[B][I]*Saturday’s Week 11 NCAAF Top 25 betting cheat sheet and odds*[/I][/B]
*(15) Oklahoma State Cowboys at (23) Iowa State Cyclones (+6.5, 60.5)*
* The Cowboys rank second in the nation in points per game (45.2) and total touchdowns (53). Oklahoma State turned the ball over three times in Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma and has 19 turnovers on the season; only 12 Division I schools have more.
* Cyclones QB Kyle Kempt has racked up 1,108 passing yards with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions since taking over as the starter. Only six FBS programs average fewer penalty yards per game than Iowa State (35.7).
LINE HISTORY: The Cowboys opened this game at most books as 7-point road fave and has been bet down slightly to +6.5. The total hit the betting board at 62 and is available as low as 60.5.
* Cowboys are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS loss.
* Cyclones are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 home games.
* Cyclones are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 home games.
[B]*(24) NC State Wolfpack at Boston College Eagles (+3, 52)*[/B]
* The Wolfpack have turned the ball just minuscule six times through nine games; only Alabama has fewer turnovers among Division I schools. NC State QB Ryan Finley has thrown for multiple touchdowns just four times in nine starts.
* The Eagles have surrendered seven sacks on the season, sixth-fewest in the nation. RB AJ Dillon has erupted for 460 rushing yards and five touchdowns over his previous three games, all Boston College victories.
LINE HISTORY: Oddsmakers installed the Wolfpack as field goal road faves and the line has yet to move off that number. The total opened at 52 and was briefly bet up to 53 but has since returned to the opening number.
* Eagles are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
* Under is 9-1 in Wolfpack last 10 conference games.
* Under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
* Wolfpack are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 meetings in Boston College.
[B]*(16) Michigan State Spartans at (11) Ohio State Buckeyes (-17, 53.5)*[/B]
* The Spartans rank third in rushing defense (87 yards per game) and are one of only six Division I teams allowing fewer than three yards per carry. QB Brian Lewerke and RBs LJ Scott and Madre London have accounted for all 10 Michigan State rushing TDs.
* Buckeyes QB J.T. Barrett threw a career-high four interceptions in last week’s loss to Iowa; it was his first game with multiple INTs since last year’s Fiesta Bowl loss to Clemson. Ohio State averages 77.2 penalty yards per game, sixth-most in Division I.
LINE HISTORY: Ohio State hit the betting board as 16-point home chalk, money on the road team brought that line as low as -14.5 early in the week. Later in the week money started to come in on the home team and the line bounced back as high as -17, where it currently sits. The total opened at 55 and has been bet down to 53.5.
* Buckeyes are 1-6 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
* Over is 4-1 in Spartans last 5 road games.
* Over is 7-0 in Buckeyes last 7 conference games.
* Underdog is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
[B]*Rutgers Scarlet Knights at (13) Penn State Nittany Lions (-31, 52.5)*[/B]
* Scarlet Knights passers have completed just 52.4 percent of their attempts, good for 115th nationally. WR Jerome Washington (253) is the only Rutgers pass catcher with more than 170 yards through the air; no player has more than one receiving TD.
* Nittany Lions RB and Heisman Trophy candidate Saquon Barkley has exceeded 75 rushing yards just once in his last five games. Penn State’s plus-12 turnover margin for the season is the fourth-best rate in Division I.
LINE HISTORY: The Nittany Lions opened as massive 31-point home faves, that was briefly bet down to 30.5 before returning to the opening number. The total hit the board at 52.5 and was bet down slightly to an even 52.
* Scarlet Knights are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
* Nittany Lions are 1-9-2 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up loss.
* Over is 4-1 in Scarlet Knights last 5 games overall.
* Over is 6-1 in Nittany Lions last 7 games following a straight up loss.
[B]*Arkansas Razorbacks at (25) LSU Tigers (-17.5, 55)*[/B]
* The Razorbacks are allowing opponents to convert 46.2 percent of their third-down opportunities, ranking 117th among FBS teams. Arkansas has surrendered 28 sacks while generating just 12 of its own.
* Coming off a 276-yard breakout vs. Ole Miss, Tigers RB Derrius Guice settled for 71 rushing yards against Alabama and has reached triple digits just once in his last six games. LSU is one of eight Division I schools with 30 or more sacks.
LINE HISTORY: Oddsmakers opened the Tigers as 19-point home favorites and money on the road team has seen that number drop as low as -16.5, before settling at -17. The total opened at 55 and was briefly bet up as high as 56 before settling back to the opening number.
* Tigers are 1-5-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
* Over is 6-1 in Razorbacks last 7 games overall.
* Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Louisiana State.
* Razorbacks are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
*Connecticut Huskies at (12) Central Florida Knights (40.5, 64)*[/B]
* The Huskies rank last in the nation in passing yards against (3,407) and passing yards allowed per game (378.6). QB Bryant Shirreffs has thrown for a combined 335 yards in his past two games after surpassing the 300-yard mark in four of his previous five.
* The Knights complete better than 71 percent of their passes, behind only Oklahoma. UCF has been flagged an average of 8.75 times per game so far in 2017; only South Florida has been penalized more often.
LINE HISTORY: The Knights opened as 37 point home chalk and money on the home team drove that line as high as 41, before fading slightly to -40.5. The total hit the betting board at 64.5 and is down slightly to an even 64.
* Huskies are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS win.
* Knights are 6-0 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
* Under is 4-0 in Huskies last 4 games overall.
* Under is 5-1 in Knights last 6 games following a ATS loss.
[B]*(17) Virginia Tech Hokies at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (+3, 50)*[/B]
* The Hokies have limited opponents to a 24.8-percent conversion rate on third downs, fourth-best in the nation. Virginia Tech QB Josh Jackson hasn’t exceeded 200 passing yards in his previous three games.
* The Yellow Jackets average better than 34 1/2 minutes time of possession per game, the third-best rate in Division I. Georgia Tech incurs just 30.75 penalty yards per game, behind only Boston College among FBS teams.
LINE HISTORY: Virginia Tech opened this ACC Coastal division matchup as 2.5-point road chalk and money on the Hokies pushed that line to +3, where it currently sits. The total hit the betting board at 50 and briefly went up to 50.5 before returning to the opening number.
* Yellow Jackets are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 conference games.
* Under is 5-1 in Hokies last 6 games overall.
* Under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings.
* Underdog is 10-1 ATS in their last 11 meetings.
[B]*Iowa Hawkeyes at (3) Wisconsin Badgers (-12, 46)*[/B]
* Hawkeyes QB Nathan Stanley had five touchdown passes in last week’s win over Ohio State – equaling his output from the previous four games combined. Iowa has converted 74.3 percent of its red-zone trips into points, ranking 112th nationally.
* Badgers RB Jonathan Taylor has exceeded 180 yards rushing in three of his last five games, scoring five touchdowns over that span. Wisconsin boasts the country’s top third-down conversion rate at 53.5 percent.
LINE HISTORY: Oddsmakers opened the Badgers as 13-point home favorites and money on the road team brought that number down to 12. The total opened at 46 and has yet to move off the opening number.
* Hawkeyes are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Wisconsin.
* Road team is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
* Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Wisconsin.
* Under is 3-0-1 in the last 4 meetings.
*Florida State Seminoles at (4) Clemson Tigers (-16, 46)*[/B]
* The Seminoles have converted just 31.2 percent of their third-down opportunities so far in 2017, ranking 118th in Division I. The Florida State defense has surrendered an average of 3.13 sacks per game, more than all but nine FBS teams.
* Five different Tigers players have at least three rushing touchdowns on the season, led by QB Kelly Bryant with nine. Clemson ranks second in both total sacks (33) and sacks per game (3.67).
LINE HISTORY: Clemson opened this ACC showdown favored by 17.5 points at most books, money on FSU has brought that line down to -16. The total opened at 46, briefly went up to 46.5, before returning to 46.
* Seminoles are 0-6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
* Under is 7-1 in Seminoles last 8 games overall.
* Under is 5-1 in Tigers last 6 games overall.
* Seminoles are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 meetings in Clemson.
*(2) Georgia Bulldogs at (10) Auburn Tigers (+2.5, 47)*[/B]
* The Bulldogs boast the top red-zone offense in the nation, having scored on 35 of 36 trips inside the opponents’ 20-yard line (25 touchdowns, 10 field goals). RB Nick Chubb leads the SEC with 16 rushes of 15+ yards this season.
* The Tigers have thrown just three interceptions – only four Division I schools have fewer – but have surrendered an average of 2.67 sacks per game, ranking 100th nationally. Auburn’s 36.3 penalty yards per game are the 11th-fewest among FBS schools.
LINE HISTORY: The second-ranked Bulldogs opened this game at most books as 2-point road chalk and money coming in on Georgia has seen that line up slightly to +2.5. The total opened as 51.5 and money has been flooding in on the underdriving it down to 47 at most shops.
* Bulldogs are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 road games.
* Favorite is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
* Bulldogs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
* Under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
[B]*(22) Michigan Wolverines at Maryland Terrapins (+17, 45.5)*[/B]
* Wolverines RB Karan Higdon has erupted for 603 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in his last four games, with a pair of 200-yard efforts in that span. Michigan ranks third nationally in third-down conversion rate against (24.4 percent).
* Terrapins QB Max Bortenschlager (1,007 passing yards, 10 TDs, five INTs) is considered a game-time decision due to injury. RB Ty Johnson opened the season with three 100-yard rushing efforts in his first four games but hasn’t had one since.
LINE HISTORY: The Wolverines opened as 15.5 point road chalk and that wasn’t high enough as money came in on the road team pushing that number as high as 17 at most shops. The total opened at 46.5 and is down one point to 45.5.
* Wolverines are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
* Over is 10-2 in Wolverines last 12 road games.
* Over is 6-0 in Terrapins last 6 conference games.
[B]*(14) USC Trojans at Colorado Buffaloes (12.5, 64.5)*[/B]
* The Trojans have allowed opponents to score on just 70.3 percent of their red-zone visits, the fifth-best rate in Division I. RB Ronald Jones has rushed for 410 yards and five touchdowns over his past two games.
* Buffaloes RB Phillip Lindsay is tied for second in the Pac-12 in rushing scores (12) and ranks third in rushing yards per game (133.4). Colorado is surrendering 199.3 rushing yards per game, ranking outside the top 100 nationally.
LINE HISTORY: The Trojans opened this Pac-12 South showdown as 13.5-road faves and money coming in on the home team has brought that line down a full point to +12.5. The total hit the betting board at 60.5 and money rolling in on the over has pushed that number as high as 64.5, where it currently sits at most shops.
* Trojans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win.
* Over is 4-0 in Trojans last 4 games overall.
* Over is 4-1 in Buffaloes last 5 games overall.
