College Football Week 10 Betting News and Notes
College Football Week 10 Betting News and Notes
College Football Opening Point Spreads and Early Line Moves
By: David Purdum
In June, both LSU and Southern Cal were favored in their biggest games of the year.
Five months later, that’s not the case for either team.
On June 11, the sports book at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas opened LSU as a 2-point favorite against Alabama. Southern Cal began as a 6-point favorite vs. Oregon at the Nugget.
As of Monday morning at the Las Vegas Wynn sports book, the current lines were Alabama -10 and Oregon -7.
That’s how much things have changed over the course of the first two months of the season.
An overflow of early money came in on No. 1 Alabama at the Wynn on Sunday, creating what sports book director John Avello called a “ridiculous” line for the rematch of the BCS Championship Game.
Avello had contemplated opening the Crimson Tide at -6.5. He settled on -7 when he hung this week’s first point spread on the game at 3 p.m. PT Sunday.
By closing time at the Wynn, Alabama had grown to a 10-point favorite over the No. 5 team in the nation, on the road in one of college football’s most hostile environments.
“Ten? That’s just ridiculous,” said Avello. “The 10 is never going to hold up. It’s just a reaction to who the better team is. For a team of LSU’s caliber to get that many points at home ... it’s ridiculous.”
Avello said he had received some LSU money and expects the spread to be bet back down during the week.
“I don’t know if it’ll get all the way back to seven, but it’s coming back,” he added.
Meanwhile, out west, the other marquee game of the week lost a little luster, after Southern Cal was upset at Arizona this past Saturday.
The Trojans will try to regroup, when No. 4 Oregon visits the Coliseum looking for enhanced credibility.
The Ducks’ opponents are a combined 22-21 straight-up this season, which is likely keeping Oregon behind No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 2 Kansas State in the BCS rankings.
Avello opened Oregon as a 5.5-point road favorite over disappointing USC. The line quickly moved up to -7.5, then settled at 7, where it was sitting Monday afternoon.
“I could see six on the game, but I can’t see 7,” said Avello, referring to the point spread. “I think USC will be motivated for this. This is their game his year.”
Other notable early line movements:
Texas at Texas Tech
Open: Red Raiders -2
Monday a.m.: Red Raiders -7
Texas A&M at Miss State
Open: A&M -1.5
Monday a.m.: A&M -6.5
Odds & Ends
Les Miles is 24-36-4 against the spread in SEC play. Nick Saban is 28-19-1 ATS in SEC play at Alabama. Saban was 24-17-1 in the conference when he coached LSU.
Alabama is 11-3 against the spread the last two seasons in SEC play.
Virginia Tech is 24-5 ATS in November under Frank Beamer since 2004.
Alabama has been favored in 36 consecutive games.
Re: College Football Week 10 Betting News and Notes
Games to Watch - Week 10
By Christian Alexander
Alabama at LSU
This was last year's "Game of the Century" and it was an exhilarating overtime game that saw no touchdowns and five field goals as LSU went into Tuscaloosa and beat Alabama 9-6. And since it wasn't boring enough the first time they made us suffer through the "Game of the Century II" for the National Championship. That one was actually an offensive explosion as Alabama beat The Tigers 21-0 in a game in which LSU looked amazingly under prepared, somehow seemed to lack focus and motivation, and couldn't even cross midfield, much less the goal line. With that being said these were clearly the two best teams in football last year and this year opened with them as the number 1 and 2 preseason ranked teams again. Alabama has held up their end of the ranking by dominating everyone they have lined up against; beating teams by an average of 32 points per game and trailing for a total of 15 seconds the entire year. They are the clear cut number one team in the country giving up an NCAA best 8.1 points per game, throwing zero interceptions this year on offense and to top it off have arguably the best coach in the country in Nick Saban. LSU meanwhile hasn't been quite as impressive in 2012. While there's no shame in their loss to Florida earlier this year, they just aren't as sharp on either side of the ball this season. They are ranked 9th in total defense and while that is obviously still impressive they have been almost non-existent at times on offense behind QB Zach Mettenberger. That will need to change in a hurry if they are to have any chance against 'Bama Saturday night. The one major advantage LSU will have is the fact that this game is being played in Death Valley…at night. Simply put, it's the hardest place to play in the country right now. LSU is riding a nation-leading 22-game home winning streak, having won 48 of its 54 home games under Les Miles, including a 24-21 home win over 'Bama in 2010. In fact Alabama is just 2-3 on LSU's home field in the past decade after winning 9 straight in Baton Rouge prior to that. With all that said, Alabama is still an early 8-point road favorite over LSU. These two teams aren't thinking about the point spread though because the winner in this game controls their own destiny in the SEC West. A 'Bama win all but assures them a spot in the SEC title game and most likely the National Championship game. An LSU win puts them in very good position to return the SEC title game and right back into the National Championship debate as well as arguably the best one loss team in the country at that point. Personally, I just want to see if they can combine to score more points than the World Series game.
Oregon at USC
This was actually dubbed the "West Coast Game of the Century" before the season started and then USC went out and lost not once, but twice. It's still a very big game in the grand scheme of things, but definitely has lost a lot of its early season luster. Now this game is entirely about the Oregon Ducks and if they can keep their perfect season alive while playing a tough conference road game. If the 2000 St. Louis Rams team was "The Greatest Show on Turf" then the 2012 Oregon Ducks team is "The Greatest Show on College Turf." If you haven't watched the 2012 Oregon team play, man are you in for a treat. They aren't doing it with gimmicks, or flashy uniforms, or smoke and mirrors; they simply line up and beat the crap out of you with pure speed and talent. Some people believe they are the best team in the country (myself included). They are a three-headed rushing monster on offense with Kenjon Barner, De'Anthony Thomas and quarterback Marcus Mariota that literally scores at will averaging 53.4 points per game, which leads the country. And they do most of that in just over a half because their starters have rarely played more than 2.5 quarters this season. Like Alabama, they are beating bad teams, badly, and good ones too. Prior to the Colorado game Oregon had scored 234 points in the first half of their games this season. That 33.4 average is more than 86 FBS teams average for an entire game. And then all they did against Colorado was put up 56 by halftime before ending the game with 70. But here's the twist…they also play defense. No, they aren't the '85 Bears, or even the '12 Crimson Tide, but they have slowed down some very high profile offenses already this season. Allowing a mere 19.4 points per game, which is very impressive when you consider the late game trash touchdowns put up against them this year due to the lopsided scores late in games. However USC, while struggling this year with two losses, is by far the best team they have or will face all season. And despite all of the impressive numbers listed above about The Ducks and the two losses the Trojans have suffered, Oregon is still only a 6-point road favorite at the Coliseum this Saturday night. This is also the same USC team that went into Eugene and pulled out a 38-35 win over Oregon last year. The bottom line is that Matt Barkley and company aren't just going to roll over for Oregon; this is going to be a game that Oregon is going to have to play all four quarter if they want to stay undefeated. If the Ducks let up at all, they might find themselves out of the hunt for the National Championship; however if Oregon can somehow steamroll USC the way they have done everyone else in their path so far this season they may just assure themselves a spot in National Championship game and show the rest of the country they are in fact the most talented team in the country from top to bottom.
Texas A&M at Mississippi State
While this game will most likely become a new SEC West rivalry for each school (reasons of which I will get to shortly), these two schools have only met five times prior to this week with Mississippi State holding a 3-2 edge. The last time they met was in the 2001 Independence Bowl, a.k.a. the snow bowl, where The Bulldogs won 43-41 in overtime. Apparently someone at MSU thought people would not only remember that game but care about it as well, because they are dubbing this game the "Snow Bowl reunion" and from what I understand Mississippi State will wear white as they did back in 2001 to "commemorate" that victory. As for the future rivalry between these two teams? Well, these two schools are very similar on many levels; both schools were founded as Agriculture and Engineering as their prominent focus. Mississippi State's original name was The Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi. That's the same A&M that is used by Texas A&M today. Both schools have "military" ties; both schools have a dog as a mascot; and of course both schools sport the ever popular Maroon and White school colors. But more importantly, both teams are desperately trying to be taken seriously in the SEC. The point being that a rivalry between the two schools is almost inevitable. As far as this year's game goes, The Aggies are coming in off an absolute dismantling of Auburn; however they are 0-2 against the two ranked SEC teams they have faced this year in LSU and Florida, and both of those were at home, and they still have to travel to Alabama next week. Just ask Mississippi State how well that plays out. The Bulldogs went into Tuscaloosa 7-0 and got absolutely manhandled 38-7 by the Tide. That being said these are two good football teams with good head coaches and a solid future ahead of them, but like it or not they are still second tier SEC schools trying to make it to the big boy table with Bama, LSU, Florida and Georgia. The winner won't get invited anytime soon, but in order to take the next step in the SEC you have to be able to beat the teams on your level first. The Aggies apparently are getting a little more respect than the Bulldogs at this point though as A&M is a 3-point SEC road favorite in Starkville this weekend.
Texas at Texas Tech
If you're the sentimental type this might be a good game for you to watch as this very well may be the final nail in the Mack Brown era if they go into Lubbock and get embarrassed. Or maybe not? Mack's job is probably safe no matter what happens this weekend or even the rest of this season for that matter as he has built up quite a resume there and goodwill with the powers that be down in Texas. However after another beat down at the hands of OU and then looking all kinds of pathetic against an abysmal Kansas team this past weekend the fan base in Austin is getting very frustrated. The fact that Texas is still ranked in the coaches' poll just shows that coaches shouldn't have a poll in the first place. Texas Tech meanwhile is playing its 5th straight ranked opponent, losing badly to Kansas State and Oklahoma and beating West Virginia and TCU (in triple overtime). While the defense was the early story for The Red Raiders, that is no longer the case now that they have faced real competition the last month. The one thing that has remained constant though is the phenomenal play by QB Seth Doege who has put a staggering 2,540 passing yards and 30 touchdowns through seven games. And with a Texas defense coming to Lubbock on Saturday that simply can't stop the pass (or run for that matter), those numbers will only increase by the end of Saturday afternoon. Both teams are actually 5-2 and Texas Tech is perhaps surprisingly a small 3.5-point home favorite, but neither team plays defense very well so look for another high scoring Big 12 game.
Re: College Football Week 10 Betting News and Notes
ACC Report - Week 10
By Joe Williams
There were all kinds of tricks, and not treats, in Week 9, as I suffered my first losing weekend on my ACC picks this season. And it was a hard, hard fall, too. I was beaten up here, I was beaten up in the Pac-12, I was beaten up everywhere. It's amazing how one poor week can ruin a season's worth of good work. However, it's time to dust myself off, study harder and resume picking winners. Had someone said that I would not have my first losing weekend in ACC play until late October, I would have taken that in a heartbeat. Now, let's just make sure it doesn't spill into November. And, truth be told, it didn't have to be as bad as it was. On a 7.5-point spread, North Carolina rips off a 74-yard punt return for score by RB Giovani Bernard with 13 seconds left in regulation to stun N.C. State, breaking a 35-35 tie. But then they inexplicably go for two, and convert, turning a winning ticket into a loser. There is no understanding head coach Larry Fedora's thinking there, and it likely angered a lot of people around the country who aren't affiliated with these two rival schools.
I'll be heading out to the Clemson-Duke game Saturday night at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, N.C., and we'll learn a lot about head coach David Cutcliffe's bunch. They've been money at home, but a train wreck on the road.
Clemson at Duke
It isn't often that the Duke Blue Devils are a five-star matchup in football, but despite being destroyed on the road by Florida State, they return home where they have had tremendous confidence. This is the portion of schedule where it really gets hard for coach Cut's group, so luckily they already secured their bowl eligibility. We're going to find out a lot about Duke in this one. Are they for real or just a pretender? Duke had a difficult time stopping the run last week, as FSU's James Wilder Jr., pardon the play on words, ran wild. Duke WR Conner Vernon was shut down, as FSU would not allow him to break their alum Peter Warrick's ACC record yardage mark on their watch. Vernon needs just 82 yards to become the league's all-time leader. Overall this season, Clemson is 3-1 on the road, while Duke is 5-0 SU at home. Clemson is 4-0 ATS in its past four raod games, 5-0 ATS in the past five overall and 13-3 ATS in the past 16 ACC games. However, they are 0-4 ATS in their past four games in November, including a stunning loss last season in a trip to the Triangle at N.C. State. Duke has covered eight straight games at home, and the public is all in on the Devils this week. The line opened at 15, but quickly moved down to 13. Duke is 4-0 ATS in its past four home games against a team with a winning record, and 5-2 ATS in its past seven overall. While the Tigers are 4-1 ATS in its past five meetings with Duke, and the favorite (presumably Clemson) is 4-1 in the past five, Clemson is just 1-5 ATS in its past six trips to Wallace Wade. And the home team is 8-1-1 ATS in the past 10 battles. Of course, we saw overwhelming evidence to select Wake last week against Clemson, and the Tigers smashed the Deacs, proving past trends don't necessarily mean much.
Virginia Tech at Miami
Thursday night football at 'The U'. It isn't like the old days where there was a ton of mystique and fear in the hearts of an opponents, especially now that Miami host games in a cavernous, and usually one-third or half-full, Joe Pro Robbie Land Shark Dolphin Player Stadium, or whatever it is called these days. The Canes have gone 2-2 at home in front of the home 'faithful', while the Hokies are absolutely atrocious on the road, going 0-4. Virginia Tech is 0-5 ATS in its past five on the road, 1-4 ATS in its past five ACC games, and just 5-15-1 ATS in its past 21 overall. Miami, on the other hand, is a perfect 5-0 ATS in its past five ACC games, 4-1 ATS in its past five overall, and 4-1 ATS in the past five coming off a bye. That being said, that even makes New Orleans Hornets rookie Anthony Davis raise an eyebrow when you see the Hokies are favored by 1.5. This seems like a slam dunk play for the Hurricanes, especially since QB Stephen Morris and RB Duke Calhoun are back practicing and ready to go full bore. Here is the reason for VT being favored, however: the Hokies are 5-0 ATS in its past five trips to Miami, 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings, and the road team is 6-2 ATS in the past eight. However, those were good Virginia Tech teams, and some marginal Miami teams. While the Canes are still mediocre, the Hokies are downright bad.
Virginia at North Carolina State
The Virginia Cavaliers enter play as the ACC's only winless team in conference play, while N.C. State finds itself one win away from becoming bowl eligible. UVA is 0-3 on the road this season, while State is 3-1 at Carter-Finley Stadium, including a shocking upset of then-No. 2 Florida State. All of the trends are not good for the Cavaliers. They are 1-9-1 ATS in their past 11 games, 0-5 ATS in their past five ACC battles, 0-4 ATS in their past four road games, 0-6 ATS against a team with a winning record, and 0-8-1 ATS in their past nine games on grass. Ouch. N.C. State is 5-0 ATS in their past five home games against a team with a losing road record, and 20-8-2 ATS in their past 30 home games. A little worrisome is their 2-5-1 ATS mark in the past eight overall. However, that doubt is washed away when you consider the home team is 6-1 ATS in the past seven meetings, and the Cavs are 1-4-1 ATS in their past six visits to Raleigh.
Boston College at Wake Forest
The ACC gets a bad rap, not for the teams at the top of the standings, but for games like this and the next one. Ugly. The Eagles gained their second W of the season last week in thrilling fashion against Maryland, and now look to gain their first road success of the season. While the Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their past five games in November, they are 1-4 ATS in their past five ACC games, 1-5 ATS in their past six overall, and 0-4 ATS in their past four road trips. For Wake, they are 6-1 ATS in their past seven against a team with a losing road record, and have had a couple of extra days to prepare for this one after getting belted by Clemson on Thursday night last week. The Deacs are also 4-1 ATS in their past five November games, so that trend, which isn't that meaningful anyway, is a wash. The Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their past five games with the Deacs, but the favorite is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. That being said, it's probably a good idea to steer clear of this line. However, the total looks good. The under is 20-6-1 in BC's past 27 games, and 16-5-1 in their past 22 ACC battles. In addition, the under is 35-16-1 in BC's past 52 road games overall. For Wake, the under is a perfect 8-0 in their past eight November battles, 9-3 in their past 12 overall, and 6-2 in their past eight ACC games. Plus, the under has cashed in the past seven Wake home contests.
Georgia Tech at Maryland
The Yellow Jackets are a hard team to figure. They looked good two weeks ago against BC, and then were busted at home by BYU last week. The Yellow Jackets are 1-4-1 ATS in their past six road contests, and they are 0-2 SU away from Atlanta this season. However, Maryland is 1-9 ATS in their past 10 games, and 2-8 ATS in their past 10 games. Also, they lost yet another quarterback, Caleb Rowe, to a season-ending injury. The Terps do not have any healthy scholarship quarterbacks, so they turn to freshman LB Shawn Petty. While the past eight games for Maryland have been decided by 10 or fewer points, and five by five or fewer points, Maryland is starting a linebacker at quarterback. That makes Georgia Tech somewhat of a tasty play, no? An under of 46.5 looks like the really good play, though, as Maryland ranks poorly on offense, and fourth overall in the nation in rushing defense.
Re: College Football Week 10 Betting News and Notes
CFB: Streaks, Tips, Notes
Ole Miss at Georgia
Georgia (7-1, 3-5 ATS) turning in it's best defensive performance of the season forcing six turnovers while holding Florida to 67 rushing, 185 passing yards upended the 2nd-ranked Gators 17-9 Saturday at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville. The win gives Georgia control of the SEC East and a spot in the conference title game with a win at home against Ole Miss and victory at Auburn next week. If Georgia plays defense like it did against Florida getting to Atlanta should be a mere formality. As for this week, DAWGS will respond. Rebels (5-3, 7-1 ATS) which snuck past Arkansas 30-27 last week have won just 3-of-12 overall on the road (6-6 ATS) and are just 1-of-10 away vs SEC opponents (4-6 ATS). If that were not enough to back DAWGS consider Georgia is on a 9-0 (6-3 ATS) streak vs Ole Miss including a 27-13 victory last season.
Oklahoma State at Kansas State
Senior Collin Klein bolstering his Heisman Trophy resume with another four-touchdown performance in a 55-24 rout of Texas Tech this past week looks to keep Wildcats undefeated (8-0, 6-1-1 ATS) and continue to make a case to play for the BCS championship with a victory over visiting Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-2, 3-3 ATS). The multifaceted QB with 12 passing, 16 rushing TD's has a challenge, Pokes defense rounding into form have held three straight league opponents under 20 points in wins over Kansas (20-14), Iowa State (31-10) and TCU (36-14). In last years thriller Klein recorded 1 passing, 3 rushing TD's but came out on the short end as Pokes' behind Brandon Weeden's 4 TD's and Joseph Randall's 23 yard TD run with 2:16 remaining held on for a 52-45 victory at Boone Pickens Stadium marking OSU's third straight victory in the series (1-2 ATS). K-State playing some of the best football in the nation right now exact revenge while keeping national title hopes alive. K-State laying 9 1/2 is not overly steep considering Wildcats have beaten the spread by 15 or more in six of eight this season.
Oregon at USC
The Oregon Ducks doing it on both sides of the ball averaging 53.4 points per game while allowing a puny 19.4 per contest are only 7-point road favorite at the Coliseum this Saturday night. Small price to be laying for a team that scores at will behind QB Marcus Mariota (1483 PY, 18 TD), RB's Kenjon Barner (974 RY, 14 TD), De'Anthony Thomas (499 RY, 7 TD) and a squad ridding a 6-1 ATS road streak vs the Pac-12, 8-4 ATS stretch laying 7 or less points including a 53-32 thumping of USC last trip to the Coliseum. Look for 'Quack Attack' to show they are one of the most talented teams in the country as this well-oiled machine stays undefeated while exacting revenge against USC and Matt Barkley who went into Eugene last year and pulled out a 38-35 win over Ducks.
Re: College Football Week 10 Betting News and Notes
College Football Betting Preview: Arizona State at Oregon State
By Andrew Lange
Arizona State at Oregon State
Andrew Lange’s Recommendation: Over
Saturday, 7:30 pm PT – ESPN2
CRIS Opener: Oregon State -4 O/U 53.5
CRIS Current: Oregon State -4.5 O/U 54.5
Rob Veno’s Power Rating: Oregon State -4.5
Based on the past two weeks it is safe to say the Arizona State's defense may be a tad overrated. We knew a regression was coming after the Sun Devils faced a slew of mediocre offenses and back-up quarterbacks. The last two weeks, against Oregon and UCLA, ASU allowed 88 points and nearly 1,000 yards on close to six yards per play. It is an all-or-nothing unit –sack the quarterback, blow up a run play or get gashed for a big gain.
Folks are making a big deal about Oregon State's quarterback conundrum. Cody Vaz will start this game – Sean Mannion simply isn't 100% healthy. Vaz is going to have to make some quick decisions facing ASU's pressure but he should have success in the passing game.
Oregon State doesn't play at a particularly fast pace (73.6 plays per game vs. PAC-12), but a majority of their ball movement comes via the pass (38.9 pass attempts per game). ASU meanwhile averages 84.6 plays per game vs. the PAC-12. Last week vs. UCLA they ran a staggering 94 plays.
And while Oregon State has been praised for its defense, they too have loaded up on the weak offenses of Utah, Washington, BYU and Washington State the last few weeks. Go back to late September and check out the box score between Arizona and Oregon State – 164 offensive plays, 1,158 yards, both teams north of 7 yards per play, and 73 combined points. I'm not saying we get a repeat performance but we don't need one with a modest total of 54.5.
Re: College Football Week 10 Betting News and Notes
Big Ten Report - Week 10
The Big Ten race if finally starting to take shape. Nebraska is in control of the Legends division but faces a tough task as it travels to Michigan State this weekend. MSU is off of a huge win over Wisconsin (their first loss at Camp Randall since 2009) but the Badgers are still in control of the Leaders division. The only other real threat in the Leaders? Indiana. That's right, the Hoosiers. They are favored in a conference game for the first time since 2005 when Iowa visits Saturday. All the inside information on every Big Ten matchup is here!
Michigan State (+2) vs. Nebraska
MSU: Last week at Wisconsin: W 16-13 (OT)
UN: Last week vs. Michigan: W 23-9
This should be a classic offense vs. defense showdown. Nebraska leads the Big Ten in scoring and total offense, while the Spartans are tops in points allowed and yards allowed. Nebraska has control of the Legends Division now after defeating Michigan at home last week. The Huskers defense played well but definitely capitalized on a Denard Robinson-less Michigan team in the second half last week, allowing just 52 yards. They picked off Robinson's backup, Russell Bellomy, three times and allowed just three points to the Wolverines after halftime. Offensively Nebraska played well against a strong Michigan defense. The running game churned out 160 rush yards and QB Martinez completed 14-of-24 passes with a score. They'll be tested by a better defense from the state of Michigan this weekend.
There's new life in Sparta as Michigan State got what could be a season-saving win in Madison last weekend. The Spartans' struggling offense showed up just in time to score with 1:08 left in the fourth quarter to tie, then scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime. MSU's defense has been elite for most of the season but really cranked things up at Camp Randall, limiting Wisconsin to just 190 yards, 10 first downs, and 19 net rushing yards. They also tallied five sacks and 12 tackles for loss. There are still reasons for concern on offense, as 100 of Sparty's 277 total yards came on their final two drives in the fourth quarter and overtime. RB Bell was held to 77 rush yards on 21 carries and he is now being held to just 3.4 YPC over the last five games (5.2 YPC over the first four weeks).
Recent history: This is a big revenger for Michigan State after getting dominated in Lincoln a year ago. Nebraska held MSU to just 187 total yards, 12 first downs, and three points. Nebraska churned out 190 rush yards and RB Burkhead scored all three of UN's touchdowns.
Trends: Nebraska is just 2-6 ATS in its last eight games following a SU win. The Cornhuskers are also 0-5-1 ATS in their last six road games. Michigan State is just 2-5 ATS in its last seven games overall and 0-5 ATS in the last five home games. The Spartans have finished 'under' in five straight home games and seven of their last nine overall.
Injury report: Nebraska has survived almost two full Big Ten games without top running back Rex Burkhead, who should be back this week.
Minnesota (+12.5) vs. Michigan
Minn: Last week vs. Purdue: W 44-28
Mich: Last week at Nebraska: L 9-23
Minnesota true freshman QB Philip Nelson showed off his skills against Purdue. In just his second career start, Nelson tossed for 246 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. It was a good day all around for this Gopher offense as they tallied 212 rush yards, including 134 from RB Kirkwood. It all was against a surprisingly inept Boiler defense and they'll face a much more daunting task against an angry Michigan "D" this weekend. Defensively Minnesota still needs to tighten up. The Gophers allowed 381 total yards, 183 rush yards (5.3 YPC), and 21 first downs.
Michigan QB Denard Robinson was hurt just before halftime of last week's game against Nebraska, and the offense completely deflated after that. The Wolves tallied just 52 total yards and three points in the second half. They also managed just 95 rush yards on 37 carries without their top rushing threat. Robinson's back-up, Russell Bellomy, completed just 3-of-16 passes with three interceptions. The defense performed admirably for continuously being put in bad situations. The Wolves allowed Nebraska to just 3.9 YPC while forcing two turnovers. Michigan is now 1-3 on the road this season but will need to play well to stay in the Legends Division race.
Recent history: The Little Brown Jug has been won by Michigan four straight meetings by an average of 30 points per game (4-0 ATS). Last year the Wolves had +403 yards and +24 first downs in the 58-0 drubbing in Ann Arbor. Michigan hasn't lost in Minnesota since 1977 and they are 11-2 ATS in the last 13 meetings there.
Trends: Michigan is 9-26 ATS in its last 35 conference games. The Wolverines are also 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games following a SU loss. Minnesota is 7-1 ATS in their last eight home games and 9-4 ATS in the last 13 games overall. The score has remained 'under' the total in four of the last six meetings.
Injury report: Head coach Brady Hoke sounded more optimistic about having starting QB Robinson for Saturday's game. "He should be fine," Hoke said Tuesday. Minnesota's top WR A.J. Barker (ankle) has a chance to return Saturday against Michigan. Barker had 135 receiving yards and two touchdowns before leaving the Purdue win with the injury.
Purdue (+3.5) vs. Penn State
PU: Last week at Minnesota: L 28-44
PSU: Last week vs. Ohio State: W 23-35
Ross-Ade Stadium likely won't be rocking for this conference game. Boilers fans are understandably frustrated with their team after a four-game conference losing streak - the last of which was a blowout at the hands of the Golden Gophers in Minnesota. Coach Danny Hope had dubbed this as "his best team" during his tenure. He's not getting the results lately as the offense and defense have been greatly underperforming. Starting QB Celeb TerBush completed just 5-of-18 passes for 49 yards against Minnesota and now Hope has to decide how to divvy up his quarterback rotation between TerBush, Robert Marve, and Rob Henry. The Boilers' defense has allowed four Big Ten opponents to average 284 rush yards per game (6.1 YPC average) and 39 points per game.
Penn State is also looking to rebound after a disappointing home loss to Ohio State in a much-anticipated game. They had a seven-point lead in the second quarter and were tied with the Bucks at halftime. But by the end of the third quarter the Lions were down 28-10. They managed just 32 rush yards on 28 carries against OSU and QB McGloin was an inefficient 27-of-45 passing; a lot of which came in garbage time. He led to offense to just 5-of-17 on third downs A normally stout PSU run defense allowed 234 rush yards and three rushing scores. The Lions are 2-0 on the road in the Big Ten so far with wins by 28 & 24 points and they'll aim for their third Big Ten road win this weekend.
Recent history: Purdue hasn't won against the Nittany Lions since 2005 and they are 3-7-1 ATS over the last 11 meetings. Penn State won 23-18 in State College. PSU's defense forced three interceptions by TerBush and Marve. The Lions have won two straight in Purdue by 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Trends: Penn State is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games overall and 5-2 ATS in its last seven road games. Purdue is 1-4-1 ATS in its last six conference games and 1-4 ATS in its last five games overall. These two have finished 'under' in seven of the last eight meetings.
Injury report: Purdue's star DT Kawann Short is questionable for Saturday's game against Penn State after suffering an ankle injury last week. Starting CB Ricardo Allen (ankle) is improving and could play this week. PSU TE Kyle Carter, who ranks second on the team with 35 receptions and 441 receiving yards, is "day-to-day."
Indiana (-1.5) vs. Iowa
Ind: Last week at Illinois: W 31-17
Iowa: Last week Northwestern: L 17-28
Iowa's offense again struggled last weekend against Northwestern. It has been a reoccurring theme all season and we just might have to accept that things won't get any better. The Hawks rushed for just 3.0 YPC and QB Vandenberg yet again failed to throw a touchdown pass. Vandenberg has just three touchdown passes this season and teams are learning that they don't have to fear an aerial attack from the Hawkeyes. Iowa currently ranks 100th or worse in passing, total offense, and scoring offense. A bigger concern is a defense that has surrendered 937 yards the past two weeks. Northwestern relied on its running attack that gained 349 yards (7.1 YPC) and they only attempted 10 passes all game.
The Hoosiers lead the league in passing yards per game at 286.6 and have more than five times as many touchdown passes as the Hawkeyes (16 to 3). Last week they notched their first conference win since 2010 at Illinois and that should provide a much-needed confidence builder going forward. Freshman QB Sudfeld came in off the bench to complete 10-of-15 passes with two touchdowns to provide a lift last week and Indiana's defense surrendered just three second-half points to the Illini. Indiana is currently favored it its first conference game since 2007.
Recent history: Indiana has dropped four straight to the Hawkeyes by 20 points per game, but the Hoosiers have covered two straight. Last year in this meeting Iowa QB Vandenberg threw for more touchdowns (four) than he has through eight games this season (three).
Trends: Iowa is 35-15-1 ATS in its last 51 games following a SU loss. The Hawks are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 2-10 ATS in their last 12 road games. Indiana has covered four straight games (all Big Ten games). These two have finished 'over' the total in six of the last seven meetings.
Injury report: Freshman QB Nate Sudfeld continues to provide a spark off of the bench and the Hoosiers aren't changing their approach at the position for this week's game against Iowa. Coach Kevin Wilson noted that Cameron Coffman will remain the starter.
Ohio State (-27.5) vs. Illinois
OSU: Last week at Penn State: W 35-23
UI: Last week vs. Indiana: L 17-31
These two programs are on opposite sides of the Big Ten echelon right now. Ohio State is aiming for an undefeated season while Illinois has dropped five straight. The Buckeyes have the Big Ten's best player in QB Miller, who tallied 277 total yards and three touchdowns in last week's win over Penn State. Overall the Buckeyes racked up 234 rush yards against a stout Penn State run-defense. Defensively OSU had arguably its best performance of the season, frustrating a scalding hot Penn State offense and keeping them out of the end zone for the better part of three quarters. They are nearly 30-point favorites at home here against a hapless Illinois squad.
Last week Illinois had more first downs and total yards than Indiana, and held the ball for more than 33 minutes Saturday. But they had a number of mistakes - penalties, turnovers, sacks - and couldn't put the ball in the end-zone. The defense allowed Indiana to score 24 of the game's final 27 points. Illinois now ranks 111th in total offense and 118th in scoring offense. An upset doesn't look likely here as the Illini travel to Columbus.
Recent history: Ohio State is 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in the previous four meetings, winning by an average of 15.3 points per game. Last year Ohio State rushed 51 times and threw it just four times in the 17-7 win in Champaign.
Trends: Illinois is 0-4 ATS in its last four games following a SU loss. The Illini are also 0-5 ATS in their last five conference games. Ohio State is just 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games following a SU win. These two have remained 'under' the total in five of the last seven meetings.
Injury report: OSU coach Urban Meyer said LB Etienne Sabino is doubtful for Saturday. Illinois' Miles Osei, who saw some time at QB, is working exclusively at WR as the Illini try to find more weapons.
Northwestern - BYE
NU: Last week vs. Iowa: W 28-17
Northwestern had a huge day offensively against the Hawkeyes last week. The Wildcats controlled the ball with 49 rushing attempts for 349 yards (7.1 YPC). QB Colter and RB Mark each topped 160 rush yards while the defense held Iowa to just 17 points. The bye week comes at a perfect time as Northwestern prepares for two road games at Michigan and at Michigan State.
Wisconsin - BYE
UW: Last week vs. Michigan State: L 13-16 (OT)
The Badgers lost their first home game since 2009 last week against Michigan State. They also lost starting QB Joel Stave to a clavicle injury, and he will miss the remainder of the season. Stave was 9-of-11 for 127 yards and a touchdown before the injury last week and the offense was stagnant without him. The running game managed just 19 yards on 37 carries and the Badgers relinquished a late lead and lost the game in overtime. Believe it or not the Badgers still are in the lead to represent the Leaders division in Indianapolis for the Big Ten title game.
Re: College Football Week 10 Betting News and Notes
College Football Top 25 Betting Cheat Sheet: Week 10
If you're looking to get some action down but only have a few minutes to handicap, let our Top-25 cheat sheet help you out. We grab the best quick-hitting betting info on each of the Top 25 matchups with odds available in Week 10 of the season.
Missouri at (8) Florida (-17, 42.5)
Gators QB Jeff Driskel had his worst game of the season in a back-breaking defeat to Georgia last week, committing four of Florida's six turnovers. While the Tigers' struggling offense should get a boost with the return of starting QB James Franklin, who came on in relief of Corbin Berkstresser in the third quarter of last week's game. Franklin had been sidelined since spraining a medial collateral ligament in his left knee in a home loss to Vanderbilt on Oct. 6. The Gators are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall.
(12) Oklahoma at Iowa State (11.5, 52.5)
Oklahoma saw its slim national championship hopes evaporate last week with a loss to Notre Dame. The No. 12 Sooners will try to shake off the disappointment and earn a 14th straight victory over Iowa State at Jack Trice Stadium. The Cyclones hold the longest home losing streak in the country to a single opponent vs. the Sooners, a span of 20 games. Their last home win against Oklahoma came Nov. 5, 1960. Oklahoma is 19-0 following a loss since 2004 and hasn’t lost to Iowa State in 22 years. The Cyclones have relied on a defense that has generated the second-most turnovers in the Big 12 (19). But star LB James Knott is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery Monday. Knott had 11 tackles and a forced fumble in a victory over Baylor last week. The teams have played under the total in their last four meetings.
Temple at (10) Louisville (-15.5, 51)
The Cardinals are one of six unbeaten teams, thanks mostly to their efficiency in the red zone. Louisville has come away with points in 33 of 34 trips to the red zone, second in the nation behind Alabama. Temple has allowed 82 points in the last six quarters in two losses and is searching for more consistency its offense while it tries to avoid its first three-game losing streak since 2008. The Cardinals are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.
(16) Texas A&M at (18) Mississippi State (7, 59)
Texas A&M will test its third-ranked scoring offense against Mississippi State’s stingy defense as both schools try to stay in the running for second place in the SEC West. The Aggies’ only two losses came at home against Florida and LSU by a total of eight points. Texas A&M is 1-11 ATS in its last 12 vs. a team with a winning record.
(15) Stanford at Colorado (27.5, 51)
The Cardinal can still claim the Pac-12 North Division title but will likely have to win out. Struggling first-string QB Josh Nunes will share the load with redshirt freshman Kevin Hogan, who is expected to play up to 20 snaps this week. Colorado has been outscored 213-51 during a four-game losing streak - 120-20 in the last two weeks after a 70-14 loss at Oregon - and has allowed the most points in the country among FBS teams (46 per game). The Buffaloes are 0-4 ATS in their last four home games.
TCU at (19) West Virginia (-6.5, 68)
The Mountaineers have fallen on hard times, dropping two straight games by a combined score of 114-28. The West Virginia defense has surrendered 1,155 total yards during that stretch, including 841 through the air. The Horned Frogs held a 14-0 lead at Oklahoma State last Saturday before allowing 36 unanswered points. They committed 10 penalties and had three turnovers as TCU was held to less than 20 points for the first time since the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, a string of 33 games. The Horned Frogs are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.
Pittsburgh at (4) Notre Dame (-16.5, 45.5)
Notre Dame is ranked third in the BCS standings thanks to a massive win at Oklahoma last week and has the schedule strength to possibly reach the national championship game should they win out. The Irish stop unit is allowing only 9.9 points - second to the Crimson Tide in the country. The Pittsburgh defense hasn’t been too shabby either, allowing just 23 total points over its past two contests. The Panthers have played under the total in their last six road games.
(22) Texas at (20) Texas Tech (-7.5, 67)
Texas Tech looks to bounce back after suffering a 55-24 thrashing at Kansas State while Texas needed a late rally to hold off one-win Kansas, 21-17 last weekend. The Longhorns’ defense is surrendering 218 yards rushing per game (108th in the country) while also sporting their worst marks in total (96th) and scoring defense (97th). Head coach Mack Brown announced this week that QB David Ash would remain the starter, despite being picked off twice and was pulled against the Jayhawks. Texas Tech QB Seth Doege leads the nation with 30 touchdown passes and is one of seven quarterbacks in FBS completing at least 70 percent of his passes. The Longhorns have failed to cover in their last four games.
Mississippi at (6) Georgia (-14, 62.5)
The Bulldogs upended the Gators last week and can win the East for the second consecutive season with victories in their final two conference games. Georgia ranks fifth in the SEC in rushing and fourth in passing, a balanced attack that has the offense averaging 36.8 points this season. The Rebels have allowed 27 or more points in three of their four conference games. But Mississippi went 4-0 ATS in those contests and is 5-0 ATS in its last five overall.
(21) Nebraska at Michigan State (2, 44.5)
Nebraska has won five of its last six and two straight since it was annihilated at Ohio State 63-36 on Oct. 6. This game will be a contrast in styles, pitting a high-powered Cornhuskers offense that leads the Big Ten in scoring against a rugged Spartans defense that ranks fifth nationally in total yards, allowing 267.4 per game. Michigan State's last five games have been decided by a total of 13 points and the Spartans have been limited to 16 points or fewer four times in that span. The Cornhuskers are 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
Texas-San Antonio at (23) Louisiana Tech (-32, 73)
The Bulldogs, who were held to fewer than 44 points for the first time all season last week in a win over New Mexico State, rank second in the country in total and scoring offense and have converted 48 of their 56 red-zone drives into points. Louisiana Tech has more red-zone touchdowns (44) than 115 FBS schools have red-zone trips. The Bulldogs' last seven games have played over the total and they're 11-2-1 ATS in their last 14 games following a win.
(9) Clemson at Duke (13, 65)
Clemson continues to build its resume for a BCS bowl bid, led by a high-octane offense. The ninth-ranked Tigers, averaging 41 points, go for their fifth consecutive victory at upstart Duke on Saturday. The Blue Devils could be without senior QB Sean Renfree, who suffered concussion-like symptoms in a 48-7 loss at Florida State last Saturday. Clemson has won eight of the last nine meetings and is 4-0 ATS in its last four road games.
(2) Oregon at (17) USC (7.5, 70)
The Ducks take their 12-game road winning streak to the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday to face the Trojans. The Ducks have rolled through their early schedule, winning their first eight games by at least 17 points, but they're set to face three Top 25 teams this month, including a pair against North Division rivals Stanford (home) and Oregon State (road). USC has little margin for error left in its quest for a Pac-12 South Division title after last week's 39-36 loss in which Arizona scored 26 consecutive points to rally from a 15-point second-half deficit. The Trojans have played under the total in their last five home games.
(24) Oklahoma State at (3) Kansas State (-10, 66)
The Wildcats look to keep their national title hopes alive Saturday against visiting Oklahoma State, which has won three straight. If the Wildcats can get past the Cowboys, they’ll only have one game left against a team with a winning record. The Cowboys lead the country in total offense, averaging 586.1 yards per game and are ranked sixth nationally in scoring at 44.3 points. Kansas State has outscored its opponents 216-67 in the second half, including 98-25 in the third quarter. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
(1) Alabama at (5) LSU (9.5, 41.5)
The undefeated Tide have won every game by at least 19 points and just demolished a very good Mississippi State team. Alabama leads the nation in scoring defense (8.1), while LSU ranks ninth (14.6). The fifth-ranked Tigers had a week off to prepare following wins over ranked foes South Carolina and Texas A&M. Under Les Miles, LSU is 36-1 in Saturday night home games and has won a school-record 22 straight in Death Valley. The road team is 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 meetings.
San Diego State at (14) Boise State (-13.5, 49.5)
The Aztecs have won four straight games and are looking to participate in a postseason bowl game for the third straight year, something never previously accomplished in school history. The Broncos will be without two defensive starters in sophomore S Lee Hightower (suspension) and sophomore CB Bryan Douglas (season-ending knee injury). The Broncos pitched five consecutive first-half shutouts before allowing a touchdown to Wyoming on Oct. 27. Boise State has allowed only 26 points in the first half this season.
Arizona State at (13) Oregon State (-4, 54.5)
The Beavers are switching their starting quarterback, giving Cody Vaz the nod after Sean Mannion was intercepted four times in last weekend’s upset loss to Washington. Vaz will be up against the third-stingiest pass defense in the nation and the second-ranked team in sacks. The Wildcats are hoping two key pieces of their defense are back against Oregon State. Defensive lineman Will Sutton, who leads the team in sacks (8.5), suffered a bone bruise to his knee during the first series against Oregon two weeks ago and DE Junior Onyeali is aiming to return from a shoulder injury that has forced him to depart the last two games. The teams have played over the total in five of their last six meetings.
Re: College Football Week 10 Betting News and Notes
College Football Betting Preview: Oregon at USC
By Ian Cameron
Oregon at USC
Ian Cameron's Recommendation: Over
Saturday, 4 pm PT - FOX
CRIS Opener: Oregon -6 O/U 68
CRIS Current: Oregon -8.5 O/U 70
Rob Veno's Power Rating: Oregon -5
70 is a very high total to work with but it’s warranted here and it still may be too low when this game is all said and done. Oregon’s offense has been a well oiled machine all season and they have yet to be slowed down. The Ducks have posted 57, 42, 63, 49, 51, 52, 43 and 70 points in their eight games. They have a much stronger passing attack thanks to the rapid development of QB Marcus Mariota. He’s thrown 18 TDs and just 5 INTs. As always, the Ducks possess a ton of speed to burn with the likes of running backs De’Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner. They rank in the top 10 in the country in total yards and rushing yards as well as first in scoring at 53.4 per game. This high tempo, rapid fire offensive attack should be too much for USC to handle.
USC’s defense has struggled at times when asked to step up in class. Arizona, which operates a similar offense to that of Oregon, was able to rack up 39 points and 588 total yards in last week’s upset win over the Trojans. That’s not good news when you are about to take on the incredible speed and tempo of the Ducks. Oregon scored 53 points against USC in the most recent head-to-head meeting in the Coliseum back in 2010 and I expect Oregon to find their way to the 40’s if not the 50’s against all by themselves in this game.
USC can be expected to move the football and score a lot of points as well. The Trojans still have a bevy of weapons with QB Matt Barkley (2,266 passing yards, 25 TDs), RB Silas Redd, and a pair of fantastic WRs in Marqise Lee and Robert Woods. Oregon’s defense is said to be the best Chip Kelly has had since arriving in Eugene but the Ducks still allowed 26 to Washington State, 21 to Washington and 21 to Arizona State and none of those offenses come close to matching USC’s production. The Trojans can exploit the one question mark about Oregon’s defense and that is their secondary. The Ducks haven’t really seen an elite level passing attack to this point. They are ranked a middling 45th in the nation in pass defense (213.6 ypg). Note that Matt Barkley has led this Trojans offense to 38 and 32 points the last two years against Oregon.
This is a major revenge spot for Oregon coming off a heartbreaking 38-35 home loss to USC last season which put the final nail in Oregon’s coffin regarding its BCS title game hopes. As a result, they should come out guns blazing on offense but I expect USC to return fire and keep pace. Both previous meetings between eclipsed 70 total points and despite the high number, I’ll call for this PAC-12 showdown to climb OVER the total.
Re: College Football Week 10 Betting News and Notes
What Bettors Need to Know: Alabama at LSU
Alabama at LSU (8, 39.5)
Alabama should finally get a test when the top-ranked Crimson Tide visit Death Valley on Saturday night to face No. 5 LSU in a rematch of last season’s BCS National Championship Game. The undefeated Tide have won every game by at least 19 points and just demolished a very good Mississippi State team. Alabama leads the nation in scoring defense (8.1), while LSU ranks ninth (14.6). The fifth-ranked Tigers had a week off to prepare following wins over ranked foes South Carolina and Texas A&M. Alabama has won three of the past five meetings with LSU, including the 21-0 shutout in the title game, and leads the all-time series 46-25-5.
LINE: Alabama -8, O/U 41.
WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the low-70s with a slight 20 percent chance of showers. Winds will be light out of the south.
ABOUT ALABAMA (8-0, 3-0 SEC): Running behind the nation’s top offensive line, T.J. Yeldon (649 yards, 7.0 yards per carry, seven touchdowns) and Eddie Lacy (596 yards, 5.5, seven) have battered opponents into submission. Quarterback AJ McCarron has thrown 18 touchdown passes without an interception, with freshman wide receiver Amari Cooper (32 catches, 472 yards, five touchdowns) emerging as a major threat. The defense has allowed opponents to enter the red zone only 15 times in eight games. Only one of Alabama’s last 22 opponents has gained 300 total yards.
ABOUT LSU (7-1, 3-1): Freshman running back Jeremy Hill stole the show in LSU’s wins over the Aggies and Gamecocks, running for 251 yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries. He is part of a dynamic backfield that includes Kenny Hilliard (420 rushing yards, six touchdowns) and Michael Ford (357, three). But the Tigers rank 90th nationally in pass efficiency as quarterback Zach Mettenberger is hitting 56.6 percent of his throws with seven touchdowns and four interceptions. Defensive end Sam Montgomery (nine tackles for loss, four sacks) leads a fierce front seven, while linebacker Kevin Minter has 75 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and three sacks.
* Road team is 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 meetings.
* Tigers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Crimson Tide is 6-1 ATS in its last seven conference games.
* Over is 4-1 in Crimson Tide’s last five road games.
1. Dating to last season, McCarron has thrown 262 straight passes without an interception, an Alabama record and the second-longest streak in SEC history.
2. Alabama is 34-for-35 in the red zone - 26 touchdowns and eight field goals.
3. Under Les Miles, LSU is 5-1 following a scheduled open date and 36-1 in Saturday night home games. The Tigers have won a school-record 22 straight in Death Valley.
Re: College Football Week 10 Betting News and Notes
What Bettors Need to Know: Texas A&M at Mississippi St.
Texas A&M at Mississippi State (7, 60)
No. 18 Mississippi got its first taste of top competition last weekend and realized it has a little more work to do to get to the top tier of the SEC. A home win over No. 16 Texas A&M on Saturday afternoon would be a step in the right direction. The Bulldogs were trounced at Alabama 38-7 in their first game of the season against a ranked team and will continue to fight through the teeth of the SEC with a trip to LSU after the Aggies. Texas A&M has had its own troubles with ranked conference foes but has been impressive offensively against everyone else. Freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel bounced back from a rough performance at LSU by totaling five touchdowns in last Saturday’s 63-21 triumph over Auburn. Texas A&M will test its third-ranked scoring offense against Mississippi State’s stingy defense as both schools try to stay in the running for second place in the SEC West.
LINE: Texas A&M -7, O/U 60
WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the mid-60s and sunny skies. Winds will be light out of the south.
ABOUT TEXAS A&M (6-2, 3-2 SEC): The Aggies’ only two losses came at home against Florida and LSU by a total of eight points. Not coincidently, those happened to be the only two games in which Texas A&M managed less than 30 points. With a trip to Alabama set for Nov. 10, Manziel and company are going to need to learn how to attack a top SEC defense. They have had no problems against the rest of their schedule. In Texas A&M’s six wins, Manziel has thrown for 1,767 yards, 16 touchdowns and three interceptions while rushing for 706 yards and 12 scores. His five TD performance against Auburn last weekend came despite sitting out most of the second half with the big lead. Manziel’s performance has made up for a lack of explosiveness on the other side of the ball. The Aggies defense has not forced a turnover in the last three games.
ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (7-1, 3-1): Bulldogs quarterback Tyler Russell hasn’t gotten much publicity but has been one of the most consistent and productive QBs in the country. The junior ranks fourth nationally with a 15-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio and has been able to lean on running back LaDarius Perkins most of the season. Both Russell and Perkins were held out of the end zone for the first time this season in the loss at Alabama. The weak competition earlier in the season allowed the defense to put up some impressive numbers but Alabama’s size and strength up front exposed the Bulldogs’ line. The Aggies will provide a different test because of Manziel. While All-American defensive back Johnthan Banks leads a strong secondary, the front seven will still have to deal with Manziel outside of the pocket. Mississippi State allowed the Crimson Tide to rush for 179 yards.
* Aggies are 1-11 ATS in their last 12 vs. a team with a winning record.
* Under is 4-1 in Aggies' last five games vs. a team with a winning record.
* Under is 7-1-1 in Bulldogs' last nine games overall.
* Bulldogs are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games.
1. The last time two ranked teams met in Starkville, Miss., was on Sep. 20, 2001, when then-No. 18 South Carolina took on the 17th-ranked Bulldogs.
2. Mississippi State is 22-1 in its last 23 games when winning the turnover battle.
3. Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin is 4-3 in his career against ranked teams.
Re: College Football Week 10 Betting News and Notes
Alabama at LSU
By Brian Edwards
All eyes will be on Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge on Saturday night when LSU plays host to top-ranked Alabama as a home underdog. The Wynn in Las Vegas opened Nick Saban’s team as a seven-point favorite, but that number wasn’t available for long.
Within two hours as many other books posted the line, the Crimson Tide was up to 8½ or 9. By Monday afternoon, most books had ‘Bama favored by 9½ or 10. On Thursday when many Vegas shops had Alabama favored by nine, eight offshore books moved the number down to eight.
Sportsbook.ag didn’t go that far, settling at 8½. I talked to Sportsbook Senior Oddsmaker Mike Perry on Friday morning.
Perry told VegasInsider.com, “We got sharp action on LSU at plus 9½ late Thursday morning and moved the number to nine. We took another sharp bet at that number and then moved it to the current number of 8½. Seventy percent of the money for this game has come in on Alabama.”
As for the total, it opened at 42½ but was down to 41 or 40½ by late Friday afternoon.
Alabama (8-0 straight up, 5-3 against the spread) has coasted through its schedule without being challenged. The only contest that was even slightly competitive was a 33-14 non-covering win over Ole Miss as a 31-point home favorite.
Alabama has already played three SEC road games, rolling to easy wins at Arkansas (52-0), at Missouri (42-10) and at Tennessee (44-13). The Tide is coming off a 38-7 win over previously-undefeated Mississippi St. as a 22-point home ‘chalk.’
Junior quarterback A.J. McCarron completed 16-of-23 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. Freshman RB T.J. Yeldon rushed 10 times for 84 yards and one TD. Kenny Bell had a 57-yard TD grab and Eddie Lacy had four receptions for 51 yards and one score.
McCarron has connected on 68.9 percent of his throws for 1,684 yards with an incredible 18/0 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Amari Cooper has emerged as McCarron’s favorite target, hauling in 32 catches for 472 yards and five TDs.
Lacy and Yeldon have shared the lead duties for the ground attack. Yeldon has rushed for a team-high 649 yards and seven TDs while averaging 7.0 yards per carry. Lacy has 596 rushing yards and seven TDs, averaging 5.5 YPC.
Alabama has the nation’s top defense, giving up only 203.1 yards per game and 8.1 points per contest. The Tide hasn’t allowed more than the 14 points scored by both Ole Miss and Michigan.
LSU (7-1 SU, 3-5 ATS) has had to deal with adversity galore since August. First, All-American cornerback and special-teams ace Tyrann Mathieu was dismissed from the team. His propensity for making big plays has been sorely missed.
Next, offensive tackle Chris Faulk went down with a season-ending injury. Then the starting OT on the other side, Alex Hurst, who was a first-team All-SEC selection last year, left the team for personal reasons. Also, linebackers Tahj Jones and Kwon Alexander were lost to season-ending injuries.
Les Miles’s squad won its first five games before coming up on the wrong side of a 14-6 decision at Florida. Since then, LSU has posted back-to-back wins vs. South Carolina (23-21) and at Texas A&M (24-19).
Unlike Alabama, LSU had an open date after winning in College Station two weeks ago. Freshman RB Jeremy Hill erupted for 127 rushing yards and one touchdown on 18 carries against the Aggies. LSU’s defense intercepted Johnny Manziel three times.
Junior QB Zach Mettenberger, who was expected to be a major upgrade at the position, hasn’t met expectations. The transfer from Georgia has completed only 56.6 percent of his throws for 1,419 yards with a 7/4 TD-INT ratio.
LSU is ranked third in the nation in total defense. The Tigers’ stop unit is ranked ninth in scoring defense, surrendering 14.6 PPG.
LSU has been a home underdog just three times during Les Miles’s eight-year tenure. The Tigers are 1-2 both straight up and against the spread in those situations. However, we should note that the lone victory was in Alabama’s last trip to LSU in 2010 when the Tigers won by a 24-21 count.
The Tide owns a 16-7 spread record in 23 games as a road favorite on Saban’s watch.
The ‘over’ is 4-3-1 overall for Alabama, 3-0 in its road assignments. LSU has seen the ‘under’ go 4-3 overall, but the ‘over’ has hit at a 3-1 clip in its home games.
For those thinking upset, LSU is available for a generous 3/1 payout (risk $100 to win $300) if it wins outright.
Kickoff on CBS is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets
LSU’s Kenny Hilliard has rushed for a team-high 420 yards and six TDs, averaging 5.9 YPC. Nevertheless, look for LSU to ride the hot hand and give Hill more carries against ‘Bama. Hill has five rushing TDs and a 6.7 YPC average.
Arkansas running back Knile Davis is ‘out’ Saturday vs. Tulsa with a hamstring injury. However, bettors shouldn’t put much stock in the injury because Dennis Johnson has been much more productive this year. The Razorbacks have lost four starters for the season and will also be without starting tight end Chris Gragg (knee) against the Golden Hurricane.
