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#125 - NCAA - 5 units on South Carolina Pick
#134 - NCAA - 3 units on Texas A&M +3
#148 - NCAA - 3 units on Oregon -17.5
#187 - NCAA - 3 units on Tulane +4.5
#127 - NCAA - 3 units on Western Michigan +1
#142 - NCAA - 3 units on Missouri -14
#170 - NCAA - 3 units on Cincinnati -7
3 Added plays for the Saturday card. Got Cincinnati at -7 by waiting. The
other 2 plays didn't move at all.
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4 STAR SELECTION (Rated 1-6 Units)
Texas +6½ over Oklahoma
While most expected the Sooners to be 5-0 coming into this week, the Longhorns weren’t getting nearly as much respect. This is the Super Bowl of the Big 12 season for the fans. Both teams are national title good, both teams have Heisman caliber star power, and both teams are playing well. Really, really well.
Oklahoma has obliterated everything in its path with cold, ruthless efficiency averaging 50 points per game and allowing just 14 per outing. Meanwhile, Texas has been even more dominant. The Colorado game last week wasn't as close as the 38-14 final might suggest, while the Longhorns won three of their first four games 52-10. The other win was a 42-13 pasting of UTEP.
We have 2 red-hot QBs here with Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy for Texas. McCoy also leads the Longhorns in rushing, and while he's not the dynamic runner Vince Young was, he's been almost as productive while taking his passing to another level, completing 79% of his passes.
Texas should stay in this game and give themselves a chance to pull off the upset by keeping the Sooners’ big plays to a minimum. They should win the battle of field position, as Oklahoma has been awful punting the ball and has surprisingly gotten little pop from the punt return game. As long as Texas isn't giving up home runs and is forcing the Sooners to start deep in their own territory most of the time, they will be in good shape.
A handicapping strategy of ours is to play ON a power team in the unfamiliar role of underdog. Teams that aren’t used to being an underdog and rarely lose, will certainly be aware of the oddsmakers picking them to lose and use it as motivation. Expect this team’s best effort they are capable of. We’ll certainly get that here with the Longhorns, as they have been an underdog only 4 times since 2004, going 3-1 SU & 4-0 ATS. Meanwhile, the Sooners are 0-4 ATS as a favorite of less than 13 points vs. opponents not seeking revenge for a same-season SU loss.
We have numerous NCAA Football POWER SYSTEM active here, all in agreement with Texas being the right side in this battle.
First, wee took a look at undefeated neutral site underdogs and found them to do quite well under the following conditions:
Play ON an undefeated neutral site underdog not off 3 ATS losses vs. an opponent not off a road SU loss & ATS win.
There have been only 9 qualifying games since 1980, but the dog is 9-0 ATS, clobbering the spread by 2 TDs per game on average.
Undefeated underdogs with a stiff defense have also been very strong. Specifically, from Game 6 on, play ON an undefeated underdog of 4+ points off allowing less than 20 points in each of its last 5 games. These teams are also 9-0 ATS since the 1980s, crushing the spread by nearly 16 ppg on average.
Mid-season small underdogs have been extremely strong in recent seasons off 2 solid wins and a great defensive run under the circumstances outlined. This POWER SYSTEM instructs:
In Games 6-9, play ON an underdog of 1½-10 points off SU wins of 7+ points in its last 2 games and allowing less than 24 points in its last 5 games vs. an opponent not seeking revenge for a SU loss of 24+ points last season.
Just since 2000, these teams have gone a phenomenal 17-0 ATS, again bettering the spread by more than 2 TDs per game on average.
On the other hand, unbeaten favorites of 1-3 TDs have run into trouble against revenge-minded foes off a victory in the second half of the season. This final POWER SYSTEM states:
From Game 6 on, play AGAINST an undefeated favorite of 6½-20½ points vs. an opponent off a SU win and seeking revenge for a SU loss.
Just since 2005, these teams are a horrid 0-15 ATS, once again failing to cover the spread by more than 2 TDs ppg. We’ve used this system twice already in 2008 to fade South Florida vs. Pittsburgh and Alabama vs. Kentucky just last week, both STAR SELECTION winners.
