11/26/2011 10:40 AM
Saturday, November 26
College football Week 13 action: What bettors need to know
Georgia Bulldogs at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (+6, 54.5)
THE STORY: Motivation will not be an issue for either No. 14 Georgia or No. 21 Georgia Tech when the two in-state rivals meet at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. The Bulldogs are one of the hottest teams in the country, having won nine games in a row since starting the season 0-2. Georgia clinched the SEC East Division last week and awaits LSU, Arkansas or Alabama in next weekend’s SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets rebounded from a loss against Virginia Tech that eliminated Tech from the ACC Coastal Division title chase, winning 38-31 at Duke.
Much like everything else between Georgia and Tech, the series history sparks debate. Georgia claims it leads 61-37-5, not counting two Tech wins in 1943-44. Tech naturally counts the two victories, saying the series record is 61-39-5. Georgia has won nine of the past 10 meetings.
TV: ESPN, ESPN3.com.
LINE: Georgia opened around -5.5 and was bet up to -6.5 before settling around -6.
ABOUT GEORGIA (9-2, 7-1 SEC): Georgia played perhaps its worst game in two months last week, scoring just one offensive touchdown and posting a season-low in points scored in a 19-10 victory over Kentucky in Athens. With leading rusher Isaiah Crowell out after the first series with an injured ankle, and second-leading rusher Carlton Thomas not in uniform, the Bulldogs got 101 yards rushing from Brandon Harton. Both Crowell and Thomas are expected to play this week. Georgia’s defense ranks fourth in the nation, and figures to provide a strong challenge for Tech’s triple-option attack.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH (8-3, 5-3 ACC): The Yellow Jackets run the ball as well as any team in the nation. Tech ranks second in the country in rushing offense (323.5 yards) and 17th in points scored (36.5). The Yellow Jackets rushed for five touchdowns last week against Duke. Quarterback Tevin Washington rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown, and passed for 185 yards. Tech leads the ACC and ranks 23rd nationally in passing defense, but gave up season highs in pass completions, attempts and touchdowns last week.
* Bulldogs are 6-0 ATS in their last six meetings in Georgia Tech.
* Underdog is 3-1-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Road team is 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 meetings.
1. Longtime Georgia broadcaster Larry Munson died Sunday at age 89. Munson called Georgia games from 1966-2008.
2. Georgia gave up 512 yards of total offense to Tech last year, but held on for a 42-34 victory in Athens.
3. A victory would give Tech nine wins for the third time in four years under coach Paul Johnson.
PREDICTION: Georgia 24, Georgia Tech 17 – The Bulldogs’ defense will stop the Yellow Jackets’ triple option just enough for Georgia to edge its in-state rival.
Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Wolverines (-7.5, 44.5)
THE STORY: The Big Ten's signature rivalry takes center stage when Ohio State travels to face No. 16 Michigan. The Buckeyes have won six consecutive games against the Wolverines (excluding last year's vacated victory) but are down this season, coming off consecutive losses against Purdue and Penn State. Michigan, meanwhile, is looking to carry over momentum from a 45-17 rout of then-No. 17 Nebraska.
LINE: Michigan opened as high as -8 and was bet down to 7.5, with a few -7 spreads out there.
ABOUT OHIO STATE (6-5): The Buckeyes, who are just 1-3 in true road games, have struggled this year largely to a stagnant offense that ranks 108th among FBS teams in total yardage (315.0) and 118th in passing (118.0). Quarterback Braxton Miller is the team's leading rusher with 595 yards, but he has completed just 48.6 percent of his passes. Ohio State has the 14th-ranked defense in the nation, yielding an average of 19 points.
ABOUT MICHIGAN (9-2): Junior QB Denard Robinson has been the headliner, but the Wolverines owe much of this year's revival to an improved defense that is sixth nationally in points allowed (15.6) while scoring three touchdowns itself. Senior LB Brandon Herron has returned a fumble and an interception for scores. The country's 12th-ranked rushing offense is paced by Robinson (993 yards, 14 TDs) and sophomore RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (891 yards, 9 TDs).
* Buckeyes are 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Favorite is 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Buckeyes are 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings in Michigan.
1. Though it has not beaten the Buckeyes since 2003, Michigan still holds a 57-43-6 lead in the overall series.
2. This marks just the third time in series history that both teams have a first-year head coaches. New Ohio State coaches are 5-10-2 in their debuts against Michigan.
3. Ohio State had not lost back-to-back November games since 1999, when it dropped three straight to finish its last non-winning season at 6-6.
PREDICTION: Michigan 27, Ohio State 13. The Buckeyes' inability to move the ball, particularly on the road, will likely mean the end of their longest win streak against the Wolverines.