* Home team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
[B]*(20) Washington State Cougars at Utah Utes (+1, 52)*[/B]
* Cougars QB Luke Falk threw for 300 yards and three TDs in last week’s win over Stanford, the first time he has reached the 300-yard/3-TD plateau in the same game since Sept. 23 vs. Nevada. Washington State ranks first in pass play percentage (68.8).
* The Utes led the Pac-12 with 43 sacks last season but have just 15 so far in 2017, tied for second-fewest in the conference. Utah has converted just 34.7 percent of its third downs, ranking 106th among FBS teams.
LINE HISTORY: Oddsmakers opened the Cougars as 1-point road chalk at most shops and that number has yet to move off the opening number. The total opened at 52 and like the spread has yet to move.
* Cougars are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
* Under is 6-1 in Cougars last 7 games overall.
* Under is 6-1 in Utes last 7 games following a ATS win.
* Cougars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
*(1) Alabama Crimson Tide at (18) Mississippi State Bulldogs (+13.5, 51)*[/B]
* The Crimson Tide have trailed for a two minutes, 23 seconds of the 540 minutes they have played this season. Alabama has forced a three-and-out on 44.6 percent of opponent drives in 2017; only Michigan has a higher success rate.
* The Bulldogs have seven interceptions in their past four games, with interception returns for a touchdown in each of their previous three contests. Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald has four straight 100-yard rushing games, with seven TDs in that span.
LINE HISTORY: The undefeated Crimson Tide opened as 14.5 road faves at most shops and money on the home team has brought that line down to 13. The total hit the betting board at 51 and is down slightly to 50.5.
* Bulldogs are 21-5 ATS in their last 26 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
* Under is 4-1 in Bulldogs last 5 conference games.
* Under is 8-0 in the last 8 meetings in Mississippi State.
* Under is 14-3-1 in the last 18 meetings.
*(9) TCU Horned Frogs at (7) Oklahoma Sooners (-6.5, 61.5)*[/B]
* The Horned Frogs have made good on 50 percent of their third-down opportunities, the sixth-best rate in the country. TCU RB Darius Anderson is averaging 6.0 YPC but hasn’t reached the 100-yard mark since Sept. 23 vs. Oklahoma State.
* Sooners QB Baker Mayfield has multiple touchdown passes in every game this season, and has amassed 1,008 passing yards in his previous two road outings. Oklahoma is the only team in the nation averaging better than 600 yards of offense per game.
LINE HISTORY: The Sooners opened as 7.5 home chalk and that number was too high for bettors and money came in on the road team bringing that line down to 6.5. The total opened at 62.5 and has been bet down a full point to 61.5.
* Horned Frogs are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
* Under is 5-0 in Horned Frogs last 5 games overall.
* Under is 5-1 in Sooners last 6 vs. a team with a winning record.
* Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Oklahoma.
* Horned Frogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Oklahoma.
* The Fighting Irish are one of seven FBS teams with a per-game turnover margin of 1.33 or better. Notre Dame QB Brandon Wimbush has accounted for three or more touchdowns in each of his previous four starts.
* The Hurricanes have converted just 31.3 percent of their third-down chances this season; only 12 Division I teams have been worse. Miami is tied for 10th nationally with 20 forced turnovers (seven recovered fumbles, 13 interceptions).
LINE HISTORY: Oddsmakers opened ‘The U’ as 3-point home dogs and that line briefly went up to +3.5 before returning to the opening number. The total hit the betting board at 57.5 and held for most of the week until dropping to 56.5 on Friday morning.
* Fighting Irish are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
* Hurricanes are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 vs. INDEP.
* Under is 6-0 in Hurricanes last 6 games overall.
[B][I]Temple keeps bowl hopes alive with a 35-24 win at Cincinnati
November 10, 2017[/I][/B]
CINCINNATI (AP) Temple was able to keep its bowl hopes alive and make its senior class the most successful in school history.
Junior Frank Nutile threw for one touchdown and ran for other, Isaiah Wright had a 98-yard kickoff return and Temple kept its bowl hopes alive with a 35-24 win over Cincinnati on Friday night.
”We would rather die out there than let our seniors down,” Nutile said.
With two games left, the Owls need one more victory to become bowl eligible. One more win and the senior class will be the best all-time.
”Our seniors are special. I’m lucky I got to be their coach,” first-year coach Geoff Collins said. ”They’ve gone through a lot with this program. A lot of them had to wait their turn.”
The Owls (5-5, 3-3 American) held off an inspired second-half effort by Cincinnati (3-7, 1-5) to get the win.
Hayden Moore threw a 29-yard pass to Thomas Geddis and Mike Boone had 28- and 21-yard runs on consecutive plays to make it a one score game with 7:40 left in the third quarter but Wright took the kickoff back 98 yards to separate the Owls from the Bearcats. Wright then threw a two-point conversion pass to Nutile on a trick play.
”For the first time I told the guys I’m disappointed with the way we coached; disappointed with the way we prepared the,” Cincinnati’s first-year coach Luke Fickell said. ”It is baffling to me. The defense can play really well in the first half and have really big stops in tough situations. The offense doesn’t move the ball in the first half. In the second half it completely flips. We have to find a way to break through some of this stuff.”
Nutile completed 19 of 30 passes for 224 yards.
”He studies film and works hard,” Collins said. ”You could see it on several key plays tonight. He is a great kid.”
David Hood’s one-yard run midway through the second quarter gave Temple a 13-0 halftime lead. Hood was Temple’s leading rusher with 89 yards on 19 carries.
Hood has spent most of the season backing up Ryquell Armstead.
”I look at myself as the No. 1 back every week,” Hood said. ”Our offense really came together tonight.”
Cincinnati had a 76-yard punt return called back for an illegal block in the back and fumbled to set up one of Aaron Bourmerhi’s two first half field goals.
Hayden Moore completed 20 of 36 passes for Cincinnati and was the leading rusher with 75 yards on 11 carries.
Temple: Ventell Bryant moved into eighth place on Temple’s all-time list for receptions with 117. His 62 yards r and yards receiving also put him eighth on the list with 1,721. . With the win, Temple’s seniors tied the team record of 31 wins by a class. … The Owls faced two triple option offenses in a row before coming to Cincinnati. Army rushed for 248 yards on Oct. 21 but they held Navy to 136. Cincinnati split the difference with 184 yards rushing.
Cincinnati: Luke Fickell and Geoff Collins are both in their first season as head coach. Both were on the defensive coaching staff at Alabama for the 2007 national championship season. . Cincinnati has lost nine of its last 10 AAC games.
Temple will host Central Florida at noon on Nov. 18. The undefeated Knights will be the final home opponent for the Owls, who need one more win to be bowl eligible.
Cincinnati will travel to East Carolina on Nov. 18 at a time to be determined. The Pirates and Bearcats are at the bottom of the AAC standing.
[B][I]Love’s 3 TDs lead Stanford past No. 9 Washington 30-22
November 10, 2017[/I][/B]
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Bryce Love ran for 166 yards and three touchdowns against the nation’s stingiest defense, leading Stanford to a 30-22 victory over No. 9 Washington on Friday night.
The Huskies (8-2, 6-2 Pac-12, No. 9 CFP) started fast with touchdown runs by Myles Gaskin on the first two drives but stalled after that in a crippling blow to their hopes of getting back to the four-team playoff.
The Cardinal (7-3, 6-2) bounced back from a loss at Washington State last week with a very balanced attack. K.J. Costello took advantage of opportunities downfield, completing 16 of 27 passes for a career-high 211 yards. Costello threw for just 105 yards in last week’s loss.
The result leaves Stanford and the Cougars in control of the Pac-12 North race. Washington State can clinch a spot in the conference title game with wins at Utah and Washington in the final two games. The Cardinal will go with a win next week against California and one loss by the Cougars.
Love also boosted his Heisman hopes after being held to 69 yards last week on a gimpy ankle that also forced him to miss one game. While he failed to extend his streak of games with a run of at least 50 yards to 11 games, he helped Stanford control the clock with a strong performance against a defense that came into the game ranked first in the nation in yards allowed and second in scoring defense. The Huskies had allowed only three TD runs all season before facing Love.
Washington: The Huskies used an up-tempo offense to drive 88 and 89 yards for touchdowns on their first two drives before getting stopped on a fourth-and-1 from the Stanford 19 on the third possession. Washington had only two first downs on the next five drives as the Cardinal adjusted and took control of the game. Gaskin, who ran for 120 yards, added his third TD with 4:22 left to tie Bishop Sankey’s school record with 37 career touchdown runs.
Stanford: The Cardinal trusted Costello more this week and he delivered with a pair of 39-yard passes to JJ Arcega-Whiteside in the first half for the two longest offensive plays of the season against the Huskies. Those set up a 2-yard TD run by Love and one of Jet Toner’s three field goals. Costello converted six third downs through the air on the night.
The Huskies will drop out of the top 10 next week while the Cardinal should get back into the poll.
Washington: Hosts Utah on Nov. 18.
Stanford: Hosts California on Nov. 18.
[B][I]Canada runs for 213 yards, 1 TD; BYU beats UNLV 31-21
November 10, 2017[/I][/B]
LAS VEGAS (AP) Squally Canada had a career-best 213 yards rushing and one of BYU’s season-high three rushing touchdowns to help the Cougars beat UNLV 31-21 on Friday night.
Canada, who had never topped the 100-yard plateau coming in, had a career-high 25 carries. Joe Critchlow, a freshman making his first career start, was 14-of-22 passing for 160 yards and one touchdown for BYU (3-8)
UNLV (4-6), pinned deep in its own territory, went 78 yards on 15 plays over seven-plus minutes before BYU’s Zayne Anderson intercepted a pass in a the end zone. Austin Kafentzis had a 20-yard run before Critchlow hit Micah Simon for a 30-yard gain and Aleva Hifo for a 19-yarder to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Brayden El-Bakri to open the scoring with 9:06 left in the first half.
Lexington Thomas capped a nine-play, 79-yard drive with a 1-yard scoring run to tie it nearly five minutes later, but Critchlow completed 5 of 7 passes for 50 yards – including an 11-yard scoring strike to Hifo – and had a 2-yard run on fourth-and-1 as BYU made it 14-7 with 27 seconds left in the half.
Canada ripped off a 54-yard run on the first play from scrimmage in the second half and, after two 6-yard runs by Kafentzis, made it 21-7 with a 2-yard touchdown run. After UNLV’s Johnny Stanton hit Brandon Presley for an 18-yard TD late in the third, Canada had four carries for 58 yards to set up Kafentzis’ 11-yard scoring run to make it 28-14 going into the fourth.
Stanton was 20-of-33 passing for 325 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for UNLV.
