College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, November 7

College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, November 7

OKLAHOMA (7 - 1) at BAYLOR (7 - 0) - 11/7/2013, 7:30 PM

Top Trends for this game.
BAYLOR is 15-5 ATS (+9.5 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
BAYLOR is 15-5 ATS (+9.5 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
BAYLOR is 16-6 ATS (+9.4 Units) as a favorite over the last 3 seasons.
BAYLOR is 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons.
BAYLOR is 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) in home lined games over the last 2 seasons.
BAYLOR is 9-1 ATS (+7.9 Units) in home games against conference opponents over the last 3 seasons.
BAYLOR is 15-6 ATS (+8.4 Units) after playing a conference game over the last 3 seasons.
BAYLOR is 13-4 ATS (+8.6 Units) in games played on turf over the last 2 seasons.
BAYLOR is 12-3 ATS (+8.7 Units) after 2 or more consecutive straight up wins over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
BAYLOR is 2-0 against the spread versus OKLAHOMA over the last 3 seasons
BAYLOR is 1-1 straight up against OKLAHOMA over the last 3 seasons
2 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


TROY (5 - 4) at LA LAFAYETTE (6 - 2) - 11/7/2013, 7:30 PM

Top Trends for this game.
TROY is 5-15 ATS (-11.5 Units) against conference opponents over the last 3 seasons.
LA LAFAYETTE is 38-22 ATS (+13.8 Units) in games played on turf since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
LA LAFAYETTE is 2-0 against the spread versus TROY over the last 3 seasons
LA LAFAYETTE is 2-0 straight up against TROY over the last 3 seasons
2 of 2 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


OREGON (8 - 0) at STANFORD (7 - 1) - 11/7/2013, 9:00 PM

Top Trends for this game.
STANFORD is 23-11 ATS (+10.9 Units) in all games over the last 3 seasons.
STANFORD is 23-11 ATS (+10.9 Units) in all lined games over the last 3 seasons.
STANFORD is 15-5 ATS (+9.5 Units) after 2 or more consecutive straight up wins over the last 3 seasons.
OREGON is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) in all games this season.
OREGON is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) in all lined games this season.
OREGON is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) as a favorite this season.
OREGON is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) as a road favorite over the last 2 seasons.
OREGON is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) in road games over the last 2 seasons.
OREGON is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) in road lined games over the last 2 seasons.
OREGON is 11-3 ATS (+7.7 Units) against conference opponents over the last 2 seasons.
OREGON is 16-6 ATS (+9.4 Units) after playing a conference game over the last 3 seasons.
OREGON is 9-0 ATS (+9.0 Units) in games played on a grass field over the last 3 seasons.
OREGON is 10-1 ATS (+8.9 Units) in road games off a win against a conference rival over the last 3 seasons.
OREGON is 17-6 ATS (+10.4 Units) after 2 or more consecutive straight up wins over the last 3 seasons.
OREGON is 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
Head-to-Head Series History
STANFORD is 1-1 against the spread versus OREGON over the last 3 seasons
STANFORD is 1-1 straight up against OREGON over the last 3 seasons
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


OKLAHOMA vs. BAYLOR
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Oklahoma's last 6 games
Oklahoma is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games   
Baylor is 1-8 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Oklahoma
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Baylor's last 6 games when playing at home against Oklahoma

TROY vs. LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE
Troy is 3-7-1 ATS in its last 11 games
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Troy's last 9 games   
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Louisiana-Lafayette's last 5 games when playing Troy
Louisiana-Lafayette is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing Troy

OREGON vs. STANFORD
Oregon is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Stanford
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Oregon's last 6 games when playing on the road against Stanford   
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Stanford's last 8 games when playing Oregon
Stanford is 2-9 SU in its last 11 games when playing Oregon


Oklahoma at Baylor
Oklahoma: 0-7 ATS when the total is greater than or equal to 70
Baylor: 12-2 ATS as a home favorite

Troy at UL - Lafayette
Troy: 5-15 ATS against conference opponents
UL - Lafayette: 14-5 ATS off 1 or more straight overs

Oregon at Stanford
Oregon: 7-0 ATS as a road favorite
Stanford: 16-5 OVER in home games off a road win

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, November 7

Thursday Night College Football
By Joe Nelson
Nellysports.com

After a couple of weeks of mediocre Thursday night action, this week’s schedule rivals Saturday’s with two of the biggest games of the weekend. The national landscape will feel a heavy impact with the Thursday night results just as last season two later evening games on Nov. 17 involving three of these teams changed everything with No. 2 Kansas State blown out at Baylor and Stanford upsetting No. 1 Oregon in overtime.

