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College Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, November 16

College Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, November 16

Games to Watch - Week 12
By Brian Edwards
Michigan State at Nebraska

As of Monday, most books had Michigan St. (8-1 straight up 5-3-1 against the spread) as a 6½-point favorite. The Spartans have the nation’s No. 1 defense, allowing only 209.8 yards per game. They are giving up only 11.6 points per game. Mark Dantonio’s squad has covered the number at a 5-1-1 clip in its last seven games, including a 29-6 beatdown of in-state rival Michigan two weeks ago. Jeremy Langford ran for 120 yards and one touchdown against the Wolverines, while quarterback Connor Cook threw for 252 yards. Michigan St. had an outstanding defense last year but poor QB play resulted in six defeats. Cook’s emergence and an even better defense has the Spartans looking like a true threat to take down Ohio St. Cook has a 13/3 touchdown-to-interception ratio, but he’ll face two tough road tests the next two weeks in Lincoln and Evanston. Nebraska (7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS) stayed in the hunt for the Legends Division title by rallying to win 17-13 Saturday at Michigan as a 5.5-point underdog. Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw a five-yard TD pass to Ameer Abdullah with 2:03 remaining to provide the winning points.  The ‘under’ is 6-3 overall for the Spartans, 2-1 in their road assignments. The ‘under’ is 5-4 overall for the Cornhuskers, 3-3 in their home contests. QB Taylor Martinez (10/2 TD-INT) will most likely miss a third straight game this weekend. Armstrong has a 5/6 TD-INT ratio and two rushing scores. Abdullah is fifth in the nation in rushing yards with 1,213. He has seven rushing TDs and a 6.6 yards-per-carry average. As a home underdog during Bo Pelini’s six-year tenure, Nebraska owns a 1-1 spread record. The Cornhuskers haven’t been home ‘dogs since beating Oklahoma 10-3 as 4.5-point puppies in 2009. Michigan St. has compiled a stellar 12-3-1 ATS mark in seven seasons under Dantonio. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

Oklahoma State at Texas

Most books had Oklahoma St. (8-1 SU, 6-3 ATS) installed as a three-point favorite on Monday. The Cowboys have won five consecutive game since suffering their lone defeat at West Virginia. Mike Gundy’s squad has taken the cash in four straight contests, including Saturday’s 42-6 win over Kansas as a 31½-point home favorite. Clint Chelf threw for 265 yards and three TDs without being picked off. For the season, Chelf has a 9/4 TD-INT ratio. OSU is 16-9 ATS as a road favorite under Gundy. Texas (7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS) has won six in a row, going 4-2 ATS in the process, since suffering a pair of blowout losses at BYU and vs. Ole Miss in September. The Longhorns are off a 47-40 overtime win at West Va. as 6.5-point road favorites. Case McCoy threw for 283 yards and three TDs. He has an 8/6 TD-INT ratio this year. Since 2003, Texas has been a home underdog just three times, posting a 0-3 spread record. The ‘over’ is 5-4 overall for Texas, but the ‘under’ is 3-2 in its home games. OSU has watched the ‘under’ go 5-4 overall, but the ‘over’ is 3-1 in its four road games. Fox will have the broadcast at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.

