When the Week 13 college football odds opened at Caesars Sportsbook, it sure seemed like oddsmakers got it wrong in the Iowa at Nebraska game as the Hawkeyes, ranked 17th in the nation and playing for a possible Big Ten West Division title, were 3.5-point underdogs at a Huskers team that is 3-8 overall and tied for last in the West. However, Iowa is now a 1.5-point favorite for Friday afternoon's matchup because Nebraska starting QB Adrian Martinez will not play.
That 5-point spread swing is the largest of any Week 13 game nationally. The total has dropped from 44.5 points to 41, also among the biggest total swings in the country and now the second-lowest total behind the 39 in Wisconsin-Minnesota.
The Hawkeyes and Badgers are tied for first in the Big Ten West. That Iowa's game is on Black Friday will provide some clarity. If it beats Nebraska, Wisconsin would have to win at Minnesota, which kicks off at 4 p.m. ET Saturday, to win the West. If the Badgers beat the Gophers, it doesn't matter what happens in any other game as UW wins the West.
However, if Minnesota beats Wisconsin, Nebraska beats Iowa, and Purdue beats Indiana (3:30 ET kickoff Saturday), that would cause a four-way tie atop the West and the Gophers would win it.
As for Martinez, he has been ruled out with a shoulder injury. The four-year starter holds most Nebraska QB records and this season has completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 2,863 yards, 14 TDs and 10 picks while rushing 133 times for 525 yards and 13 TDs. Martinez hasn't yet said if he will return to Lincoln for a fifth season in 2022. He set Nebraska's career record for total offense last Saturday, moving his total to 10,792 yards and past Tommy Armstrong.
Redshirt freshman Logan Smothers gets the start and it comes against one of the nation's top defenses. Smothers has played in five games this season and is 7-for-11 for 119 yards while rushing 13 times for 69 yards. Iowa leads the country in interceptions (21) and ranks fourth in takeaways (26). The Hawkeyes are ninth in the country in scoring defense (16.9) and 13th in total defense (314.8). They have won eight straight Friday games and six straight in this series – annually played on Black Friday.
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