Oklahoma at Baylor

Matchup: Oklahoma Sooners at Baylor Bears
Venue: Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas (synthetic turf)
Time/TV: 7:30 p.m. ET – FS1
Line: Baylor -15, Over/Under 72½
Last Meeting: 2012 at Oklahoma, Oklahoma (-21½) 42-34

Undefeated Baylor is sixth in the current BCS standings but with a win this week they would likely move up to at least fifth as one of the top 5 teams has to lose later in the evening. There are several teams Baylor would need to leap to get BCS title game consideration but all of that talk is far premature as the Baylor has five weeks of tough games left on the schedule with a back-loaded slate this season. After this week’s huge home date with Oklahoma the Bears will play three straight away games against quality competition before closing the season at home against Texas.

Art Briles deserves tremendous credit for the turnaround at Baylor. He was a rising star in the coaching ranks after success at Houston and many felt he was crazy for taking a turn on what most felt was a dead end at Baylor when other more appealing opportunities would likely have come available to him. After two 4-8 seasons things turned around in 2010 with a bowl appearance and then the magnificent 2011 season brought Baylor 10 wins including an Alamo Bowl title and a finish in the top 15 of the national rankings. Most expected a big drop last season with Nick Florence replacing Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III but the Bears were a very competitive 8-5 team, featuring wins over then #2 Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and a Holiday Bowl rout over UCLA. This season many expected a further fall with another new quarterback but it has not happened yet.

Baylor’s 7-0 start has featured light competition with only wins over West Virginia and at Kansas State delivering any credibility. Baylor has not just won games however; they are posting outrageous numbers and proving to be one of the toughest offenses in the nation to match up against. The Bears have posted 720 yards per game on 9.1 yards per play while scoring nearly 64 points per game. Baylor leads the nation in all three of those categories and they have covered in all but one game, winning by 31 or more points in every game except for the win at Kansas State. Quarterback Bryce Petty has smoothly stepped in to run the offense as he has passed for at least 310 yards in every game, throwing for 18 touchdowns against just one interception.

The emergence of Baylor and the high scoring potential has provided one of the more dramatic line shifts from one year to the next. Oklahoma was favored by over three touchdowns last season hosting the Bears and this year the line has shifted more than five touchdowns. This is not a struggling Oklahoma team as the Sooners are 7-1 with only a 16-point loss against Texas as a blemish this season. Oklahoma has not been a dominant performer, as they have only scored 31 points per game this season but the defense has been good and the Sooners do have a quality win at Notre Dame this season as well as four Big XII wins.

The Sooners have been more reliant on the run this season as the numbers in the passing game have dropped substantially compared with the prolific numbers under Landry Jones or Sam Bradford the past few years. Quarterback Blake Bell was presumed to be the starter heading into the season but it was Trevor Knight that won the job this fall. Bell has since come back to replace Knight after the Sooners struggled in the first two weeks. Bell has only once passed for more than 250 yards this season and he has thrown just four touchdowns in Big XII play this season. Bell is a threat on the ground and Oklahoma is rushing for 234 yards per game this season on 5.2 yards per rush but the numbers are way down offensively for the program compared to the past three seasons.

Since Bob Stoops took over the Oklahoma program in 1999 they have been an underdog of more than 10 points just twice. Once came in the 13-2 BCS Championship win over Florida State following the 2000 season and the other instance came against the eventual BCS champion Texas Longhorns in the 2005 season. Thursday’s spread against Baylor will be larger than in either of those two games and Oklahoma has lost to Baylor S/U just once ever, two years ago in a seven-point defeat in Waco.

