Games to Watch - Week 12
November 16, 2011
Saturday - Cincinnati at Rutgers (ESPNU, 12:00 p.m.)
Cincy tasted defeat for the first time since Week 2 when West Virginia went into Paul Brown Stadium and won a 24-21 decision last Saturday. Making matters worse, the Bearcats lost QB Zach Collaros for the rest of the regular season with a broken ankle. Therefore, Munchie Legaux will get the starting nod under center. Look for him to look to RB Isaian Pead early and often. Pead ran for 113 yard and two TDs against WVU and for the season, he's tallied 934 rushing yards and 10 TDs with a 6.0 YPC average. Rutgers owns an 18-14 sporead record as a home 'dog under Greg Schiano. The 'under' is 8-2 overall for RU, 4-2 in its home games. The 'under' is 5-4 overall for the Bearcats. Most books are listing Cincy as a three-point 'chalk' with a total of 47 ½.
Saturday - Wisconsin at Illinois (ESPN2, 12:00 p.m.)
Most spots are listing Wisconsin as a 14 ½-point favorite with a total of 51 ½. The Badgers fell to 0-3 ATS on the road when they failed to cover the number in last week's 42-13 win at Minnesota as 29 ½-point favorites. Brett Bielema's team is led by QB Russell Wilson, who has 25 TD passes and merely three interceptions. The transfer from N.C. St. has also rushed for 295 yards and four TDs. Junior RB Montee Ball has rushed for 1,242 yards and 23 TDs, while James White has 611 rushing yards and six scores. Illinois won its first six games but is in the midst of a four-game losing streak that has head coach Ron Zook under fire once again. Zook's situation was made more tenuous when LB Trulon Henry was shot in the hand this past Saturday night at a party. Henry wasn't even at the party but was called there by a teammate to give several players a ride home after a fight broke out. When asked about his future at a Tuesday presser, Zook walked out on the media. As a home 'dog under Zook, Illinois owns a 7-7 spread record. The 'over' is 7-3 overall for the Badgers, 2-1 in their three true road games. The 'under' is 7-3 overall for the Illinis, 5-2 in its home games.
Saturday - Mississippi State at Arkansas (CBS, 3:30 p.m.)
Most books are listing Arkansas as a 13-point favorite with a total of 53 ½. The big news out of Fayetteville this week is that junior RB Knile Davis, considered out for the season since breaking his ankle in August, practiced in pads Tuesday and might be able to play soon. Bobby Petrino's team isn't getting much hype as a potential national-title contender, but it still has an outside shot. In fact, all it has to do is win out and hope that Auburn can pull a stunning upset over Alabama in the Iron Bowl that will be held on The Plains. Arkansas is 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS at home after destroying Tennessee 49-7 as a 15-point 'chalk.' The Hogs are 12-5-1 ATS as home favorites on Petrino's watch. Mississippi St. gave a game effort last week at home only to come up on the short end of a 24-7 decision against Alabama. The Bulldogs did cover the number for the fourth straight game, though, hooking up their backers as 17 ½-point home underdogs. QB Chris Relf suffered a concussion and is a question mark this week, meaning Tyler Russell will get the starting nod. The 'over' is 6-4 overall for the Hogs, 3-3 in their home games, while the 'under' is 6-4 overall for MSU. However, the Bulldogs have seen the 'under' go 3-2 in their road assignments.
Saturday - Virginia at Florida State (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.)
Most books are listing FSU as a 17 ½-point 'chalk' with a total of 47. The Seminoles saw their four-game ATS surge end in last week's 23-19 win over Miami as 11-point home 'chalk.' Virginia has won three in a row and five of its last six to garner what will be its first postseason appearance since 2007. The Cavs are coming off a 31-21 win over Duke as a 9 ½-point home favorite. QB Michael Rocco, who has played much better in recent weeks, threw a pair of TD passes and wasn't intercepted. UVA has been getting solid production from RB Perry Jones, who has 856 rushing yards and five TDs while averaging 5.3 YPC. When these teams met in Charlottesville in 2010, FSU captured a 34-14 win as a 6 ½-point road favorite. Might the 'under' be worth a look in this spot? The 'under' has cashed in nine consecutive head-to-head meetings between these ACC adversaries. As for this year, UVA has seen the 'under' emerge at a lucrative 8-2 overall clip, while the 'Noles have seen the 'under' go 6-4 overall, 4-2 in their home outings.
Saturday - Boise State at San Diego State (CSTV, 8:00 p.m.)
Chris Petersen's squad dropped a 36-35 decision vs. TCU last week, ending its 35-game winning streak on the smurf turf at Bronco Stadium. The Broncos gave up the go-ahead score and subsequent two-point conversion with 1:05 remaining. They quickly moved into field-goal range for a potential game-winning field goal but the kick was off the mark. In all three of BSU's losses from 2008-2011, it missed FGs to win the games at crunch time. Nevertheless, Boise St. still has one of the country's premier squads led by senior QB Kellen Moore, who has a 31/5 TD-INT ratio. San Diego St. has one of the nation's most underrated players in RB Ronnie Hillman, who has 1,278 rushing yards and 13 TDs, and QB Ryan Lindley has a 15/6 TD-INT ratio. But the Aztecs' defense will be without one of their best players after senior LB Logan Ketchum went down last week with a season-ending injury. The 'over' is 6-3 overall for BSU, 4-1 in its road assignments. The 'under'
Saturday - Oklahoma at Baylor (ABC-ESPN, 8:00 p.m.)
As of Wednesday, most betting shops were listing Oklahoma as a 15 ½-point favorite with a total of 75. The Sooners are coming off an open date following their bittersweet 41-25 win over Texas A&M as 13 ½-point home favorites. The victory was costly because OU lost the school's all-time leading receiver Ryan Broyles to a season-ending knee injury. Nevertheless, we still have a matchup of two of the country's best quarterbacks. OU's Landry Jones has 3,349 passing yards with a 28/9 touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio. Meanwhile, Baylor's Robert Griffin III is enjoying another incredible campaign, throwing for 3,093 yards and rushing for 489 to date. 'RG3' has 29 TD passes compared to only five interceptions and he's also rushed for five scores. Griffin has one of the Big 12's top wideouts in Kendall Wright, who has 81 receptions for 1,073 yards and nine TDs. The Bears can also run the ball with Terrance Ganaway, who has 880 rushing yards and 10 TDs while averaging 6.0 yards per carry. Since 2002, OU owns a 14-20-2 spread record as a road favorite. Meanwhile, Baylor is 3-6 ATS as a home underdog during Art Briles' four-year tenure. The Bears are 5-0 SU and 4-0 ATS at home this season. They have watched the 'over' go 6-1-1 overall, while OU has seen the 'over' go 5-4 overall. Baylor has never beaten Oklahoma in 20 all-time meetings, although the Bears have taken the cash in five of the last eight encounters.