Looking to go against the worst ATS team in America? Virginia (0-7-1 ATS) is back in action following an open date and plays at North Carolina St. as an 11-point underdog.
The nation’s premier ATS team is Gary Andersen’s Utah St. Aggies, who are 8-0-1 versus the number after trouncing USTA 48-17 as 23 ½-point road favorites. Utah St. is a 26-point home favorite Saturday vs. Texas St.
Ole Miss hasn’t beaten Georgia since 1996, losing nine straight head-to-head meetings. The Bulldogs have covered the number at a 6-3 ATS clip over that span. The Rebels are 14-point underdogs Saturday between the hedges.
After losing its first game of the season 17-9 vs. Georgia, Florida returns to The Swamp to take on Missouri as a 17-point favorite. Will Muschamp’s team is 5-3 ATS as a home ‘chalk’ on his watch.
Re: College Football Week 10 Betting News and Notes
NCAAF Week 10
Cincinnati be glad to get home after losing last two weeks on road, allowing 29-34 points, their first true road games of season; Bearcats won six of its last seven games with Syracuse, though Orangemen won 31-7 in last visit here. UC covered six of last eight games as a home favorite. Syracuse won its last two games, scoring 40-37 points; they won last week at USF after being down 23-3 at half, but it was their first cover in last six tries as a road underdog. Big East home favorites are 5-7 vs spread in conference play. Three of last four Cincinnati games went over the total.
Curious to see how Mississippi State reacts after getting spanked by Alabama last week, its first loss of year; Bulldogs are 8-4 vs spread in last 12 tries as home favorite- they’re 8-9 vs spread in game following their last 17 losses. Six of State’s last seven games stayed under total. Since 2007, A&M is 9-14-1 vs spread as an underdog, but they’re 4-0 on road this year behind freshman QB Manziel- they’re -10 in turnovers last four games. Six of State’s seven wins are by 10+ points. Last time these teams met was snowy bowl game in Shreveport 12 years ago (MSU won 43-41); they didn’t have snow plows at the field.
Trap game for Oklahoma team after 30-13 home loss to Notre Dame last week, visiting spunky Iowa State squad they’ve beaten last two years by combined score of 78-6. Over last decade, Sooners are 16-6 vs spread in game following a loss, but they’re just 6-9 in last 15 tries as road favorites, 1-2 this year. OU defense is sagging; foes converted 19 of last 39 3rd down tries. Cyclones covered 11 of last 16 tries as an underdog; since ’03, they’re 17-13 as an underdog in Ames. Big X underdogs are 13-11 vs spread in league play, 5-5 at home. Under is 4-0-1 in ISU’s last five games, 1-3 in Oklahoma’s last four.
West Virginia had bye last week, after getting smoked 49-14/55-14 in previous two games; now TCU comes in having lost three of last four games, with backup (freshman) QB under center. Horned Frogs turned ball over 11 times in last four games, converted just 7 of last 31 on 3rd down, but Mountaineers allowed 45+ points in each of last four games, just been trying to outscore teams. TCU lost last two games 56-53ot/36-14, so both sides struggling here. West Virginia is 3-6 vs spread in last nine games as home favorite. Big X home favorites are 6-8 against the spread.
Sandwich game for Penn State, off last week’s loss to Ohio, and with Nebraska on deck; Lions won five in row, nine of last 11 games vs Purdue, winning 20-6/12-0 in last two visits here, but they lost at home last week, ending 5-game win streak- since ’02, they’re 21-18 vs spread in game following a loss. Lions covered 10 of last 13 games as road favorites and are 2-1 on road this year, with wins by 28-24 points. Purdue lost last four games, allowing 284 rushing yards, 38.8 ppg; they’re 2-1 as underdog this year, 5-4-1 as home dogs under Hope. Big Dozen home underdogs are 4-2 against the spread.
Underdogs covered last five Michigan State games, all of which were decided by 4 or less points, with two of last three going to OT; Spartans scored 16-10-16 points in last three games, all of which were decided by 3 or less points- they’re 2-0 this year as underdogs, 3-2-1 as home dogs under Dantonio. Nebraska is 9-6-1 as road favorite under Pelini, 0-2 this year; they’ve lost two of three on road, with only win 29-28 comeback win at Northwestern. Huskers turned ball over 18 times (-8) in their last six games. State has only two takeaways in its last four games. Under is 7-1-1 in Michigan State games this season.
Texas won four of last five games vs Texas Tech, with all four wins by 10+ points; they drubbed Red Raiders 52-20 in Austin LY, but Longhorns are just 2-2 in last four games (0-4 vs spread), beating mediocre Baylor/Kansas 56-50/21-17 last two weeks, after they gave up 111 points in losses to West Virginia/Oklahoma. Tech allowed 53/55 points in splitting pair of road games last two weeks, third time in four weeks they’ve allowed 41+ points; Red Raiders are 4-5 as home favorites under Tuberville. Over last decade, Longhorns are 5-2 as road underdogs. Three of Tech’s last four games went over.
Alabama is a powerful team; 33-14 is closest game they’ve played this year, but that could work against them here, if LSU can keep it close and get 1st-year QB Mettenberger to hit couple plays. Tigers won last two games by total of 7 points, so they’re used to tense moments. Favorites are 5-3-2 vs spread in last 10 Alabama-LSU games; teams met twice LY, with LSU winning 9-6 on road, then losing 21-0 in national title on game on neutral field. Crimson Tide lost four of last six visits here, where Saban used to be HC before going to NFL. LSU is underdog for first time this year; they’re 7-9 as dogs under Miles- over last decade, they’re 1-3 as home dogs. Bama won its four road games this year by combined score of 179-37.
Kansas State is unbeaten, but over last five years they’re 0-3 vs Oklahoma State, losing 41-39/24-14/52-45; Weeden passed for 502 yards in LY’s barnburner in Stillwater, but he’s in NFL now. Cowboys are 7-11 as road underdogs under Gundy, but 2-0 over last 2.5 years; they allowed 59-41 points in two losses this year, but allowed 14-10-14 points in winning last three games- opponents converted just 12 of last 39 on 3rd down, while K-State converted 20 of last 37 on 3rd down. Snyder is 9-6 in last 15 games as home favorite; they’re +16 in turnovers, which is problem is OSU doesn’t turn ball over (seven TO’s in last five games).
Underdogs covered 10 of last 11 ULL-ULM games, with Ragin’ Cajuns winning last four, last two by one point each; last three series games were decided by total of six points. ULL won its last three visits here, but this is first winning team Warhawks have fielded at I-A level; ULM scored 31+ points in its last six games- Auburn (28-31) is only team to hold them under 31. ULM is 3-6-1 vs spread as a home favorite under Berry; three of their four league wins are by 14 points. ULL lost ESPN mid-week games the last two weeks, both as favorites; they’re 13-2 vs spread in last 15 games as a road dog. Sun Belt home favorites are 3-13 against spread in league play.
USC is 6-2 but best team they’ve beaten is probably Utah, hardly world beaters; they turned ball over five times in 39-36 loss at Arizona last week. Favorites covered seven of last nine Oregon-USC games; Ducks split last four visits here, winning 53-32 (-6.5) in 2010, 28-17 (-1) in ’00. Trojans are underdog for first time this year; they’re 0-2 as home dog under Kiffin. Oregon is 9-5 as road favorites under Kelly; they won 43-21 (-9) at Arizona State in only true road game this season. There was shooting at a Halloween party on USC campus Wednesday night; not sure if that dampens mood on campus this week, but it did happen and distractions are rarely good.
Underdogs covered last four Arizona State-Oregon State games, with Sun Devils losing four of last five visits here, last two by total of 5 points. ASU gave up 43-45 points in losing home games last two weeks; since ’02, they’re 12-21-2 vs spread as road underdogs. Since 2009, Oregon State is just 3-9 as home favorites; they’re 1-1 this year, allowing total of 20 points in three home wins, by 3-13-14 points. Former backup QB Vaz is getting starting nod at QB for OSU, after former starter Mannion (knee) struggled in loss at Washington last week. Pac-12 home favorites are 9-8 vs spread in conference play. Five of seven Beaver games, four of last six ASU games stayed under the total.
Favorites are 9-5 in last 14 Arizona-UCLA games; Wildcats won their last five games with UCLA, all by 7+ points, winning last two in Rose Bowl, 29-21/31-10. Arizona scores lot of points; they’ve scored 35+ in two of three losses; since ’06, they’re 10-12-1 as road underdogs, 1-1 this year, losing 49-0 (+23) at Oregon, 54-48 OT (+9) at Stanford. UCLA is 2-5 vs spread in last seven games as a home favorite; they’re 6-0 this year when scoring 21+ points, 0-2 when they don’t. Four of last six I-A opponents scored 36+ points against Arizona. Wildcats’ last four games went over the total. Pac-12 home teams are 17-16 vs spread, favorites are also 17-16.
-- Penn State covered 10 of last 13 as a road favorite.
-- Favorite covered five of last six Vanderbilt-Kentucky games.
-- California covered 13 of last 21 Pac-12 home games.
-- Oklahoma is 16-6-1 vs spread in game following its last 23 losses.
