Saturday Service PLays

Re: Saturday Service PLays

Ross Benjamin

Troy @ Ohio St.
Play:Troy +21.0

This is a mentally fractured Ohio St. team after being drubbed last week in their big showdown with USC and being blown out in the last two BCS Championship games. Troy comes off a week of rest and has a very good group of first unit athletes. Ohio St. will most likely prevail but this one will be much closer than people may think. The Sun Belt Conference is the strongest it has ever been from top to bottom since its inception with Troy being one of the favorites to finish on top.

Any home favorite off a non-conference away underdog of 10.0 or more ATS loss in which they allowed 35 points or more, They failed to cover by 16.5 points or more, they were undefeated entering that game, and they have won 9 or more of their last 22 games overall is 0-10 ATS since 1980. If they are a favorite of 22.0 or less they are 0-7 ATS and lost 6 of those 7 outright. Play on Troy St. plus the points

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Brad Diamond Sports

Rice at Texas
Pick:TEXAS

I actually came close to making the 'Horns a Wise Guys' Best Bet this Saturday, but line seemed high at the time (-30), however, because of the quarterbacking of Chase Clement the Rice Owls are gaining some attention on the Las Vegas Boulevard.

My first inclination seems a pure knee-jerk, knowing the Owls are 0-13 SU against BCS type programs, while forging a defense that can't stop anyone. How can a Big-12 power, underrated at that, be scratched from your card when they are 37-1 SU vs. Rice. Plus the margin of victory is huge with the 'Horns scoring 58, 52, and 51 the last three meetings. Texas has laid -40, -33 and -38 vs. Rice those encounters. Now the lines makers have, again, overreacted putting -28 1/2 up at his writing!

Recall, Texas had a bye week (Arkansas) because of the storm and should be ready to challenge LSU for the #6 spot in the polls, if the Tigers fall at Auburn. So, there is major incentive for Texas. By the way, at half-time UT will bring out some of the hero's of the recent storm along with the national guard.

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Great Lakes Sports

Georgia at Arizona State 
Play:Georgia Bulldogs

The Georgia Bulldogs is coming off a tough conference game with South Carolina, and will be focus here in a non-conference encounter with the Arizona State Sun Devils. The Georgia Bulldogs is a very solid 9-3 ATS when playing a team with a winning record the last three years, and they are 6-3 ATS when playing in September the last three years. The Georgia Bulldogs is also a very nice 6-2 ATS vs non-conference opponents the last three years, and they are 6-3 ATS off of a win vs a conference rival the last three years. We look for the Georgia Bulldogs to roll over the Arizona State Sun Devils in this non-conference showdown for the road ATS win & cover tonight.

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Jim Feist

New Mexico @ Tulsa
Play New Mexico

New Mexico (1-2) is off a stunning victory, as RB Rodney Ferguson ran for 158 yards and two touchdowns and freshman James Aho tied a school record with five field goals to help New Mexico beat Arizona 36-28 on Saturday night. Ferguson also tossed a 25-yard trick play scoring pass to quarterback Donovan Porterie. The Lobos are as tested as any team in the country, playing TCU, Texas A&M, Arizona and now at Tulsa. Junior QB Donovan Porterie had a strong sophomore season, passing for 3,006 yards, 15 TDs, 9 picks, plus the balanced attack has power back senior RB Rodney Ferguson. New Mexico is 16-9 ATS as a dog. (2-0) Tulsa is just 4-9 ATS its last 13 games. An excellent spot for the tested visitors who have a veteran, balanced offense. Play New Mexico

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K & B Sports

UCLA had a subpar performance, in a big way, in its previous game on both sides of the ball. This team lost that game 59-0. UCLA is 0-2 ATS following a game where it was shutout since 1999. Also, UCLA is 1-3 ATS following a game it allowed 52 points or more since 1999. Look for a subpar offensive and defensive performance from this team.

PLAY ARIZONA

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Rockboxsports.com

MISSISSIPPI -7 OVER VANDY

Vandy is drawing all the attention with their 3-0 start highlighted by a win over South Carolina. Certainly, the Commodores are improved. However, we think Mississippi is the better team here and may in fact be a better fit for the 2008 glass slipper in the SEC. Vandy's home win over SC was impressive, but Wake Forest is no slouch either and Mississippi had them on the ropes in Winston-Salem before the Deacons escaped by 1 with a last second field goal. Former Miss coach Ed Orgeron was not a good game day coach but was a great recruiter. He underachieved with good talent and now Houston Nutt steps into a great situation with his superior coaching skills and a full cupboard of quality players. Ole Miss is large, talented and experienced on the O line, led by LT Michael Oher who is rated by many as the possible #1 overall pick in the next NFL draft. QB Jevan Snead, a Texas transfer who played in 8 games as a true freshman for the Longhorns, has looked like the real deal thus far behind center. The Rebels should be ready to step up on D as well, as two key DL starters return from injury for a Miss D that returns its top 12 tacklers from last year. They should test a Vandy front line that features five new starters playing their first SEC road game. Meanwhile, Vandy's performance thus far may be slightly deceptive. They are coming off of a win against a Rice team that was without its top two linebackers and lacking in depth. Despite the win vs. South Carolina, the Commodores were outgained 325-225 there and were outgained by Rice as well 407-344. They have been outgained by a total of 143 on the year. While all of the focus is on other big SEC games this weekend, this will be an interesting matchup as these two teams are vying for mid-level bowl eligibility and this game will go a long way towards determining who gets there. Vandy benefited from SC taking them lightly, but this will not be the case here as Mississippi knows this is a pivotal game for them. The Rebels made a great move in hiring Houston Nutt and they begin to reap the benefits with a decisive win here.