Alabama Crimson Tide at Auburn Tigers (+20.5, 47)
THE STORY: After winning a National Championship last season, Auburn has taken a bit of a step back in 2011. Still, Tigers fans will see the season as a great success if they can find a way to knock rival Alabama out of the BCS title game. Things are lined up perfectly for the Crimson Tide, who will are ranked second in the BCS standings and will likely lock up their spot in the National Championship Game with a win in the 76th Iron Bowl at Auburn on Saturday afternoon. The Crimson Tide came up just short, 28-27, in th Iron Bowl last season, surrendering a 24-point lead at home. This year’s edition of the Alabama defense is not likely to repeat that letdown. The Tigers are yielding more points than they have scored overall but still managed to be bowl eligible.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS.
LINE: Alabama opened -21 and has been bet down slightly to -20.5.
ABOUT ALABAMA (10-1, 6-1 SEC): The Crimson Tide have spent the season shutting down everyone in their path, allowing an average of 8.4 points while leading the nation in both scoring and total defense. It came as a bit of a surprise last week when FCS school Georgia Southern rushed for 302 yards and scored a season-high 21 points against the Alabama defense. Trent Richardson made sure the Crimson Tide would not suffer an historic upset, padding his Heisman resume with 175 yards and three total touchdowns.
ABOUT AUBURN (7-4, 4-3): The Tigers have gotten crushed by the other top teams in the SEC this season, losing by a combined 128-31 to Arkansas, LSU and Georgia. Sophomore Clint Moseley has replaced junior Barrett Trotter at quarterback in the last four games and has had some success, throwing five touchdowns against two interceptions. His 167 yards in last week’s 35-16 win over Samford marked a career high.
* Under is 4-0-1 in the last five meetings.
* Home team is 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings.
* Crimson Tide are 1-5 ATS in their last six meetings.
1. Richardson broke the Alabama record with his 20th rushing touchdown last week. He is three behind Tim Tebow’s SEC mark.
2. Alabama’s seniors have won a school-record 46 games.
3. The visiting team has won eight of the last 12 Iron Bowls, and 19 of the last 23 meetings have been decided by 10 points or less.
PREDICTION: Alabama 28, Auburn 10. The Crimson Tide defense will not have a problem with Moseley and the Tigers offense.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Stanford (-7, 58.5)
THE STORY: Quarterback Andrew Luck tries to put a final stamp on his Heisman Trophy campaign when No. 5 Stanford hosts No. 24 Notre Dame on Saturday. Both teams are coming off closer-than-expected victories. Luck and the Cardinal kept their slim national championship hopes alive with a 31-28 victory over California last week, while the Fighting Irish extended their winning streak to four by edging Boston College 16-14.
LINE: The Cardinal opened as 6.5-point faves and have been bet up to a touchdown.
ABOUT NOTRE DAME (8-3): The Fighting Irish have been carried in recent weeks by their ground game, but they took a hit last week when the team's No. 2 rusher, Jonas Gray (791 yards, 12 touchdowns), was lost for the season because of a knee injury. Junior running back Cierre Wood, who has gained 1,001 yards on the ground and 175 more on 25 receptions, will be counted on to carry more of the load. Mistakes have plagued the Irish, who rank second-to-last nationally in turnover margin (minus-1.09).
ABOUT STANFORD (10-1): The Cardinal boast the nation's most touted NFL prospect in Luck (2,937 yards passing, 31 touchdowns), who ranks fifth among FBS quarterbacks in passing efficiency, but their offense is far from a one-man show. Stanford averages 209 yards on the ground, led by junior Stepfan Taylor (1,035 yards, eight touchdowns). An underrated defense holds up its end, ranking fifth in rushing defense (93.4 yards) and 24th in total defense (333.45). Senior linebackers Chase Thomas has 14.5 tackles for a loss.
* Fighting Irish are 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings in Stanford.
* Fighting Irish are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
* Road team is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
1. Notre Dame leads the series 17-8, but has lost the last two meetings, including 37-14 at home last season. The Irish are 6-5 all-time at Stanford Stadium.
2. Stanford has won 22 of its last 25 home games dating back to the end of the 2007 season, with all of the losses coming in conference play.
3. Notre Dame senior safety Harrison Smith and junior linebacker Manti Te'o enter the game with 299 career tackles apiece, tied for 10th on the school's all-time list.
PREDICTION: Stanford 37, Notre Dame 34 - Though both defenses are improved this season, the series has been dominated by offensive fireworks in recent years and that trend figures to continue Saturday.
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: