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(11) South Florida (6-1, 4-2 ATS) at UConn (6-1, 5-1 ATS)
Its dream of a BCS title game bid all but dashed after last week’s loss at Rutgers, South Florida will try to regroup when it heads back to the northeast for another Big East battle, this time against UConn, which is undefeated in Big East play.
The Bulls gave up 400 total yards, including 170 on the ground, in a 30-27 loss at Rutgers 10 days ago, failing as a 2½-point road favorite. The defeat snapped an eight-game SU winning streak and also halted a 6-1 ATS run.
UConn scored a controversial 21-17 upset win over Louisville as a three-point home underdog last Friday, getting the decisive touchdown with 1:32 to go. The Huskies, whose first TD came on Larry Taylor’s 74-yard punt return even though Taylor clearly signaled for a fair catch, held the potent Cardinals’ offense to 321 yards and finished with a 175-93 edge in rushing yardage.
The home team is 3-0 SU and ATS in the last three meetings, with South Florida rolling to a 38-16 win as a six-point chalk in 2006.
Last week’s loss at Rutgers was the second time in a row that the Bulls failed as a road favorite. Still, South Florida is on a 12-6 ATS roll since last year.
UConn has been very profitable at home lately, going 11-4 ATS in the last 15, including 6-1 ATS as a home underdog since 2005.
UConn has not allowed more than 17 points to any opponent this year and is yielding just 12.7 points per game. Meanwhile, South Florida, which is giving up 17.7 ppg, hadn’t allowed more than 23 points in any game prior to last week.
The under is on runs of 16-7 for South Florida overall, 16-7 for UConn on grass and 13-6 for UConn at home.
ATS ADVANTAGE: UCONN and UNDER
(12) Kansas (7-0, 6-0 ATS) at Texas A&M (6-2, 3-4 ATS)
Kansas looks to keep its record perfect when it takes to the road for the second consecutive week for a Big 12 clash against Texas A&M.
The Jayhawks held on for a 19-14 win at Colorado last week, cashing as a three-point road chalk as they improved to 7-0 for just the second time since 1968. Meanwhile, Texas A&M bounced back from an ugly 35-7 loss at Texas Tech and crushed Nebraska 36-14 as a two-point road underdog.
The Aggies are 7-1 SU all-time against Kansas, with the only loss coming in 1974. Texas A&M has also gotten the cash in each of the last three meetings, including last year when the Aggies prevailed 21-18 as a one-point road chalk.
Texas A&M is 10-3 SU in its last 13 home games, with the three losses coming by a combined six points. Going back further, the Aggies are on a 14-6-1 ATS run at Kyle Field.
This is Kansas’ third road game – all in Big 12 action – in the last four weeks. Coming into this season, the Jayhawks had lost 19 of 21 conference road games, but they are 5-1 ATS in their last six when visiting league foes, all as an underdog.
Kansas QB Todd Reesing (58 percent completion rate, 1,804 yards, 17 TDs, 4 INTs) has thrown a TD pass in all seven games for the Jayhawks, who are averaging 46 ppg.
This game pits one of the best rushing attacks – Texas A&M averages 260 rushing ypg – against a Kansas defense that yields just 78.3 ypg on the ground, including just 56.3 in three Big 12 games.
The over is 6-2 in Kansas’ last eight road games and 9-4 in its last 13 league contests. On the flip side, Texas A&M has followed up a 4-0 “over” streak by staying under the total in its last four.
ATS ADVANTAGE: TEXAS A&M
Colorado (4-4 SU and ATS) at Texas Tech (6-2, 4-3 ATS)
Texas Tech will attempt to rebound from an embarrassing loss at Missouri when it welcomes Colorado to Lubbock, Texas, in a key Big 12 game for both teams.
The Red Raiders were hardly competitive in last week’s 41-10 defeat to Missouri, getting outscored 24-0 in the second half. QB Graham Harrell tossed four interceptions, double the amount he had coming into the game.
Colorado has followed up a three-game winning streak with back-to-back losses to Kansas State (47-20 on the road) and Kansas (19-14 at home). The Buffaloes outgained Kansas 353-329 last week, but finished with just 68 rushing yards while allowing 177 on the ground.
Colorado hammered the Red Raiders 30-6 as a 5½-point home underdog last year. The Buffs have gotten the cash in each of the last three meetings, but the home team has won the last eight in a row in this series (5-2 ATS).