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Bob Majors

Toledo +7.0 vs Fresno St.

Fresno State Bulldogs travel to Toledo Rockets for an evening game.

The Bulldogs had a heartbreaking 13-10 loss at home last week to Wisconsin.  They had several chances to win, but missed 3 field goals in the process.

The Rockets won in a comfortable fashion last week against a weak Eastern Michigan team 41-17.

I feel the Bulldogs will run the ball more often than passing and try to control the game and keep the strong Rockets offense off the field led by QB Aaron Opelt who threw 3 touchdowns against Eastern Michigan.

The Bulldogs are 9-20 ATS lasts 29 games overall, but 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games.  Meanwhile, the Rockets are 4-0 in their last 4 games on turf and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.

The generous points look good here and the Bulldogs will be down emotionally after last weeks loss.

Take the points and the Home Team Rockets in a low scoring game.

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Re: Saturday Service PLays

Tom Freese

San Jose St at Stanford

San Jose St is 8-0 ATS off a straight up win and they are 40-19-1 ATS their last 60 games vs. losing teams. The Spartans are 7-1 ATS after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their last game and they are 6-1 ATS after allowing less than 20 points in their last game. Stanford is 4-10 ATS their last 14 home games and they are 4-10 ATS their last 14 games vs. winning teams. The Cardinal are 2-10 ATS after allowing over 200 yards rushing in their last game and they are 1-11 ATS their last 12 September games. PLAY ON SAN JOSE ST -

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Re: Saturday Service PLays

Marc Lawrence

Play On: Virginia Tech

When the Hokies take on the Tar Heels in a key ACC clash in North Carolina Saturday afternoon they'll do so knowing they are 15-1 SU and 14-2 ATS in the conference road since entering the ACC in 2004. In addition, Frank Beamer is 16-2-1 away versus undefeated opposition with the Hokies. With the Tar Heels 2-0 SU but 0-2 'In The Stats' this season, look for Virginia Tech to continue their winning ways here today.

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Greg Daraban

Notre Dame at Michigan St

Rivalry as these two from the Midwest lock horns. The Irish 2-0 with wins over San Diego St and Michigan must go to East Lansing to take on the Spartans.Mich St lost at Cal 38-31 and then dropped a hammer on Eastern Mich 42-10 and a shutout of the Owls of Fla Atlantic 17-0. The Spartans won 31-14 last year at South Bend. Even with revenge on their mind ND does not have the talent right now to stay with Michigan St.

Take Michigan St

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Re: Saturday Service PLays

Jimmy The Moose

East Carolina at NC State
Prediction: East Carolina

East Carolina is off to a 3-0 SU start and 2-1 ATS. The Pirates are averaging 26.3 PPG while allowing 16.3 per contest. East Carolina is 15-6 at the window in their last 21 road games. The Pirates are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games vs. a team with a losing record. East Carolina is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 vs. ACC team's. North Carolina is 1-2 SU and 1-1 ATS. The Wolfpack are averaging 14.3 PPG and are giving up 28.3 per contest. NC State is 2-7 ATS in their last 9 home games. In their last 10 games played in September they are 2-8 ATS. In their last 7 non-conference games they are 1-6 ATS. Play on East Carolina -.

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Re: Saturday Service PLays

John Fisher

Temple vs. Penn State    
Play: Temple   

I don't like to play on heavy dogs. This is a 2 STAR play....use with a teaser with Buffalo vs. Missouri game. Temple and PSU play very early. Penn State will win but Temple is no push over. That have lost their last two games on last plays of game. They made ESPN play of the week as Buffalo throw a hail-mary as time expired to beat them. There DL is Stout and have three WRS for Adam DeMichelle to throw too. Penn State 40 Temple 21


Buffalo U vs. Missouri    
Play: Buffalo U     

Like my Temple Free Pick 2 STAR I like Buffalo to cover a team looking for their next game. Buffalo has SR leadership in the skill positions and will be able to move hte ball against Missouri like Illinois did in week one. Missouri looks unstoppable but they have to have the ball to score 58 pts a game. Neveda had a lot of three and outs and gave Missouri too many possesions. Buffalo, even if they dont score will take enough time off the clock to make it a game. Missouri and the CHASES 49 Buffaloe 24


Florida vs. Tennessee U    
Play:Florida   

If you can tease this with Michigan State do so. Dont like the 7.5 points because of back door cover. However, The Gators have had two weeks to prepare for this contest. The Vols will try to keep Tebow off the field with a strong running attack Arian Foster and BIG LINE. They will not be able to throw the ball with Floridas CB's and Fast LB's. Big play Percy Harvin is back for the GATORS and could be the difference maker. Gaotrs also have their anchor guard Jim Taroft back and healthy this week. Gators 24 Vols 17


Notre Dame vs. Michigan State     
Play:Michigan State   

If MSU had any sort of passing game this would be a blow out and a 5 STAR for me. Except they will win with the run and give Notre Dame some hope of mustering a back door cover. I like MSU defense to shout down Notre Dame and MSU's All American RB to run for 200 yds against Notre Dames defense. MSU 20 ND 10 2 STAR

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Sports Gambling Hotline

LSU -2½ at AUBURN

We are surprised LSU is the slight favorite in this battle of the Tigers.

True, the Bayou Bengals did edge Auburn 30-24 last season on a last second TD, but they did fail to cover. Auburn has been able to cover 3 straight series meetings, and they have also held LSU at bay the last 4 times they have played at Jordan-Hare.