[B][I]ACC Report – Week 11
November 9, 2017[/I][/B]
[B]2017 ACC STANDINGS
Team SU Conference ATS Over/Under[/B]
Boston College 5-4 3-3 6-3 3-6
Clemson 8-1 6-1 4-4-1 3-6
Duke 4-5 1-5 4-4-1 2-7
Florida State 3-5 3-4 0-6-2 1-7
Georgia Tech 4-4 3-3 6-1-1 3-5
Louisville 5-4 2-4 2-7 6-3
Miami (Fla.) 8-0 6-0 4-4 1-7
North Carolina 1-8 0-6 2-7 4-5
North Carolina State 6-3 4-1 4-5 4-5
Pittsburgh 4-5 2-3 3-4-2 1-7-1
Syracuse 4-5 2-3 6-2-1 1-8
Virginia 6-3 3-2 5-4 4-5
Virginia Tech 7-2 3-2 5-4 2-6-1
Wake Forest 5-4 2-3 6-2-1 5-4
North Carolina at Pittsburgh (Thurs. – ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET)[/B]
The forgettable, injury-plagued season is almost over for the Tar Heels. They limp into Thursday’s game in the Steel City with a 1-5 ATS mark over their past six outings, and they’re 1-7 ATS across the past eight ACC bouts. Pittsburgh has been a little more impressive against the number, going 3-1-1 ATS in the past five overall. However, they’re still 8-20 ATS in the past 28 home games and 1-6 ATS in their past seven at home against teams with a losing road mark. The Panthers are nine-point favorites as of Thursday morning.
[B]North Carolina State at Boston College (ABC or ESPN2, 12:00 p.m. ET)[/B]
The Wolfpack hit the road looking to end their skid. In two weeks the Wolfpack have went from having playoff aspirations to a dejected bunch in just two weeks. They were manhandled at Notre Dame two weeks ago, and nearly rebounded in a home game with Clemson. However, they find themselves at 6-3 and with different goals now. Boston College has been quite a story, going from doormat of the ACC to bowl eligibility in a matter of just two seasons. The Eagles have rattled off three straight victories, including road wins at Louisville and Virginia, while embarrassing Florida State 35-3 in the Red Bandana Game last time out. The Eagles have posted six straight covers, but they find themselves as a field-goal underdog as of Thursday AM.
Duke at Army (CBS Sports Network, 12:00 p.m.)[/B]
Duke steps out of conference to face Army in West Point, and the Blue Devils are a two-point favorite. The Blue Devils are an impressive 5-1 SU over their past six bye weeks. At 4-5 SU and on a five-game losing streak, that’s a bit of a curious line considering the Black Knights are 7-2 SU, including 5-0 at home, and they’re coming off an impressive 21-0 win at Air Force. The Black Knights would love to run the ball at will, and they have actually had four game this season without a pass attempt. They’re 3-1 SU in those outings. Duke enters 13-10-1 in the series, including wins in nine of the past 11 meetings.
[B]Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (ACC Network, 12:20 p.m.)[/B]
The Hokies and Yellow Jackets do battle in Atlanta, and it’s a battle for a better bowl with the team likely out of the Coastal Division race. The Hokies enter the game just 2-5 ATS in their past seven road games, including a failure last week in Miami. Georgia Tech has been on fire against the number lately, including 6-0 ATS in their past six home games. They’re also 6-1-1 ATS in the past eight conference games, 6-1-1 ATS in their past eight against teams with a winning overall mark and 12-3-1 ATS in the past 16 games overall. The head-to-head trends in this series are one-sided, as the underdog is 10-1 ATS in the past 11 meetings, with the road team also going 10-1 ATS during the span. The Hokies are 5-1 ATS in their past six trips to Atlanta, with the under hitting in four of the past five at Ga. Tech. The under has cashed in five straight meetings overall.
[B]Wake Forest at Syracuse (ACC Network, 3:00 p.m.)
Wake heads to upstate New York trying to squeeze the Orange, but Syracuse enters as a slight home favorite. This game is vital to each team’s chances at bowl eligibility, with Wake 5-4 SU and ‘Cuse 4-5. More importantly, Wake Forest has posted an 8-2-1 ATS mark over their past 11 ACC games, and they’re 7-2-1 ATS in 10 games overall. They have also dominated on the road, going 9-3 ATS across their past 12 road tilts, and 3-1-1 ATS in the past five against teams with a losing overall mark. The Orange have been hot against the number, too, going 5-0-1 ATS in their past six league outings, and 6-0-1 ATS in the past seven overall. The favorite has hit in five stragiht, while the home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five in the series. The Demon Deacons are just 1-5 ATS across the past six in this series.
[B]Florida State at Clemson (ESPN, 3:30 p.m.)[/B]
Normally this would be a marquee matchup, and Clemson has held their end of the bargain up. The defending champs are 8-1 SU and poised for another playoff appearance. However, FSU has slipped to 3-5 SU and they’re an uncharacteristic 16-point underdog heading into this one. The public has bet it down from an opening line of 18, but that’s bold considering the fact the ‘Noles have yet to cover this season (0-6-2 ATS). The Seminoles are also 0-3-2 ATS in their past five against teams with a winning record, while the Tigers are 0-3-1 ATS in their past four league games and 2-8 ATS in their past 10 against teams with a losing record. Something’s gotta give here. FSU is 2-8 ATS in their past 10 trips to Death Valley, and that’s been with teams much, much better than this one. The over is 9-4 in the past 13 in this series, although the under is the overwhelming trend for both sides lately. The under is 7-1 in FSU’s past eight overall, and 20-7 in their past 27 league games. The under is 5-1 in Clemson’s past six, 4-0 in their past four at home and 5-1 in their past six inside the conference.
[B]Virginia at Louisville (ESPNU, 3:30 p.m.)[/B]
The Cavaliers head to Kentucky to battle the Wildcats, and while the Hoos enter with a better record (6-3 SU vs. 5-4 SU), they’re a double-digit underdog. The Cavs are 4-0 ATS in their past four agaisnt a team with a winning record, and 5-2 ATS in their past seven overall. Louisville has covered just once in the past five ACC battles, and 1-6 ATS in their past seven overall. And Louisville is just 0-7 ATS in the past seven at home, and 0-7 ATS in their past seven against teams with a winning overall record, too. Total bettors might like the over instead. While the under is 12-5-1 in the past 18 road games, and 20-9-1 in the past 30 for UVA, the over is 4-1 in the past five for Virginia against a team with a winning overall mark. The over is 4-1 in the past five for the Cardinals, and 5-1 in the past six ACC bouts.
[B]Notre Dame at Miami-Florida (ABC, 8:00 p.m.)[/B]
The marquee game of the day, not only in the ACC, but in all of college football, takes place in South Florida. It’s like taking a time machine back to the 1980’s or 1990’s, as Catholics vs. Convicts has been trending again on social media and pre-game talk. But it’s a long time since Miami was considered the bad boys of football, and they’re running a very clean program under Mark Richt. But they’re also reminding fans of the days when the Hurricanes were a dominant force on the recruiting trail, as well as the field. Notre Dame has also awakened the echoes, and this game is basically a de facto battle for a spot in the College Football Playoff. A loss is devastating, especially for the Irish, while a signature win strengthens an already strong resume.
The Irish are an impressive 6-1 ATS in the past sevenoverall, and 4-1 ATS in their past five road games, while Miami is 7-0 ATS in their past seven games in the month of November, and 5-2 ATS in their past seven outside of the conference. The Canes are also 5-2 ATS in their past seven agaisnt teams with a winning record. However, they have failed to cover in six straight against independents. The over is 8-3 ATS in the past 11 overall for Notre Dame, and 12-5 ATS in the past 17 road games. For Miami, it’s the opposite, with the under 6-0 in the past six overall and 5-1 in their past six at home.
[B][I]Big 12 Report – Week 11
November 9, 2017[/I][/B]
2017 BIG 12 STANDINGS
Team SU Conference ATS Over/Under[/B]
Baylor 1-8 1-5 4-5 4-5
Iowa State 6-3 4-2 7-1-1 3-6
Kansas 1-8 0-6 2-7 5-4
Kansas State 5-4 3-3 4-4-1 5-4
Oklahoma 8-1 5-1 5-4 6-3
Oklahoma State 7-2 4-2 5-4 6-3
Texas 4-5 3-3 6-2-1 2-7
Texas Christian 8-1 5-1 5-4 2-7
Texas Tech 4-5 1-5 5-4 4-5
West Virginia 6-3 4-2 4-4-1 6-2-1
Oklahoma State at Iowa State (ABC or ESPN2, 12:00 p.m. ET)[/B]
The Cowboys are coming off a bitter loss to their rivals in ‘Bedlam’, while Iowa State came up just short in a road trip to West Virginia. Each team is on the rebound, looking to keep their hopes alive for a big bowl game. The Cowboys have covered just twice in their past seven conference outings, while Oklahoma State is 7-3 ATS in the past 10 road games. Iowa State is an impressive 4-0-1 ATS over the past five overall, while going 4-0-1 ATS in their past five against winning teams and 11-2 ATS in the past 13 games on a grass surface. They have also covered nine of their past 11 in Ames. While the favorite is 9-3 ATS in the past 12 meetings, the home team is 8-3 ATS in the past 11 in this series. OK State enters as a 6 1/2-point road favorite as of Thursday morning.
[B]Texas Tech at Baylor (No National TV, 12:00 p.m.)[/B]
The Red Raiders head to Waco to battle the Bears, looking to keep their bowl eligiblity alive and well. A loss and they still have a chance at a bowl, but it’s awfully difficult. They head to Baylor as a 7 1/2-point favorite as of Thursday morning. The Red Raiders are 0-4 ATS in the past four conference games, and they’re 5-12 ATS in the past 17 neutral-site games. This game will be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The Bears are 5-2 ATS in their past seven conference battles, but they’re 2-8 ATS in the past 10 against losing teams. Texas Tech enters 6-2-1 ATS in the past nine trips to Baylor, and that’s against much better Bears teams. The over is 7-0 in the past seven meetings in this series.
[B]West Virginia at Kansas State (ESPN2, 3:30 p.m. ET)[/B]
The Mountaineers head to Manhattan looking to take down the Wildcats and keep their hopes alive for a primetime Big 12 bowl bid. It won’t be easy, and Vegas has Dana Holgorsen’s bunch as slight ‘dogs on the road. West Virginia is just 1-4 ATS in their past five on the road, and 6-15-1 ATS in their past 22 against teams with a winning overall mark. K-State has posted a 4-1-1 ATS in their past six following a straight-up win, but they’re just 2-7 ATS in the past nine after a cover. The under has hit in five straight in the series, while the underdog is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. West Virginia is also 0-5 ATS in the past five meetings with Kansas State.