Texas Tech is on spread runs of 22-11 at home and 19-9 as a home favorite. The Red Raiders have also proven to be a profitable bounce-back team, going 21-7-1 ATS following a SU loss under coach Mike Leach.
The Buffaloes are just 4-11 ATS in their last 15 Big 12 games overall, 2-8 ATS in their last 10 conference road contests and 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 in any foreign venue.
ATS ADVANTAGE: TEXAS TECH
(9) Southern Cal (6-1, 3-4 ATS) at (5) Oregon (6-1 SU and ATS)
Having regained a bit of their swagger following an easy 38-0 win at Notre Dame last week, the Trojans now face their stiffest test to date when they invade Autzen Stadium for a Pac-10 showdown against Oregon.
Following a stunning loss to Stanford and a lethargic 20-13 win over Arizona – both at home – USC went to South Bend, Ind., and dominated the Irish, finishing with a 460-164 edge in total offense, including 225-48 on the ground.
Oregon bounced back from its only loss of the year by obliterating Washington and Washington State the last two weeks by the combined score of 108-41. Last week at Washington, the Ducks rolled up 661 total yards and outscored the Huskies 24-3 in the fourth quarter to win 55-34 as a 12½-point road chalk.
Going back to 2002, the Trojans have posted three straight double-digit wins over Oregon, and they’re 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. That includes two wins in Eugene by scores of 44-33 in 2002 and 45-13 in 2005.
The road team is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 clashes in this rivalry.
USC will take the field today as an underdog for the first time in a regular-season game since the season-opener in 2003 at Auburn. In fact, prior to this week, USC had played 53 straight games as a favorite of at least a touchdown. Since taking over the Trojans program, Pete Carroll is 6-2 ATS when catching points.
Despite last week’s win, the Trojans are still just 13-17 ATS in their last 30 games, including 2-7 ATS in Pac-10 road games.
Oregon is on ATS runs of 30-15 overall, 16-7 at home and 10-3 in October.
Both of these high-octane offenses average more than 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing per game. USC (16.6 points, 252 yards per game allowed) rates the defensive edge over the Ducks (22.6 points, 396 yards per game allowed).
QB Mark Sanchez, who has started the last two games for USC in place of John David Booty (broken finger), is expected to get the nod again.
The under is 10-1 in USC’s last 11 conference games, 5-0 in its last five overall and 7-2 in the last nine series meetings that featured a posted total (4-2 at Oregon).
ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER
(20) Georgia (5-2, 3-3 ATS) vs. (9) Florida (5-2, 4-2 ATS), at Jacksonville
The latest version of the “World’s Biggest Outdoor Cocktail Party” has an added twist this year, as both Florida and Georgia need to win today to keep their SEC East championship hopes alive.
The Gators came out of a bye week and snapped a rare two-game SU and ATS slide by outscoing Kentucky 45-37, barely covering as a seven-point road favorite. Behind sophomore quarterback Tim Tebow (256 passing yards, 78 rushing yards, 5 total TDs), Florida compiled 427 total yards, but the defense yielded a whopping 511, including 414 through the air.
Georgia has been idle since rallying for a 20-17 win at Vanderbilt on Oct. 13, failing to cover as a seven-point road favorite. Three of the Bulldogs’ five SEC contests have been decided by margins of 4, 3 and 3 points.
This rivalry has been one-sided in recent years, with the Gators going 15-2 SU and 11-5-1 ATS in the last 17 clashes, including 8-1 (6-3 ATS) in the last nine. The past five years featured close games, though, with each decided by a touchdown or less, including Florida’s 21-14 win as a 13½-point chalk a year ago.
Georgia has been impressive as an underdog lately, going 6-2 ATS in that spot since 2005. Also, under coach Mark Richt, the Bulldogs are 9-2-1 ATS as a road underdog and 6-1-1 ATS after a bye week.
Despite last week’s narrow spread-cover at Kentucky, the Gators are still just 5-11 ATS in its last 16 SEC games and 1-9 ATS when laying points away from the Swamp since Urban Meyer took over in 2005.
Florida has topped the total in six of its last eight games. However, the under is 5-1 in the last six Georgia-Florida battles.