This is LSU's first road game of the season, and we are not sure they have the team this season to win this one outright against the revenging Tigers. LSU is just 2-6-1 against the spread on the road the last two seasons, while Auburn is a money-turning 30-7 straight up their last 37 at home.

Look for Auburn's stauch defense to keep the LSU running game in check in this one, and for Auburn's still-learning spread offense to make better strides this weekend at home.

Finally, Auburn has not lost 2 in a row in this series straight up since way back in 1995-96.

We will grab any points they are giving out in this SEC battle under the lights.

4♦ AUBURN

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SPORTS ADVISORS

(6) LSU (2-0, 0-1 ATS) at (10) Auburn (3-0, 1-2 ATS)

LSU goes into Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn looking to score a win there for the first time in 10 years when two SEC-title contenders square off in this key conference matchup.

LSU has opened the season with two easy wins, beating Appalachian State 41-13 in a non-lined game in the opener and then topping North Texas 41-3 a week ago but failing to cover the 42½-point spread. LSU’s power rushing game has done the job with junior Charles Scott leading the way with 262 yards and four TDs this season, averaging 11.4 yards per carry. The offense put up 425 total yards on North Texas last week, led by Scott’s 102 yards on seven carries.

Auburn specializes in defense and has allowed just 13 points in three games, not counting a safety allowed by the offense in last week’s 3-2 win at Mississippi State, with the Tigers failing to cover as a 10-point road favorite. In addition to keeping teams off the scoreboard, Tommy Tuberville’s defense is allowing just 53 rushing ypg and held the Bulldogs without a third-down conversion in 14 tries. Despite failing to get into the end zone, Auburn’s offense was decent last week, with QB Chris Todd throwing for 154 yards and RB Ben Tate gaining 92 yards on 20 carries.

The home team has dominated this series, winning each of the last eight meetings (5-2-1 ATS). The last time the visitor scored a win was in 1999 when Auburn went to LSU and got a 41-7 victory the year after LSU prevailed 31-19 at Jordan-Hare as a six-point favorite. Last year was the highest-scoring meeting between these two in more than a decade, when LSU won 30-24 but failed to cover as a 10½-point home chalk.

It’s been tough going for LSU at the betting window, as Les Miles’ team is currently on ATS slides of 4-8-1 overall, 2-6-1 on the highway the last two years, 1-6-1 in SEC play and 3-7 after a straight-up win. Auburn is just 2-7 ATS in its last nine September games, but it is 7-2 ATS in its last nine against winning teams.

The under is 4-0 in LSU’s last four September affaris, but otherwise for the team, the over is on streaks of 8-2 overall, 6-1 in SEC action and 6-1 on the highway. Meanwhile, Auburn has a bevy of under streaks, including 8-2 in SEC play, 5-0 overall, 5-0 at home and 4-1 in September.

Finally, the under had cashed in seven consecutive head-to-head meetings between these rivals before last year’s game soared over the total. Still, the under is 4-0 in the last four meetings at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

ATS ADVANTAGE: AUBURN and UNDER


(9) Alabama (2-0, 2-1 ATS) at Arkansas (2-0, 0-1 ATS)

The Crimson Tide will try to make it four in a row to open the season when they travel to Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville for an SEC matchup with Arkansas.

Alabama has hardly been tested so far this season, beginning with a 34-10 upset in a neutral-site game against Clemson as a four-point ‘dog. A week ago, the Tide rolled over Western Kentucky 41-7 as a 26-point home chalk, racking up 557 yards of offense, led by QB John Parker Wilson who threw for 215 yards and two TDs to become the school’s all-time leader in total offense with 6,321 yards. Nick Saban’s defense has also been strong, topping the nation in rush defense, allowing just 42.7 ypg on the ground and 1.9 yards per carry.

Arkansas is lucky to be 2-0 at this point, with narrow wins over Western Illinois 28-24 in a non-lined opening game and then pulling out a 28-27 home win over Louisiana-Monroe back on Sept. 6 as a 14-point favorite. New coach Bobby Petrino’s club needed a TD pass from QB Casey Dick with 1:22 left to get the win over Louisiana-Monroe. Dick has had to carry the offense for the Razorbacks, throwing for 641 yards, two TDs and an INT.

The Crimson Tide scored a 41-38 win over Arkansas last season, surviving after twice blowing a 21-point lead, but failing to cover as 3½-point home favorites. The host has won eight of the last 10 matchups (5-5 ATS) but the visitor (and underdog) has gotten the cash in the last three. The underdog is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings, and three of the last five games have been decided either in the final seconds or in overtime, including the most recent clash in Fayetteville in 2006, when Arkansas prevailed 24-23 in OT as a 2½-point chalk.

Alabama is on ATS slides of 4-10 overall, 1-4 on the road, 1-4 in September, 6-20 as a favorite, 1-6 against teams with a winning record, 1-6 in SEC matchups and 0-5 after a spread-cover. Conversely, Arkansas is on ATS streaks of 4-1 in SEC games, 4-1 after a bye week and 4-0 coming off a non-cover, but the Hogs are just 2-7 ATS in their last nine September kickoffs.

The under is 5-2 in Alabama’s last seven overall, 5-1 in its last six on the road and 17-8 in its last 25 against teams with a winning record, but the over is 5-2 for the Crimson Tide in their last seven SEC games. For Arkansas, the over is on runs of 5-2 overall, 7-3 in SEC play, 6-0 in September and 4-0 at home.

In this rivalry, the over has cashed seven of the last 10 matchups. 