Last Meeting: After losing to Baylor in 2011, Oklahoma was ready for the matchup last season, storming out to a 28-17 halftime lead. The Bears were within two halfway through the third quarter but they failed on a two-point conversion trying to tie the game and Oklahoma pulled away from there in the 42-34 win, though the heavy underdog Bears easily covered. Oklahoma only out-gained Baylor by 36 yards but they also had two turnovers compared to none for the Bears.

Series History: Oklahoma is 18-1 S/U in the series since 1984 but just 10-9 ATS with Baylor covering in seven of the last 10 meetings. Oklahoma is 3-1 ATS in the last four trips to Waco however.

Line Movement: The line has moved up from -14 to -15 on the high scoring Bears with the total also climbing from 72 to 72½

Oklahoma Historical Trends: Under Stoops Oklahoma is 6-3 ATS as a road underdog including covering in four of the last five instances. It has not happened since late in the 2011 season when Oklahoma lost 44-10 at Oklahoma State. Oklahoma has only been an underdog of more than touchdown three times since Stoops took over in 1999. The Sooners have won seven straight road games S/U, winning every game this season and last season on the road but they are just 9-12 ATS on the road since 2009.

Baylor Historical Trends:
Baylor has been on a roll as a home favorite, going 14-4 ATS since 2010 with only one S/U loss in that role. Since Briles took over Baylor is 26-10 S/U at home with a 23-12 ATS record, covering in 16 of 18 home games since 2011. Baylor is also 12-3 ATS in the last 15 instances playing as a double-digit favorite.


Oregon at Stanford

Matchup: Oregon Ducks at Stanford Cardinal
Venue: Stanford Stadium in Stanford, California (grass)
Time/TV: 9:00 p.m. ET - ESPN
Line: Oregon -10, Over/Under 61½
Last Meeting: 2012 at Oregon, Stanford (+20½) 17-14.

Last season everyone wanted to see Oregon in the BCS championship game as the Ducks had cruised to a 10-0 start with dominant numbers, out-scoring foes by an average of 55-22 with only one relatively close game with an 11-point win at USC. #2 in the BCS rankings was a pesky Kansas State team that kept putting together quality wins. Just a week after Alabama had opened the door for everyone else with a stunning loss at home to Texas A&M, Kansas State went down to Baylor and then a few hours later Stanford sealed a stunning 17-14 overtime win over Oregon to completely shake up the picture again.

There was certainly controversy is last year’s game as Stanford was granted a touchdown on a replay reversal with less than two minutes to go in the game, creating the need for overtime. In overtime Oregon kicker Alejandro Maldonado missed a 41-yard field goal while Stanford counterpart Jordan Williamson was able to connect on a 37-yard kick. It was the second time in the last four games that Stanford has defeated Oregon and the Cardinal are one of the few teams that have slowed the Ducks down as the 14-point effort was the lowest score since the opening game of the 2009 season for Oregon, the first game for Chip Kelly.

Oregon has scored at least 45 points in every game this season and the Ducks are in the top three nationally in total offense, scoring offense, and yards per play. The Ducks pass for over 300 yards per game and rush for over 331 yards per game. While Oregon is not known for defense they have allowed just 17 points per game with good numbers in terms of yardage allowed and some of that yardage has come against reserves late in games. Sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota is a Heisman contender with 2,281 yards passing and 511 yards rushing, already accounting for 29 touchdowns and he has not thrown an interception.

Stanford did suffer an upset loss at Utah this season but they remain the highest ranked one-loss team in the BCS standings and a win this week would put them in good position to still be a national contender if there are more upsets at the top. Stanford has not had the same dominant defense as last season however as the Cardinal have allowed over 19 points per game this season and over 354 yards per game on 4.7 yards per play. Oregon has actually been superior on defense on a yards per play basis and the Cardinal have allowed 27 or more points three times already this season after allowing 24 or fewer points in all but one game last season.

