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Saturday Service Plays
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Connecticut / Rutgers
PICK: Connecticut +1.5
Greg Schiano is in his eighth season at Rutgers but one has to wonder if he's taken this program as far as it's going to go and that this year's 1-5 'free-fall' is indicative of going "Back to the Future." Schiano went 3-20 (0-14 in the Big East) in his first two seasons but by 2005 he led the Scarlet Knights to the school's second-ever bowl appearance. Rutgers opened the following season 9-0 and was ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation and the team's 37-10 Texas Bowl win over Kansas State was the school's first-ever bowl win. Rutgers was a disappointing 8-5 last year but it did win its bowl game, 52-30 over Ball Satte (International Bowl). That's a three-year mark of 26-12 with three straight bowl appearances (two wins). Rutgers has opened the 2008 season 1-5, with its lone win coming over Morgan State. Rutgers had averaged 162, 180 and 198 YPG on the ground the last three seasons with Ray Rice in the backfield but this year without him, the Scarlet Knights are averaging 113.2 YPG and just 3.6 YPC on the ground. RB Kordell Young returned last week in a loss to Cincinnati (hadn't played since gaining 94 yards vs Fresno State in the term's season-opener) but while he gained 78 yards, he only averaged 3.5 YPC (he's no Rice!). QB Mike Teel continues to be ineffective with just three TD passes and seven INTs on the year. Those numbers are even worse when one considers he's got two quality WRs. Britt caught 62 passes last year while averaging 19.9 YPC with eight TDs but has 37 catches this year without a TD (12.5 YPC). Underwood caught 65 balls last year for seven TDs (16.9 YPC) but has only 14 catches in '08 (11.4 YPC) and also no TDs. Excluding the game with Morgan State, Rutgers' offense has averaged 13.4 PPG and its defense has zero takeaways! U Conn was off last weekend, licking its wounds after losing 38-12 at North Carolina. The Huskies had opened 5-0 and reached No. 24 in the AP poll but played poorly in Chapel Hill, allowing two non-offensive TDs (blocked punt TD and interception TD), while QB Zach Frazer threw three INTs. However, U Conn's defense did hold North Carolina to only 13 FDs while the Huskies (despite their mistakes) totaled 23 FDs and 378 yards. RB Donald Brown leads the nation in rushing (177.8 YPG / 6.0 YPC / 12 TDs) and the team averages 240.5 YPG on the ground (5.2). Frazer is in at QB for Lorenzen (broken foot) and while he played poorly in his last outing, he's replacing a guy who had a one-to-six TD-to-INT ratio of his own. U Conn owns a solid defense and the last five years has gone 3-2 SU and 4-0-1 ATS against Rutgers. U Conn is the far superior team this year and the pointspread does NOT reflect it. Take the Huskies.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Memphis / East Carolina
PICK: Memphis +8
It’s not too difficult making a case against East Carolina as a favorite of more than a touchdown these days. The Pirates were the talk of the college football world in early September, after notching impressive upset wins over Virginia Tech and West Virginia in their first two games of the season. Since that time, however, East Carolina has completely fallen apart, bad news for a senior laden team who’s BCS busting dreams are now a thing of the past.
East Carolina’s defense carried them to those two early season upsets. That defense has not been the same since star linebacker Brandon Cotton got hurt against Tulane. East Carolina’s last two opponents have rushed AND passed for more than 200 yards against them. In their last three games, they’ve allowed 30, 41 and 35 points, despite coming up with a whopping eight takeaways during that span. Memphis gained nearly 500 yards of offense and 40 points last year against a better Pirates defense than the one they’ll face here.
Since those two national TV wins to open the season, East Carolina hasn’t even sniffed a pointspread cover. They barely outlasted Tulane in a four point win over the Green Wave. Then, they lost outright as favorites against NC State, Houston and Virginia, dropping their record to 3-3. This is a banged up, unfocused .500 football team right now; a long, long way from realizing their BCS aspirations. I don’t think that Skip Holtz’s squad will recover from their recent dreadful performances this week.
Memphis outplayed Louisville on national TV last Thursday Night, but they came up short on the scoreboard in a seven point loss. Still, the Tigers came away from that game confident and focused after outgaining the Cardinals 481-299. QB Arkelon Hall threw for 350 yards in that ballgame, while running back Curtis Steele moved the chains on the ground. The four touchdowns that Memphis put up against a Big East defense was their lowest offensive output in the last month! This team can put up points in bunches, plain and simple, loaded with skill position talent.
The Tigers are 4-1 SU in their last five on the road in Conference USA play; the lone loss coming by a single point at Marshall. In fact, over the last few seasons, we’ve seen Memphis beat just about every quality team in this conference at their house: Houston, Southern Miss (twice), Tulane, Rice, and yes, East Carolina. We don’t need the outright win to cash our ticket here, but I wouldn’t be shocked if we get it Take Memphis.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Wisconsin / Iowa
These are 2 teams that are heading in opposite directions. Wisconsin climbed all the way to #10 in the national polls then proceeded to narrowly get by Fresno St. and followed that with 3 consecutive losses. The last of which was an embarrassing 48-7 thrashing by Penn St. at home where they have been invincible over the last 5 years prior to the last couple of games. Iowa has a stout defense and is fundamentally sound. They also catch a Badger team that is lacking confidence right now and that is not a prerequisite to success when play a road game versus a winning opponent.
Any conference home favorite of 10.0 or less that is off a conference away favorite ATS win by 8 points or more, has a win percentage of .425 or better, and is facing an opponent off a conference home underdog ATS loss is 9-0 SU and ATS since 1980. The favorite has won those 9 games by an average of 19.6 points per game. Play on Iowa minus the points.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
2 STAR SELECTION
DUKE +3 over Miami, FL
The Hurricanes and Blue Devils meet on Saturday, as the ACC foes look to improve their conference standings. Since blowing past Texas A&M in the third week, Miami has had a hard time getting back on track, losing close games against North Carolina and Florida State, and barely getting past Central Florida last Saturday. The offense is inconsistent, the defense has holes, and the injuries to key players have begun to mount.
Duke certainly lacks Miami’s talent, but they’re no longer a pushover that automatically goes in the win column. Duke has been a different team under David Cutcliffe, one that makes fewer mistakes and has some punch on offense. The Blue Devils have played the Hurricanes tough in each of the last two years, so another close game shouldn’t be a surprise.