ATS ADVANTAGE: ARKANSAS and OVER


Virginia Tech (2-1, 0-2 ATS) at North Carolina (2-0, 1-0 ATS)

The Hokies will try to make it five in a row over North Carolina when they visit Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill for an ACC showdown.

Virginia Tech has rebounded from an opening-season 27-22 upset loss at East Carolina, beating Furman 24-7 in an unlined contest two weeks ago and edging Georgia Tech 20-17 last Saturday, but coming up short as a 6½-point favorite. Virginia Tech has been running-back-by-committee this season, with redshirt freshman Darren Evans leading the way so far with 203 yards and three TDs.

North Carolina is coming off an impressive 44-12 rout at Rutgers back on Sept. 11, cashing as 5½-point road ‘dog. It was the first time the Tar Heels won a game outside the state of North Carolina since 2002, and they did it with defense, intercepting four passes, one of which was returned for a touchdown. North Carolina QB T.J. Yates is averaging 221 passing ypg and has thrown five TDs and just one INT, and his favorite target is speedster WR Brandon Tate who has 231 yards on just eight catches.

The Hokies have won four straight (2-2 ATS) over North Carolina, including last year’s 17-10 home win, though the Heels covered easily as an 18½-point underdog. Last time these two squared off at Chapel Hill in 2006, Virginia Tech routed the Heels 35-10 as a 13-point road favorite.

Virginia Tech has now failed to cover in seven straight September games, but otherwise the ATS trends are all positive for Frank Beamer’s troops, including 23-7 in ACC games, 17-5 on the road, 6-0 in ACC road games and 9-4 following a non-cover. The Tar Heels are on ATS streaks of 6-2 at home and 4-1 against winning teams.

The over is 6-2 in the Hokies last eight road games, but the under is 4-1 in their last five September games and 5-2 in their last seven against winning teams. The under is also 5-1-1 in the Tar Heels last seven at home and 5-2 in their last seven against winning teams. The under is also 3-1 in the last four in this series.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


Iowa (3-0, 1-1 ATS) at Pittsburgh (1-1, 0-2 ATS)

Iowa takes its dominating defense to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers in a non-conference game.

The Hawkeyes have not allowed a touchdown this season, surrendering just six points in three games. Last week, the defense held rival Iowa State to a field goal in a 17-5 win, but the offense intentionally gave up a safety late in the contest to cost Iowa the cover as a 13-point home favorite. That win came on the heels of two blowout victories over Maine and Florida International by the combined score 88-3. RB Shonn Greene leads the offense with three straight 100-yard games to open the season, including 120 yards on 20 carries a week ago.

Pittsburgh rebounded from a stunning 27-17 upset home loss to Bowling Green to beat Buffalo 27-16 on Sept. 6, but fell short again as a 13-point home favorite. Pitt was counting on big things from RB LeSean McCoy after he racked up 1,328 yards last year, but McCoy has managed just 159 yards this season, though he does have four TDs.

Including last week’s non-cover against Iowa State, the Hawkeyes come into this contest on ATS slides of 4-11 on the road, 4-9 in September and 3-12 following a straight-up win. The Panthers are 5-1 ATS in their last six against Big Ten teams and 6-1 ATS in their last seven after a straight-up win, but they are on pointspread slides of 3-7 following a non-cover, 1-5 after a bye week, 0-4 at home and 0-4 in non-conference action.

The under has been the play in Iowa’s games lately, including 12-3 overall, 17-5 on the highway, 6-1 in September and 9-1 in non-conference action. And other than a 7-3 over run in September for Pitt, the Panthers’ under runs including 7-1 overall, 8-3 after a bye week, 4-1 at home and 4-0 after a straight-up win.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


(18) Wake Forest (2-0, 1-1 ATS) at (24) Florida State (2-0, 0-0 ATS)

Wake Forest pays a visit to Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee looking to beat Florida State for the third straight season in the ACC opener for both schools.

In their last trip to Doak Campbell Stadium in 2006, Wake Forest routed the Seminoles 30-0 as 9½-point road underdogs for their first win in this series since 1973 and the first home shutout in Florida State coach Bobby Bowden’s 33 years at the school. The Demon Deacons proved it wasn’t a fluke by upsetting the ‘Noles again last year 24-21 as a 4½-point home underdog. Wake Forest has cashed in each of the last four series meetings with FSU and is 8-2 ATS in the last 10.

The Demon Deacons, who opened 2008 with an impressive 41-13 rout at Baylor as an 11-point home favorite, has been idle since getting a last-second field goal to rally past Mississippi 30-28 on Sept. 6, failing to cover as a seven-point favorite. Wake Forest’s defense has forced eight turnovers in two games and senior QB Riley Skinner has been outstanding, completing 74.7 percent of his passes for 487 yards, five TDs and no INTs.

Bowden’s boys will face their stiffest test of the season today after dismantling Division I-AA foes Western Carolina and Chattanooga by a combined 115-7 in two unlined home contests. Thanks to the weak competition, the Seminoles defense is No. 1 in the nation, allowing 170 yards per game, and also ranks in the top-10 in total defense and scoring defense as well as total offense and scoring offense. Bowden’s two-headed QB situation has worked to this point with Christian Ponder and D’Vontrey Richardson combining for 554 yards, eight TDs and no INTs.

Wake Forest is on ATS streaks of 8-2 overall, 13-4 against winning teams, 22-12 as an underdog, 4-1 in ACC games, 4-1 on the road and 7-0 coming off an ATS setback. Florida State is 4-8 ATS in its last 12 as a home chalk and 23-7-1 ATS in its last 31 at home against teams with a winning road record, but the Seminoles are just 1-4 ATS following their last five straight-up wins and 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight on grass.