Kevin Hogan has thrown five interceptions this season for Stanford after having just three last season and he is completing just 61 percent of his passes compared with 71 percent last season. While some of the numbers look less impressive for Stanford and there have been some close calls, the overall picture actually looks pretty similar to last season. Last year Stanford had two losses early in the season, falling to Washington and controversially against Notre Dame. They also had close calls against San Jose State, USC, Washington State, and Oregon State as this was rarely a team that dominated in blowout wins. Stanford had to hold on in narrow wins against Washington and Oregon State this season but they have lost just once with a number a quality wins. Stanford is scoring more points than they averaged last season and they are also rushing for more yards per game and per carry despite losing Stepfan Taylor.

The question of this game is whether Stanford can somehow slow this game down and stop Oregon. If this turns out to be a high scoring game the Cardinal likely won’t be able to keep up. This will be the best run defense that Oregon has faced as Stanford allows just 104 yards per game on the ground on just 3.3 yards per carry. Stanford has also proven impressive against passing teams in holding Arizona State to just 28 points and Oregon State to just 12 points. Oregon scored 42, 52, and 53 in the three prior meetings against Stanford before last season and we’ll find out if last year’s game was a one game success for the Cardinal or if this is the team that can give the Ducks problems.

Last Meeting: Despite the low scoring both teams had over 400 yards in the game last season as there were missed opportunities on both sides. After a scoreless first quarter Stanford struck first but Oregon pulled ahead late in the third quarter before Stanford tied the game late on the infamous touchdown catch for Zach Ertz. Oregon had to punt eight times in the game and both teams missed field goals in regulation. Stanford had three turnovers in the game compared to just one for Oregon and both teams failed going for it on fourth down plays deep in the red zone in the first half.

Series History: Oregon and Stanford are knotted at 14-14 in the last 28 games of this series going back to 1980 but Oregon has won eight of the last 10 and has a 7-3 ATS edge in that span. Oregon has won and covered in three of the last four road meetings.

Line Movement: This line opened at -10 for the road favorite and it sits there still after a brief leap to -10½ at some outlets. The total has climbed from 60 to 61½.

Oregon Historical Trends: Oregon has covered in 10 consecutive road games going back to the start of the 2011 season and the Ducks have not lost S/U on the road since losing at Stanford in 2009, winning 17 road games in a row as the Ducks have lost a home game each of the last two years. Since 2010 Oregon is 20-17-2 ATS as a favorite of at least 10 points, though they are 6-2 ATS this season under Coach Helfrich.

Stanford Historical Trends: Stanford has covered in six games in a row as a home underdog going back to December of 2007. They were a double-digit home underdog once last season in the upset over USC. Stanford is just 3-5 ATS in the last eight home games, going 2-2 ATS this season at home with 28 points allowed in two of those home games. Since 2008 Stanford is 33-2 S/U at home with a 23-12 ATS record.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, November 7

Oklahoma at Baylor: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Oklahoma Sooners at Baylor Bears (-14.5, 72.5)

Oklahoma looks to slow down Baylor’s record-setting offense and derail the Bears’ national title hopes Thursday in front of a sold-out crowd in Waco. The Big 12 showdown features the first real test for the fifth-ranked Bears, who lead the nation with averages of 63.9 points and 718.4 offensive yards per game. The eighth-ranked Sooners are 21-1 all-time against Baylor and have won two straight since losing 36-20 to Texas on Oct. 12.

The Bears are riding a school-record 11-game winning streak, but are beginning a daunting stretch that includes contests against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU, and Texas to end the season. “We feel like this season is just getting started,” Baylor coach Art Briles said. “We are anxious to get into the grind time.” The Bears have been especially dominant at home, where they’ve outscored five opponents by a combined score of 353-72.

WEATHER: Temperatures in the mid 50s with partly cloudy skies and winds blowing NNE at 5 mph.

LINE: Baylor opened at -13.5 and has been bet up as high as -15. The total climbed from 72 to as high as 73.5 points.

ABOUT OKLAHOMA (7-1, 4-1 Big 12, 4-4 ATS): The Sooners rank 10th in the country in total defense and ninth in pass defense, and forced three turnovers in a 38-30 victory over previously unbeaten Texas Tech on Oct. 26. Oklahoma will lean on its solid offensive line and a deep roster of running backs to control the clock against Baylor, but fullback Trey Millard will miss the game after suffering a season-ending knee injury against the Red Raiders. Quarterback Blake Bell has shown improvement over the past two games, and wide receiver Jalen Saunders is tied for the team lead with five touchdown receptions.

