NCAA football betting odds makers have Nebraska pegged as the team to beat in the Big 12 North with Missouri looking like the top college football gambling alternative.
Nebraska ended Mizzou’s 2-year reign as champions of the Big 12 North last year and nearly upset the Texas Longhorns in the Big 12 Championship Game last year in a controversial finish.
Nebraska will be leaving the Big 12 after this season for the Big Ten Conference and will be getting everyone’s last shot before they go.
The offense returns 9 starters led by senior quarterback Zac Lee, who passed for 2143 yards and 14 touchdowns last year along with senior running back Roy Helu, who rushed for nearly 1200 yards and a 5.2 yards per carry average.
Although the defense loses Heisman Trophy finalist Ndamukong Suh to the NFL, 6 starters return and recruiting has gone well enough to expect the unit to perform well after allowing just 10 points per game in 2009.
Missouri looks solid at offense with junior quarterback Blaine Gabbert returning after a good rookie season as the starter in which he threw for 3593 yards and 24 touchdowns. The Tigers do have to replace their top two receivers led by Danario Alexander but senior Derrick Washington returns to lead the running backs.
The defense showed a modest improvement last year and should continue with 8 starters back. The October 30 showdown at Nebraska could be for all the marbles and Mizzou has proven to be a better value with the NCAA odds when they are the hunter rather than the hunted.
Dan Hawkins avoided the “firing squad” at Colorado because there was not enough money available to send him away so he returns with a team that has 10 starters back on offense and 7 on defense but lacking playmakers. A bowl is possible before the Buffs move on to the Pac 10 next year.
Kansas fired Mark Mangino due to alleged player abuse and Turner Gill takes over as the head man with a team that will be a frequent underdog with the college football lines.
Kansas State could be a surprise challenger in the North and a solid value with the NCAA football betting board as Bill Snyder almost got them into the Big 12 title game in his first season back as coach after a 3-year break.
Iowa State was a 7-6 bowl winning team last year and may have enough to see post season action again.