Kansas at Texas (Longhorn Network, 6:00 p.m. ET)[/B]
The Jayhawks search for their first win of the season against an FBS opponent, and they’re coming off a loss against previously winless Baylor at home last week. Texas suffered an embarrassing 24-21 overtime setback to Kansas last season, the final nail in Charlie Strong’s coffin. The Jayhawks are just 1-4 ATS in their past five conference battles, and 1-4 ATS in their past five overall. They’re also 15-35-1 ATS in the past 51 road games, while the Longhorns are 6-1-1 ATS in the past eight overall, and 3-0-1 AST in the past four home games and 4-1-1 ATS in their past six conference tilts. In this series, Kansas is 1-6 ATS in their past seven trips to Texas, and 4-10 ATS in the past 14 meetings overall. The under is 5-1 in the past six meetings. The under is also 4-0 in the past four for Kansas, 19-7 in their past 26 conference games, while going 38-16 in the past 54 overall for Texas, and 5-1 in their past six against teams with a losing record.
Texas Christian at Oklahoma (FOX, 8:00 p.m. ET)[/B]
While everyone is talking about Notre Dame-Miami, the battle between TCU and Oklahoma has huge playoff ramifications as well. The winner keeps hope alive, while the loser is effectively eliminated from national championship contention. Vegas feels the Heisman hopeful Baker Mayfield and the Sooners will trudge on, favored by a touchdown at most shops. TCU is 5-1 ATS in the past six road games, while going 5-0 ATS in the past five road games against a team with a winning home record. Oklahoma is 9-1 ATS in the past 10 against teams with a winning record, and 8-1 ATS in the past nine home games. TCU is 4-1 ATS in the past five trips to Norman, while the road team is also 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 4-0 in the past four in Oklahoma, too, and 5-2 in the past seven battles overall.
[B][I]Pac-12 Report – Week 11
November 9, 2017[/I][/B]
[B]2017 PAC-12 STANDINGS
Team SU Conference ATS Over/Under[/B]
Arizona 6-3 4-2 5-4 7-2
Arizona State 5-4 4-2 5-4 3-6
California 5-5 2-5 6-4 5-5
Colorado 5-5 2-5 3-7 5-5
Oregon 5-5 2-5 4-6 4-6
Oregon State 1-8 0-6 3-6 6-3
Southern California 8-2 6-1 3-7 6-4
Stanford 6-3 5-2 3-5-1 3-6
UCLA 4-5 2-4 2-7 7-2
Utah 5-4 2-4 6-2-1 4-5
Washington 8-1 5-1 6-3 3-6
Washington State 8-2 5-2 6-4 3-7
[B]Washington at Stanford (Fri. – FOX Sports 1, 10:30 p.m. ET)[/B]
The Huskies look to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive with a trip to ‘The Farm’ on Friday night. Washington thumped Oregon by a 38-3 score last weekend, winning and covering for the second straight game after their stunning 13-7 loss at Arizona State back on Oct. 14. The Huskies are an impressive 7-1 ATS in the past eight conference games while going 5-0 ATS in their past five against teams with a winning overall mark. For Stanford, head coach David Shaw hasn’t had many losing streaks, and he has his Cardinal prepared after a loss the week before. The Cardinal are 12-3 ATS in their past 15 following a straight-up loss, but they’re just 2-5 ATS in their past seven at home, 1-3-1 ATS in the past five overall and 2-6-1 ATS in the past nine against teams with a winning overall mark. Washington is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings, but the home team is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings. The under has hit in nine of the past 13 in this series, while going 8-1-1 in Washington’s past 10 conference games and 5-0 in Stanford’s past five in the league.
Southern California at Colorado (FOX, 4:00 p.m. ET)[/B]
USC hits the road for Colorado looking to stay firmly in control of the Pac-12 South. Colorado, in the basement currently, would love nothing more than to throw a monkey wrench into the picture. The Trojans had a strong showing against Arizona last weekend, and they’re 6-0 ATS in their past six games in the month of November. They’re also 6-2 ATS in their past eight following a cover, although they’re just 2-6 ATS in the past eight overall and 1-4 ATS in their past five road tilts. For Colorado, they haven’t been much better against the number. The Buffs are 1-4 ATS in their past five league games, 1-4 ATS in their past five home games and 0-4 ATS in their past four games against a team with a winning overall mark. The home team has covered four of the past five in this series.
Washington State at Utah (Pac-12 Network, 5:30 p.m. ET)[/B]
The Cougars face a stiff test heading to Rice-Eccles in Salt Lake City, never an easy place to play. Utah snapped a four-game skid last weekend against a Josh Rosen-less UCLA side. A visit from Luke Falk and the high-octane Wazzu offense will be a stern test. The Cougars are 4-1 ATS in their past five agaisnt teams with a winning record, and 6-2 ATS in their past eight overall. But Washington State hasn’t been good on the road, going just 1-5 ATS in their past six away from the Palouse. Utah is 5-0-1 ATS in the past six against teams with a winning overall record, while the Utes are 3-1-1 ATS in the past five home outings. The Utes are also 7-3-1 ATS in their past 11 league games. Total bettors might like the under in this one. The under is 6-1 in Washington State’s past seven overall, 5-1 in the past six league games and 4-1 in their past five against winning teams. The under is 5-2 in Utah’s past seven at home, and 19-8-1 in the past 28 against teams with a winning record.
[B]Arizona State at UCLA (Pac-12 Network, 9:30 p.m. ET)[/B]
The Sun Devils look to keep it going in the right direction against the skidding Bruins. While they took it on the chin at home against USC two weeks ago, they have won three of the past four, including a 13-7 victory against Washington and a solid 41-30 showing against Colorado last weekend. The Sun Devils have covered five of their past six outings. However, Sparky has had trouble on the road, going a dismal 5-12 ATS in the past 17 on the road. UCLA heads into this one with just one cover over their past seven games, and they’re 1-7 ATS in the past eight league outings. UCLA is 1-4 ATS in the past five against teams with a winning record, too. The toad team has hit in four of the past five, but Arizona State is 2-5 ATS in the past seven trips to UCLA.
Oregon State at Arizona (ESPN2, 10:00 p.m. ET)[/B]
Oregon State hits the road for the desert with nothing but pride on the line, as they have been eliminated from bowl contention already. The Wildcats were tripped up at USC last weekend, pumping the brakes on their ascension. Arizona enters as a 22-point favorite as of Thursday morning. The Beavers are just 1-4 ATS in their past five games overall, but they are 7-3 ATS in the past 10 against teams with a winning overall record and 10-4 ATS in the past 14 league games. The Wildcats are 7-16 ATS in their past 23 games overall, and 4-10 ATS in the past 14 league outings. They’re also 1-5 ATS in the past six games in November, including last weekend’s non-cover against the Trojans. Oregon State is 6-1 ATS in the past seven trips to Arizona, and they’re 13-3 ATS in the past 16 meetings. The underdog is also 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings in this series.
[B]Iowa at Wisconsin (-12) – (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET)[/B]
Wow. Sure Iowa caught Ohio State in a great spot for a letdown coming off their big PSU comeback win, but 55-24? Nobody saw that coming. Entering last week’s game, the Hawkeye offense had topped 19 points only once in their previous 5 conference games. The only team they looked good offensively against was Illinois who is the worst team in the Big Ten. Take that game out and Iowa had averaged just 14 PPG. That’s 56 points in four conference games for Iowa (vs Northwestern, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Penn State) and 100 in the other two (Ohio State and Illinois)! After getting outgained in each of their first four Big Ten games, the Hawks have now outgained Minnesota (by 34 yards) and Ohio State (by 116 yards) on back to back weeks. This offense was as balanced as they could possibly be last week rushing for 243 yards and passing for 244 yards. That was vs an OSU defense that held a very potent PSU team to 283 total yards and just 91 yards rushing a week earlier.
Iowa QB Nate Stanley is slowing turning into one of the Big Ten’s best. He led the way last Saturday with 5 TD passes and no interceptions. On the season, Stanley, a sophomore, now has 23 TD’s and just 4 interceptions. Their rushing attack was averaging 3.6 YPC in league play coming into the game and ripped the OSU defense for 6.4 YPC on Saturday. It’s not like the Buckeyes did nothing offensively. They had 371 total yards and averaged 5.8 YPP. Four OSU turnovers, however, turned into 17 Iowa points and one interception was in the endzone taking points away from the Bucks.
Wisconsin looked a bit vulnerable last week as we felt they might. The Badgers got down 10-0 in the game before outscoring Indiana 45-7 the rest of the way. As per usual Wisconsin dominated the ground game 237 to 40 which led to a 2 to 1 time of possession edge. Freshman RB Jonathan Taylor came back strong after sitting out the 2nd half of the Illinois game with a leg injury. Taylor ran for 45 yards on the Badgers first play from scrimmage and racked up 183 yards rushing for the game. We’ve mentioned it before but this offense is completely different with Taylor in the game. The concern is his durability moving forward. He is a true freshman and he’s already carried the ball 190 times on the season which is the most in the Big Ten.
After allowing 146 yards and 10 points on IU’s first three drives of the game, the UW defense locked in. After that, they gave up just 120 total yards and 7 points on the Hoosiers final 10 offensive possessions. The Badger defense has held every opponent but one to 17 points or less and in the one game they didn’t, vs Northwestern, the Cats scored 2 TD’s in the final 4:46 of the game to get to 24. Wisconsin definitely has some injury concerns heading into this game as their top WR Quintez Cephus is out and could be for awhile with a leg injury. They’ll also be missing starting LB Chris Orr as both were injured last week.
[B]INSIDE THE NUMBERS[/B] – Wisconsin topped Iowa 17-9 on the road last year and outgained the Hawks 423 to 236. That was the 4th win in the last 5 meetings for the Badgers with their only loss during that stretch coming in 2015 by a final score of 10-6. The road team has covered 8 of the last 10 in this intense rivalry. This current number of Wisconsin -13 is quite high for this series. In fact, the last time either of these teams were favored by double digits in this match up was back in 2000. This series has been a low scoring, defensive battle for the most part as only 6 of the last 34 meetings have topped 50 points. The Hawkeyes have been a double digit underdog twice this year and covered both easily beating OSU outright as a 21 point dog and nearly upsetting PSU as a 13 point dog. That makes Iowa and impressive 15-4-1 ATS the last 20 times they’ve been an underdog of 10 points or more
[B]Michigan State at Ohio State (-15.5) – (FOX, 12:00 p.m. ET)[/B]
MSU pulled the big upset at home last week topping Penn State to keep their fate in their own hands when it comes to the Big Ten East title. Sparty kicked the game winning field goal as time ran out and topped the Nittany Lions 27-24. The game was interrupted by a 3 hour and 22 minute lightning delay as the contest took 7 hours from start to finish. That win sets up the Spartans huge showdown with OSU this week as both teams control their own destiny in the Big Ten East. MSU’s rush defense continues to be a brick wall holding a very good Penn State rushing attack to just 65 yards. They continue to lead the Big Ten in rush defense allowing just 87 YPG on 2.9 YPC. The only conference game in which they allowed more than 100 rushing yards was vs Michigan and the Wolverines tallied just 102 on the ground in that game.
This week’s match up at Ohio State will be an interesting one to say the least with the old cliché “unstoppable force vs immovable object” coming into play. That’s because OSU’s running game leads the Big Ten averaging 5.9 YPC. If MSU’s defense has trouble slowing down the Buckeyes, can the Spartan offense keep up? MSU is 11th in the league in scoring at just 24 PPG, a full 20 points below Ohio State. Last Saturday was just the 2nd time in the last 7 games the Spartans were able to top 18 points (in regulation). If QB Brian Lewerke keeps up his stellar play, they may just be able to. Lewerke has thrown for 845 yards and 6 TD’s in his last two games alone.
What can we say about Ohio State? They were obviously flat last week after coming from behind to beat Penn State a week earlier. It was a game OSU had circled for a year and they weren’t ready for what was about to hit them last week. QB JT Barrett who had been fantastic this season throwing for 25 TD’s and only 1 interception coming into the game, probably took himself out of Heisman consideration with his 4 interception performance last Saturday. The 55-24 loss in Iowa City was the worst setback in Urban Meyer’s career.
The defense which has been stellar for most of the season was shredded for nearly 500 yards by an Iowa offense that was struggling coming into the game. After allowing only 7 offensive TD’s in their previous 4 games, the Buckeye defense gave up 6 offensive TD’s to Iowa last Saturday. That was a Hawkeye offense that put up only 12 offensive TD’s in their first 5 Big Ten games. Despite that terrible outing, OSU remains the top team in the conference in yards per play differential at +2.5 (7.2 YPP offensively and 4.7 YPP defensively). The also lead the league by a wide margin in YPG differential at +226 with no other team topping +171. They key moving forward will be trying to figure out OSU’s mental state. Will they bounce back and play at a high level after their embarrassing performance or will they take the “I don’t care” mentality now that they have basically been eliminated from the College Football Playoff?
INSIDE THE NUMBERS[/B] – MSU has been very competitive in this series as of late winning 3 of the last 6 meetings with their 3 losses coming by a combined 14 points. Last year OSU was a 20 point road favorite in this match up and squeaked out a 17-16 win. Dating back to 1980, the Spartans are 34-23 ATS as a double digit underdog. As an underdog of any number, MSU is an impressive 18-4-1 ATS their last 23. Since 1981, the Buckeyes are 1-9 ATS in this series when a favorite of 10 points or higher.
[B]Purdue at Northwestern (-4.5) – (ESPN2, 7:00 p.m. ET)[/B]
The Boilers cracked their 3 game losing streak with a 29-10 win last Saturday over Illinois. After winning 3 of their first 5 games to start the season, Purdue dropped 3 straight tight games coming into this game which made this one a must win if they have any hopes of going to a bowl game. Purdue has been much more competitive overall this season under first year head coach Jeff Brohm with 4 of their 5 losses being one score games and coming by a combined 18 points. The Boilermakers put together a balanced attack in their win over Illinois with 236 yards rushing and 209 yards rushing. After scoring only 45 combined points their previous 3 games the offense put 29 on the board and outgained the Illini by 185 yards.
Starting QB David Blough put together a solid game before a serious leg injury early in the 4th quarter ended his season. That means Elijah Sindelar takes over under center and while he has played sparingly the last two games, he was in a rotation with Blough for much of the season. Sindelar has thrown for just under 1,000 yards and has 7 TD passes on the season. The Purdue defense continues to impress allowing just 19 PPG on the season (5th in the Big Ten) after allowing more than 30 PPG in each of their previous 5 seasons.
After starting the conference with an 0-2 record, the Cats have won 4 straight with their last three all coming in OT! Last week they traveled to Nebraska as 2 point favorites and topped the Huskers 31-24 in overtime. They have now beaten Iowa, MSU, and Nebraska all in overtime on consecutive Saturdays. The Cats dominated last Saturday’s game in the stat sheet outgaining Nebraska by 138 yards which included a 232 to 112 edge on the ground. After struggling for much of the early season, the NW offense has now topped 400 yards in 3 of their last 4 games including their 475 yard performance last Saturday.
The Cats are now one of just five Big Ten teams averaging over 400 YPG offensively. In their game vs Nebraska they were able to win the game and rack up nearly 500 yards despite going just 1 for 11 on 3rd downs. That has been one downside to this offense for much of the season as they rank near the bottom of the Big Ten in 3rd down conversion rated at just 34%. Their win over Nebraska made them bowl eligible for the third straight season.
[B]INSIDE THE NUMBERS[/B] – Last year Northwestern traveled to West Lafayette as a 13 point favorite and rolled over the Boilers 45-17 putting up over 600 total yards in the process. Purdue has been a big time money maker on the road as of late covering 15 of their last 19 games away from home. This will be the 3rd straight year Northwestern is favored in this Big Ten battle, however from 1980 – 2014, the Cats were favored only 5 times vs Purdue. Northwestern is 10-3 ATS the last 13 times they’ve been a favorite of less than a TD.
Nebraska at Minnesota (-2.5) – (FS1, 12:00 p.m. ET) [/B]
The Huskers continue to play out their rudderless season with a home loss in OT to Northwestern last Saturday. After the Nebraska brass let go of their AD a few weeks ago, head coach Mike Riley need a miracle to stay on board after this season and the Huskers have now lost 3 of their last 4 games. Last week’s 31-24 loss in OT looked close on the scoreboard but the Huskers were outgained for the 3rd time in 4 weeks as Northwestern tallied 475 yards to just 337 for Nebraska. Starting QB Tanner Lee, who seemed to have things moving in the right direction after a terrible start to the season, threw 3 interceptions. Lee had thrown just 1 pick in his previous 4 games.
The offense isn’t the only side of the ball with issues. Nebraska currently rank 13th in the Big Ten in total defense allowing over 400 YPG. In their defense, they’ve been shredded for 466, 475, and 633 yards vs Wisconsin, Northwestern, and Ohio State who are all in the top 4 in the league in total offense. Against lower tier offensive teams (Purdue, Rutgers, and Illinois) they’ve done much better holding those three opponents to an average of 252 yards per game. This week they play a Minnesota offense that ranks 12th overall in the Big Ten. Expect a better showing from the defense this weekend.
The Gophs only Big Ten win was a tight 24-17 game vs the worst team in the Big Ten (Illinois). Last Saturday they went on the road for the 2nd straight Saturday and were not competitive losing 33-10 at Michigan. The Minnesota defense, which had been playing fairly well, made a struggling Michigan offense look like a juggernaut. The Wolverines simply pounded it down their throats with 371 yards rushing (on a whopping 10 YPC) while completing only 8 passes the entire game. The Minnesota run defense should find it a bit easier this weekend vs a Nebraska team that has been outrushed by 757 yards over their last 4 games (an average of 190 YPG).
Forget about the defense, if Minnesota doesn’t start finding a way to put some points on the board, they’ll continue to lose. They’ve scored fewer offensive TD’s this season than everyone in the Big Ten not named Illinois. Their rushing attack is solid, but they have ZERO passing game right now. Since PJ Fleck switched to Demry Croft as his starting QB they have completed a TOTAL of 19 passes in 3 games. In his three starts Croft is 19 for 56 (34%) with 1 TD and 3 interceptions. Conor Rhoda was the starter before the change and he has not seen the field since.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS [/B]– Last year Nebraska scored the game winning TD with 7:00 remaining and held on for a 24-17 home win over the Gophers. The Huskers have actually been better on the road this year where they are 2-1 with wins over Purdue & Illinois to go along with a 7-point loss at Oregon. Minny is just 3-11 ATS their last 14 games at home as a favorite (1-3 ATS this year). This hasn’t really been a close series. Since Nebraska joined the Big Ten, these two have met 6 times with the average margin of victory being 16 points.
[B]Rutgers at Penn State (-31) – (Big Ten, 12:00 p.m. ET)[/B]
Rutgers has already doubled their win total from last year as they sit with a 4-5 record after their home win vs Maryland last week. That win also put them at 3-3 in league play which is not bad for a team that won a grand total of ONE Big Ten game the last two years combined. While the record looks solid, let’s also keep in mind that Rutgers, while winning a few games, is getting beat basically every week on the stat sheet. They have been outgained in every game this year with the exception of Morgan State. That includes last week when they topped Maryland 31-24. The Knights scored with 7:30 remaining to take the 31 -24 lead and the Terp offense was put in a very tough spot for their final drive of the game when starting QB Max Bortenschlager who was dinged on the previous possession couldn’t return. His absence meant 4th stringer Ryan Brand, a walk on transfer from Air Force, had to lead Maryland on their final drive. Brand actually gave them a chance pushing it to the Rutgers 15 yard line before turning the ball over on downs. While they have improved, let’s put it in perspective. Rutgers ranks last in the Big Ten in total offense and near the bottom in total defense. They have won 3 conference games but been outgained by 1,121 yards in those 6 games (a deficit of 186 YPG)! They are also 31 point underdogs to a team that sits just one spot ahead of them in the standings!
How quickly things can change over a few weeks in college football. PSU is a prime example. Two weeks ago they had visions of the College Football Playoff dancing in their heads and now they are completely out of that discussion and have pretty much eliminated themselves from the Big Ten East race. Last week’s 27-24 road loss dropped the Lions to 4-2 in conference play with losses to both teams that sit ahead of them in the standings (Michigan State & Ohio State). After blowing a 15-point fourth quarter lead a week earlier at Ohio State, last week’s result in East Lansing was not surprising. That was a very tough spot for PSU to bounce back and play well. All American RB Saquon Barkley was shut down for the 2nd straight week. After rushing for just 44 yards on 21 carries at OSU the Spartans held Barkley to only 63 yards on the ground last week. Barkley only touched the ball 17 times the entire game with 14 rushes and 3 receptions. How that happens with a player that talented is beyond us. A definite mistake in our opinion by head coach James Franklin and company. We’ll make a prediction that Barkley sees the ball A LOT this weekend after that situation. Add that to the fact that Rutgers is 13th in the conference in rush defense allowing 190 YPG and we could step in and come up with a great gameplan in this one. What will PSU’s mental state be in this one and moving forward will probably be the key to their ATS success or failure.
[B]INSIDE THE NUMBERS[/B] – PSU has won all 3 meetings since Rutgers joined the Big Ten by margins of 39, 25, and 3 points. Rutgers as covered 6 of their last 7 games and they are 7-2 ATS this season. Penn State was 15-1-1 ATS their previous 17 games before their ATS loss at Michigan State last Saturday. The Nittany Lions are 8-0-1 their last 9 home games and have topped the spread by a combined 165 points or 20 PPG above and beyond the number. Before Rutgers started making their bettors some money this year with a 7-2 ATS mark, they were 5-13 ATS their previous 18 games coming into this year.
