10/14/2011 08:34 PM
College football Top 25 betting cheat sheet: Week 7
Purdue Boilermakers at Penn State Nittany Lions (-11.5, 39.5)
Why Purdue will cover: The Boilermakers got on a roll last week and should be confident. An expected low-scoring game favors the dog. PSU is 1-5 ATS.
Why Penn State will cover: The Lions’ defense is among the nation’s best, fifth in points allowed (10.5). Purdue has played one respectable team, Notre Dame, and got blown out 38-10.
Points: The under has hit in all six of PSU’s games, but that’s easily the lowest number it’s seen.
Indiana Hoosiers at Wisconsin Badgers (-39.5, 60.5)
Why Indiana will cover: That’s a big spread for a conference game, and IU is 3-3 ATS.
Why Wisconsin will cover: UW is firing on all cylinders, ranking No. 3 in scoring (48.4) and No. 4 in scoring defense (10.2). The Badgers’ run game has destroyed everyone, and IU ranks 119th against the run. UW is 4-0-1 ATS.
Points: The over is 9-1 in the last 10 meetings. Last year, UW scored 83 in last year’s meeting with the Hoosiers.
South Carolina Gamecocks at Mississippi State Bulldogs (+5, 48)
Why South Carolina will cover: The Gamecocks’ D ranks No. 8 against the pass. MSU is a dismal 1-5 ATS. The Bulldogs’ QB situation isn’t good right now, which won’t help if the Gamecocks get an early lead.
Why Mississippi State will cover: MSU prefers to run the ball (27th) and that is an area of some concern for USC (60th).
Points: The under has hit in MSU’s in nine of the team’s last 11 SEC games.
Michigan Wolverines at Michigan State Spartans (-1.5, 49)
Why Michigan will cover: The Wolverines at 5-1 ATS because nobody can slow down QB Denard Robinson, who’s already rushed for 720 yards and thrown for 1,130 more.
Why Michigan State will cover: The Spartans’ defense has been tough, ranking No. 3 in points allowed, No. 3 in run yards and No. 2 in pass yards.
Points: The over is 6-2 in Michigan’s last eight in the Big Ten, but the under is 4-1 for MSU so far.
Baylor Bears at Texas A&M Aggies (-9.5, 75)
Why Baylor will cover: Baylor’s offense is a two-dimensional juggernaut, averaging 324 ypg passing and 239 more rushing. Texas A&M is the nation’s worst team against the pass.
Why Texas A&M will cover: Texas A&M has butted heads with Oklahoma State and Arkansas, losing both by a combined five points. Nothing will surprise the Aggies, especially at home.
Points: That’s a boatload of points. Then again, the teams combine to average 85 ppg, and the over is 4-0 for Baylor and 3-2 for Texas A&M.
LSU Tigers at Tennessee Volunteers (+15.5, 43.5)
Why LSU will cover: Unless teams have already faced Alabama, they’re not ready for the physicality that LSU will bring. Tennessee’s offense is unbalanced (11th in passing, 114th in rushing), allowing the Tigers to focus on the pass.
Why Tennessee will cover: The Vols are 7-2-2 ATS in their last 11 and that’s a decent spread for a home game. Their defense has no particular weakness.
Points: LSU opponents are finding it difficult to score, and UT’s last two have been under.
Ohio State Buckeyes at Illinois Fighting Illini (-3.5, 43)
Why Ohio State will cover: The Buckeyes showed against Nebraska that when freshman QB Braxton Miller is under center, the team can play with anyone. Dan Herron, standout RB, returns from suspension.
Why Illinois will cover: The Illini run the ball (14th) and stop the run (ninth) for success. OSU tries to do both, but isn’t doing so with the same success.
Points: The under is 7-1 in OSU’s last eight is a dog.
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Longhorns (+7.5, 64.5)
Why Oklahoma State will cover: The Cowboys’ offense has been unstoppable, averaging 51.4 ppg (first) with 431 yards passing (second). They’re 5-0 ATS in their last five.
Why Texas will cover: OSU’s defense isn’t great and the Longhorns have something to prove after last week’s Red River Rivalry debacle.
Points: The over has hit in Texas’ last three, and OSU puts up points better than anyone.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Virginia Cavaliers (+7, 55.5)
Why Georgia Tech will cover: Last week was the first the Jackets didn’t cover (and the first the over didn’t hit). They still average 360 yards rushing per game. Virginia is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 in the ACC.