ATS ADVANTAGE: GEORGIA and UNDER
Clemson (5-2, 3-3 ATS) at Maryland (4-3, 2-4 ATS)
After getting back on track in a big way last week with a crushing victory over Central Michigan, Clemson resumes ACC play when it heads to College Park for a clash against Maryland.
The Tigers came out of their bye and throttled Central Michigan 70-14 as a 16½-point home favorite, the most points a Clemson team has scored in 26 years. With the win, the Tigers snapped a two-game SU and ATS slide, which followed a season-opening four-game winning streak.
Maryland is looking to rebound from a last-second 18-17 loss to Virginia as a four-point home chalk, ending a two-game SU and ATS winning streak. That the Terps were even in the game was a bit of a miracle, considering they got outgained 439-233 and didn’t force a single turnover.
The Terps stunned the Tigers in Death Valley in 2006, winning 13-12 as an 18½-point underdog. Including that triumph, Maryland is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings in this series, including four outright wins.
Clemson is just 3-10 ATS as a road favorite since 2002 (1-1 ATS this year). The Tigers are also mired in ATS slumps of 3-8 overall and 3-7 when playing on grass.
The Terps are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 overall, but 9-3 ATS when playing in October.
The under is 7-2 in Clemson’s last nine ACC games and 5-1 in the last six series meetings. However, the over is 4-1 in the Tigers’ last five overall and 3-1 in Maryland’s last four overall.
ATS ADVANTAGE: MARYLAND
Nebraska (4-4, 1-7 ATS) at (17) Texas (6-2, 4-4 ATS)
With their season rapidly slipping away following three consecutive ugly conference losses, the downtrodden Cornhuskers will try to right their sinking ship in this Big 12 battle against Texas.
A week after pulling a colossal no-show in a 45-14 home loss to Oklahoma State, Nebraska laid down once again at home last Saturday, falling 36-14 to Texas A&M as a two-point home favorite. The Huskers have lost three straight games – all to Big 12 foes – by the combined tally of 122-34, including a 41-6 loss at Missouri in their only Big 12 road game. Nebraska is 0-7 ATS in its last seven contests, getting outgained in every single game.
The Huskers own the nation’s longest ATS losing skid, and if they are to halt that streak today, they’ll also have to reverse a couple of additional disturbing trends that have seen them go 3-8 ATS as a road underdog and 1-5 ATS when catching points in any venue.
Texas stumbled out of the gate against Baylor last week, but eventually pulled away for the easy 31-10 victory, failing to cover as a 26½-point road favorite. The Longhorns are just 5-9 ATS in their last 14 games.
Texas is 6-1 in the last seven meetings in this rivalry (4-2-1 ATS), including three wins in a row (1-1-1 ATS). Last year, the Longhorns held on for a 22-20 victory in Lincoln, but failed to cash as a five-point road favorite.
Nebraska has stayed under the total in four straight games, and the under is 4-1 in the last five meetings. However, the over is 5-2 in Texas’ last seven, including 3-0 in Austin.
ATS ADVANTAGE: TEXAS
UCLA (5-2 SU and ATS) at Washington State (2-5 SU and ATS)
UCLA takes its 4-0 SU and ATS league record to Pullman, Wash., for a contest against Pac-10 rival Washington State, which has dropped four in a row, all in conference play.
The Bruins bounced back from a turnover-filled 20-6 home loss to Notre Dame with a come-from-behind 30-21 win over Cal as a two-point home underdog. UCLA dominated the line of scrimmage, finishing with a 193-68 edge in rushing yardage.
Washington State had a well-scheduled bye last week following four consecutive losses to open the Pac-10 season. The Cougars were outscored by a total of 171-61 in the four defeats, and they’re now 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games.
Washington State has owned this series of late, winning five of the last six meetings while going 6-0 ATS in the process. Last year, the Cougars hammered UCLA 37-15 in the Rose Bowl as a one-point road underdog. Despite that result, the home team is still 7-3 ATS in the last 10 head-to-head tussles.
The Cougars are just 2-7 ATS following a bye week.
UCLA has covered the spread in eight consecutive Pac-10 games, and the Bruins are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 overall.
While UCLA is just 3-7 ATS in its last 10 as a road favorite, Washington State is 5-2 ATS in its last seven as a home underdog.
The over is on runs of 8-3 for Washington State overall, 6-2 for Wazzu on artificial turf, 7-1 for UCLA on the fake stuff and 3-0 in this rivalry.
ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER
Re: Saturday Football
(15) South Carolina (6-2, 4-3 ATS) at Tennessee (4-3 SU and ATS)
Two teams looking to rebound from upset losses square off at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, where Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer meets up with old nemesis Steve Spurrier in another key SEC East showdown.
The Volunteers got outscored 17-0 in the second half at Alabama last week, falling 41-17 as a one-point road favorite to snap a three-game SU and ATS winning streak. Tennessee’s defense got torched for 510 total yards, with 363 coming through the air.
South Carolina also had a three-game winning streak halted when it suffered the biggest upset loss of any Top 25 team last week, falling 17-6 to Vanderbilt as a 13-point home favorite. The Gamecocks’ defense (269 yards allowed, two forced turnovers) played well, but the erratic offense did not, producing just 282 total yards, including 26 rushing, while committing four turnovers.
The visitor has taken the last three meetings in this series both SU and ATS and is 9-0-1 ATS in the last 10. Last year in Columbia, Tennessee eked out a 31-24 victory as a 3½-point road chalk.
Fulmer is 13-1 SU all-time against South Carolina, but just 4-8 when matching wits with Spurrier-coached teams.
South Carolina has followed up an 8-1 ATS run with back-to-back non-covers. On the bright side, the ‘Cocks are on ATS tears of 9-1 on the road and 8-0 against winning teams.
Tennessee, which entered this season with a 10-24 ATS mark at home in the previous five seasons, has won and covered all three of its home games this year. The Vols are also 12-1 SU all-time against South Carolina in Knoxville, with the lone blemish being a 16-15 setback in 2005.
The under is 24-8 in South Carolina’s last 39 home games and 4-2 in the last six series meetings that have featured a posted total. But the over is 6-1 in Tennessee’s last seven overall.
ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE
(6) West Virginia (6-1, 5-1 ATS) at (25) Rutgers (5-2, 4-2 ATS)
Ten days after upsetting then-No. 2 South Florida at home, Rutgers once again will take the field as a home underdog, this time against sixth-ranked West Virginia.
The Scarlet Knights, aided by a successful fake punt that led to a field goal and a fake field goal that was taken in for a touchdown, escaped with a 30-27 victory as a 2½-point road underdog 10 days ago. Rutgers has followed a two-game SU and ATS slide with back-to-back wins and covers.
West Virginia raced out to a 31-0 lead 16 minutes into its game against Mississippi State last week and was never threatened en route to a 38-13 victory. However, despite a 343-214 yard edge in total offense, the Mountaineers came up just short as a 25½-point home chalk, dropping to 7-9-1 ATS in their last 17 games.
The Mountaineers have defeated Rutgers 10 straight times, including five in a row in New Jersey. Last year in Morgantown, the two teams played a back-and-forth triple-overtime thriller, with West Virginia ending the Knights’ unbeaten season and BCS Bowl hopes with 41-39 victory in a game that featured nearly 900 yards of total offense. Rutgers got the cash as a 9½-point road underdog, improving to 3-1 ATS in the last four meetings.
The visitor is 4-1 ATS in the last five series clashes.
The Scarlet Knights are on ATS runs of 7-2 overall, 12-4 as a home underdog and 7-1 against teams with a winning record.
West Virginia is 11-3 ATS on the road since 2005, including 8-2-1 ATS as a road chalk.
The under is 4-1 in West Virginia’s last five contests, but the over is 8-2-1 in Rutgers’ last 11. The over is also 3-1 in the last four series meetings.
ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE
(1) Ohio State (8-0, 4-3 ATS) at (24) Penn State (6-2, 4-4 ATS)
Ohio State, which is coming off its most competitive game of the season, figures to have its hands full when it invades State College, Pa., for a matchup against Penn State.
The Buckeyes opened up a 24-0 lead against Michigan State last week, but gave up two second-half defensive scores for touchdowns and had to hang on for a 24-17 victory, failing to cover as an 18½-point home chalk. Ohio State’s incredible defense (7.9 points per game allowed) gave up just three points and has surrendered just five touchdowns all season.
Penn State ran its winning streak to three with last week’s 36-31 win at Indiana. However, the Nittany Lions gave up a touchdown with less than three minutes to play and failed to cover as a seven-point road chalk, dropping to 2-4 ATS in their last six games.