In fact, a case can be made that the Blue Devils have the better defense in this game. They’re only allowing 18 points a game and the pass defense has been surprisingly stingy. The front seven has been stout as well. Duke will not back down to a Miami offense that has problems at quarterback and is generally not clicking in any area. The ‘Canes managed just 216 yards and an awful 2-of-17 third down conversions against UCF.
Miami has shown nothing but flaws in the last three games, and appears to be regressing on offense. While the ‘Canes will be flat, the Blue Devils will pounce on the opportunity to slay a former power and make more headlines.
Miami is simply a shadow of their former selves, as they are 0-3 ATS the last 3 seasons as a conference road favorite, 1-6 ATS since 2004 as a conference road favorite, and 0-9 ATS (-15.3 ppg) as a conference favorite over the past 2 years, including 13-point and 14-point spread losses against Duke.
One of our handicapping strategies is to play ON a team that is responding positively to a new coach. We isolate a quality coach with a solid staff when there are reasons to support the team. Cutcliffe has made a big difference where ever he has gone, whether as a head coach or assistant, and he’s making his mark on a Blue Devils program that had already covered the spread in the last 2 meetings with the ‘Canes.
Duke had an ugly outing at Georgia Tech in their last outing, as they ran into another team that is flourishing under a new coach. Here, we look for them to bounce back. Our database research reveals that after an shutout loss that ended a winning streak, teams have been under-valued as a home dog against conference foes. Specifically, since 1987, from Game 6 on, conference home underdogs off an underdog shutout SU loss in its last game and 2 SU wins before that are 8-0 ATS, beating the spread by more than 11 points per game on average. The last team to qualify for this situation was Virginia 2 years ago. The Cavaliers were 3-point home dogs to Miami, just as Duke is here. The Cavaliers won a defensive struggle, 17-7, for the SU & ATS win.
We may well see a few more points scored here, but we figure to see a similar result, with the home pups knocking off the favored Hurricanes.
PROJECTED FINAL SCORE: DUKE 30 MIAMI, FL 27
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Play On: Texas A&M
The Aggies of A&M play host Texas Tech in a Big 12 contest in College Station Saturday afternoon knowing the Red Raiders are in an unenviable role as a road favorite following an overtime win. That's confirmed by the fact that teams in this role are just 20-35-2 ATS since the inception of overtime games in 1996. With Tech looking dead ahead to games with Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma and with the Aggies 7-5 SU and 11-0-1 ATS as a home dog against a conference opponent off a win of 6 or more points, look for an upset of major proportions here today!
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Kansas at OKLAHOMA
Last week I had so many emails and phone calls from fellow handicappers telling me I was nuts to release the Red River Rivalry Over the posted total. All I heard about was Oklahoma’s defense, and how Texas was going to have to play conservative if it wanted to knock off the big, bad Sooners. Result: 80 points in what have been the best showdown in the rivalry the past decade.
Now, I am going to repeat this once again: the Big 12 is home to the No. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 scoring offenses in the nation. Kansas State is not far off ranking eighth while Kansas is at 24th in the country. Oklahoma is averaging 47.1 points per game while Kansas is averaging 34.3, and as Oklahoma will be rip-roaring mad to get back at Texas and will be looking to demolish the Jayhawks, I think it will forget – or just won’t care - to play defense. It’ll just want to score points and win big.
Looking inside the numbers, nine of Kansas’ last 13 on the road have gone over the posted total, while the Sooners are on over runs of 5-1 overall, 4-1 at home with teams that win on the road and 9-3 at home. As I said about last week’s premier game, let’s bank on this one going over the total.
2♦ Kansas/Oklahoma OVER
Re: Saturday Service Plays
North Carolina @ Virginia
Play On:1* Virginia +5
North Carolina is 3-10 SU on the road the past 3 years. Virginia is 3-1 SU at home this year. Virginia is 12-4 ATS overall vs North Carolina since 1992. Virginia is 8-0 SU and ATS at home vs North Carolina since 1992. Tar Heels are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game. Home team is 9-4 ATS in their last 13 meetings. Tar Heels are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 meetings. We'll recommend a small play on Virginia today!
Re: Saturday Service Plays
(11) Missouri (5-1, 3-2 ATS) at (1) Texas (6-0 SU and ATS)
A week after stunning top-ranked Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout, Texas now will try to avoid a letdown and hold onto its No. 1 ranking when it welcomes Chase Daniel and Missouri to Austin for a key Big 12 showdown.
The Longhorns rallied from a pair of 11-point first-half deficits and outscored the Sooners 25-14 in the second half en route to last week’s 45-35 upset win in Dallas as a 6½-point underdog. Texas, which has won and covered seven straight games dating to last year’s Holiday Bowl, finished with a scant 438-435 advantage in total offense, but the ‘Horns used a 161-48 edge in rushing to control the clock and hold the ball for 37 minutes (to just 23 minutes for Oklahoma).
Missouri’s perfect season went up in smoke in last week’s 28-23 home loss to Oklahoma State as a 14-point home favorite. Tigers QB Chase Daniel went 39-for-52 for 390 yards, but he threw just one touchdown (a season-low) and three interceptions (a season-high), and for the first time this year he got no support from his rushing attack, which netted just 64 yards. In fact, Mizzou got outrushed 187-64.
Texas has won all four meetings against Missouri this decade, going 3-1 ATS. In the two battles in Austin, the Longhorns rolled 35-16 and 51-20.
Missouri has alternated spread-covers in its last four games, but the Tigers are still on ATS tears of 15-5 overall and 8-0 on the road. Meanwhile, the Longhorns are on a 9-1 ATS streak dating to last November, and they’re also on pointspread runs of 4-0 at home, 4-1 in Big 12 contests, 12-5 in October and 25-10 on grass.
This game pits two of the nation’s top quarterbacks against each other. Mizzou’s Daniel is completing 76.7 percent of his throws for 342.5 yards per game with 16 TDs and four INTs. Meanwhile, Texas junior Colt McCoy has an even better completion rate than Daniel (79.4), and he’s thrown fro 259.5 ypg with 17 TDs and three INTs. McCoy has also rushed for 348 yards (5.9 per carry) and four scores.
The Tigers, who had a season-low in points in the loss to Oklahoma State, are putting up 48.3 points and 549.7 total yards per game, while yielding 21.3 points and 380.8 yards per contest. As for Texas, it is averaging 46.3 points and 466.2 total yards per outing (110.3 rushing ypg), with the defense giving up only 15.3 points and 319 total yards (51.2 rushing ypg).