[B]Michigan (-16.5) at Maryland – (Big Ten, 3:30 p.m. ET)[/B]
Could the Maryland Terrapins have any more bad luck when it comes to the QB position? After losing their starter (Pigrome) and back up (Hill) early in the season, now current starter and 3rd stringer Max Bortenschlager could be on the shelf this weekend. Head coach DJ Durkin said it will be a game time decision for Bortenschlager and was very vague on what the injury actually was. Those in the know feel it was a possible concussion although he may have a shoulder problem as well. If he can’t go, walk on Ryan Brand, a transfer from Air Force, will get the nod. Brand was thrust into action late in the 4th quarter last week and nearly led the Terps to a game tying TD on their final drive at Rutgers. He drove the team 63 yards in 17 plays but was stopped on downs inside the Rutgers 20 yard line in a 31-24 loss. Brand is not known as a proficient passer so the Terps will have to rely heavily on the run in this game. That could be a problem as Michigan allows only 3 YPC and held Minnesota to 90 yards on 44 carries in last week’s blowout win.
The Wolverines looks like they’ve turned the corner offensively the last few games which bad news for a Maryland defense that ranks dead last in the Big Ten in total defense (433 YPG). They allowed Rutgers to put up 346 yards last week and while that may not seem like much, the Scarlet Knights have only topped 300 yards one other time in conference play.
The Michigan offense seems to have gotten a shot in the arm with the insertion of new starting QB Brandon Peters. He entered the game in the 2nd quarter of the Rutgers game for the first time this season and proceeded to lead Michigan to score 4 TD’s on their next 5 possession with their only non-scoring drive ending in a missed FG. Peters got his first start last weekend vs Minnesota and led the Wolves to 33 points and 427 yards in their 33-10 win. He has now led Michigan on 18 offensive possessions and they have scored TD’s on half of those (9) which is a huge step up from their previous production. Peters hasn’t done much through the air completing just 18 passes in his two games but the offense obviously has responded to him as their starter.
Staying on the QB theme, starter Wilton Speight, who has been out since late September with a back injury, has started throwing again. There is no time table as to when he might be able to return to game action if at all this season. The Maryland offense has put up 66 points in their last 2 games but you can bet they will be slowed dramatically here vs a Michigan defense that has allowed more than 20 points only once the entire season (PSU).
[B]INSIDE THE NUMBERS[/B] – Michigan crushed Maryland in Ann Arbor last year by a final of 59-3 outgaining the Terps by almost 300 yards. Maryland has been an underdog in every Big Ten game this year with a spread mark of 2-4 ATS. The Terps are just 5-14 ATS the last 19 times they’ve been an underdog in conference play. Michigan has been a road favorite of 2 TD’s or more 12 times since 1997. They are 4-8 ATS in those games.
[B]Indiana (-8) at Illinois – (Big Ten, 12:00 p.m. ET)[/B]
Indiana remained winless in the Big Ten with a 45-17 home setback at the hands of undefeated Wisconsin last Saturday. We still believe the Hoosiers are better than their 0-6 conference mark as they have played the toughest schedule of anyone in Big Ten play. Five of IU’s six conference losses came at the hands of Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State, and Michigan. Their other Big Ten loss was a 3-point setback at Maryland, a game in which they outgained the Terps by 140 yards. Starting QB Peyton Ramsey sat out last week’s game vs Wisconsin and former starter Richard Lagow took over. Lagow is the better passer, however Ramsey gives the Hoosiers a mobile QB who can throw but also beat opponents with his legs of needed. Lagow and IU looked good on offense their first 3 drives putting up 10 points but were held to just 120 total yards after that. Ramsey is questionable again this Saturday with a knee injury.
The Indiana defense had been playing very well as they had not allowed an opponent to top 400 yards of offense since their season opener vs Ohio State. Wisconsin shredded the Hoosier defense for 407 yards including 237 on the ground. Now IU gets a shot at their first win of the year vs the Big Ten’s worst team. A big step down from who they have been facing off against so far in league play.
Illinois continues to get rolled week in and week out and that continued last Saturday with a 29-10 loss at Purdue. It was the sixth time this season the Illini have been beaten by double digits. Their only loss that was not by 10 or more was a 24-17 setback at Minnesota. It was also the fifth time in their six Big Ten games the offense had been held to 17 points or less. They are averaging just 16 PPG on the season which is last in the conference by a full 6 PPG (Rutgers is 13th at 22 PPG). Illinois was solid for a half last week as they trailed Purdue just 13-10 at the break. They went scoreless in the 2nd half and Purdue went on to the easy win. Freshman Cam Thomas got his second straight start at QB and played OK in the first half leading Illinois to 10 points on their 5 offensive possessions. He was 10 for 20 overall with 159 yards. That’s fantastic compared to what he did in the previous two games completing a grand total of 4 passes with 3 interceptions. Their young offensive line with 4 freshmen starters continues to have problems allowing 5 sacks and 9 TFL’s in the game. The defense played well in the first half but ran out of gas with Purdue racking up 255 yards in the 2nd half.
[B]INSIDE THE NUMBERS [/B]- This may seem like a meaningless match up between two winless Big Ten teams. However, It is a big rivalry as these two are separated by just 170 miles. This is just the 6th time since 2000 that Indiana has been a Big Ten road favorite (2-4 ATS). The Hoosiers have been a road favorite of 7 or more 19 times since 1987 and they are 13-6 ATS in those games. Illinois is just 1-8 ATS the last 9 times they’ve been a home underdog in conference play.
[B][I]SEC Report – Week 11
November 10, 2017[/I][/B]
Auburn is technically alive for everything despite two defeats. This is evident by its 45/1 odds to win the College Football Playoff at most betting shops. Think about it: If Auburn beats Georgia and Alabama, it would win the West and get a rematch with UGA in Atlanta. If the Tigers could top UGA a second time, they would be SEC champions with a pair of wins over Georgia (currently ranked No. 1 in the CFP rankings) and a win over Alabama (currently No. 2 in the CFP rankings).
Now I’m not implying – by any stretch – that those three things are going to happen. However, if they do, Auburn’s losses would be at Clemson (14-6) and at LSU (27-23). Therefore, the only one-loss team that would get in the CFP ahead of AU would be Clemson.
We only point this out to further clarify the ramifications of Saturday’s SEC showdown between Auburn and Georgia on The Plains at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS.
As of Friday afternoon, most books had Georgia listed as a 2.5-point favorite with a total of 49. The Tigers were available on the money line for a +115 return.
[B]Auburn (7-2 straight up, 4-3-2 against the spread)[/B] owns a 4-2 spread record with three outright victories in six games as a home underdog during Gus Malzahn’s five-year tenure. The Tigers are undefeated in four home games this year, going 1-1-2 ATS.
AU has won back-to-back games both SU and ATS since allowing a double-digit lead to get away in the second half of the loss at LSU. Malzahn’s bunch won at Arkansas (52-20) and then after an open date, it went to Texas A&M last week and captured a 42-27 victory as a 14.5-point road favorite.
Texas A&M took a 13-7 lead on a short field with 2:39 left in the second quarter, but Auburn went back in front 14-13 on a 53-yard TD pass from Jarrett Stidham to Darius Slayton with 1:36 remaining until halftime. Then the Tigers seized all momentum (and hooked up its backers for first-half wagers) when they got a blocked punt from Mark Miller, who recovered the loose ball in the end zone for a TD and a 21-13 edge at intermission.
Auburn tacked on two more TDs less than seven minutes into the third quarter and coasted to victory from there. Stidham completed 20-of-27 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. Kerryon Johnson rushed 29 times for 145 yards and one TD, while Slayton had two receptions for 99 yards and one TD. Ryan Davis added seven catches for 80 yards and one TD, while Johnson had five grabs for 29 yards and one TD.
For the season, Stidham has connected on 66.8 percent of his throws for 1,996 yards with an 11/3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Stidham, the former five-star recruit who played one year at Baylor in 2015 before transferring to AU, has nine TD passes compared to merely one interception in his team’s last six games.
Johnson is fourth in the nation with 16 TDs scored. He missed two games, however, so he’s actually No. 1 in the country in points scored per game (13.7 PPG). The junior RB has rushed for 868 yards and 15 TDs while averaging 5.2 yards per carry. Johnson also has 13 receptions for 86 yards and one TD.
Johnson has become the featured back due to an injury-riddled campaign for junior RB Kam Pettway, who was a first-team All-SEC selection in 2016 when he produced 1,224 rushing yards and seven TDs. Pettway is currently sidelined indefinitely due to a shoulder injury. He had rushed for 305 yards and six TDs, but was only averaging 4.0 YPC in five games played.
Davis has been Stidham’s favorite target, hauling in 48 receptions for 461 yards and four TDs. Slayton has 13 catches for 401 yards and three TDs, while Will Hastings has grabbed 18 balls for 371 yards and three TDs.
Auburn is ranked ninth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 16.9 points per game. This unit is 14th in the country in total defense, 19th at defending the pass and 24th versus the run. Junior LB Deshaun Davis has a team-high 44 tackles to go with one sack, one tackle for loss and one pass broken up. Sophomore DE Marlon Davidson has recorded 25 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two TFL’s, two QB hurries, one PBU, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for a 33-yard return.
[B]Georgia (9-0 SU, 6-3 ATS)[/B] is 3-0 both SU and ATS on the road this season. As a road favorite on second-year head coach Kirby Smart’s watch, UGA has compiled a 4-1 spread record.
Georgia is ranked No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings for the second straight week. The Bulldogs won a 24-10 decision over South Carolina last week, but they never threatened to cover the 23.5-point spread. Jake Fromm completed 16-of-22 passes for 196 yards and two TDs without an interception.
Nick Chubb ran for 102 yards on 20 carries, while Sony Michel produced 81 rushing yards and one TD on 16 attempts. Terry Godwin had three receptions for 53 yards, while Javon Wims had five catches for 46 yards and one TD.
Fromm replaced former starting QB Jacob Eason early in the first quarter of UGA’s season opener when he sprained his knee. He has remained the starter since then, although Eason has been healthy and ready to play since early October.
Fromm’s play has made it a no-brainer for Smart to stick with him. The true freshman has completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 1,459 yards with a 15/4 TD-INT ratio. Fromm has also rushed for 98 yards and three scores. Godwin has 19 receptions for 422 yards and five TDs, while Wims has 24 catches for 375 yards and four TDs.
Chubb has run for a team-best 867 yards and nine TDs, averaging 6.2 YPC. Michel has 710 rushing yards, nine rushing TDs and a 7.9 YPC average. Another true freshman, D’Andre Swift, has rushed for 388 yards and one TD while averaging 7.6 YPC.
Georgia is ranked fourth in the nation in total defense, seventh at defending the pass, fifth versus the run and third in scoring (11.7 PPG). This unit is led by junior LB Roquan Smith, who has a team-best 70 tackles along with 2.5 sacks, 0.5 TFL’s, three QB hurries, two PBU and one forced fumble. Senior LB Lorenzo Carter had recorded 32 tackles, four sacks, 2.5 TFL’s, six QB hurries and a pair of forced fumbles.
The ‘under’ is 6-3 overall for UGA, 2-1 in its three true road assignments. The Bulldogs have watched their games average combined scores of 48.2 PPG.