The home team is 9-1 SU in the last 10 meetings and 9-0 ATS in the last nine. Last year, Ohio State won 28-6, scoring two late defensive touchdowns to cover as a 16½-point home chalk. Penn State is 4-1 SU and ATS in its last five against Ohio State at Beaver Stadium, including a 17-10 win as a four-point home pup in 2005 – the Buckeyes’ last regular-season Big Ten defeat.
Penn State is on positive ATS streaks of 18-8 at home (4-1 this year) and 4-1 as a home underdog. However, the Lions are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 against winning teams.
Ohio State is 20-7 ATS in its last 27 overall, including 9-2 ATS in its last 11 on the road (2-1 ATS this year).
Both teams are explosive offensively – Ohio State averages 34 points, 417 total yards and 201 rushing yards per game, while Penn State nets 32 points, 406 total yards and 186 rushing yards per outing. And both are outstanding on defense – the Buckeyes give up 7.9 points, 212 total yards and 66 rushing yards per effort, while the Nittany Lions surrender 15 points 280 total yards and 80 rushing yards per game.
The last three meetings between these teams have stayed under the total. The under is also 20-8-1 in the Nittany Lions’ last 29 conference contests.
ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER
(18) Cal (5-2, 3-3 ATS) at (7) Arizona State (7-0, 5-2 ATS)
The unbeaten Sun Devils should face by far their most difficult challenge of the season when they host a wounded Cal squad in another highly anticipated Pac-10 battle.
Arizona State has been idle since a 44-20 rout of Washington two weeks ago, finishing with a 523-288 edge in total offense and covering easily as an 11-point home chalk. The Sun Devils actually trailed 17-13 at the half before outscoring the Huskies 31-3 in the final 30 minutes, continuing a trend that has seen Arizona State outscore its foes 136-29 in the second half this season.
The Golden Bears are on a 4-0 SU and ATS roll in this rivalry, winning the four contests by an average of 25 points per game. That includes a pair of convincing wins in their last two visits to Sun Devil Stadium in 2002 (55-38) and 2003 (51-23). Going back to 1996, the home team is 7-2 ATS in this rivalry.
These teams figure to light up the scoreboard, as Cal is averaging 35.1 points and 417.4 yards per game (180 rushing ypg) and the Sun Devils are putting up 37.7 points and 437.3 yards per outing (177 rushing ypg).
Cal continues to burn money, going 13-21-1 ATS in its last 35 lined games, including 2-7 ATS against Pac-10 rivals and 2-6 ATS in October.
Arizona State is 16-8 ATS in its last 24 games in Tempe (4-1 ATS this year).
The under is 8-2 in Arizona State’s last 10, while the total has alternated in Cal’s seven games this season.
ATS ADVANTAGE: ARIZONA STATE
Re: Saturday Football
College football weather report
Fans attending South Florida at Connecticut may want to bring an umbrella and an extra change of clothes with them to Rentschler Field.
There is an 80 percent chance of showers in East Hartford with winds gusting from the southeast to 17 mph. The conditions are in favor of the 4 ½-point home underdog Huskies’ ground assault. The Huskies average 165 yards per game on the ground this season. The public, though, has taken notice of the weather conditions causing the 46 ½-point total to drop two points overnight.
There is a 50 percent chance of rain in College Park that could have major ramifications on the Clemson-Maryland matchup. The wet weather could force Clemson away from its 23-ranked pass offense, especially with winds gusting from the west to 14 mph. The forecast hasn’t moved the 3 ½-point line and the 48-point total is also unchanged.
It could be another dominant afternoon for Rutgers running back Ray Rice. There is a 100 percent chance of rain in Piscataway with winds gusting from the south to 17 mph that could impact the outcome of the West Virginia-Rutgers showdown. With wet conditions in the forecast, the line has moved from +6 ½ to +6 in favor of the Scarlet Knights’ fourth ranked running back.
The wet conditions projected this afternoon in Toledo could make the home-field advantage even more significant in the Northern Illinois-Toledo matchup. There is a 60 percent chance of precipitation with winds gusting from the southwest to 16 mph. The temperature is also expected to drop as low as 37 degrees this afternoon. The line has remained at 3 ½ points in favor of the Rockets’ strong ground attack led by senior running back Jalen Parmele.