We’ll ride it on Saturday as well, as the Longhorns should make 1 more big play than the Sooners and have a great shot at not just covering the spread but winning this game outright.
PROJECTED FINAL SCORE: TEXAS 35 OKLAHOMA 31
4 STAR SELECTION (Rated 1-6 Units)
NORTHWESTERN +1 over Michigan State
While everyone is talking up 5-0 Penn State, Northwestern has flown under the radar, but have the same exact record. Unlike past Wildcat teams that found ways to keep things moving with a quirky offense, this one is doing it with defense and a killer pass rush.
Michigan State has also won their last five games; however, that followed a season-opening defeat at California.
These teams have played some wild games when they get together. Last year Northwestern won a 48-41 thriller. In 2006, Michigan State, under John L. Smith, came up with the biggest comeback in college football history to win 41-38.
Cal beat Michigan State by getting its star running back Jahvid Best into space where he could do something with the ball, while the defense never let MSU’s Javon Ringer get into a groove. We expect Northwestern to follow a similar gameplan here. RB Tyrell Sutton should play a key role. He always is the focal point of the offense, but this week he should be a bigger part of the passing game. A fantastic receiver, he has 18 catches on the year so far to go along with 464 rushing yards and five scores.
Michigan State’s passing game isn’t working exceptionally with Brian Hoyer failing to complete half of his passes, and that’s without being under much pressure. The Spartans O-line has allowed just two sacks so far; however, Northwestern is third in the nation in sacks and we look for this game to be more of a defensive struggle than the last 2 meetings.
After three straight games of around 200 rushing yards, Javon Ringer was held to 91 last week, and the Wildcats should keep him to a respectable total here. He may also be wearing down, as he has pretty much carried the offense on his back in every game without a bye week.
Michigan State is 0-8 ATS (-17.2 ppg) as a favorite vs. an opponent off a SU win as an underdog of more than 2 points, as well as 0-6 SU (-12.8 ppg) & 0-6 ATS (-13.3 ppg) with a line between -3 & +2, so they have not got the job done in games expected to be razor close.
The Spartans also qualify for an NCAA Football POWER SYSTEM which reveals that road teams off a non-covering win as a small favorite have fallen hard on the road against opponents coming off an underdog victory. It states:
From Game 5 on, play AGAINST a road team off a SU win & ATS loss of more than 2 points as a favorite of less than 9 points vs. an opponent off an underdog SU win.
Since 1994, these teams are 0-11 ATS, failing to cover the spread by more than 2 TDs per game on average.
We also might catch the Spartans peeking ahead to next week’s home game against the Buckeyes, as favorites of less than 27 points are 0-7 ATS (-7.1 ppg) before a conference home game against Ohio State.
A largely veteran Northwestern defense has taken to new coordinator Mike Hankwitz' aggressive schemes like a drowning man takes to a raft. Last year, the Wildcats finished 10th in the Big Ten in scoring defense with 31 points allowed per game. This year, the Wildcats rank ninth in the nation in scoring defense with 12.4 points allowed per game. Northwestern has 17 sacks in five games this year after managing only 18 in 12 games last year. They have also forced 11 turnovers (2.2 per game) after forcing 16 (1.3 per game) last year.
Meanwhile, the special teams have been special enough that both punter Stefan Demos and kicker Amado Villarreal have been named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week.
And the offense, which was supposed to be the team's primary positive? It has struggled to finish drives in the red zone, but the Wildcats came around in their 22-17 win over Iowa as senior QB C.J. Bacher threw his second, third and fourth TD passes of the year.
With such ingredients in the mix, we have a couple of handicapping strategies at work here:
Play ON a team with the superior defense, especially if a team’s defensive strength neutralizes the opponent’s offensive strength.
This could cause them to go with plays they are not well suited for.
Play ON a team that is showing positive signs with a coach in his 3rd year.