The under is 10-4 in the Deacons’ last 14 September games, but otherwise team has over streaks of 5-1 overall, 20-8-1 on the road and 6-2 in ACC games. The over is also 5-1 in FSU’s last six against a winning team, but the under is 4-1 in its last five in Tallahassee. Finally, these two narrowly topped the 44-point total in last year’s 24-21 battle, but the over-under has alternated in the last six contests.

ATS ADVANTAGE: WAKE FOREST


Notre Dame (2-0, 1-1 ATS) at Michigan State (2-1, 1-1 ATS)

Coming off an impressive home win over Michigan, Notre Dame hits the highway for the first time this season hoping to beat Michigan State at Spartan Stadium and extend a streak that has seen the visitor win seven consecutive meetings in this series.   

The visitor is 7-0 SU and ATS in this rivalry dating back to 2001 and is 8-1 SU and ATS over the last nine years. In 2007, Michigan State went into South Bend and cruised to a 31-14 victory as a 10-point road chalk a year after Notre Dame rallied to steal a 40-37 overtime victory at Spartan Stadium as a 2½-point favorite. Michigan State is 7-3 SU and ATS in the last 10 meetings, and the straight-up winner has cashed in each contest the last decade.

Notre Dame arrives in East Lansing with a four-game winning streak (3-1 ATS) dating back to last season, including last week’s 35-17 drubbing of Michigan as a one-point home underdog. The offensive line hasn’t allowed a sack in 2008 after giving up an NCAA-record 58 last year, providing QB Jimmy Clausen time to throw the ball downfield, which he’s done with mixed results, passing for 384 yards and five TDs, but also tossing four INTs.

Mark Dantonio’s Spartans opened with a 38-31 loss at Cal, coming up just short as 6½-point ‘dogs. But they’ve rebounded to outscore Eastern Michigan and Florida Alantic 59-10 over the last two weeks, though they came up just shy as an 18-point home chalk in last week’s 17-0 victory over Florida Atlantic. RB Javon Ringer has been Michigan State’s big offensive weapon, rushing for 492 yards on 104 carries and finding the end zone nine times.

Charlie Weis’ Irish are 5-1 ATS in their last six after a straight-up win, but they are just 2-6 ATS in their last eight September games. Michigan State is just 6-15 ATS in its last 21 at home, but otherwise the Spartans are on positive ATS runs of 8-3 against independents, 4-0 against teams with a winning record and 5-1 following a straight-up win.

For the Irish, the under is on runs of 11-4 overall, 11-3 in non-conference action and 6-0 on the road. Meanwhile, the under is 5-2 in the Spartans’ last seven non-conference games, but the over is 9-4 in their last 13 overall. Finally, the last four meetings between these rivals have topped the posted total, and the over is 4-1 in the last five clashes in East Lansing.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE

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Boise State (2-0, 0-1 ATS) at (17) Oregon (3-0, 2-1 ATS)

A week after escaping with an overtime victory at Purdue, the Ducks return home to face Boise State, who need an upset win today at raucous Autzen Stadium to keep alive its dreams of crashing the BCS party this year.

Oregon rallied from a 20-6 halftime deficit at Purdue last week to defeat the Boilermakers 32-26 in overtime for its fourth consecutive victory, but the Ducks failed to cover as an eight-point favorite to snap a 3-0 ATS run. Oregon, which survived when Purdue missed a game-winning field goal on the final play of regulation, finished with 503 total yards, including 306 rushing. However, the defense gave up 408 yards (201 rushing), and starting QB Justin Roper (20-for-48, 197 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs) was lost for several weeks with an injury.

The Broncos prepped for this contest with a 20-7 rout of Bowling Green, failing to cover as a 17½-point home favorite. Boise State, which had just a 340-307 edge in total offense last week, has won 11 of its last 13 games, but has followed up a 4-0 ATS streak with three straight non-covers in lined games.

Boise State has given up just one touchdown in each of its first two games, but today that defense runs up against a Ducks offense that through three games is putting up 47.3 points and 562 total yards per contest.

The Broncos are 28-12-1 ATS in their last 41 games against teams with a winning record, but otherwise they carry negative ATS trends of 3-7-1 against the Pac-10, 2-5 in September, 1-4 in non-conference play and 6-10-1 on the road.

Despite last week’s non-cover at Purdue, Oregon is on ATS streaks of 11-5 overall, 5-1 at home (2-0 this year), 14-3 as a home favorite, 4-0 against the Western Athletic Conference , 12-4 in September and 7-1 on artificial turf.

For Boise, the under is on streaks of 5-2 overall, 4-1 on the road, 8-2 in September, 4-1 against the Pac-10 and 9-3 in non-conference action. The under is also 5-2 in Oregon’s last seven home games, but the over is 14-4-2 in the Ducks’ last 20 in September and 5-0 in their last five versus WAC foes.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OREGON


Air Force (3-0, 2-0 ATS) at (20) Utah (3-0, 2-1 ATS)

Utah heads back on the road for a tricky matchup against always-dangerous Air Force as two of the Mountain West Conference’s remaining unbeatens square off in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The Utes fell behind instate rival Utah State 7-0 last week, then boat-raced the Aggies from there, winning 58-10 and easily covering as a 24½-point road favorite. Utah has won four straight games dating to last year’s bowl victory over Navy and is 11-1 SU in its last 12 and 8-3 ATS in its last 11.