The over is 7-3 in Texas’ last 10 overall, 10-4 in its last 14 on grass, 5-0 in its last five conference games, 7-1 in Missouri’s last eight on the road and 2-0 in the last two head-to-head meetings between these schools.
ATS ADVANTAGE: TEXAS and OVER
(21) Wake Forest (4-1, 3-2 ATS) at Maryland (4-2, 3-2 ATS)
The Demon Deacons will try to win their third straight ACC matchup of the young season when they host Top-25 killer Maryland at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md.
Wake Forest has scored just 12 points in each of its first two ACC games, including last Thursday when the Deacons topped Clemson 12-7 as a two-point home favorite. They scored nine points in the fourth quarter, including a Riley Skinner TD pass with 5:28 left to secure the victory. The Wake Forest defense limited Clemson’s potent rushing attack to 21 yards and is allowing just 15 points an 274.2 yards per contest.
Maryland has won four straight against ranked opponents, including wins this season over then-No. 23 California on Sept. 13 and then-No. 20 Clemson two weeks later. The Terrapins had last weekend off after a surprising 31-0 loss at Virginia on Oct. 4 as a 13-point road chalk. RB Da’Rel Scott leads the ACC with 96.4 rushing yards per game, and he’s found the end zone four times.
Wake Forest beat the Terps 31-24 in overtime last year at home, cashing as a 3½-point favorite. It was the second straight win and cover for the Demon Deacons in this series after losing seven straight (0-7 ATS). The straight-up winner has cashed in each of the last 10 meetings dating back to 1998, including Wake Forest’s 38-24 win as one-point road ‘dogs in its last trip to Maryland in 2006.
Wake is on ATS runs of 10-3 overall, 5-1 on the highway, 19-7-2 in October, 6-1 in ACC contests and 10-2 on the highway against teams with a winning home record. Meanwhile Maryland is on ATS slides of 4-9 in conference games, but 4-1 in its last five on grass.
For the Demon Deacons, the over is 6-2 in their last eight on the road and 5-2 in their last seven in October. On the flip side, for the Terps, the under is on runs of 9-3 overall, 4-0 in ACC games and 5-2 against teams with a winning record. Finally, the over has easily cashed in the last two matchups in this series.
ATS ADVANTAGE: WAKE FOREST
Georgia Tech (5-1, 4-0 ATS) at Clemson (3-3, 0-4 ATS)
Clemson begins its post-Tommy Bowden era by hosting a red-hot Georgia Tech team in an ACC matchup inside Memorial Stadium.
Bowden stepped down as coach this week in the middle of his 10th season, four days after Clemson fell 12-7 at Wake Forest as a two-point road underdog. Wide receivers coach Dabo Swinney takes over the reins at Clemson, a program that hasn’t won an ACC title since 1991 and is off to a 1-2 SU start in conference play this season (0-3 ATS).
The Tigers had just 198 yards of total offense against Wake and will now go with redshirt freshman Willy Korn at QB instead of senior Cullen Harper. Korn is 22-of-29 for 257 yards and two TDs in limited play the last two seasons.
After two dominating home wins over Mississippi State (38-7 as a seven-point favorite) and Duke (27-0 as a 13-point chalk), Georgia Tech struggled against Division I-AA Gardner Webb a week ago, eking out a 10-7 win in a non-lined contest, blocking a field goal to avoid overtime. The Jackets get starting QB Josh Nesbitt back after a three-week absence. Nesbitt is the team’s second leading rusher and he has thrown for 269 yards and a touchdown.
Georgia Tech upset Clemson 13-3 a year ago, cashing as a three-point home ‘dog. The Jackets have won three of the last four (2-2 ATS) against the Tigers, including a 28-24 win at Clemson back in 2004 as a seven-point pup. The home team has won the last three matchups in this series (2-1 ATS), and the straight-up winner is 7-3 ATS in the last 10.
The Yellow Jackets are on ATS streaks of 4-0 overall, 4-0 on the highway and 4-1 in ACC contests. Meanwhile, the Tigers have been a disaster at the betting window, currently on ATS slides of 0-7 overall, 0-5 at home, 0-4 in ACC games and 0-5 against teams with a winning record.
For Georgia Tech, the under is on runs of 15-7 on the road, 20-7-2 in October and 5-2 in ACC play. It’s also been all unders for Clemson, including 7-0 in its last seven overall, 5-0 in its last five at home, 8-3 in its last 11 October contests and 4-0 in its last four ACC battles. Finally, the under is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings in this rivalry.
ATS ADVANTAGE: GEORGIA TECH and UNDER
(17) Virginia Tech (5-1, 2-3 ATS) at Boston College (4-1, 2-2 ATS)
Virginia Tech will try to make it five in a row as they visit Alumni Stadium in Boston to face Boston College in a key ACC showdown.
The Hokies were shocked in their season-opener at East Carolina, losing 27-22, but bounced back to win four straight in September (2-1 ATS) before a sloppy 27-13 win over Western Kentucky two weeks ago, falling well short as a 26½-point home favorite. The Hokies are getting productive play from QB Tyrod Taylor, who despite only averaging 99 passing ypg has put up 67.6 rushing ypg with two TDs.
Boston College comes off its bye riding a three-game winning streak, including a 38-31 shootout victory at N.C. State two weeks ago, though it came up just shy as a 7½-point favorite. Senior QB Chris Crane torched the Wolfpack for 428 yards and two TDs and also ran for three scores, including the game-winner with 23 seconds left. Freshman RB Montel Harris has also started to find his rhythm, averaging 7.3 yards per carry and getting 255 yards in wins over Central Florida and Rhode Island.
Virginia Tech went to Beantown last year and got a 30-16 win as a five-point favorite, snapping a two-game SU and ATS Eagles’ winning streak in the series. Boston College is just 3-6 SU in the last nine series clashes but 7-2 ATS, all as an underdog.
The Hokies are on pointspread runs of 19-7 on the road, 24-7 in ACC action, 11-4 in October kickoffs and 5-2 coming off a bye week. Meanwhile, the Eagles are 5-2 ATS in their last seven October contests, but otherwise they’re on ATS skids of 1-5 at home, 0-4 in ACC games and 1-4 against teams with a winning record.
