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Nebraska vs. Minnesota picks, predictions: Week 1 college football picks by computer model

Locking in our picks and predictions for the Week 1 college football game between Big Ten rivals Nebraska and Minnesota on Thursday
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Thursday night football returns to campus as the Week 1 college football schedule kicks things off between Nebraska and Minnesota in a notable Big Ten opener that pits a new-look Cornhuskers team against the West Division rival Gophers.

Matt Rhule makes his debut as Nebraska head coach in the matchup after a whirlwind offseason that has Husker fans excited to see if he can improve their team's fortunes the way he has at past stops like Temple and Baylor, where Rhule earned a reputation as a turnaround artist for those programs.

Minnesota returns much of a defense that ranked No. 8 nationally and fourth in scoring last season and, despite some notable departures on offense, has Chris Autman-Bell back at receiver and a potent option in transfer tailback Sean Tyler to go against a Husker front seven installing new replacements.

What do the experts think of the matchup? Let's see how the College Football Power Index computer prediction model projects the game.

Nebraska vs. Minnesota picks, predictions

Nebraska Cornhuskers running back Anthony Grant on a carry during a college football game.

Nebraska vs. Minnesota game picks, predictions

Minnesota odds: The computer is siding with the home team in the opener, as the Gophers have the 67.3 percent chance to win the game, according to the model and its 20,000 simulations of the matchup.

Nebraska odds: That leaves the Cornhuskers with a 32.7 percent shot to pull off the upset against their West Division rivals on the road.

Point spread: The oddsmakers agree with the index, naming Minnesota as the 7.5 point favorites against Nebraska, according to the lines at SI Sportsbook.

Total: 43.5 points

Moneyline: NU +220 | UM -300

Nebraska predictions: FPI places the Cornhuskers at No. 53 nationally, projected to be 2.8 points better than an average opponent, estimated to win 5.8 games this season and with a 55.6 percent chance to become bowl eligible.

Related: ESPN reveals Week 1 college football rankings

Minnesota predictions: The index ranked the Gophers at No. 44 on the 133 poll and projects they are 6.6 points better than an average opponent, estimated to win 6.1 games this season with a 63.0 percent chance to go bowling.

Nebraska vs. Minnesota schedule

When: Thurs., Aug. 31
Time: 7 p.m. Central
TV: Fox network
Stream: fuboTV (Try for free).

College Football Power Index

Football Power Index (FPI) college football rankings and computer prediction model are a measure of team strength that predicts a team’s future performance.

Rankings and scores predictions are based on 20,000 simulations of a team’s season, using a combination of analytics, including scores to date, quality of opponents, and a team’s schedule.

How to stream college football

fuboTV provides total, live coverage of the top college football games on the schedule from the major TV networks as well as the SEC Network, Big Ten Network, ACC Network, and others — all without cable.

You can stream college football, the NFL, and other programming from any device, including your phone. There’s no contract, no hidden fees, and DVR is included: Click here to watch college football for free on fuboTV

College football rankings

According to AP top 25 poll

  1. Georgia
  2. Michigan
  3. Ohio State
  4. Alabama
  5. LSU
  6. USC
  7. Penn State
  8. Florida State
  9. Clemson
  10. Washington
  11. Texas
  12. Tennessee
  13. Notre Dame
  14. Utah
  15. Oregon
  16. Kansas State
  17. TCU
  18. Oregon State
  19. Wisconsin
  20. Oklahoma
  21. North Carolina
  22. Ole Miss
  23. Texas A&M
  24. Tulane
  25. Iowa

More college football from SI: Top 25 Rankings | Schedule | All Teams

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