Air Force had last week’s game at Houston shifted to Dallas because of Hurricane Ike, but the venue change didn’t slow the Falcons who won 31-28 as a 2½-point road underdog to improve to 9-1 ATS in their last 10 lined contests. Air Force’s triple-option offense worked to perfection as it rolled up 380 rushing yards, and the Falcons won their ninth game in their last 11 contests despite not completing a single pass (0-for-7) and allowing 534 yards to the Cougars.

The Falcons stunned Utah 20-12 as a seven-point road underdog last year, snapping the Utes’ four-game winning streak in this series. Air Force is on a 6-2 ATS run against Utah, and the road team has cashed in six consecutive meetings in this rivalry, while the underdog is 9-0 ATS the last nine years.

Air Force is 11-3 ATS under second-year coach Troy Calhoun, including 5-0 ATS at home. Additionally, the Falcons are on pointspread streaks of 6-0 in Mountain West play and 27-11-1 in September. Meanwhile, Utah’s ATS runs include 8-3 overall, 5-2 in conference, 5-1 on the road and 8-4 against winning teams, but the Utes are just 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 in September.

The last two meetings between these teams have stayed under the total. The under is also on streaks of 7-2 for Utah in conference play, 7-3 for Utah on the road and 9-3 for Air Force at home. However, more recently, the over is 4-0 in Utah’s last four overall and 4-1 in Air Force’s last five overall.

ATS ADVANTAGE: AIR FORCE


(15) East Carolina (3-0, 2-1 ATS) at N.C. State (1-2, 1-1 ATS)

Having survived a scare at Tulane a week ago, East Carolina takes to the road once again, this time to face struggling North Carolina State.

The Pirates got a touchdown with 1:41 remaining to put away Tulane 28-24 last week, falling way short as a 12½-point road chalk. East Carolina, which opened the season with stunning upset wins over Virginia Tech and West Virginia, has won five straight games and seven of eight dating to last season.

North Carolina State managed to hang with Clemson for awhile last Saturday, but never threatened to pull off the upset, losing 27-9 but covering as a 20-point road underdog to halt an 0-3 ATS slide. The Wolfpack have lost four straight games to Division I-A foes, scoring a total of 27 points in the defeats.

East Carolina is getting it done with defense, yielding just 16.3 points and 270 yards per game, while N.C. State’s D has gotten ripped for 28.3 points and 366.7 yards per contest.

These regional rivals have alternated SU and ATS wins and losses in their last six meetings going back to 1997, with the Wolfpack prevailing 34-20 as a six-point road underdog last season. The visitor has won the last two contests, and the SU winner has cashed in each of the last 10 head-to-head battles, five of them being outright upsets.

Despite last week’s non-cover, the Pirates remain on incredible ATS steaks of 28-12 overall, 11-4 in non-conference action, 15-6 on the road, 12-4 in September, 11-3 against losing clubs and 6-2 versus the ACC. On the other hand, N.C. State is mired in ATS funks of 9-23 at home, 1-6 in non-league action, 2-8 in September and 1-4 versus Conference USA foes.

The over is 5-1 in East Carolina’s last six road games, but N.C. State sports under streaks of 21-10-2 overall, 7-1-2 in non-conference and 20-8-2 on grass.

ATS ADVANTAGE: EAST CAROLINA


(4) Florida (2-0, 1-0-1 ATS) at Tennessee (1-1 SU and ATS)

Another chapter in one of college football’s most bitter rivalries will be written today at Neyland Stadium, as Tennessee hosts Florida in the SEC opener for both schools.

The Vols bounced back from a heartbreaking overtime loss at UCLA with last week’s 35-3 rout of UAB as a 30-point home favorite. Tennessee featured a balanced offensive attack in the victory, rushing for 266 yards and passing for 282, while the defense held the Blazers to 275 total yards while forcing three turnovers (all interceptions).

Florida, which opened up 2008 with convincing wins and covers over Hawaii (56-10) and Miami, Fla. (26-3), took last week off to prep for this contest. The Gators have won and covered six consecutive regular season games.

Florida QB Tim Tebow (393 passing yards, 92 rushing yards, 3 TDs, no INTs) has gotten off to a slow start in his junior season, but the defense has been strong, allowing just 6.5 points and 190.5 total yards per game. As for the Vols, they sport a per-game yardage edge of 457-282, with the defense yielding just 15 ppg.

The Gators own a three-game winning streak in this rivalry (2-1 ATS), including last year’s dominating 59-20 victory as a seven-point home favorite, as Florida finished with a 554-298 yardage advantage. Although the Gators have cashed in two of the last three against Tennessee as a favorite, the underdog is still 6-3-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings. Finally, the home team has gotten the cash in the last three battles.

Florida is just 2-7-1 ATS as a road favorite since 2005, including 1-3 ATS last year, and the Gators are 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight in September. Conversely, Tennessee sports ATS runs of 9-4-1 at home (5-1-1 at home last year), 4-0 as a home underdog since 2006 and 5-2-1 in SEC action.

For Florida, the over is on streaks of 8-2 overall, 4-1 on the road and 5-0 in the SEC. On the other hand, Tennessee sports under runs of 7-2 overall, 19-7-1 at home and 4-1 in conference play. Finally, the under is 4-2 in the last six series meetings (2-1 at Tennessee).

ATS ADVANTAGE: TENNESSEE


(3) Georgia (3-0, 1-0-1 ATS) at Arizona State (2-1, 1-1 ATS)

Arizona State will try to shake off last week’s stunning home loss to UNLV when it welcomes the third-ranked Bulldogs to Tempe for a much-anticipated non-conference clash.