Why Virginia will cover: The Cavs are decent on defense, including 35th against the run. In fact, the team ranks in the upper half in every major statistic on both sides of the ball except, oddly, points scored (69th).
Points: Tech will score, Virginia can score.
Alabama Crimson Tide at Mississippi Rebels (+25.5, 44)
Why Alabama will cover: The Tide hasn’t been in a close game yet, 5-1 ATS. They’re 4-0 ATS with spreads under 29 points.
Why Mississippi will cover: SEC teams don’t typically lose by that much at home.
Points: It’s a mystery as to how Ole Miss will score, and Alabama may struggle to hit that mark alone.
Boise State Broncos at Colorado State Rams (+32, 53.5)
Why Boise State will cover: BSU has toyed with the competition, including a 33-point average margin of victory in three road games. CSU is just 1-4 ATS.
Why Colorado State will cover: The Rams are solid against the pass (12th), giving them a chance to keep the Broncos at bay long enough to hold onto the spread.
Points: Despite having the No. 13 offense, BSU games are 2-3 on the over.
Virginia Tech Hokies at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+7, 49)
Why Virginia Tech will cover: The Hokies have one of the nation’s top defenses, and they won’t take Wake lightly, as Florida State seemingly did last week.
Why Wake Forest will cover: The Deacons opened some eyes as 10-point dogs to FSU and winning SU. Wake is 4-0 ATS in its last four, while Virginia Tech is 0-5 ATS in its last five.
Points: The over is 10-3 in Wake’s last 13 at home, and is 4-1 overall this season. The under, however, is 4-2 for the Hokies.
Kansas State Wildcats at Texas Tech Red Raiders (-3, 59.5)
Why Kansas State will cover: For the fourth straight week, K-State is a dog. The Wildcats won the last three SU. The Wildcats rank 26th in rushing (209 ypg), while Texas Tech’s run D is 115th. It’s the first game for Texas Tech without top running back Eric Stephens, on pace for 1,000 yards, injured last week and out for the season.
Why Texas Tech will cover: As usual, Texas Tech’s air attack is tough to defend (sixth in pass yards, eighth in scoring), but the defense isn’t terrible, especially against the pass (28th).
Points: The over is 4-1 for Raiders games, and K-State’s offensive strength plays into TT’s weakness.
Clemson Tigers at Maryland Terrapins (+8.5, 54)
Why Clemson will cover: The Tigers have covered in every game against BCS competition, with a passing offense (22nd) and defense (27th) that controls the pace.
Why Maryland will cover: Clemson QB Tajh Boyd will likely play through a hip injury, offering a glimmer of hope if he’s somewhat hobbled. If Maryland can get a quick lead, its defense has been decent against the pass.
Points: The under is 9-1 in Clemson’s last 10 in the ACC and is 6-2 in Maryland’s last eight as a home underdog and last three overall.
Stanford Cardinal at Washington State Cougars (+21, 63.5)
Why Stanford will cover: Though QB Andrew Luck gets the headlines, the Cardinal defense has been huge - No. 2 against the run (62 ypg) and No. 6 in points allowed (10.6). It’s a big reason why Stanford is 5-0 ATS.
Why Washington State will cover: WSU can chuck it, averaging 350 yards through the air (seventh). Stanford’s defense is just 85th against the pass, offering hope that the Cougars can put up some serious points.
Points: Scoring will not be an issue for Stanford, and if WSU can finish in the red zone, we could be in line for a shootout.
Oklahoma Sooners at Kansas Jayhawks (+34, 72)
Why Oklahoma will cover: OU is 4-1 ATS, ranks 10th in scoring and 12th in points allowed, and Kansas’ defense is the absolute worst in the nation statistically (49.4 ppg allowed).
Why Kansas will cover: KU can’t stop anyone but it can score, averaging 240 through the air and 219 on the ground. That’s a big spread against such a potentially potent offense.
Points: No way KU slows OU, but can the Jayhawks hold up their end of the bargain?
Arizona State Sun Devils at Oregon Ducks (-16, 66)
Why Arizona State will cover: ASU can throw the ball and Oregon’s defense hasn’t been stellar against it. Statistically, ASU’s defense is better than Oregon’s. Oregon is also dealing with the loss to star RB LaMichael James.
Why Oregon will cover: The Ducks are slightly under the radar compared to last year, but the offense is still No. 2 in scoring (50.2 ppg).
Points: The over is 5-1 in ASU games and 3-2 for Oregon. Both teams can tilt the scoreboard.
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