The over has been the play in seven of Virginia Tech’s last 10 roadies, but otherwise the Hokies are on under streaks of 5-2 overall, 11-5 in ACC contests and 5-1 following a straight-up win. For Boston College, the under is on runs of 6-2 overall, 4-1 in conference contests, 4-1 at home and 5-1 following a bye week. Finally, the under has been the play in the last four Virginia Tech-Boston College meetings.
ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER
(16) Kansas (5-1, 3-2 ATS) at (4) Oklahoma (5-1, 4-1 ATS)
With their hopes of a perfect season gone, the Sooners will try to rebound when they welcome Kansas to Norman, Okla., for a key Big 12 matchup.
Oklahoma went to Dallas a week ago and lost the Red River Shootout to Texas 45-35 as a seven-point favorite. The Sooners led by as many as 11 points twice in the first half before being outscored 25-7 in the final 20 minutes. Despite the setback, Bob Stoops’ squad still is ranked sixth in the nation in total offense (522.5 ypg) and fourth in scoring (47.2 ppg). The key to Oklahoma’s high-powered offense is QB Sam Bradford who has thrown for 2,052 yards, 23 TDs and five INTs, including 387 yards, five TDs and two INTs against Texas a week ago.
Kansas has rattled off three straight wins (1-1 ATS) and scored no less than 29 points in every game this season. Last week, the Jayhawks opened up a tight game against Colorado with two fourth-quarter touchdowns en route to a 30-14 home win as a 14-point home chalk. The offense is rolling behind QB Todd Reesing who has 1,978 yards, 15 TDs and three INTs, including 256 yards and a TD against the Buffaloes. RB Jake Sharp was able to slice up the Colorado defense, racking up 118 rushing yards and three TDs on a career-high 31 carries.
These squads haven’t met since Oklahoma scored a 19-3 win at Kansas in 2005, cashing as a seven-point roach chalk. The Sooners have won four straight (3-1 ATS) in the series dating back to 2000 following a three-game SU and ATS streak by Kansas in the mid-to-late 1990s. The winner has covered the number in seven of the last eight head-to-head clashes.
The Jayhawks are on a host of ATS streaks, including 20-6 overall, 12-3 in Big 12 contests, 6-1 on the road and 7-1 in October. Meanwhile, the Sooners are just 1-4 ATS in their last five October games, but they are on positive spread runs of 4-1 overall, 11-3-1 in Norman since 2006 (10-3-1 as a double-digit chalk) and 12-5 following a straight-up loss in the Stoops era. OU has also won 21 consecutive Big 12 home games.
The over is 9-4 in Kansas’ last 13 roadies, but otherwise the under is on runs for the Jayhawks of 6-2 overall, 5-2 in October and 4-1 against teams with a winning record. The over is 5-1 in Oklahoma’s last six and 8-3-1 in its last 12 at home, but the under is 14-5-1 in its last 20 conference games and 9-3 in its last 12 following a straight-up loss.
ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE
Mississippi (3-3, 3-2 ATS) at (2) Alabama (6-0, 4-2 ATS)
The Crimson Tide hasn’t lost to Mississippi in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in 20 years and hopes to continue that streak today when the Rebels come calling at Bryant-Denny Stadium for an SEC matchup.
Alabama, coming off a bye, struggled mightily in its most recent game two weeks ago, edging Kentucky 17-14 as a 15½-point chalk. The Crimson Tide committed 10 penalties for 92 yards, turned the ball over three times and QB John Parker Wilson threw for just 106 yards and an INT. However, RB Glen Coffee picked up the slack, rushing 25 times for 218 yards and a TD against the Wildcats. Coffee has 708 yards rushing and five TDs to pace the SEC’s No. 1 ground attack, which averages 226.3 ypg.
The Tide’s rushing defense also has been exceptional this year, allowing just 50.8 ypg, good for second-best in the nation.
Mississippi State also is coming off a bye week and has alternated wins and losses this season, including a 31-24 home loss to South Carolina as a two-point chalk back on Oct. 4. Turnovers have been the main reason for the Rebels’ mediocre season, as they’ve lost the ball 15 times in their last five games and had three against the Gamecocks. Houston Nutt’s rushing attack is third in the SEC at 163 yards per game, but the offense managed just 129 total yards in the second half against South Carolina.
Alabama has won four straight (1-3 ATS) in this rivalry, but the last three have all been decided by three points, including the Crimson Tide’s 27-24 road win last year when they failed to cash as a seven-point chalk. The last time these two met in Tuscaloosa in 2006, Alabama got a 26-23 overtime win as a 15½-point home favorite. The Tide lead the all-time series 44-9-2 SU, going 8-2 in the last 10, but only 4-6 ATS.
Mississippi is on ATS streaks of 6-2 overall, 4-0 on the highway, 19-9 in October and 4-1 following a SU loss. Alabama is 5-2 ATS in its last seven overall, but otherwise Nick Saban’s squad is on ATS slides of 7-20-2 at home, 3-7 in SEC games, 3-7-1 in October and 3-8 following a non-cover.
The Rebels have topped the total in four of their last five, but they’re still in the midst of under runs of 9-4 in October, 4-1 following a non-cover and 24-9 after a straight-up loss. Meanwhile, the over is 7-3 in Alabama’s last 10 conference games, but the under is 8-2 in its last 10 after a straight-up won and 10-4 in its last 14 October kickoffs. Finally, the over has been the play the last two years in this rivalry, but the under was on a 4-1 run prior to 2006.
ATS ADVANTAGE: ALABAMA
(22) Vanderbilt (5-1 SU and ATS) at (10) Georgia (5-1, 2-3 ATS)
With its dreams of an unbeaten season now gone, Vanderbilt heads out on the road for the second straight week when it battles SEC rival Georgia between the hedges.
The Commodores’ unproductive offense finally caught up to them in last week’s 17-14 loss at Mississippi State as a 2½-point road chalk, snapping a five-game SU and ATS winning streak to start the season. Vanderbilt managed just 62 passing yards, 45 rushing yards and seven first downs, while also losing the turnover battle 2-0. The Commodores are averaging just 250 total yards per game, including 90.3 passing ypg.
Georgia dominated Tennessee from start to finish last week, rolling 26-14 but coming up just short as a 12½-point home chalk. The Bulldogs had a 455-209 edge in total offense, rushing for 145 yards while holding the Vols to 1 net rushing yard. QB Matthew Stafford went 25-for-36 for 310 yards and a touchdown, but he tossed two interceptions – his first of the season – costing his team the spread-cover.