The Sun Devils clearly got caught looking ahead to this showdown against Georgia, and they paid the price last Saturday, suffering a 23-20 overtime loss to unheralded UNLV as a 24-point home favorite, arguably the biggest upset of the young season. Since starting off last season 8-0 (6-2 ATS), Arizona State has split its last four games (1-6 ATS in lined action)

Georgia won its 10th in a row last week, but it wasn’t easy, holding on for 14-7 victory over South Carolina, pushing as a seven-point road favorite. The Bulldogs actually ended up on the short end of both the yardage (289-252) and first-down (20-17) battles, but the defense held the Gamecocks to just 18 net rushing yards, and Mark Richt’s team had a 10-minute edge in time of possession.

Including blowout wins over Georgia Southern (45-21) and Central Michigan (56-17), the Bulldogs are putting up averages of 38.3 points and 446.3 total yards per game (193.7 rushing ypg). Meanwhile, Arizona State nets 30.3 points and 442 total yards per effort (324.7 passing ypg). Defensively, both teams are stout, with Georgia allowing per-game averages of 15 points and 296 total yards and the Sun Devils giving up 17.7 points and 299 yards per game.

Georgia is 5-0-1 ATS in its last six lined games, and the Dawgs are on further positive pointspread streaks of 12-6-1 on the road, 5-0 in non-conference roadies, 5-0 against winning teams and 4-1-1 in September. On the flip side, in addition to their ongoing 1-6 ATS slump, the Sun Devils are in the midst of pointspread funks of 1-4 at home, 1-5 on grass and 1-4 against winning teams.

Since the end of the 2006 season, the under is 13-5 in ASU’s last 18 lined games, including 6-1 in its last seven non-conference matchups and 5-2 in September. Meanwhile, Georgia’s under streaks include 9-4 on the road and 22-7 in September.

ATS ADVANTAGE: GEORGIA and UNDER


NATIONAL LEAGUE

Philadelphia (86-68) at Florida (81-72)

Desperately clinging to their playoff hopes, the red-hot Marlins go for their 10th straight victory when they send Anibal Sanchez (2-4, 5.87 ERA) to the mound opposite the Phillies’ Joe Blanton (2-0, 4.53) in the middle game of a weekend series at Dolphin Stadium.

Florida ran its major-league-best winning streak to nine in a row with a 14-8 home rout of the Phillies on Friday, snapping Philadelphia’s seven-game run. Still, the Fish trail the Phillies by 4½ games in the wild-card race. During their nine-game winning streak, the Marlins are 7-0 at home, 6-0 against the N.L. East and 9-0 against right-handed starters. They’re also 10-2 in Sanchez’s last 12 outings at home.

With Friday’s loss, Philadelphia slipped back into second place in the N.L. East, a half-game behind New York. The Phillies still lead the wild-card battle by two games over the Brewers and 4½ over Florida. Charlie Manuel’s club also remains on positive runs of 5-2 on the road, 5-1 against right-handed starters, 6-1 on Saturdays and 4-1 when Blanton opposes N.L. East rivals.

Florida leads the season series against Philadelphia 10-6, winning seven of the last nine meetings overall and seven of the last nine at home.

Blanton, who was acquired from Oakland at the trade deadline, was solid in Sunday’s 7-3 win over Milwaukee, allowing three runs on five hits in seven innings, his longest outing since Aug. 8. Including his stint with the A’s, Blanton is 4-3 on the road with a 5.51 ERA in 11 starts this year. Also, despite yielding four runs on five hits in five innings, he defeated the Marlins 8-6 in Philadelphia in his only previous career start against them on Sept. 8.

Sanchez entered Sunday’s home start against Washington in the midst of a nasty four-start funk in which he gave up 19 runs in 9 2/3 innings (8.70 ERA). However, he tamed the Nationals, giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits in seven innings, with Florida holding on for an 8-7 victory. The right-hander, who missed the first four months of the season with an injury, is 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in five home starts in 2008.

Sanchez is 0-3 with a 10.69 ERA in four career starts against the Phillies (all Florida losses, all in Philadelphia), including 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA in two efforts this season.

The over is 3-0 in Blanton’s last three starts, 3-0 in Sanchez’s last three, 3-1 in Sanchez’s four career outings against Philly, and Blanton’s lone start against Florida topped the total. The over is also 8-2-1 in the Phillies’ last 11 games overall, 7-3-1 in their last 11 on Saturday, 7-3 in Florida’s last 10 overall and 4-0 in the last four series meetings between these clubs.

Finally, with Friday’s slugfest easily flying over the posted price, the over is now 50-21-3 in the last 74 Marlins-Phillies clashes at Dolphin Stadium.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER

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Re: Saturday Service PLays

Dwayne Bryant

Wake Forest at Florida State
Play:Wake Forest +5

Both teams come into this one 2-0, but FSU got there by beating up on two FCS squads at home. Wake Forest went on the road and pounded an improved Baylor team, followed by a knock-down, drag-out fight against a very good Ole Miss team. So while Wake is battle-tested this season, FSU is not and they will be stepping WAY UP in class for today's clash. Wake Forest has covered the last four in this series and have won the last two SU, including a 30-0 win on this field as a 9.5-point dog two years ago.

Wake Forest is:

7-0 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS loss.

7-1 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating less than 100
yards rushing in their previous game.

9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a winning home
record.

4-1 ATS in their last 5 conference games.

4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.

8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall.

FSU is:

1-4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.

1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. win.

2-9 ATS in their last 11 games after allowing less than 20 points
in their previous game.

1-8 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing less than 170 yards
passing in their previous game.

0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a SU win of more than 20
points.

0-5 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring more than 40 points in
their previous game.