Some coaching changes do bring about immediate results but that is the exception, not the rule. Many times, a college coach will hit his stride in his 3rd year, especially if the coach has done well recruiting. By year #3, his own recruits will be playing 1st string and the team is well-adjusted to all the news systems and techniques that the new coach has implemented. Teams that are not being hyped in a coach’s 3rd year, despite improvement from year 1 to year 2, should provide tremendous line value.
Northwestern’s defense should do its job, as the Pat Fitzgerald regime is hitting its stride in season 3.
We also have some solid numbers in the WildCat’s favor here, as they are 8-0-1 ATS with 9+ days rest in regular season games and 13-1-1 ATS the last 15 regular season games with 9+ days rest, as well as 8-0 ATS (+11.4 ppg) as a home underdog and not off a SU loss of 32+ points vs. an opponent seeking revenge for a SU loss last season.
Finally, we have some more NCAA Football POWER SYSTEMS favoring Northwestern, one of which shows how well unbeaten home dogs and small favorites have done with rest. It advises:
From Game 4 on, play ON an home team (not a favorite of 2+ points) with 7+ days rest vs. an opponent with less than 7 days rest and not off a conference favorite SU & ATS win.
Since 1990, these hosts have gone a sparkling 14-0 ATS, beating the spread by more than 10 ppg on average. Last week Vanderbilt qualified as a PLAY ON team vs. Auburn and won SU as a small home dog.
We look for the small dog WildCats to have a bit more breathing room here, as they wear down the weary Spartans and win this game going away.
PROJECTED FINAL SCORE: NORTHWESTERN 31 MICHIGAN STATE 23
3 STAR SELECTION (Rated 1-6 Units)
New Mexico +23½ over BYU
The 5-0 Cougars remain in the Top 10 after a sluggish victory at Utah State, and now have one final tune-up before next Thursday’s showdown at Fort Worth against 5-1 TCU. BYU QB Max Hall hasn’t been especially sharp the last two games and will now face the tricky Lobo defense.
New Mexico has handily won their last two games despite injuries to QB Donovan Porterie and RB Rodney Ferguson. Redshirt freshman Brad Gruner is showing signs of improvement at quarterback, and Paul Baker and James Wright have picked up the slack while Ferguson rehabs his injured shoulder.
The Lobos are determined to establish the running game here in order to control the clock and keep the high-powered BYU offense on the sidelines. Even if Ferguson remains on the shelf, they’re capable of getting it done. The rebuilt offensive has gelled nicely in the first half of the season, creating daylight for whichever back is behind Gruner. Baker is the veteran, a fifth-year senior with almost 1,000 career rushing yards. Wright is the newcomer who’s averaging almost 10 yards a carry.
With New Mexico we have the opportunity to play ON a rebuilding team that started the season losing at least its first few games. Off to such a poor start, the team will be butt of jokes in all local sports media and nobody will want to bet on the sorry bunch; however, this will generate line value on the team as they will be very determined to win, while upcoming opponents may take them lightly. These teams should be ones in which there wasn’t much expected anyway, as they’re in a rebuilding mode. Teams whose coaches have a long-term commitment from the athletic department will receive better efforts from the players, while coaches whose job is as good as gone after the season may find players more likely to quit on them.
The Lobos certainly fit the bill there and are in a good spot here, as they come in 8-0 ATS (+11 ppg) as an underdog off 2 SU wins and 2 non-ATS losses, and 8-0 ATS (+8.8 ppg) on the road seeking revenge for a home SU & ATS loss. Meanwhile, BYU is 0-3 ATS in the reverse role and the home team is 0-6 ATS in this series the last 6 years.
We have several handicapping factors indicating a play AGAINST BYU, as we look to:
Play AGAINST a homecoming team that is either a large favorite or large underdog.
Homecoming can mean a lot of distractions for players, and if they don't have a "big" game to concentrate on, they can easily lose focus. Teams that assume they are going to win or know they don't have a chance are most likely to be flat on gameday.
Play AGAINST a team off a narrow win in which they nearly blew a large lead in the 4th quarter, especially of favored.