ABOUT BAYLOR (7-0, 4-0, 6-1 ATS): Quarterback Bryce Petty has thrown 18 touchdowns and one interception while completing 69.3 percent of his passes to lead the Bears, who posted 743 yards in total offense in a 59-14 win over Kansas before last week's open date. Running back Lache Seastrunk averages 9.1 yards per carry and the Bears are four rushing touchdowns away from breaking their single-season school record of 37 set in 2011. Linebacker Bryce Hager has a team-high 58 tackles to lead the defense, which ranks 11th in the country with 316 yards allowed per game.

TRENDS:

* Over is 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Sooners are 7-2 ATS in their last nine meetings in Baylor.
* Sooners are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
* Underdog is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
* Road team is 14-3 ATS in their last 17 meetings.

EXTRA POINTS:

1. Oklahoma has won 40 consecutive games when leading at halftime.

2. Baylor has outscored the opposition 164-20 in the first quarter.

3. The Sooners are 78-1 under coach Bob Stoops when scoring at least 40 points, including 8-0 against Baylor.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, November 7

Oregon at Stanford: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Oregon Ducks at Stanford Cardinal (+10, 61.5)

Oregon and Stanford are ranked in the top five of the latest BCS standings and the No. 2 Ducks can move closer to a possible national championship game appearance when they visit the No. 6 Cardinal on Thursday. Oregon is third in the BCS race and waging a tight battle with Florida State for the second spot while Stanford is sitting fifth and looking to elevate its position. The Cardinal defeated Oregon in overtime last season.

The Ducks have won each of their games by at least 21 points and a 42-14 trouncing of UCLA in their last contest was their lowest-scoring output of the campaign. Stanford hasn’t topped 24 points in any of its last three games, including a 27-21 loss to Utah that makes this contest a must-win affair per its national title hopes. The winner of this contest will likely win the Pac-12 North division and play in the conference title game. The Cardinal defense will be without standout defensive end Ben Gardner, who suffered a season-ending pectoral injury against Oregon State on Oct. 26.

WEATHER: Temperatures in the low 50s with clear skies and winds blowing WNW at 7 mph.

LINE: Oregon opened as low as -7.5 and has been bet up to as high as -10.5. The total opened at 60 and has jumped to 61.5.
 
ABOUT OREGON (8-0, 5-0 Pac-12, 7-1 ATS): Quarterback Marcus Mariota hasn’t been intercepted since last season’s loss to Stanford and is one of the frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy with 20 passing touchdowns and nine rushing scores. De’Anthony Thomas (7.1 average) is back in top form after missing three-plus games with an ankle injury and Byron Marshall (879 yards, 12 touchdowns) is having a superb season for an offense that ranks second nationally in scoring (55.6) and total offense (632.1 yards). The Ducks allow just 16.9 points per game – tied for seventh nationally – with cornerback Terrance Mitchell (four interceptions) and defensive end Tony Washington (7.5 sacks) both enjoying stellar campaigns.

ABOUT STANFORD (7-1, 5-1 Pac-12, 4-4 ATS): The Cardinal allow 19.4 points per game and will seek to keep the game relatively low scoring, similar to last season’s 17-14 victory. The loss of Gardner hurts but the defense features two others stars in outside linebacker Trent Murphy (9.5 sacks) and inside linebacker Shane Skov (seven tackles for loss) as well as ballhawking strong safety Jordan Richards (three interceptions). Quarterback Kevin Hogan has thrown 13 touchdown passes for an offense averaging 32.6 points, while running back Tyler Gaffney (886 yards, 12 touchdowns) and receiver Ty Montgomery (39 catches for 619 yards) are also having fine seasons.

TRENDS:

* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Stanford.
* Over is 7-1 in the last eight meetings.
* Ducks are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings in Stanford.
* Ducks are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 meetings.
* Underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.