Take Wake Forest +5

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Jeff Benton

For Saturday’s free play in college football action, we’ll back Temple plus the big points at Penn State in an instate non-conference showdown.

First things first: This line is inflated beyond belief, and understandably so, as the Nittany Lions have toyed with their first three opponents, crushing Coastal Carolina, Oregon State and Syracuse by a combined tally of 166-37, covering easily in all three. Tired of paying out Penn State backers, Vegas has added at least five points to the spread this week. So off the bat, we know we’re getting value with Temple.

Of course, line value wouldn’t mean squat if the underdog couldn’t at least compete a little bit, and I believe Temple can. These aren’t your father’s Owls, as despite a pair of heartbreaking losses the last two weeks, they’ve clearly turned a bit of a corner under coach Al Golden. After closing out 2007 on a 4-3 run, Temple opened 2008 with a 35-7 road rout of Army (I was on the Owls that night, thank you very much). From there, the Owls lost 12-9 in overtime on the road to a very good Connecticut squad, and then last week, they allowed Buffalo (another quality foe) to complete a Hail Mary pass on the game’s final play, and Temple fell 30-28.

The Owls did cover as a seven-point underdog the last two weeks, after easily cashing as a seven-point road chalk against Army, and they’re now on an impressive 11-4 ATS roll since the stat of last season (10-3 ATS as an underdog).

Bottom line: If Temple’s improving defense keeps the ball in front of them and keeps big plays to a minimum, and if QB Adam DiMichele (60.2 percent completion rate, 614 yards, 5 TDs, 3 INTs) can get time to throw the ball down the field, I think the Owls can hang in this game for awhile. And with Penn State having its Big Ten opener against Illinois on deck, there’s a good chance we don’t get a fully focused effort out of the Nittany Lions. So take advantage of the inflated spread – and take advantage of the fact that Golden and four of his assistants once played under Joe Paterno, who because of that might be a bit reluctant to run up the score on his former pupils.

4♦ TEMPLE OWLS

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Re: Saturday Service PLays

Jake Timlin

Take the Falcons plus the home points today. Sure Utah is probably the better team today, but the edge the Utes have will be neutralized due to the Falcons playing at home and having beat Utah last year 20-12 in Salt Lake City. Even more reason to take the points is that fact that Air Force is no push over going 11-3 ATS under coach Calhoun and the underdog going 9-0 ATS. Meanwhile for Utah and their defense that comes into today banged up is not a good sign as the Utes allowed 390 yards to the Falcons last year. Flat out while Utah should win today outright it wont come easy as the Falcons at home will give the Utes a scare by staying close the whole game. All Air Force plus the points!

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Re: Saturday Service PLays

Bobby Maxwell

Philadelphia at FLORIDA +120 

Florida continues to make its desparate late-season push and try to steal a playoff spot as the Marlins have now won nine straight games, including Friday's 14-8 blowout of the Phillies in South Florida.

Now the Marlins have young Anibal Sanchez (2-4, 5.87 ERA) on the hill tonight as they trail Philadelphia by 4 1/2 games in the wild-card race. But this team has won seven straight at home, six straight against N.L. East competition and won all nine against right-handed starters.

And with Sanchez on the hill they are 10-2 in his last 12 at home. Florida has won seven of the last nine against the Phillies overall and seven of the last nine the two have played in Miami. And the Marlins lead the season series, 10-6.

Sanchez was good on Sunday at home, allowing just three runs in seven innings for an 8-7 Florida win. Expect him to be good again today as the Marlins continue to pull closer in the playoff race.

It's not too late for Florida as the Marlins play the right teams and move closer. Play them at home in this one.

3♦ FLORIDA


Alabama at ARKANSAS +9 

How crazy will this game be this year? It seems the annual game between these two always comes down to the final minute before it's decided and don't expect today to be any different. That's why we're grabbing the points with the Razorbacks.

Alabama got a 41-38 win over Arkansas last year and twice came back from 21-point deficits, but the Razorbacks covered as a 3 1/2-point underdog. The home team has won eight of the last 10 meetings in this rivalry and the underdog is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 with three of the last five decided in the final seconds or in OT. Last time these two met in Arkansas, the raborzacks got a 24-23 win in OT but failed as a 2 1/2-point chalk.

Arkansas barely beat two lesser opponents this season but the hogs weren't challenged. A huge challenge faces them tonight and they will need QB Casey Dick to be near perfect. He's already thrown for 641 yards, two TDs and an INT this season and he will certainly need to control the tempo in this game.

Alabama has some talent but we think the Razorbacks are going to be flying all over the field, making tackles and not letting Crimson Tide QB John Parker Wilson get on track. Look for Arkansas to easily stay within this number. Play the Razorbacks.

4♦ ARKANSAS

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Re: Saturday Service PLays

Karl Garrett

Wake Forest +4 at FLORIDA STATE 

Call me crazy, but I just don't get how the Florida State Seminoles are what I think a big favorite against Wake Forest tonight.

I will take Wake's Riley Skinner's resume any day over Florida State's Christian Ponder, or Drew Weatherford.

The Demon Deacons have won the last two series meetings straight up, and they have been money against the spread in this conference rivalry, covering 4 straight, and 8 of 10.

Florida State is off to a 2-0 start, but wins over Western Carolina, and Tennessee Chattanooga doesn't exactly signal that you should place all of your eggs in this fragile basket that is the Seminoles.

The fact remains, the Sems are just 5-11 their last 16 lined home games as a favorite, and the G-Man would not be surprised at all if Jim Grobe's team extends their seires numbers to 3 straight wins, and 5 straight covers.

Take Wake plus the points tonight.

5♦ WAKE FOREST

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