If a team nearly choked away a game that was in hand after 3 quarters, it can be a strong indication of good team about to go bad. The public only sees a "W", and will probably be inclined to back them in their next outing, leaving little line value on this team. Meanwhile, a blown 4th-quarter lead that didn't result in a loss can easily follow a team into its next game. The Cougars came off 2 shutout wins going into last week’s game, but finished in a very sloppy fashion at Utah State. Had a bizarre “illegal blocking” penalty not been called on an onsides kick recovered by the Aggies, they might have really been in trouble.
Play AGAINST a team in a relatively meaningless game before a big game next week.
Many times coaches will start to work on the big game preparation more than a week in advance, taking some focus off the current foe. They may pull their top-line players with a second-half lead to avoid injury. They may also have a vanilla gameplan in order to not give anything away that they have planned for the anticipated, upcoming clash. Simply put, they will be saving their best for the better opponent. The Cougars have a huge game at TCU on Thursday, so this will be a short week coming up for them, making this quite a “sandwich” game for BYU.
Of note, the Cougars are 0-9 ATS (-17.2 ppg) favored by 14+ points off playing Utah State since 1981, while New Mexico is 3-0 ATS since at least 1980 vs. teams off a game with Utah State. BYU is also 0-5 ATS (-14.2 ppg) as a home favorite vs. an opponent off allowing less points in each of its last 2 games.
A couple of NCAA Football POWER SYSTEMS also show that BYU is in a bad spot here.
First, after a sub-par victory that came on the heels of 2 shutouts, teams have continued to digress. This POWER SYSTEM states:
Play AGAINST a team off a SU win (not an ATS win of more than 1 point) in its last game and 2 shutout SU wins before that.
Since 1980, these teams are 0-10 ATS.
Secondly, following a sub-par performance in a highlighted, non-Saturday win, sizeable favorites have continued to stumble along. This is confirmed by a POWER SYSTEM that notes:
In Games 3-10, play AGAINST a home favorite of more than 6 points with 6-13 days rest off a non-Saturday SU win & ATS loss of more than 1 point as a favorite of more than 8 points.
Since at least 1980, these teams are a horrible 0-15 ATS, failing to cover by a gigantic 19 ppg on average! As an example, Tulane qualified as a PLAY AGAINST team last week against Army. The Green Wave was favored by 19½ points but lost 44-13, failing to cover the number by a mind-boggling 50½ points!
The Lobos should give BYU quite a scare for at least 3 quarters. The Cougars may finally pull away, but not by enough to cover this large number.
PROJECTED FINAL SCORE: BYU 31 NEW MEXICO 17
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3 STAR SELECTION (Rated 1-6 Units)
SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI +11 over Boise State
The unbeaten Broncos disposed of Louisiana Tech on national television last Thursday are now thinking about a BCS Bowl, as they likely to be favored in each of their final eight games.
After starting strong, Southern Miss has hit a wall with consecutive losses to Marshall and UTEP that have put the Conference USA East out of reach. While the offense is progressing in Larry Fedora’s first season, the defense, a trademark in Hattiesburg, has been the culprit in the program’s slide. A win here would be enormous for the new regime and would “make their season”, while it would be a crushing defeat for Boise State.
Southern Miss continue to perfect a balanced offense that’s a surprising #17 in the country at 457 yards a game. It has some way to go, but the attack is beginning to look like the one Fedora birthed at Oklahoma State. The Broncos have been terrific on defense, except when it faced the diverse attack of Oregon. Southern Miss has that kind of potential on offense and should give the visitors quite a scare.
This is a “let down” spot for the Broncos, as we look to play AGAINST a team off a nationally televised blowout win. As an old handicapping proverb states, “a team is never as good or as bad as its last game”. Blowouts do happen, and when they occur on a national stage, they can leave a lasting impression on viewers. The public regards the winning team as invincible and will think they are a “sure thing” the following week. The oddsmakers know this and adjust the pointspread accordingly, so there is no line value with this team.
A closer look at the numbers reveals that Boise State is a horrendous 0-10 ATS (-14.2 ppg) on the road with 7+ days rest since 2002 and 0-9 ATS (-12.6 ppg) as an unbeaten road favorite before Game 11.