Vanderbilt has played Georgia very tough the last two years, pulling off a stunning 24-22 road upset as a 14½-point road underdog in 2006 and losing just 20-17 as a seven-point home underdog last season, with the Dawgs winning it on a last-second field goal. The road team has won the last three meetings and four of the last five, and the visitor is 9-4 ATS in the last 13 clashes.
Georgia has followed up a 6-0-1 ATS run with consecutive non-covers and is now 2-8 ATS in its last 10 October outings. Vandy is on ATS streaks of 4-1 in SEC play, 12-5-1 on the highway, 17-7 as a road underdog and 9-4 after a SU defeat.
For Vandy, the under is on streaks of 13-4-1 overall, 5-2 on the road, 11-1-1 in SEC games and 6-0 in October. Also, the under is 3-1 in Georgia’s last four overall and 4-1 in its last five in October.
ATS ADVANTAGE: VANDERBILT and UNDER
Re: Saturday Service Plays
(12) Ohio State (6-1, 1-5 ATS) at (20) Michigan State (6-1, 4-2-1 ATS)
Two of the three teams tied atop the Big Ten standings clash in East Lansing, Mich., where the Spartans host freshman phenom Terrelle Pryor and Ohio State.
Michigan State ran its winning streak to six in a row with last Saturday’s dominating 37-20 victory over previously undefeated Northwestern, easily covering as a 1½-point road favorite. The Spartans, who haven’t lost since a season-opening 38-31 defeat at Cal, got outgained 459-297 at Northwestern. However, they got 124 rushing yards and two TDs from star RB Javon Ringer, and the defense forced three turnovers.
Ohio State rode another stout defensive effort to a 16-3 victory over Purdue last week, but the Buckeyes’ spread-covering woes continued as they failed to cash as an 18½-point home favorite. Pryor (10-for-14 for 97 yards passing; 14 carries for 27 yards rushing) led an offense that generated just 222 total yards, but the defense gave up only 298 and forced the game’s only two turnovers.
The Buckeyes have won six straight meetings against Michigan State, going 4-1-1 ATS. The only non-cover came last year, when Ohio State prevailed 24-17 as a 17-point home chalk. In their last two trips to East Lansing, the Buckeyes came away with easy wins of 38-7 in 2006 and 32-19 in 2004. The chalk is 5-1-1 ATS in the last seven clashes.
Although Ohio State has failed to cash in six of its last seven going back to last year’s BCS Championship Game, it is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 as a visitor, 10-2 ATS in its last 12 conference road tilts, 7-2 ATS in its last nine in October and 21-8 ATS in its last 29 on grass. Meanwhile, the Spartans are on spread-covering streaks of 7-2-1 overall, 4-1 in Big Ten play, 5-1-1 as an underdog and 7-1 against winning teams, but they’re 7-15-1 ATS in their last 23 at home and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 in October.
The under is on runs of 5-1 for Ohio State overall, 5-2 for Ohio State on the road, 8-2 for Ohio State in October and 4-0 for Michigan State at home. Finally, the last two meetings between these rivals have stayed low.
ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER
Michigan (2-4, 1-5 ATS) at (3) Penn State (7-0, 5-1 ATS)
Two teams coming off drastically different results meet up in Happy Valley, where Penn State is a heavy favorite to defeat slumping Michigan in a Big Ten battle.
The Nittany Lions went to Wisconsin last Saturday night and humbled the Badgers 48-7 as a six-point favorite, extending their winning streak to seven in a row. Penn State QB Daryll Clark went 16-for-25 for 244 yards, one TD and one INT, leading an offense that rolled up 377 total yards. The defense forced four turnovers, and the special teams contributed a punt return for a touchdown.
Michigan shanked a short game-tying field-goal attempt in the closing seconds last week, suffering an embarrassing 13-10 loss to Toledo as a 17-point home favorite. The Wolverines, who suffered a 45-20 home loss to Illinois the previous week, managed just 290 total yards, and QBs Nick Sheridan and Steven Threet combined for just 120 passing yards and three INTs.
Penn State should be plenty motivated to win this one, having lost nine straight games to Michigan dating to 1997, going 2-7 ATS during the losing skid, including 0-4 ATS at home. Last year, the Wolverines eked out a 14-9 victory as a two-point home underdog. The past four meetings have been very close, decided by a total of 17 points. Finally, the underdog is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 clashes.
The Nittany Lions have massive statistical advantages over the Wolverines on both sides of the ball, putting up 45.3 points and 482.1 total yards per game, while allowing just 11 points and 259.3 yards per contest. On the other hand, Michigan nets just 18.8 points and 291.8 total yards per contest, and yields 24.8 points and 344.2 yards.
Although Michigan has failed to cover in five of its first six games under new coach Rich Rodriguez, the school still enjoys positive pointspread streaks of 11-4 on the road, 15-6-1 in Big Ten play and 11-5-1 against winning teams. Meanwhile, Penn State is on ATS tears of 14-6 as a double-digit favorite, 5-0 against losing teams and 9-4-2 in October, but is 1-5-1 ATS in its last seven conference contests.
For Michigan, the over is on runs of 5-2 overall, 4-0 on the road and 4-1 in conference play. Also, the over is 5-2 in Penn State’s last seven Big Ten contests. However, the under is 2-0 in the lat two series meetings overall and 2-0 in the last two head-to-head clashes at Penn State.
ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE
(13) LSU (4-1, 1-3 ATS) at South Carolina (5-2, 4-2 ATS)
South Carolina goes for its fifth straight victory when it entertains a shell-shocked LSU squad at Williams-Brice Stadium.
The Gamecocks return home after two impressive seven-point SEC road wins over Mississippi (31-24 as a two-point underdog) and Kentucky (24-17 as a two-point favorite). Since a season-opening 34-0 rout of N.C. State, South Carolina has had four games decided by exactly seven points, one decided by 10 points and one decided by 13 points.
LSU went to The Swamp last Saturday night and got rocked 51-21 as a 6½-point road underdog. The Tigers’ defense gave up 475 total yards, got outgained 265-80 on the ground and lost the turnover battle 3-1, all of which contributed to the end of the defending national champions’ seven-game winning streak.
LSU has won all three meetings against South Carolina since 2002, including last year’s 28-16 home victory when the Tigers outgained the Gamecocks by nearly 100 yards (360-261). However, South Carolina scored nine fourth-quarter points to steal the cover as a 17½-point road underdog.
