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On 09/03/2011 09:13 AM in NCAA Football

Saturday's betting tips: Clemson on Death Valley skid

Who’s hot

MLB: The Rays are 5-1 in Wade Davis’ last six starts.

MLB: The Dodgers are 5-2 in their last seven games against a lefty starter.

NCAAF: The over is 7-1 in Houston’s last eight home games.

WNBA: Seattle is 9-1-1 ATS in its last 11 games against San Antonio.

Who’s not

MLB: The Mets are 0-4 in Dillon Gee’s last four outings following a quality start in his last appearance.

MLB: The Indians are 2-9 in David Huff’s last 11 starts on grass.

NCAAF: Clemson is 2-6 ATS in its last eight home games.

WNBA: Phoenix is 2-6 ATS in its last eight home games.

Injury not to be overlooked

Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen had to leave Friday’s game against the Cubs when he was hit by a pitch in the area around his left wrist. Pittsburgh’s cleanup hitter, McCutchen is batting .271 with 20 homers and 81 RBIs in a breakout season.

Key stat

29 – That’s how many times Rafael Furcal has led off a game with a homer after doing it Wednesday and Thursday against the Brewers. Furcal tied Kenny Lofton for the 13th-most leadoff homers in history. Furcal was 9-for-29 (.310) over his last nine games heading into Friday’s action, a major reason for St. Louis’ recent surge.

Game of the day

No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 LSU (3.5, 54.5)

Notable quotable

“He played with a very cool head and made good decisions. He played the way you want him to out there -- calm, cool, collected." – 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh aftger naming Alex Smith his starting QB. San Fran is a 6-point favorite in its Sept. 11 opener against Seattle.

Notes and tips

The Vikings and Saints will each be without a key defensive lineman for their first two games. The NFL suspended Minnesota DT Kevin Williams and New Orleans DE Will Smith without pay for violating the league’s policy on performing-enhancing substances. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers certainly won’t mind the absence of Smith (18.5 sacks the past two years) in Thursday’s opener. Host Green Bay is favored by four.

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira missed Friday’s game against the Blue Jays with a bruised right knee, and he could miss the whole series. Teixeira, who ranks second on the team with 35 homers and 100 RBIs, was hit by a pitch thrown by Boston’s Alfredo Aceves on Thursday.

Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger is expected to be on the sideline when his team plays Florida in Gainesville on Saturday. Schnellenberger, 77, complained of severe discomfort in his surgically repaired hip during a Friday bus ride and was taken to a hospital. But X-rays determined the problem wasn’t serious.