The Broncos motto this season is “Take Back the WAC”, so they are obviously putting a lot of emphasis on league games after not winning the conference last season. That emphasis was obvious in their win over the Bulldogs last time out; however, they could easily stumble here in a non-league outing. In fact, an NCAA Football POWER SYSTEM of ours demonstrates that after a non-Saturday game as a favorite against a conference foe, teams have stumbled against non-conference competition. It states:
In Games 3-13, play AGAINST a non-conference favorite of more than 3 points with less than 14 days rest off a non-Saturday conference game as a favorite of 4+ points.
These teams are 0-10 ATS all-time, failing to cover the spread by a jaw-dropping 20 points per game on average! Boise State qualifies for that system, while we have some good numbers going the other way for the Golden Eagles.
Southern Mississippi is 9-0 ATS (+9.6 ppg) vs. unbeaten teams off scoring 19+ points since 1999, 8-0 ATS (+11.8 ppg) with less than 13 days rest vs. an opponent off 2 SU wins with the last by 10+ points, and 5-0 ATS at least since 1980 as an underdog of 4-16 points off a home SU loss.
Speaking of that home loss, after dropping 2 games as home favorites, teams such as Southern Miss back at home have much more competitive, as revealed by our database research. In Games 3-7, home teams not favored by 8+ points off 2 home favorite SU losses are 0-9 ATS, failing to cover the spread by more than 13 ppg on average.
Meanwhile, after an OT game as a favorite, underdogs of a FG or more have been greatly under-valued and motivated at home. The Golden Eagles are active for such a POWER SYSTEM that specifically states:
From Game 5 on, play ON a home underdog of more than 4 points with 5+ days rest off an OT SU game as a favorite of 2+ points in its last game and not a non-conference home SU win of 14+ points before that.
Since 1997, these teams are 12-0 ATS, plastering the spread by 16 ppg on average. We look for Southern Miss to bounce back in a big way off their 2 home losses and give Boise State all they can handle. This will be unfamiliar territory for the Broncos, as they have never made the trip. The Eagles should be ready to pounce early, should at least cover the spread, and we give them a great shot at winning this game outright.
PROJECTED FINAL SCORE: BOISE STATE 28 SOUTHERN MISS 24
3 STAR SELECTION (Rated 1-6 Units)
MISSISSIPPI STATE +2½ over Vanderbilt
The Commodores are leading the SEC East race as the super-division’s only unbeaten team? Yes, it’s true, as they have beaten South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Auburn; however, this is far from a perfect team despite its record. The offense stinks, the terrific secondary gives up a few too many yards, and the team is too reliant on getting the right break at the right time.
On the other side, the Bulldogs were last year’s surprise team from the SEC, but they started the season by going back to being an also-ran. On a three-game losing streak, Mississippi State desperately needs this win to get their bowl hopes back on track.
The Bulldogs should be able to hold their own on defense here, as they’ll be going up the SEC’s worst offense, ranked 116th nationally in passing, and has won all three of its SEC games by the skin of its teeth. Vandy leads the nation in turnover margin, but the ball won’t bounce their way every time. The Bulldogs haven’t been forcing the turnovers like it did last year, but that doesn’t mean the aggressive defense can’t come up with a big performance here. It stuffed Auburn’s offense in the epic 3-2 loss, and for the most part, the defense has been fine.
Will the collar start to get tight now for Vanderbilt, especially as a favorite? Traditionally, the Commodores choke up when they get close to bowl eligibility, and this game has “TRAP” written all over it. Last week’s win over Auburn with ESPN’s “Gameday” crew in town was the top of the mountain for this ‘Dores team. Here is where we look to play AGAINST a team off its peak performance of the season.
Whether a blowout win, upset, revenge victory, played the “spoiler”, or any win in which a team feels like they “just won the Super Bowl”, they will be hard-pressed to match that emotion, effort, and intensity next time out and will be due for a fall.
This will likely be the week Vanderbilt wakes up from their spell and remembers who they are and what they are, which is 0-7 ATS (-8.8 ppg) in conference road games when not getting 6+ points.