Since the ‘under’ cashed in Auburn’s first three games, the ‘over’ has hit in six in a row. Totals have been a wash (2-2) in AU’s home outings. The Tigers’ games have averaged combined scores of 53.8 PPG.
Georgia has won three in a row over Auburn and five of the last six both SU and ATS, including last year’s 13-7 triumph as a 10-point home underdog. Chubb rushed for 101 yards, Eason threw for 208 yards and the UGA defense limited AU to only 164 yards of total offense.
The ‘under’ has cashed in three straight head-to-head meetings between these bitter rivals and is 5-1 in the last six encounters.
[B]OTHER SEC GAMES
Florida at South Carolina[/B] As of Friday afternoon, most books had South Carolina (6-3 SU, 5-2-2 ATS) listed as a 5.5 or six-point favorite with a total of 43.5 or 44. The Gators were +190 on the money line (risk $100 to win $190).
Will Muschamp’s second team at USC went ‘over’ its season win total of 5.5 before the end of October. In last week’s loss at UGA, Jake Bentley threw his first interception since a Sept. 23 win over La. Tech. In fact, he was picked off twice by the Bulldogs. Nevertheless, the true sophomore signal caller has led South Carolina to a 10-6 record in his 16 career starts. He has thrown for 1,986 yards this year with a 14/6 TD-INT ratio.
Since Muschamp took over, the Gamecocks are 2-4-1 ATS as home favorites, 0-2-1 in three such spots this season. They are 3-1 SU and 1-2-1 ATS at home this season, taking its only loss vs. Kentucky back in Week 3.
[B]Florida (3-5 SU, 2-6 ATS)[/B] has lost four in a row while going 1-3 ATS in the process. UF fired third-year head coach Jim McElwain after a 42-7 loss to UGA two weeks ago. Randy Shannon, the former player, assistant and head coach at Miami, is serving as the interim head coach. His debut was a disaster last week at Missouri, where the home team spanked UF by a 45-16 count.
Shannon gave Malik Zaire, the grad transfer from Notre Dame, his first start of the season. Zaire completed 13-of-19 passes for 158 yards with one interception. He ran for 17 yards on six attempts. Lamical Perine had 66 rushing yards on 19 carries, in addition to catching four balls for 30 yards and one TD.
However, on the TD grab late in the fourth quarter, Perine injured his knee. He was still listed as ‘questionable’ as of Friday afternoon. Brett Heggie, UF’s second-best offensive lineman, went down at Missouri with a season-ending knee injury. Other starters who won’t make the trip to Columbia due to injuries include senior safety Nick Washington, sophomore LB Kylan Johnson, WR Kadarius Toney, DE Jachai Polite, DE Jordan Sherit, QB Luke Del Rio and leading rusher Malik Davis.
Totals have been a wash both overall (4-4) and on the road (1-1) for UF. The Gators have watched their games average combined scores of 49.0 PPG.
The ‘under’ is 6-3 overall for the Gamecocks, 2-2 in their home games. They’ve seen their games average combined scores of 45.1 PPG.
CBS will provide the telecast at noon Eastern.
[B]Alabama at Mississippi State[/B]
As of Friday afternoon, most spots had Alabama (9-0 SU, 4-5 ATS) installed as a 13.5-point ‘chalk’ with a total of 52.5. Gamblers could take MSU to win outright for a +400 return (risk $100 to win $400). Kickoff from Starkville is slated for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
Mississippi State (7-2 SU, 6-3 ATS)[/B] is 11-10 ATS as a home underdog during Dan Mullen’s nine-year tenure. The Bulldogs are undefeated in five home games this year with a 4-1 spread record. The lone non-cover came in last week’s 34-23 win over UMass as 32-point home ‘chalk.’
MSU fell victim to the classic look-ahead situation against the Minutemen. In fact, Mullen’s team trailed by seven at intermission, prompting me to jump all over MSU as a 14.5-point favorite for second-half wagers. When the Bulldogs scored a pair of quick third-quarter TDs, I thought I was poised to cash an easy winner.
It didn’t go like that, though. In fact, I was fortunate that MSU forced a short field goal on a UMass drive into the red zone early in the fourth quarter. Then I just got downright lucky when Deddrick Thomas busted an 83-yard punt return for a TD with 5:00 left, as MSU won a 34-23 decision and covered the number on halftime bets (-7.5 adjusted).
Nick Fitzgerald threw for only 139 yards and was intercepted twice. To his credit, however, the junior signal caller ran for a team-best 135 yards and two TDs on 17 carries. For the season, Fitzgerald has run for 801 yards and 12 TDs while averaging 6.9 YPC. He has completed 56.8 percent of his passes for 1,459 yards with a 13/10 TD-INT ratio.
MSU is ranked seventh in the nation in total defense, eighth in pass defense, 23rd versus the run and 15th in scoring (18.0 PPG). Mullen made perhaps the best hire of the offseason when he snagged defensive coordinator Todd Grantham away from Bobby Petrino at Louisville.
Alabama lost senior leader and starting LB Shaun Dion Hamilton to a season-ending knee injury in last week’s 24-10 non-covering home win over LSU. Dion Hamilton had recorded 40 tackles (second-best on the team), 2.5 sacks, three TFL’s, two QB hurries, one forced fumble and two PBU. Dion Hamilton is the fourth Alabama linebacker to go down with a season-ending injury. On the bright side, star DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (hamstring) has been upgraded to ‘probable’ at MSU.
Alabama is ranked second in the nation in total defense, first in scoring ‘D’ (9.8 PPG), second in run defense and ninth at defending the pass. The ‘under’ is 3-1 in its last four games.
Nick Saban’s squad has won eight of its nine games by 14 points or more. The only one-possession game it has played came in a 27-19 win at Texas A&M. This is its second-smallest spread of the season and its shortest number since being favored by 19.5 at Vandy in Week 4. Remember, the Tide was only favored by 7.5 against then-third-ranked FSU in the season opener in Atlanta.
Alabama has won nine in a row over Mississippi State, going 6-3 ATS during that streak. MSU last tasted victory over the Tide in 2007, Saban’s first year at the helm, when it won 17-12 as a four-point home underdog.
[B]Arkansas at LSU LSU (6-3 SU, 4-4 ATS)[/B] had a 306-299 advantage over Alabama in total offense and easily covered the spread as a 20.5-point underdog in last week’s 24-10 loss at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Tigers limited the Tide to merely 116 rushing yards on 36 attempts (3.2 YPC average) in a valiant defensive effort.
Ed Orgeron’s team returns home to face Arkansas as a 17-point favorite. The Tigers have won three of four home games, going 1-2-1 ATS. They took massive defeats to Arkansas in 2014 (17-0) and ’15 (31-14), but avenged those defeats with last year’s 38-10 win in Fayetteville. Derrius Guice torched the Razorbacks for 252 rushing yards and two TDs on 21 carries.
Arkansas (4-5 SU, 2-6 ATS)[/B] is a remarkable 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games as a road underdog. The Razorbacks will get starting QB Austin Allen back after he was sidelined for four consecutive games with a shoulder injury. Allen threw for only 152 yards and was intercepted twice vs. LSU last season. Allen has an 8/4 TD-INT ratio this year.
Bret Bielema’s fifth season at Arkansas has been a major struggle, one that has his job security (and perhaps that of AD Jeff Long’s as well) is major jeopardy. The Razorbacks have won back-to-back games, rallying from 24 points down to win on a last-second FG at Ole Miss two weeks ago. However, last week’s 39-38 victory over a one-win Coastal Carolina squad was nearly a disaster.
Arkansas had to rally from a 38-25 fourth-quarter deficit to pull out the ugly win as a 24.5-point home favorite. T.J Hammonds got the comeback started with an 88-yard TD run with 10:09 remaining. Then with 1:55 left, Cole Kelley scored on a one-yard plunge to provide the winning points.
The ‘under’ is 5-4 overall for LSU, but the ‘over’ has hit at a 3-1 clip in its four home outings. Meanwhile, the ‘over’ is on a 6-1 run for the Hogs to improve to 6-3 overall. They’ve seen the ‘over’ go 2-1 in their road assignments and their games have averaged combined scores of 66.0 PPG (regardless of the venue).
This is a noon Eastern kick from Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge on ESPN.
Tennessee at Missouri Missouri junior QB Drew Lock is absolutely on fire, throwing 21 TD passes compared to merely three interceptions in his team’s last five games. For the season, Lock has completed 60.7 percent of his throws for 2,795 yards with a 31/9 TD-INT ratio. J’Mon Moore is his favorite target, hauling in 44 receptions for 740 yards and eight TDs.
[B]Missouri (4-5 SU, 5-4 ATS)[/B] picked up its first SEC win in last week’s 45-16 destruction of Florida as a 1.5-point home favorite. The Tigers have won three in a row and even better for our purposes, they’ve covered the number in five consecutive games.
Since Barry Odom took over for Gary Pinkel before the 2016 season, Missouri is 5-5 ATS as a home favorite. The Tigers went 0-4 ATS in their first four home games this year, but they’ve taken the money in back-to-back home outings.
After missing three straight games with a shoulder injury, sophomore RB Damarea Crockett has been upgraded to ‘probable’ vs. UT. Crockett rushed for 1,062 yards and 10 TDs with a 6.9 YPC average to garner third-team All-SEC honors as a true freshman in 2016. In Missouri’s first six games this year, he had run for 481 yards and two TDs.
Tennessee (4-5 SU, 3-6 ATS) is winless in three road games, but it has managed to produce a 2-1 ATS record. The Volunteers are 6-6-1 ATS as road underdogs during Butch Jones’s five-year tenure.
As of late Friday afternoon, most books had Missouri listed as a 12.5-point favorite with a total of 62. The Vols were +375 on the money line (risk $100 to win $375).
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. Eastern on the SEC Network.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**[/B]
[B]– Texas A&M[/B] will take on New Mexico at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPNU. The Aggies will be attempting to avoid a third straight loss after setbacks vs. Mississippi State (35-14) and vs. Auburn (42-27). They were favored by 17.5 at most spots late Friday afternoon. The ‘under’ had cashed in four straight A&M games until last week’s loss to Auburn saw the ‘over’ appear. As for New Mexico, it has seen the ‘under’ go 8-1 overall after hitting in four consecutive contests. The Lobos have dropped four in a row while going 1-3 ATS.