The Tigers are mired in ATS slumps of 3-10-2 overall, 3-6-1 on the highway, 2-8 in SEC play, 0-4 in October and 1-4 on grass, but they have been a solid bounce-back team lately, going 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine following a SU defeat. South Carolina is 11-4-1 ATS in its last 16 against winning teams, but 2-5-1 ATS in its last eight SEC contests.
During their four-game winning streak, the Gamecocks have scored at least 23 points in each outing, and their defense is giving up just 15 points and an SEC-low 241 total yards per game. Meanwhile, LSU is averaging 32.6 points and 406 total yards per contest, but giving up 22.4 points and 303.6 yards.
LSU sports a bunch of over streaks, including 11-2 overall, 5-0 on the road, 13-3 in SEC play, 4-0 in October and 9-1 on grass. Also, the over is 4-1-1 in the ‘Cocks’ last six conference games, but they have stayed low in each of their last four at Williams-Brice Stadium.
ATS ADVANTAGE: SOUTH CAROLINA and OVER
(25) Cal (4-1 SU and ATS) at Arizona (4-2 SU and ATS)
Having climbed back into the Top 25 with back-to-back double-digit wins, Cal will try to stay there when it heads to the desert for a Pac-10 tussle with Arizona in Tucson.
The Golden Bears, who were idle last week, rebounded from an ugly 35-27 loss at Maryland as a 14-point road favorite with consecutive home victories over Colorado Sate (42-7) and Arizona State (24-14), cashing in both games. In the win over the Sun Devils, Cal had just 277 total yards of offense, but the defense limited Arizona State to 236 yards and forced three turnovers.
Arizona will be looking to bounce back from last week’s crushing 24-23 loss at Stanford as a seven-point road chalk, the team’s first Pac-10 defeat of the season. The Wildcats, who allowed Stanford to score on a 1-yard run with 25 seconds left, won the turnover battle 3-0, but were on the short end of a 438-336 total yardage margin, including getting outgained 286-77 on the ground.
Cal hammered the Wildcats 45-27 as a 14-point home favorite last year, making the host 3-0 SU and ATS in the last three meetings. The Bears are on a 4-1 SU and ATS roll in this rivalry, with the lone defeat coming in their last trip to Tucson in 2006, a 24-20 setback as a 13-point road favorite.
The SU winner is 9-0 ATS in Cal’s last nine contests and 9-1 ATS in Arizona’s last 10 (6-0 this year). Also, the winner has cashed in each of the last seven Cal-Arizona battles dating to 2001, with six of those seven meetings decided by at least two touchdowns.
Arizona is 16-7-1 ATS in its last 24 games as an underdog, including 6-1-1 ATS as a home pup since 2005. The Wildcats are also on ATS runs of 8-2 overall, 5-0 in Tucson, 6-1 in Pac-10 play, 4-0 after a non-cover and 7-2 on grass. Meanwhile, Cal has covered in five of its last six overall, but is just 2-8 ATS in its last 10 on the road, 2-7 ATS in its last nine league games, 3-13 ATS in its last 16 on grass and 1-4 ATS in its last five in October.
For the Wildcats, the under is on streaks of 23-11-3 at home, 15-6 on grass, 4-1 in conference action and 7-2 in October. Also, the under is 8-3-1 in Cal’s last 12 on the highway and 6-2 in its last eight Pac-10 affairs. Finally, the under is 3-1 in the last four series meetings between these schools.
ATS ADVANTAGE: CAL and UNDER
Boston (5-4) at Tampa Bay (6-3)
Two days after staging the biggest postseason rally in 79 years, the Red Sox again will try to keep their season alive when they send Josh Beckett (12-10, 4.41 ERA) to the mound at Tropicana Field, while the shell-shocked Rays will counter with James Shields (15-9, 3.54).
Trailing 7-0 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning Thursday, the defending champs got up off the deck and scored four runs in the seventh, three in the eighth and one in the ninth to stun Tampa Bay 8-7 and send this series back to Florida for Game 6. It was the biggest postseason comeback since 1929 and kept the Rays from sweeping three games at Fenway Park and advancing to their first World Series. Tampa still leads the best-of-7 series 3-2.
Boston enters tonight on runs of 12-4 in the playoffs, 4-1 on the road, 6-1 in road playoff games and 41-18 following an off day, and under manager Terry Francona, the Red Sox are now 8-1 in elimination playoff games. On the downside, the BoSox have lost 21 of their last 29 games on artificial turf and they’re 0-5 in Beckett’s last five trips to the mound.
Despite Thursday’s debacle, the Rays at least get to return to Tropicana Field, where they’ve won 56 of their last 74 games. They’re also on streaks of 9-2 against divisional foes, 42-12 versus right-handed starters, 15-6 when playing on Saturday and 10-4 against the Sox (6-2 at home against Boston). And going back to last season, Tampa has taken 11 of the last 13 from Boston at the Trop.
The home team won the first 12 series meetings between these teams this year, but the visitor is 6-4 in the last 10.
Prior to this postseason, Beckett had been 6-2 with a 1.73 ERA in 10 career playoff appearances (nine starts). However, he’s been crushed in two outings this month (both on the road), allowing a combined 12 runs (all earned) on 18 hits (five home runs) in just 9 1/3 innings, good for an 11.57 ERA. Although he didn’t get a decision in either contest, the Red Sox lost both, including a 9-8 defeat in Game 2 at Tampa Bay a week ago tonight. In that one, Beckett lasted 4 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs on nine hits.
During the regular season, Beckett faced the Rays five times, going 2-1 with a 2.06 ERA, including 0-1 with a 1.20 ERA in two outings at Tropicana Field. For his career, he’s 5-3 with a 3.11 ERA in 10 starts against the Rays (1-2, 1.93 ERA at the Trop). Also, on the road this season, the hard-throwing right-hander is 7-5 with a 3.42 ERA in 16 starts (playoffs included).
Shields took the ball for Tampa Bay in Game 1 eight days ago and pitched a gem, giving up just two runs in 7 1/3 innings, but the Rays’ offense couldn’t find home plate and Shields lost, 2-0. He’s 1-1 with a 3.29 ERA in his first two playoff starts, both at home. Speaking of home, Shields has been the Rays’ ace at Tropicana Field, going 10-3 with a 2.66 ERA in 19 starts, 15 of which Tampa has won. In fact, the Rays are 20-6 in his last 26 home outings.