Florida at South Carolina

As of Monday, most spots had South Carolina (7-2 SU, 4-5 ATS) favored by 13 ½ points. The Gamecocks will be seeking revenge for an embarrassing 44-11 loss in Gainesville last year. They are also looking to stay alive in the SEC East race. Steve Spurrier’s team had an open date after beating Mississippi St. 34-16 as a 13-point home favorite. Connor Shaw is enjoying an outstanding senior campaign, throwing 18 TD passes compared to only one interception. Mike Davis is in the midst of a breakout season. Davis, who initially gave Florida a verball commitment in the recruiting process, has rushed for an SEC-best 1,058 yards and 10 TDs. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for the 2013 Gators. They have lost nine players to season-ending injuries, including six starters. A seventh starter, OT D.J. Humpries, remains out this week. Florida (4-5 SU, 3-6 ATS) has to win two of its last three games to avoid its first losing season since 1979. UF lost to Vandy in Gainesville last weekend for the first time since 1945. The Commodores took advantage of four UF turnovers to win by a 34-17 count as 11½-point underdogs. UF’s Tyler Murphy has a sore shoulder and his status should be checked later in the week. The early-week plan was for him to rest on Monday and Tuesday, and then try to start throwing on Wednesday. This is just the second double-digit underdog situation for the Gators under Will Muschamp. The first, a 41-11 loss at LSU in 2011, was a disaster. Just like that contest in Baton Rouge, the Gators will start a third-stringer at QB if Murphy is unable to play. The ‘under’ is 5-3-1 for UF, 3-1 in its four road appearances. The ‘under’ is 5-4 overall for the Gamecocks, 2-2 in their home outings. ESPN2 will provide the telecast at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

Texas Tech at Baylor

As of Monday, most books had Baylor (8-0 SU, 7-1 ATS) favored by 27. The Bears smashed Oklahoma 41-12 last Thursday as 16½-point home favorites. Bryce Petty was the catalyst against the Sooners, throwing thee TD passes without committing a turnover and also running for a pair of scores. For the season, Petty has a 21/1 TD-INT ratio and eight rushing TDs. Lache Seastrunk leads Baylor in rushing with 888 yards and 11 TDs and a 8.7 YPC average. Texas Tech (7-3 SU, 5-5 ATS) has dropped three in a row since winning its first seven games. The Red Raiders got blasted at home by Kansas St. this past Saturday, losing 49-26 as 2½-point home ‘chalk.’ Texas Tech has seen the ‘over’ cash at an 8-2 overall clip, going 4-0 in its road assignments. The ‘over’ is 5-2-1 overall for the Bears, 4-1-1 in their home games. Their games are averaging a combined score of 76.4 PPG. When these Big 12 rivals met last season, Baylor collected a 52-45 win in overtime as a 3 ½-point favorite. Seastrunk ran for a game-high 136 yards. FOX will have the telecast at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

Stanford at USC

Say what you want about Ed Orgeron, but the Trojans are playing good football since he took over for the fired Lane Kiffin. On Orgeron’s interim watch, USC (7-3 SU, 5-5 ATS) has won four of five games both SU and ATS, including Saturday’s 62-28 win at California as an 18.5-point road favorite. Javorius Allen ran for 135 yards and two TDs on just six carries, while Cody Kessler threw a pair of TDs without being intercepted. Kessler, who has a 12/6 TD-INT ratio for the season, has a 6/2 TD-INT ratio since Kiffin was dismissed. USC’s leading rusher Tre Madden (671 yards) is ‘doubtful’ strained hamstring. Also, RB Silas Redd is a question mark with a sore knee. Stanford is in a vintage letdown situation here after knocking off top-ranked Oregon 26-20 as a 10.5-point home underdog last Thursday. The fact that the Cardinal won on Thursday and therefore had two extra days to prepare might help it avoid the letdown scenario. Tyler Gaffney gashed the Ducks for 157 rushing yards and one touchdown and Jordan Williamson buried four short field goals, but this victory was all about the Stanford defense. The Ducks came to Palo Alto averaging 55.6 points per game, but they had a bagel next to their name going into the fourth quarter. Stanford was favored by three or 3.5 on Monday. In 13 road ‘chalk’ spots under David Shaw, the Cardinal has compiled an impressive 10-3 spread record. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

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Week 12 Injury Report
By Brian Edwards

UCLA running back Jordon James will start Friday vs. Washington. James has missed four of the last five games with an ankle injury. He tried to come back two weeks ago vs. Colorado but was held to eight yards on six carries. Jim Mora Jr. chose to rest James in last week’s 31-26 win at Arizona. With OT Simon Goines ruled ‘out’ Thursday, the Bruins will be without three starting offensive linemen but it’s been that way for the last three games.