EXTRA POINTS:

1. Oregon has won nine of the past 11 meetings, but the teams have split the last four.

2. Stanford has won 13 consecutive home games, the nation’s third-longest active streak.

3. The Ducks have rushed for at least 325 yards in five games with a season low of 216.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, November 7

Thursday's College Action
By Sportsbook.ag

OKLAHOMA SOONERS (7-1) at BAYLOR BEARS (7-0)

Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Baylor -14.5 & 74
Opening Line & Total: Bears -14 & 73

One of the biggest games in school history takes place on Thursday night as No. 5 Baylor hosts Big 12 rival, No. 12 Oklahoma in Waco.

Last season, the Bears played spoiler as they upset then-No. 1 Kansas State. This season, they are the team with national title aspirations, and will be looking to avenge last season’s 42-34 loss in Norman. While they were unable to get the victory, they had success running the ball, gaining 252 yards on the ground. However, that offense is not near as electric as this season’s team is, and this game is also in Waco where Baylor is 16-2 ATS at home over the past three seasons. Art Briles has completely turned the program around, and a win over Bob Stoops and Oklahoma would go a long way in cementing their place as legitimate national title contenders. However, the Sooners are playing for a lot as well, as a win here puts them right back into the Big 12 title race.

OU quarterback Blake Bell has had his ups and downs, but he can still be very good running the ball. In the victory over Baylor last season, Bell scored the winning touchdown by running 55 yards to the end zone. However, he must have a big game throwing the ball too, because the Sooners are going to have to score a ton to keep up with the Bears who lead the nation in both scoring (63.9 PPG) and total offense (718 YPG). For the Sooners to stay in this game, they are going to have to dominate the time of possession with one of the best rushing attacks in the country.

The Sooners enter Thursday night’s game ranked 14th in the country in rushing, with 234 yards per game. They are the prime example of running back by committee, with four players having rushed for at least 235 yards. Brennan Clay (90 carries, 538 yards, 3 TD) is the leader of the bunch, and is a strong running back that is very patient when hitting the hole. If Oklahoma is going to be able to run the ball, then the playmakers on the outside will have a chance to make big gains all night.

One of those guys to look out for is Jalen Saunders (35 catches, 431 yards, 5 TD), who is quickly becoming QB Blake Bell’s go-to receiver, and he is coming off an outstanding performance in the Sooners most recent game, a 38-30 victory against Texas Tech two weeks ago. In that game, Saunders had 153 yards and two touchdowns, providing the big plays that his team needs in order to keep up with Baylor. Sterling Shepard (33 catches, 391 yards, 5 TD) is another guy that has the ability to attack the Baylor defense deep. While the offense is going to have to score some points, the defense is going to have to make some plays too.

The Sooners rank 14th in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 18.8 points per game. However, they have not been challenged by an offense like this. Aaron Colvin is an outstanding cornerback, and he is going to be a key in slowing down the Bears' great passing attack. He is also very good against the run, and will be used all over the field. The Sooners defense must play well, because if they don’t, the Bears could turn this game into a rout early.

The Bears offense enters the game ranking first in the country in scoring (63.9 PPG) and passing (417.3 YPG), but they also rank seventh in rushing with 301.1 YPG. What Baylor is doing on offense right now is downright scary. Quarterback Bryce Petty is emerging as a legitimate Heisman trophy candidate, throwing for 2,453 yards and 18 touchdowns, while throwing only one interception. Petty has one of the strongest arms in the country, and has the ability to go deep to receivers Antwan Goodley (38 catches, 894 yards, 8 TD) and Tevin Reese (33 catches, 824 yards, 8 TD) Both of these receivers have elite speed that can take it the distance every time they touch the ball, forcing the safeties to stay back and make sure they don’t get beat deep.

This opens up running lanes for Lache Seastrunk, who is one of the elite running backs in all of the country. On the season, he has rushed for 869 yards and 11 touchdowns, on a staggering 9.1 yards per carry. Seastrunk in the offseason was very confident in his team’s ability, and so far he has more than backed up his talk. While the offense gets most of the credit for their incredible production, the defense is quietly putting together an incredible season.