Tampa Bay is just 2-7 in Shields’ nine career starts against the Red Sox (2-3 this season), with the righthander posting a 2-4 mark with a 5.23 ERA. However, in three home starts against Boston in 2008, he’s 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA.
With Beckett on the hill, the under is on streaks of 4-1-1 overall, 4-2 on the road and 4-2 when he pitches at the Trop, though last Saturday’s contest easily flew over the total. Meanwhile, the over is 4-2 in Shields’ last six home starts and 4-2 in his last six on Saturdays.
The last four games in this series have soared over the posted total. The over is also 13-4 in Tampa’s last 17 at home, 21-6 in its last 27 against right-handed starters, 5-1 in Boston’s last six ALCS games and 6-0-1 in its last six on Saturday.
ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Sports Gambling Hotline
Syracuse at SOUTH FLORIDA -24
Don't be fooled by the Orangemen's cover last week at West Virginia, as the Mountaineers have definitely struggled this season, and were also playing without starting QB Pat White, and still managed a 17-6 win.
South Florida has been off since their upset loss to Pittsburgh back on October 2nd, and should be quite eager to destroy the 1-5 Orange today in Tampa.
The Bulls have won, and covered the last 3 meetings against the Orangemen, shutting out Syracuse 27-0 in 2005, winning by 17 in 2006, and winning 41-10 last year at the Carrierdome.
This one is going to get ugly early, as the 'Cuse is just 3-18 against the spread their last 21 as a conference road dog of 17 points or more.
Not numbers that indicate a "green light" when placing our money on this Syracuse edition.
Play on the Bulls to romp the Orangemen!
5♦ SOUTH FLORIDA
Re: Saturday Service Plays
North Carolina at VIRGINIA +5
Underdog winner today on Virginia plus the points at home against North Carolina.
North Carolina has played their last pair of games at home, and will play their next pair of games at home, so today's roadie presents an interesting challenge, as the Heels are just 1-9 against the spread the last 10 times they have faced their ACC rival, and they are 0-8 against the line their last 8 trips to Charlottesville!
Virginia seems to have righted their ship, as the Cavaliers have won, and covered their last pair, both as a home underdog, and are now 14-3 their last 17 against the spread as a home underdog.
The Cavs having been playing better on defense, and have been playing much better on the offensive side of the ball, averaging 33 points per game in their last 2 victories.
This is uncharted waters for the Tar Heels, as this is UNC's first try as a road favorite under Butch Davis. If Carolina gets by, it won't be by much.
Take the points.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
LSU -2' at SOUTH CAROLINA
Coming on the college gridiron with a big FREE winner today as we play LSU to get the job done on the road at South Carolina.
The Tigers got a huge wakeup call a week ago in Florida when they got stomped by the Gators 51-21 as a 6 1/2-point road 'dog. Look for this team to come out hungry and fired up for this one to prove to the nation they aren't as bad as they looked. We'll lay the small chalk with LSU in this one as they completely shut down the Gamecocks.
LSU has won all three meetings with South Carolina since 2002, and got a 28-16 home win last season and dominated the 'Cocks until the fourth quarter when they came back and got inside the 17 1/2-point number.
The Tigers have been one of the best teams in the country to bet on after they lose, going 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine the week after they've lost outright. The LSU offense puts up 32.6 points and 406 yards per game and they'll have it all working tonight.
Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks have won two in a row over Mississippi and Kentucky in SEC action and four in a row overall, but they haven't been a solid bet, going just 2-5-1 ATS in their lasdt eight SEC games.
We're looking for a big bounce back game from LSU tonight. Play the Tigers to make a statement in this one.
Air Force -4' at UNLV
Air Force has dominated this series and will dominate tonight when they take the field in Sin City for this Mountain West Conference battle. Have no fears laying the chalk in this one as the Falcons will soar past the Rebels early and often.
Air Force scored an easy 31-14 win last season as a 5 1/2-point home favorite and they've covered the number in five of the last six meetings with the Rebels, including two of the last three times in Vegas. The Falcons beat San Diego State 35-10 a week ago as 10 1/2-point road chalk and they've covered the number in four of five lined games this season.
The Falcons have scored at least 23 points in every game and they've outgained their opponents in all but two games and out gained San Diego State by 308 yards, including 366 yards on the ground. These guys average almost 300 yards rushing per game and hold the opposition to 288.2 total yards.
UNLV has had a week off since losing 41-28 at Colorado State as a 1 1/2-point underdog. The Rebels have dropped two straight, including a 49-27 loss at home to rival Nevada as a 3 1/2-point favorite. They've been outgained in four of their last five games and this is about the time every season when everything goes wrong for the Rebels. They are just 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine overall while Air Force is 11-2 ATS in their last 13 overall.
Watch as the Falcons run right past UNLV and dominate this game from the start. Play Air Force and enjoy the easy win.
3♦ AIR FORCE
Re: Saturday Service Plays
First, need I remind you the last time the Rebels went on the road … as a double-digit underdog … against an SEC foe? It was three weeks ago, and they came away with a 31-30 victory at Florida, cashing as a massive 23-point pup. Sure, Ole Miss followed that up with a 31-24 loss to South Carolina two weeks ago, but who didn’t see something like that coming? I mean, South Carolina is a talented squad, and Ole Miss was ripe for a letdown.
Well, the Rebels have had two weeks to stew over that loss and get itself up for a meeting with the second-ranked team in the nation, and I have no doubt that Houston Nutt’s squad, which has been vastly underrated all year, will come to play today. True, the Crimson Tide are also coming off a bye week, but I’m not so sure that’s a good thing – the last thing a surprising team that’s 6-0 wants is a week off.
As it is, Alabama’s most recent victory was hardly a head-turner – it edged Kentucky 17-14 but didn’t come close to covering as a 15½-point home favorite. In fact, the Tide are just 1-2 ATS at home this year and 7-20-2 ATS in their last 29 in Tuscaloosa over the past four-plus seasons! What’s more, they’ve failed to cover in seven of their last 10 SEC contests. On the other hand, Ole Miss has cashed in four straight road games going back to last year, including a last-second 30-28 loss at Wake Forest (another ranked foe) as a seven-point pup in its first roadie on Sept. 6.
Oh, and the Rebels have covered the number the last three years against Alabama – all of them three-point wins for the Crimson Tide. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see another narrow escape for ‘Bama here. Grab the points.