Florida lost a 10th player to a season-ending injury when starting LB Antonio Morris tore his meniscus in a 34-17 home loss to Vanderbilt. Morrison is the seventh starter to go down for the year and with OT D.J. Humphries also ‘out,’ UF will be without at least eight starters Saturday at South Carolina. QB Tyler Murphy is expected to be a game-time decision due to a sore shoulder. If Murphy can’t go, Skyler Mornhinweg (yes, Marty’s son) will get the starting nod. Mornhinweg, a redshirt freshman, has never taken a collegiate snap. The Gators are double-digit underdogs (+13.5 as of Wednesday) for just the second time under Will Muschamp.

Mississippi State could be without two of its most important players for Saturday’s home game vs. Alabama. QB Dak Prescott is ‘questionable’ with a shoulder stinger. Prescott has rushed for a team-high 722 yards and 10 TDs. However, the Bulldogs do have a veteran back-up in Tyler Russell, who had a 24/10 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2012. LB Deontae Skinner missed Saturday’s 51-41 loss at Texas A&M with a back injury. Skinner has made a team-high 50 tackles to go with 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack and one interception. He remains a question mark vs. the top-ranked Crimson Tide.

Baylor’s national-title hopes took a big hit when WR Tevin Reese dislocated his wrist in last Thursday’s 41-12 win over Oklahoma. Reese is out for the rest of the regular season but might be able to get back for a bowl game. He had 33 receptions for 824 yards and eight touchdowns. Also, back-up RB Glasco Martin (319 rushing yards, five TDs) is ‘doubtful’ vs. Texas Tech due to a sprained ankle.

BYU will be without its second-leading receiver for the rest of 2013. Mitch Mathews suffered a shoulder injury in a 27-17 loss at Wisconsin. Mathews finished the year with 23 receptions for 397 yards and four TDs.

Northwestern senior RB Venric Mark is out for the rest of the season with a fractured ankle. Mark will reportedly apply for a medical redshirt. He only played one full game this year in the Bad Beat of 2013 when the Wildcats lost a 40-30 decision to Ohio St. His only other playing time came in the first half of the next game at Wisconsin and the first half of the season opener at California. Mark’s injury has been the main cause of Northwestern’s woes this year. He had 1,366 rushing yards and 15 total TDs in 2012. Northwestern’s leading rusher Treyvon Green has been upgraded to ‘probable’ for Saturday’s home game vs. Michigan. Green has rushed for 612 yards and nine TDs but a leg injury won’t prevent him from starting against the Wolverines. Pat Fitzgerald’s best pass rusher Tyler Scott and WR Tony Jones are both practiced Thursday and were upgraded to ‘probable.’  Jones has a team-high 39 receptions for 492 yards and four TDs. Neither player had practiced since getting injured in the loss at Nebraska two weeks ago.

Indiana RB Tevin Coleman is ‘doubtful’ Saturday at Wisconsin with a sprained ankle. Coleman has rushed for a team-high 958 yards and 12 TDs while averaging 7.3 yards per carry. The Hoosiers’ secondary is also dealing with health concerns, as Mark Murphy, Tim Bennett and Drew Hardin are ‘questionable.’ Murphy is the most important player in that trio. He is the starting free safety that was IU’s fourth-leading tackler in 2012.

Texas got out of Morgantown alive with an overtime win over West Va., but the victory was bittersweet due to the loss of two key players for the rest of the season. RB Johnathan Gray tore his Achilles and DT Chris Whaley injured his knee. Gray had rushed for a team-high 780 yards and four TDs. Whaley finished 2013 with five tackles for loss, two sacks and two defensive touchdowns.