The Bears rank 6th in the country in scoring defense, giving up a mere 15.9 points per game. The defense started to show improvements late in last season, and have continued throughout the 2013 campaign. Senior Ahmad Dixon has played very well all season, and is one of the leaders on the Bears defense. He currently has 40 tackles on the year, and is a factor in both the run and the pass. Waco will be rocking like never before on Thursday night, and the key will be whether the Bears can handle the atmosphere in a positive way, or if they come out too emotional and make mistakes.


OREGON DUCKS (8-0) at STANFORD CARDINAL (7-1)

Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Oregon -11 & 62
Opening Line & Total: Ducks -10.5 & 62

No. 2 Oregon travels to Palo Alto Thursday night to take on No. 6 Stanford in a game that has huge implications in both the Pac-12 and national title races.

Last season, the Cardinal were able to end the Ducks national title hopes by winning 17-14 in an overtime thriller in Eugene. In that game, Stanford executed the perfect game plan to slowing down the Oregon offense. First, the offense had the ball for an astonishing 37 minutes, never allowing the high-flying Ducks offense to truly ever find any rhythm. The defense also did an outstanding job of limiting the big plays, and also flying from sideline-to-sideline to not allow Oregon to use its great speed. As dominating as Oregon has been in the Pac-12 the past few seasons, it has been even better on the road. The last time the Ducks lost a conference road game was at Stanford, and that was back in 2009.

Oregon is 11-0 ATS on the road in Pac-12 play over the past three seasons, while being favored in all but one of those games. RB De’Anthony Thomas is back healthy for Oregon, giving QB Marcus Mariota another offensive weapon to try and score against a very good Cardinal defense. If Stanford is able to play like it did last season in Eugene, then it has a great chance of getting the victory. However, if the Ducks' offense gets rolling, it could be a disappointing night for the Stanford faithful.

Oregon comes into this game ranked second in the country in both rushing yards (331.5 yards per game) and scoring (55.6 points per game). Much of this success can be placed on star QB Marcus Mariota, who is a top Heisman Trophy candidate. He has been incredible this season, throwing for 2,281 yards and 20 touchdowns, while not throwing a single interception. His ability to run the ball (511 yards and 9 TD) makes him nearly impossible to slow down. If you put another defender in the box, then he has wide receivers Josh Huff (38 catches, 703 yards, 6 TD) and Bralon Addison (38 catches, 609 yards, 7 TD) that are able to stretch the defense.

The offense is playing incredibly, but it is the defense that has made the Ducks a true contender this season. Heading into the matchup against Stanford, Oregon ranks seventh in the country in scoring defense, allowing only 16.9 points per game. The secondary is one of the very best in the country, and is led by Terrance Mitchell. He ranks first on the team with four interceptions, including a 51-yard return for a touchdown in a 62-38 victory over Washington State on October 19. He has great size at 6-foot-1, and has the speed to keep up with any receiver in the country. The matchup against Stanford standout WR Ty Montgomery will be the key in the game. If Mitchell is able to lock Montgomery down, Stanford QB Kevin Hogan will struggle to move the ball through the air. However, Montgomery is more than capable of having a huge performance, and can take over a game in many different ways.

Last season, Montgomery had only three catches for nine yards in the victory in Eugene, and that probably will not happen in this game. This season, he has 39 catches for 619 yards and five touchdowns, while adding two more scores on kickoff returns. The ability to change the game in both the offense and special teams plays a huge role for Montgomery, but the offense all starts with QB Kevin Hogan. He has been solid this season with 1,493 yards, 13 TD and 5 INT, but this is the type of game where he is going to have to go out and make plays down the field. Hogan is a very athletic quarterback, and has the ability to buy extra time for his receivers with his feet. He will also lean on Tyler Gaffney (886 rush yards, 12 TD) to help the Cardinal control the game the way departed rusher Stepfan Taylor did last season in the game. Gaffney is a big strong running back, and he has the ability to carry the ball 25-to-30 times a game. If he is able to have success early, that will open up Montgomery and the other receivers down the field.

On defense, the Cardinal had the perfect scheme last season, and they will look to execute it again this season. Linebacker Shayne Skov is the star of the defense, entering the game with 62 tackles. He is an athletic linebacker with a high IQ, and will be counted upon to put the defense in the best position to slow down the Oregon offense.


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