-- Indiana is favored in a league game for the first time in five years.
-- Underdog is 6-0-1 vs spread in last seven Pitt-Notre Dame games.
-- Auburn covered once in its last 12 non-conference games.
-- Home side covered six of last eight UConn-USF games.
-- South Florida is only team in D-I without an interception this year.
-- Home side covered seven of last nine Wyoming-Colorado State games; this is a pretty big rivalry.
-- Road team covered last seven Hawai'i-Fresno State games.
-- Home side covered eight of last nine Arizona-UCLA games.
Re: College Football Week 10 Betting News and Notes
Pac-12 Report - Week 10
By Joe Williams
Oregon at Southern California
This game lost a little luster when USC lost to Stanford earlier in the season, and then to Arizona last week on the road. However, it is still the best game of the weekend in the Pac-12, and very important. Oregon is 4-1 ATS in their past five games overall, and 4-1 ATS in their past five Pac-12 contests. More importantly, the Ducks are 7-3-1 ATS in their past 11 games against a team with a winning record, and the favorite is 6-2 ATS in the past eight matchups in this series. For USC, they have struggled to cover, going just 2-6 ATS in their past eight games overall, although they are 4-1 ATS in their past five games in the Coliseum. This is a big matchup with national championship implications for Oregon. The line is a toss-up, but the under might be the way to go. The under has come in four times in the past five meetings at the Coliseum. In addition, the under is 5-0 in USC's past five home games, 5-2 in their past seven Pac-12 games and 6-1 in their past seven games on grass. For Oregon, the under is actually 5-1 in their past six road games against a team with a winning home record, but all other signs point to the over.
Arizona State at Oregon State
This game loses a little luster following Oregon State's upset loss last week in Seattle to Washington. The Beavers apparently didn't like what they saw physically from QB Sean Mannion (knee), who was coming off a knee injury, so they will go back to QB Cody Vaz this weekend. He gave them a jump-start last week, and led two victories in Mannion's absence before that. The Sun Devils come in 0-3-1 ATS in their past four games on field turf. However, the underdog is 3-0-1 ATS in the past four meetings, and the road team is also 3-0-1 in the past four matchups. That points to AZ State covering. The Beavs are 5-0-1 ATS in their past six games against teams with a winning record, and 6-2-1 ATS in their past nine games, but there is now doubt about this team following last week's loss. They need to only cover a small number at home, but based on AZ State's recent history in this series, the Sun Devils might actually be the play.
Arizona at UCLA
Coach Rich Rodriguez picked up one of the biggest wins for Arizona in some time when they vanquished USC last weekend at home. The Wildcats are now riding high into their game at UCLA, but remain winless (0-2) on the road this season. The Wildcats are 5-1 ATS in their past six games on grass, and 5-2 ATS in their past seven games overall. Meanwhile, UCLA is just 8-17 ATS in their past 25 Pac-12 games, and 3-8 ATS in their past 11 games following an ATS win, and 4-10 ATS in their past 14 games following a straight-up victory. More importantly, Arizona is 5-0 ATS in the past five meetings, although the home team is 5-0 ATS in the past five meetings, and the home team is 7-2 ATS in the past nine matchups.
Stanford at Colorado
The Colorado Buffaloes and their faithful probably wish their team joined the Mountain West or WAC instead of bolting the Big 12 for the Pac-12. It's been a forgettable journey that is only getting worse by the week. Colorado is just 5-16 ATS in their past 21 games against a team with a winning record, and 7-21-1 ATS in their past 29 games overall. They are also 0-4 ATS in their past four home games. It's a big number for Stanford, anywhere between 27-28 points on the road. The Cardinal have had success away from Palo Alto, going 15-5-1 ATS in their past 21 road games, and 6-2 ATS in their past eight roadies against a team with a losing record.
Washington State at Utah
It's hard to believe, but both of these teams can still qualify for a bowl if they get their acts together. Washington State has a taller order, because one more loss and they're done. They face an uphill battle, too, as they are 0-3-1 ATS in their past four games against a team with a losing record, although they are 4-1-1 ATS in their past six road contests against a team with a losing home record. Utah is 5-2 ATS in their past seven home games, and 18-7-1 ATS in their past 26 games against a team with a losing record. The total might actually be the better play, as the under is 5-1 in the Cougs' past six games away from the Palouse. The under is also 5-2 in Utah's past seven home games against a team with a losing road record.
Re: College Football Week 10 Betting News and Notes
Great Betting Tidbits for Week 10
-- Pitt’s top rusher Ray Graham, top receiver Devin Street and top kick returner Lafayette Pitts are in some trouble. They’ve been charged with simple assault and conspiracy in connection with an incident last month involving three other students. News came out Friday afternoon they will not be held out against Notre Dame Saturday.
-- Four injured QBs - three of them got hurt in the past week - mean Maryland is starting freshman linebacker Shawn Petty at QB this week. He learned the offense two weeks ago. His backup is freshman tight end Brian McMahon. Surprise! The Terps are 8-point home dogs this week vs. Ga. Tech.
-- LSU holds the nation’s longest home winning streak at 22 games. The Tigers are a less impressive 10-12 ATS during that streak. Incidentally, they were 9.5-point underdogs the last time they lost at home on Oct. 10, 2009 (13-3 to Florida), same spread as this week versus Alabama.
-- From the Wall Street Journal: Iowa State hasn't beaten Oklahoma since Eisenhower was president - the worst home losing streak to an opponent in college football. The Cylones are 12.5-point dogs to the Sooners this week. Featured in the list to the right are the worst home losing streaks to an opponent in college.
-- Hot: Clemson has covered five in a row and has ratcheted up at least 37 points in every game since its first this year against Auburn. Clemmy is laying 12.5 at Duke.
-- Cold: Virginia is 0-9-1 ATS (against the spread in its last 10 games going back to last season. The Cavs are coming off a bye and are 10.5-point dogs at N.C. State.
-- Indiana is the only FBS team not to lose a fumble this season. The Hoosiers have covered four straight games, all as bow-wows. Oddsmakers have caught up to them though and they’re laying 2 at home against Iowa this week.
-- Iowa is scoring a touchdown per game less this year than last year (20.4 ppg vs. 27.5 ppg). Hawkeyes have failed to score 20 points in five of eight games this season and blame is falling on QB James Vandenberg. Still, Iowa is seeing its highest total of the season (56) at Indiana Saturday.
-- Missouri played under in five of its last six games. It’s kind of simple formula: Respectable defense (334 yards against per game, 24th in the country) and an offense with two gagging QBs. Last week’s 33-point outburst was largely due to great field position. Total is 42.5 at Florida this week.
-Sportsbook.ag reports they are seeing 88% of their action on Oregon at USC this week as of Friday afternoon. The Ducks have gone from -7.5 to -8.5.
-Oregon dismantled a horrible Colorado team last week. Every team that has played Colorado so far this season, lost its next game.
-- Mississippi State opened at +1.5 and moved to +6.5 this week at home vs. Texas A&M. Wynn sportsbook director John Avello: “(Mississippi State) is going to test this Texas A&M team for sure. Texas A&M is a good team year in and year out, and they’re OK on the road. But they don’t always go on the road and dominate and they’ve only had a few weak road games this year.”
-- Georgia coach Mark Richt called linebacker Jarvis Jones ‘the best player in America’ this week. Jones ranks No. 1 in the nation in tackles for loss (2.33 per game), No. 1 in forced fumbles (.83 per game) and No. 2 in sacks (1.42 per game). In last week’s victory over Florida, he had three sacks, forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles. May be safe to say Jones’ nagging ankle injury is finally healed.
-- Penn State has outscored foes 66-0 in the first quarter. Nittany Lions are only FBS team not to allow first-quarter point. On a separate note, the under is 7-0-1 in the last eight meetings between Penn State and Purdue.
-- Mismatch: Rice ranks fourth in rushing offense in C-USA with 183.6 yards a game. Tulane ranks 11th in rush defense, allowing 247.5 yards per game. Tulane hasn't won a homecoming game since 2006 and is getting 5.5 points against Rice at home.
-- UNLV has its homecoming this week. The Rebs stink, yes, but they're 3-0-1 against the spread in their last four games and they're actually 4-point faves to New Mexico. UNLV has been a favorite against an FBS opponent only three times over the past three seasons and all three times its been against New Mexico.
-- There are three totals above 70 points this week: Arizona-UCLA (71), Kansas-Baylor (71), Texas State-La. Tech (73).
-- Some notes about La. Tech, 7-1 over/under record this season: No interceptions thrown. (Alabama is the only other team that hasn't thrown an INT yet.) Louisiana Tech has more red-zone touchdowns (44) this year than 115 FBS schools have red-zone trips.
-- Boston College has been held to 32 and eight rushing yards respectively in its past two games. Not surprisingly, the Eagles are the worst rushing team in the ACC.
-- Colorado State has relied on third-string QB Connor Smith its past two games, thanks to injuries to the Rams' top two passers. Let's just say they're relying more on their running game right now, which ranks 113th in the nation. They are 7.5-point dogs at Wyoming.
- Auburn gave up a school-record 671 yards in last week's 63-21 loss to Texas A&M. They've now lost five in a row but are 22.5-point favorites over New Mexico State this week.
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