Oklahoma State WR Josh Stewart is ‘questionable’ at Texas due to a leg injury. Stewart has a team-high 40 receptions for 510 yards and two TDs. Also, senior starting safety Shamiel Gary is a question mark after missing the win over Kansas with a sore knee.

Virginia Tech might be short-handed in the secondary for Saturday’s home game vs. Maryland. Kyle Fuller and Antone Exum are nursing sprained ankles and considered ‘questionable.’ We’ve harped on the Terrapins’ injuries all year and a slew of players are question marks this week, in addition to the season-ending injuries suffered by the team’s two best WRs and two best secondary players.   

Rutgers RB Paul James has missed four straight games but is set to return for Saturday’s home game vs. Cincinnati. Before sustaining a leg injury, James was one of the nation’s top rushers. He ran for 573 yards and six TDs in RU’s first four games, averaging 7.3 YPC.

Ole Miss RB Jeff Scott was expected to return last week vs. Arkansas but was scratched after warm-ups. However, the Rebels’ leading rusher practiced Tuesday and “looked good” according to Hugh Freeze. Scott will play vs. Troy but CB Charles Sawyer is ‘out.’ As for the Trojans, they might get red zone and short-yardage QB Deon Anthony back. He missed last week’s loss at UL-Lafayette with a sprained ankle.

Georgia WR Chris Conley is expected to be a game-time decision Saturday at Auburn. Conley has 30 catches for 418 yards and four TDs. TE Arthur Lynch (bruised ribs) missed Saturday’s 45-6 win over Appalachian St., but he has practiced all week in a non-contract jersey and is expected to start on The Plains.

Nevada QB Cody Fajardo (11/2 TD-INT) is ‘questionable’ vs. San Jose St. due to a foot injury.

Nebraska fears that QB Taylor Martinez (foot) could be done for the season.

West Virginia QB Clint Trickett is ‘out’ Saturday at Kansas.

Unless something changes in the next 48 hours, it doesn’t appear as if Florida State QB Jameis Winston is going to be suspended. Word leaked late yesterday afternoon that Winston is a potential suspect in a sexual assault complaint that dates back to last December. Seminoles’ back-up QB Jacob Coker had knee surgery earlier this week and is most likely done for the season.

Oregon State TE Caleb Smith and LB D.J. Alexander are both listed as ‘questionable’ at Arizona State, but there is optimism in Corvallis that both might return. Smith has 17 receptions for 229 yards and three TDs. Bettors should check their status later in the week.

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ACC Games to Watch Week 12
By Chuck Edel

Miami (FL) at Duke

How exactly has Duke football gained bowl eligibility for a second year in a row, and in the hunt for the Coastal championship?  The offense has not been stellar, averaging just 5.8 yards per play and 29 yards per drive.  They get to the redzone at an average rate of 32%, but do come away with points on 82% of those drives.  They also typically score TDs, picking up 27 of them in the red zone with just five field goals.  The Blue Devils dual QB threat of Anthony Boone and Brandon Connette have combined to complete 62.8% of their passes for 7.5 yards per attempt.  Boone has not been very reliable the last couple of weeks though, tossing seven interceptions for just 5.3 yards per attempt.  Connette is only at 4.5 yards per attempt in the same time frame, and Duke has won both games.  Jela Duncan and Josh Snead have the carries outside of the redzone, averaging better than 5.3 yards per carry and 729 yards.  Connette though has eight rushing TDs, and take about ten runs per game.  The Canes defense will have to bounce back after back to back drubbings, in which theyve surrendered over 500 yards per game and over seven yards per play.  They give up a lot of big plays, giving them up at a 14.4% rate.  They do make up for it though by pressuring QBs at a nearly identical rate, and theyve forced 14 interceptions and 12 fumbles.  Miami's offense will also need t bounce back, especially the run game.  The last two weeks Miami has barely rushed for 100 yards, last week gaining just 28 on 24 carries.  Dallas Crawford is going to have to really play well, like he had against North Carolina earlier this season.  He's not overly explosive, but averages over four yards per carry at all points on the field, including a 4.1 yards per carry mark in the red zone.  Duke though plays the run tough, despite a just 7.9% tackle for loss rate.  The passing game might not be the answer either though, since Stephen Morris' ankel injury he has only one game with a completion percentage above 60%, and has six interceptions to just five TDs.  Duke also has been able to defend 13% of all passes attempted against them.  This one should prove to be low scoring.