Oddsmakers are telling us something here by making the Commodores such a small favorite. Our database research shows that despite riding a win streak of at least 5 games, small road favorites have stumbled against teams on a losing streak. We have a POWER SYSTEM that states:
From Game 6 on, play AGAINST a road favorite of less than 6 points off 5 SU wins vs. an opponent off 2 SU losses.
We also found that undefeated road favorites have hit a snag after a surprising victory in another POWER SYSTEM that Vanderbilt qualifies for. It states:
From Game 6 on, play AGAINST an undefeated road favorite of 21 points or less with less than 13 days rest off a game not a favorite of 2+ points vs. an opponent not off 2 home SU & ATS losses.
Since at least 1980, these teams are an ugly 0-14 ATS, failing to cover the number by 15 ppg.
On the other side of the field, we have good reason to believe that Mississippi State now has their season headed in the right direction. They turned to Tyson Lee to jumpstart its offense last Saturday night, and the early returns say it's working.
Yes, the Bulldogs lost at #5 LSU, 34-24, but in just one game, State scored more points than it had against Bowl Subdivision opponents in its three previous games combined.
That Lee is even considered to be the offense's savior is an accomplishment in itself. He walked on to the team in January after a stellar career as an all-American quarterback at nearby Itawamba Community College. He played his high school football in Columbus, a town about 25 miles to the east of Starkville, MSU's home.
No one knocked Lee's talent or desire. But many knocked his height. He is generously listed at 5-foot-11, and has a pass batted back to him every so often.
But Lee worked hard enough in the spring to earn a scholarship. Over the summer, MSU coach Sylvester Croom started mentioning a two-quarterback system with Lee and Wesley Carroll, the incumbent starter. That arrangement lasted one game before Croom anointed Carroll the full-time starter and said Lee had work to do.
In the days of practice leading up to State's meeting with LSU, Lee impressed Croom enough to earn the start. He was 17-for-26 and threw a touchdown pass. And as State moves into its open week, Lee appears poised to take over the job full-time.
This is a situation where we like to play ON an underachieving team that has been "going through the motions" after some type of major stimulus. Replacing the coach is the ultimate short-term wake-up call, but there can be any number. The “players-only team meeting” or lineup change are a couple of other examples. It can give a falling team something to "circle the wagons" and rally around, which is what we see here. Mississippi State has their own version of “Rudy” and should play their best game of the season here, as they know they have a legitimate shot at beating an undefeated opponent. They have played Vandy very well of late, going 5-0 ATS (+17.8 ppg!) in this series with a line between -13 & +13.
Additionally, they are 3-0 SU (+11 ppg) & 3-0 ATS (+11 ppg) with a line between -7 & +7 since last year and 3-0 SU (+16 ppg) & 3-0 ATS (+17.8 ppg) off 3 SU losses since the end of the 2005 season.
Finally, we find Mississippi State active for a POWER SYSTEM documenting that with extra rest, single-digit home underdogs have been very prepared for unbeaten opponents. It states:
From Game 5 on, play ON a home underdog of less than 10 points with 7+ days rest and not seeking revenge for a road favorite SU loss last season vs. an undefeated opponent.
Just since 2000, these teams are 15-0 ATS, beating the spread by 2 TDs per game on average. We look for the Bulldogs to add to that perfect streak with a SU win here over the Commodores.
PROJECTED FINAL SCORE: MISSISSIPPI STATE 23 VANDERBILT 16
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Eastern Michigan -1 / 2 units
***CFB PLAY OF THE WEEK***
This is a rather strange contest in that Eastern Michigan is coming off of a shocking 24-21 road win at Bowling Green as 19-point underdogs while Army is 0-3 at home, losing to the likes of Division 1-AA New Hampshire. Also, Army is a one-dimensional running team that is averaging a miniscule 55.8 passing yards per game. Meanwhile, the EMU offense has been well balanced, averaging 184.8 rushing yards and 209.2 passing yards per contest. Look for the Eagles to post another road win.
