J. Fleck’s offensive game plan will revolve around the Doak Walker Award semifinalist and he is set up for success behind a massive offensive line against the nation’s No. 68-ranked run defense.
For Minnesota to win, the run game will have to get going early and often, because the passing attack has struggled. Quarterback Tanner Morgan is completing less than 60 percent of his passes and has four interceptions to match his four touchdowns. To make matters worse, the team’s top receiver Rashod Bateman chose to opt out of the remainder of the season. There’s very little to lose with the regular season finale, so Fleck may open up the offense more on third downs, which could catch the Cornhuskers selling out for the run.
The defense hasn’t been great in Minneapolis and duel-threat quarterbacks have been a challenge, but controlling the time of possession and getting into field goal range as often as possible will be crucial.
Why Nebraska will win:
Outside of their season-opener against the Buckeyes, the Cornhuskers have been within a possession’s reach of a win in three of their four losses and last weekend was their best complete-game performance thus far.
Quarterback Adrian Martinez will look to build on a solid outing against Purdue and expose a Minnesota defense that is full of holes. He is completing 70.8 percent of his passes and has run the ball at least 10 times in four of five games. His backfield counterpart Dedrick Mills is back at full health and makes a difference between the tackles while do-it-all wide receiver and running back Wan’Dale Robinson is hard to bring down.
just havin’ fun with it #GBR pic.twitter.com/qzVXZ8NCNb
— Wan’Dale Robinson (@wanda1erobinson) December 7, 2020
On the other side of the ball, linebacker JoJo Domann will be all over the field making plays while defensive linemen Ben Stille and Garrett Nelson try to force Morgan into bad throws. If they can get into the backfield with consistency and force the Gophers into uncomfortable situations, it will provide more leniency for the offense to string together a couple of solid drives that win the game.
Neither team is atop the Big Ten and the visitors are working through a COVID-19 outbreak that forced the cancellation of its last two games, so it won’t be anything short of weird in Lincoln. All but two of Illinois’ games have been decided by ten points or less and this one should continue that trend.
Pick: Minnesota +10.5 at -110 on BetMGM Sportsbook
Stanford vs. Oregon State
Saturday, December 12, 2020 — 10:30 p.m. EST at Reser Stadium
Why Stanford will win:
The Cardinal had a tough beginning to the year but have bounced back nicely with a pair of wins over California Berkeley and a top 25 Washington team. Senior quarterback Davis Mills has completed 63.6 percent of his passes for 784 yards and needs to continue to stand tall in the pocket against a Beavers defense that will throw the kitchen sink at opposing offenses.
As for the defensive eleven, it will be crucial to limit the damage. Jefferson is going to break a run or two, but that’s alright so long as Stanford bends but doesn’t break. It allowed 371 yards to Washington last weekend and still pulled off the win. Should the linebacking core stop any runs that break past the line on the second level and the cornerbacks contain any surprise deep balls, it has the upper hand from a game planning standpoint.
Why Oregon State will win:
Jermar Jefferson. The Beavers’ star running back was coming off of a 226-yard day in an upset win over their in-state rivals but was forced to sit against Utah due to COVID-19 protocols. He averages 7.4 yards per carry on the season and has seven touchdowns in four games.
SEE YA ✌️
Jemar Jefferson turned on the JETS✈️@BeaverFootball leads 7-0!
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) November 21, 2020
Jefferson’s continued dominance will be crucial as the team continues without starting quarterback Tristan Gebbia, who suffered a season-ending injury late in the game against Oregon. The signal-caller’s replacement, Chance Nolan, doesn’t need to step up in a major way, but he needs to limit turnovers and keep the ball safe. While the Cardinal defense stacks the box, the key to winning will be Nolan’s ability to convert third down situations— something that Oregon State has not done well to this point.
Pac 12 After Dark is always wacky. This game doesn’t necessarily open the door to back-and-forth chaos, but it will take all 60 minutes to crown a victor. If Jefferson can go at full health, he is hard to stop, and the Beavers will be able to overcome their shortcomings at quarterback with a late push across the goal line.
Pick: Oregon State Moneyline at +125 or Oregon State +3 at -110 on BetMGM Sportsbook
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