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College Football: Streaks, Tips, Notes

Georgia at Auburn

Auburn Tigers have revenge in mind when Dawgs come a calling on Saturday. The Tigers were hammered 38-0 by Georgia last year and spanked 45-7 by Dawgs the previous season. This is not the same squad that Dawgs chewed up the past two years. This group of Tigers on a six-game win streak and racking up 38.6 PPG behind a 3rd-ranked ground game (320 RYG) look primed for the pay-back. Stick with Tigers knowing Auburn is 7-1 ATS when favored by 6 or less, 5-1 ATS vs the conference and that Dawgs are a meager 1-7-1 ATS this year including 0-4 ATS when on the road. 

Syracuse at Florida State

No stopping Seminoles with Heisman front-runner Jameis Winston guiding a compliment of receivers pulling in 26 TD's and a ground game that has produced 29 majors. Seminoles scoring at least 40 points in each game this year aren't about to be toppled by visiting Orange mustering 24.6 point/game. But, covering 38.5 points vs the Orange defense that has leaked for one field goal all month and yielding an average 22.9 PPG on the campaign may be a stretch with FSU a shaky 4-4 ATS last eight laying 31 or more points and Orange a cash stuffing 6-3 ATS on the season, 3-1 ATS facing a team with a winning record.

Texas Tech at Baylor

Baylor Bears (8-0, 7-1 AT) look to extend the undefeated streak to nine-games when Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-3, 5-5 ATS) pay a visit Saturday night. The Bears with the nations top offense racking 61.0 points/game on 687.6 total yards there is little reason to think they will slow down against a TTU defense shredded for an average of 461.7 yards, 46.3 points/game during the current three game slide. The 26.5-point spread is somewhat unnerving but when you consider what Bears have and can do both in the air (391.9 PYG, 24 TD) and on the ground (295.8 RYG, 36 TD) it’s tough to argument against the number. Expect Baylor Bears to move one step closer to completing its Big 12 title bid and don't expect TTU to play spoiler at the betting window. Red Raiders are a cash draining 6-14 ATS against the conference, the Bears are on a 10-0 SU/ATS run on home turf outscoring visitors by 38.7 PPG margin, 8-2 ATS laying 20 or more points and have a profitable 9-1 ATS stretch going vs Big-12 opponents.

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Big Ten Report - Week 12

Week 11 of the Big Ten watched the home teams go 3-2 last week both straight up and against the spread. The two road teams to cash were Nebraska and Iowa, who knocked off Michigan and Purdue respectively. There was a non-conference game last week as Wisconsin defeated BYU 27-17 as a nine-point home favorite. The ‘under’ went 3-2 in the five games last week.