Texas A&M +3 / 2 units
Now, we realize that A&M is not much, but Kansas State is a very vulnerable road favorite vs. anyone considering that they terrible defense is allowing 421.6 total yards per game. The last time the Wildcats were installed as road favorites, they were embarrassed by Louisville on national TV earlier this year. Now the Aggies were crushed at Oklahoma State last week, but the will appreciate returning home vs. this easier opponent.
Florida -6 / 2 units
While we realize that defense wins championships, it is the large disparity in the offenses that will decide this contest. In fact, while the LSU defense gets most of the notoriety, the Gators are only allowing 11.4 points per game in their own right despite allowing 31 points in their loss to Mississippi. However, the key to this outcome will be a well-balanced Florida offensive attack that is averaging 211.6 passing yards per game on 7.9 yards per attempt and 178.6 rushing yards on 5.0 yards per carry. Most impressively, they have accomplished this vs. a tough schedule while LSU ahs padded its stats vs. the Appalachian States and North Texases of the world.
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Texas Tech -20.5 vs Nebraska
The Texas Tech Red Raiders have another huge situational mismatch here at home against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who are playing their first road game of the year. Nebraska lost badly at home to Missouri last week for the first time in 30 years 52-17 while Texas Tech is coming off a 58-28 rout at Kansas State. The Cornhuskers won't be able to fix their problem in the secondary one week later against a slightly more explosive Texas Tech passing game. Nebraska also has gone 1-7-1 ATS in its last nine road games and 2-10 ATS in its last 12 against teams with winning records. This is simply another Heisman Trophy showcase game for Red Raiders QB Graham Harrell and WR Michael Crabtree. Bet Texas Tech as my Triple Dime NCAA Big Chalk Play O' the Month.
Northwestern +1.5 vs Michigan St.
Northwestern and Michigan State both played a common opponent in their last games - Iowa. The Wildcats won 22-17 on the road back on October 4 before a bye week while the Spartans are coming off a 16-13 home victory against the Hawkeyes. Michigan State RB Javon Ringer was held to 91 yards on 25 carries against Iowa while Shonn Greene ran wild for 157 yards to lead the Hawkeyes. That's good news for Northwestern's leading rusher Tyrell Sutton, who missed last year's crazy 48-41 win at Michigan State a year ago. Sutton is averaging 124 scrimmage yards per game and will be extra motivated for this game against Ringer and the Spartans. "I've seen some people on campus decide to jump on the bandwagon," Sutton said. "It's up to us to give the fans something to buzz about and I think we've done a good job of that the last five or six weeks. We just have to maintain that buzz and make sure we stay humble and stay grounded and play every game like we're 0-0." Look for Northwestern to keep the fans buzzing and bet the Wildcats to stay unbeaten as my Single Dime NCAA Underdog Play O' the Week.
Baylor / Iowa St. Over 59
Neither of these teams will be able to stop the other, and you need not look further than last week's games to prove this. Baylor is coming off a rough 49-17 home loss to Oklahoma while Iowa State blew a 20-0 lead to Kansas at home in an eventual 35-33 loss. The Cyclones had rallied back two weeks ago at UNLV after trailing 21-0 at halftime before losing 34-31 in overtime. Both teams are also certainly capable of scoring too, as their combined 7-1 OVER mark this season backs up. In addition, the OVER is 9-3 in Baylor's last 12 games on field turf, so bet the OVER to cash again here as my Double Dime NCAA Total Play O' the Week.
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Miami -17.0 vs UCF
Miami Florida, our No.1 College Football Favorite Game of the Week, plays host to Central Florida with the Canes looking to bounce back off last week's disappointing 41-39 home loss to Florida State. And bounce back they should as our powerful database reminds us that non-conference home favorites of more than 8 points, playing off a SU home favorite loss, are 16-3 ATS when taking on an opponent off a win of 24 or more points in its last game, including 13-0 if the home favorite did not win game previous to the home loss by more than 17 points. While Miami head coach Randy Shannon has struggles in conference play (2-8 ATS0 he is 3-0 ATS in non-conference games when not favored by 30 or more points. Lay the points with the Canes against the outmanned Knights.