[B]– Vanderbilt (4-5 SU, 3-5-1 ATS) [/B]will face Kentucky in Nashville at 4:00 p.m. Eastern on the SEC Network. Most spots had Vandy favored by 2.5 with a 53.5-point total as of late Friday afternoon. The Commodores snapped a five-game losing streak with last week’s 31-17 win over Western Ky. as a 12.5-point favorite. I went 6-1 last weekend and my only loss was the ‘over’ in this game, with the 48 combined points sliding ‘under’ the 54.5-point total. The ‘over’ had hit in five straight for Vandy before last week’s result on the total. Ralph Webb, the all-time leading rusher in Vandy history even before his senior season started, led the ‘Dores with 104 rushing yards on 23 carries. Junior QB Kyle Shurmur threw for 220 yards and two TDs without an interception. For the season, Shurmur has a stellar 20/3 TD-INT ratio. Vandy has won four of the last six head-to-head meetings with UK, but it had covered the spread in five in a row against UK until dropping a 20-13 decision in Lexington as a three-point road ‘dog last year.
[B]– Kentucky (6-3 SU, 2-7 ATS)[/B] has won outright in two of its three road outings, going 1-2 ATS. The Wildcats have failed to cover the number in five straight games, including last week’s 37-34 home loss to Ole Miss as 3.5-point ‘chalk.’ The Rebels rallied to win thanks to a seven-yard TD pass from Jordan Ta’amu to D.K. Metcalf with five seconds remaining. In the losing effort, UK sophomore RB Benny Snell had 176 rushing yards and three TDs on 28 carries.
— The ‘under’ has cashed in five consecutive Vandy-UK games.
[B]– Ole Miss (4-5 SU, 2-6-1 ATS)[/B] will take on UL-Lafayette as a 19-point home favorite at noon Eastern on the SEC Network. The Rebels, who are 3-2 SU but just 1-4 ATS at home this season, avoided a three-game losing streak with last week’s come-from-behind victory at UK. Ta’amu was sensational in his second career start for the injured Shea Patterson. The juco transfer hit on 31-of-40 throws for 382 yards and four TDs without an interception. During Mark Hudspeth seven-year tenure with the Ragin’ Cajuns, they’ve compiled a 19-11-1 spread record in 30 games as road underdogs.
— The ‘over’ is 8-1 overall for Ole Miss after cashing in each of its last six games. The total vs. UL-Lafayette was up to 67 as of late Friday afternoon.
— 5Dimes.eu currently has Alabama listed as a seven-point favorite vs. UGA in a potential matchup at the SEC Championship Game.
[SIZE=”3″][B][I][B] NCAAF Game of the Day: Notre Dame at Miami betting preview and odds [/B][/I][/B][/SIZE]
[B]Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Miami Hurricanes (+3, 59.5)[/B]
It’s no longer the Catholics vs. the Convicts but emotion should be almost as high on Saturday night when No. 6 Miami hosts No. 5 Notre Dame on the national stage in a renewal of their storied rivalry. The Hurricanes made a statement and quieted some of their many critics last week with a resounding 28-10 victory over ACC rival and then-No. 13 Virginia Tech while the Fighting Irish continued to roll with a 48-37 triumph over Wake Forest.
It will be the first time since 1989 that both schools have been ranked in the Top 10 at the time of their meeting and, as it was in the rivalry’s glory days of the 1980s, the teams are right in the thick of the national title race, with Brian Kelly’s Irish sitting third in the College Football Playoff rankings and Mark Richt’s Hurricanes jumping up to seventh. With the exception of a one-point loss to Georgia — the No. 1 team in the CFP rankings — Notre Dame has been plowing through its schedule thanks to Heisman hopeful Josh Adams and a powerful ground attack that has almost 1,000 more yards rushing this year than all of last season. Miami has taken a different path to the top, often needing clutch plays at crunch time to keep its 13-game winning streak alive — Miami’s last loss was 30-27 to Notre Dame last season — but the Hurricanes showed against Virginia Tech that they have the offensive weapons and defensive speed and muscle to compete for the title. “We like it when we’re competing in games like this, late in the year, that are that meaningful,” Richt said. “It’s what you hope for, it’s what you work towards. It just so happens this Saturday night is going to be very meaningful to both teams.”
TV:[/B] 8 p.m. ET, ABC.
LINE HISTORY:[/B] Oddsmakers opened Notre Dame as three-point road chalk and early money coming in on the road team briefly raised the line to +3.5, before it returned to the opening number, where it currently sits. The total hit the betting board at 57.5 and money on the over drove that line as high as 60, before fading back to 59.5.
Miami – WR Mike Harley (Questionable, Ankle), DB Dee Delaney (Questionable, Knee), DL Demetrius Jackson (Out For Season, Knee).
ABOUT NOTRE DAME (8-1 SU, 7-2 ATS, 6-3 O/U):[/B] Led by a bulldozing offensive front, the Irish ground attack (324.8 yards per game) is almost impossible to stop and Adams (132.3 average) has made opponents pay with his home-run ability as he has seven touchdown runs of at least 60 yards this season, although his streak of four straight games with a TD rush of over 70 yards was snapped last week against Wake Forest. “Their offensive line, probably the best in America,” Richt said. “I don’t think very many people would argue that. … This is just line up and physically move people off the ball, a kick-your-tail type offensive line and great runners.” The Irish defense has had its moments but can be beaten through the air, giving up 245.3 yards passing (90th in the nation) and 15 scores, a weakness that Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier (283 yards passing per game) and his dangerous receiving corps will look to exploit.
ABOUT MIAMI (8-0 SU, 4-4 ATS, 1-7 O/U):[/B] Adams is not the only one making a living off big plays as the Rosier-led Hurricanes have proven far more adept at producing quick-strike scores — two of their four touchdowns were over 42 yards against Virginia Tech — than putting together long methodical drives. But Miami may need to churn out the yardage with running back Travis Homer to keep the defense fresh and off the field as the Hurricanes, although the nation’s best at racking up tackles for loss (8.8 per game), have still bent far too often against the run, surrendering 176 yards or more in the four games prior to limiting Virginia Tech to 102. Forcing the Irish into mistakes will be crucial as the Hurricanes added four more turnovers against the Hokies and they now have 20 takeaways (13 interceptions, seven fumble recoveries) to rank fourth in the nation with an average turnover margin of plus-1.38 per game (Notre Dame sits tied for fifth with 1.33).
* Fighting Irish are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
* Hurricanes are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 vs. INDEP.
* Under is 6-0 in Hurricanes last 6 games overall.
* Under is 4-0 in Hurricanes last 4 vs. a team with a winning record.
CONSENSUS:[/B] The road favorites from Notre Dame are picking up 63 percent of the action on the spread and Over is getting 51 percent of the totals wagers.
[B][I]Saturday’s Best Bets
November 10, 2017[/I][/B]
[B]College Football Best Bets[/B]
Although there were some big upsets in the college football world a week ago, none of them occurred at the top as the top five teams in the CFB Playoff rankings remained the same. Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame, and Clemson still lead the way for a chance at a National Championship this year, but #5 Oklahoma is lurking and could find themselves in a top four spot once this weekend is over.
That’s because the top three teams (Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame) all have significant road tests on tap this week and it’s the two teams atop that list from the SEC that I’m focused on this week.
[B]Best Bet #1: Auburn ML (+110) and Over 49[/B]
The #1 ranked, and undefeated Georgia Bulldogs go to Auburn this week for a huge SEC game that I believe will result in Georgia’s first loss of the year. The Bulldogs have already locked up their spot in the SEC Championship game by winning the SEC East, but they are still after bigger prizes, but I’m not sure this team is ready for it.
Auburn is no slouch of a team ranked #10 and despite having two losses already this year, they could still create a lot of havoc in the playoff picture by winning the SEC. Auburn has control of their own destiny with home games against Georgia and Alabama left on their SEC slate, and outright wins in both are definitely not out of the question.
The big problem for Georgia in this spot is that Auburn’s offense led by QB Jarrett Stidham will be able to move the ball well against a vaunted Georgia defense and put the pressure on the Bulldogs offense to respond. Being #1 means the Bulldogs have to be ready for everybody’s best shot and although they were able to get a 24-10 win at home vs South Carolina last week, they failed to cover the -23.5 spread and Auburn is a much better team then what South Carolina brings to the table. Being on the road for the first time with that huge target on their backs will be something I’m not sure Georgia will be prepared for, and the offensive talent Auburn has means Georgia better be prepared to try and win a relative shootout.
Early betting percentages listed at VegasInsider.com show about 65% of the action on both Georgia ML and ATS, while more than 80% is on the under. I’m going against the grain on both in this game as we’ve already seen this total move up a full two points since opening at 47 despite all that ‘under’ action – always a significant indicator to take note of – and with Auburn’s offense averaging more than 200 yards per game on the ground AND through the air, points will be scored on both sides.
Being at home is what helps sways this Auburn ML play even more as they are 7-1 ATS the last eight times they’ve been a home dog of 13 or less in SEC play, but I’m not even worried about the points. The Tigers have a history of pulling off big home upsets this time of year and this will be another one they get to add to the program’s resume, setting up a huge Iron Bowl showdown with Alabama in a few weeks.
[B]Best Bet #2: Alabama/Mississippi State Over 52.5[/B]
Similar to the Georgian/Auburn tilt, this Alabama/Mississippi State game has already seen the total jump up multiple points since opening despite a strong majority of total bettors going the other way. Now that it’s November, the days of Alabama basically “picking their score” in wins is gone and although they’ve blown out Miss State the last two years (82-9 combined scores), this game should be tight for at least three quarters, with both sides letting their offense do the talking.
Everyone knows how good Alabama’s defense is, but they are starting to get banged up quite a bit; specifically at the LB position. Although the Crimson Tide have always had the “next man up” mentality under Nick Saban, there comes a point where too many injury problems will negatively affect a defense, and with a Bulldogs offense led by the mobile Nick Fitzgerald, this could be that week.
Fitzgerald is a prototypical duel-threat QB in college football and as we’ve seen in recent history it’s these types of QB’s that tend to give Alabama problems. There was DeShaun Watson last year, Johnny Manziel a few years back, and even Cam Newton back when he was playing in college. Fitzgerald is cut from that same mold and while he is more of a runner first, his scrambling ability will create plenty of open lanes downfield to pass into when the Tide start chasing him around. With Mississippi State putting up 30+ in four straight weeks, asking them to get to 20+ against this tough Tide defense is more than reasonable.
Furthermore, there is little doubt in my mind that Mississippi State brings their best effort to this one as they were almost caught looking ahead to this game a week ago. The Bulldogs sleepwalked through the majority of that game against a bad Umass team last week and typically when you see that you can expect that team to be more then ready when that big game arrives. For Mississippi State to pull off the upset they are going to have to turn this game into a shootout and that’s precisely what we see.
Finally, Alabama will be fine on offense as well as it’s not like the Bulldogs defense is spectacular by any means. Comparable teams like Georgia and Auburn put up 31 and 49 points on Mississippi State already this year, and while those were both road games for the Bulldogs, Alabama should find a way to put up a similar tally. Alabama is 6-2 O/U in their last eight on the road against a team with a winning record at home, and 4-1 O/U after failing to cover the spread last time out.
With the reverse line movement on the ‘over’ for this game, I’ve got no problem backing that side and expecting the final score to reach the 60’s when all is said and done.