7♦ OLE MISS
Re: Saturday Service Plays
For Saturday Georgia Tech in Death Valley.
What a crazy line this is!?!?!? Just a few weeks ago we would have been the sizable dog and are now the road chalk, which is not great, I do admit that, but still in the end I do not see this Clemson team manning up and winning this game today.
The season has been a total disaster for the Tigers and it just cost Tommy Bowden his job. Clemson also lost their offensive coordinator and today's interim coach will be Dabo Sweeney who, let's be honest, is not exactly the next Joe Paterno.
Things are just too much in flux today for Clemson and beating a quality Georgia Tech bunch is just not in the cards. CJ Spiller is out injured, Jacoby Ford is banged up and may not play, Cullen Harper has been benched in favor of Willy Korn and home or no home this is not a spot for the Tigers to be successful in.
Paul Johnson's Yellow Jackets are 5-1 and rolling. Yes that last non-lined game against Gardner Webb was terrible as they only won 10-7 but that is what happens in a look ahead spot and with your third string Quarterback playing. Today though there are no such problems as Josh Nesbitt will be back running that tricky option offense and the Jackets will be all sorts of jacked up because they are playing an ACC foe in Clemson and a team that was rated as the best team in the conference just a few small weeks ago. Plus the players will be ready to atone for that last piss poor effort against Gardner Webb.
Tech's defense is great as Michael Johnson and those Linebackers are as good as any in the country and with the issues that Clemson has I just do not see the Tigers being able to compete today against the up and coming Jackets.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Selection: Arkansas/Kentucky Over 45
Reason: Put us down on Arkansas/Kentucky Over 45 for our Free College Football Selection on Saturday. At a ranking of 113th in the country, the Razorbacks have been allowing an average of 35 points per game. With this record, the Wildcats won't have any difficulty holding their own and putting up their share of points. The oddsmakers have underestimated the Razorback offense. The key to our value here is to understand that, yes Arkansas only scored 3 TDs in three games early this year, but those games were against superior teams such as Alabama, Texas and Florida. Senior QB Casey Dick is playing at his best and has had no problem adjusting to Bobby Petrino's playbook. Dick has excellent help in RB Michael Smith as well. Smith ran for 176 yards on 34 carries, including a 63-yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter that proved to be the game winning score which was 25-22. Auburn has a solid defense, and Arkansas managed 416 yards in that game which says a lot. The Razorback offense is gaining momentum and they have highly competent skill position players to boot. The oddsmakers have put this total way too low for this matchup. We should see a high-scoring game today! Take Arkansas/Kentucky Over 45!
Re: Saturday Service Plays
California at Arizona
These two teams are pretty even , but the home field in the desert will make a difference. U of A already beat Toledo 41-16 a team that won at Michiganlast week. They also won big at UCLA 31-10. Cal has some weapons, but Arizona needs this one to secure a shot at bowl for 5th year head coach Mike Stoops.The Cats have been left out of the postseason since 98. U of A is led and goes as far as QB Willie Tuitama will take them.Take Arizona
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Jimmy The Moose
Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues
Prediction: Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks fired their head coach a couple of days ago and replaced him with Joel Quenneville, a very good coach. Tonight his first game behind the bench will be against the Blues, a team he coached. Chicago won their last game and with a new coach look for them to be a tougher team to play against. Chicago has won 5 of their last 7 games vs. Western Conference opponents. In their last 10 games playin with 2-days rest between action Chicago is 8-2. St. Louis is off to a solid 3-1 start but expect them to struggle tonight vs. Chicago. The Blues are 4-10 in their last 14 meetings with Chicago. Play on the Chicago Blackhawks +.
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Baylor vs. Oklahoma State
Selection: Baylor +17.5
While Baylor hasn’t yet produced on the road they are young team and possess a lot of skill; Baylor has a great new coach in Art Briles and an excellent freshman QB in Robert Griffin.
This is an opportune matchup for the Bears; they’re playing against a team who pounded Missouri 41-31 and are fixated on their upcoming matchup with top ranked Texas. The Sooners are in no condition to take Baylor seriously at this point because Oklahoma States’ defense is drained, going way above their means in the Missouri victory. Plus the Bears haven’t had one turnover in their last 4 games (to say the least, this trend won’t change today).
Oklahoma’s condition creates the perfect situation for a well coached and skilled Bears to prove themselves on the road in this competition.
Take Baylor +17.5!
Re: Saturday Service Plays
Missouri at Texas
Last week the Longhorns won THE big game beating Oklahoma 45-35 while the Tigers were upset at home losing to Oklahoma State 28-23. This game is huge for both teams, as Texas looks to remain undefeated and atop the Big 12 while the Tigers look to stay in the BCS picture. If the Tigers lose they will have 2 losses in the Big 12 and their BCS hopes are done. The Tigers are led by QB Chase Daniel (2055 yds 16 TD 4 INT) and his main targets are WR Jeremy Maclin (39 rec 600 yds 5 TD) and TE Chase Coffman (44 rec 554 yds 3 TD). The Tigers rushing attack is led by Derrick Washington (511 yds 11 TD). The Longhorns are led by QB Colt McCoy (1557 yds 17 TD 3 INT), who is also the leading rusher with 348 yards and 4 TD's. McCoy's main targets are WR's Quan Cosby (41 rec 538 yds 3 TD) and Jordan Shipley (35 rec 480 yds 8 TD).
Staff Pick:The Longhorns have beaten the Tigers 4 straight games and to make it 5 straight they have to figure out how to stop Chase Daniel. Daniel had an off game in Mizzu's loss to OSU with only 1 TD and 3 second half interceptions. The Longhorns will definitely take a page out of the OSU defensive playbook and come after Daniel early and often. The Tigers are only ranked 82nd in the nation on defense and stopping Colt McCoy is their #1 priority. A key player in this game may be Tigers RB Washington, as if he can pick up some yards it will force the Longhorns to play the run just a little bit more, which will open up the field for Daniels. These teams can both light up the scoreboard, as the Tigers rank 3rd in points per game while the Longhorns rank 5th. The Tigers D has to step up and put pressure on McCoy and make him scramble out of the pocket and also keep him from picking up big first downs rushing the ball. The Tigers have to control the ball and to try to take the raucous UT crowd out of the game. Even though the game is in Texas and the Longhorns beat #1 Oklahoma last week, look for Daniels to come back and have a monster game and for the Tigers to win a shootout.
Tigers 47 Longhorns 41