Michigan State (-6½, 42) at Nebraska

The winner of this matchup takes the lead as the team to represent the Legends Division in the Big Ten Championship game. Mark Dantonio's squad had a much needed week off after its beatdown of in-state rival Michigan. MSU's defense held Michigan to 168 total yards (-48 rush yards), 12 first downs, and just six points. The defense has been stout all season (1st nationally in yards allowed and 3rd in points allowed), but it's the offenses improvement that has led this team to five straight victories. The Spartans have averaged 30.6 PPG over the previous five games. If Sparty can keep that pace, it'll win most of its games considering that the defense has allowed more than 17 points just once this season. RB Langford has been a big part of the Spartans' offensive surge, rushing for over 100 yards in each of the past four games (six touchdowns). He'll take aim at a Huskers defense that really tightened up last week against Michigan. The Huskers also limited Michigan to negative rush yards (-21) and only allowed 175 total yards and 13 points to the Wolves last week. The also recorded season highs in sacks (seven) and tackles for loss (15). Offensively this team has a few question marks, but RB Abdullah is not one of them. Abdullah leads the Big Ten in rushing and has recorded over 100 yards in all but one game this season. He has made it easier for whoever is playing QB. Taylor Martinez remains questionable for this matchup with nagging shoulder and foot injuries and if he can't go it'll be freshman Tommy Armstrong Jr. who gets the start. Armstro ng is 5-0 as the starting QB, but is completing just 55.3% with 5 TD and 6 INT. Nebraska has beaten MSU each of the past two seasons (2-0 ATS), including a 24-3 victory in Lincoln in 2011. The Huskers haven't been a home underdog since 2009, but are 5-1 ATS in the last six games as a home 'dog of a touchdown or less. Michigan State is 9-2-1 ATS in its last 12 as a Big Ten road favorite.

Ohio State (-32, 67) at Illinois

The Buckeyes had the week off and watched their national championship stock improve a bit with Oregon's loss to Stanford. The Bucks don't have any games that will improve their resume to the BCS computers, but style points may come into play and they'll need to keep dominating the lesser opponents. OSU has won the last two games against Penn State and Purdue by a combined score of 119-14. QB Miller has been absolutely enfuego. He has completed 78% of his passes with 7 TD while adding 2 rushing scores the past two weeks. RB Hyde has topped 100 yards in four straight games and the defense has been suffocating. OSU is 3rd nationally in rush yards allowed, 10th in total yards allowed, and 8th in points allowed. Illinois has dropped five straight games by an average of 22 points per game and is in no state of mind to keep it close to the Buckeyes on Saturday. The Illini kept it close against Indiana last week for three quarters, but allowed 17 fourth quarter points to the Hoosiers to let the game slip away. QB Scheelhaase passed for 450 yards and the rushing attack notched 162 yards (4.8 YPC) and three scores. Unfortunately, the Illini turned the ball over on their final three possessions and the defense surrendered 650 total yards to Indiana. Illinois has now dropped 19 consecutive Big Ten Games. Ohio State is 5-0 SU & 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings with Illinois. OSU won last year at home by 30 points, but hasn't had the easiest of times visiting Champaign. The Bucks are 5-0 the last five trips, but have won those games by an average of just 9 PPG (none by more than 11 points).

Wisconsin (-21½, 70) vs. Indiana

Wisconsin won and covered its fourth straight game and has covered or pushed every line this season (8-0-1 ATS). It was perhaps the Badgers' best defensive performance of the season against a BYU offense that had been on fire. BYU managed just 370 total yards and 17 points. Stud QB Hill completed just 19-of-41 passes and rushed for just 53 yards on 17 carries. Much of that can be attributed to the fact that star LB Borland was back healthy and in the lineup. Borland was all over the field with 13 tackles and 2 sacks and this defense is a different animal with him in there. Offensively RB White tallied 194 total yards and three scores as the Badgers churned out 229 rush yards and held the ball for +13 minutes T.O.P. Wisconsin will face another stiff challenge when Indiana comes to Madison this weekend. IU snapped a three game losing streak with a 52-35 win over Illinois last week. The Hoosiers notched 650 total yards of offense behind 267 passing yards from QB Sudfeld and 215 rush yards for RB Coleman. RB Coleman is out for this game with an ankle injury. Coleman is averaging 7.3 yards per carry on 958 rush yards and he has scored a rushing touchdown in every game this season. It's desperation time for the Hoosiers as they need to win two of the final three games to become bowl eligible. It's not going to be easy with this game in Madison and next week at the Horseshoe. Wisconsin is 8-0 SU & 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings with Indiana. The Badgers have won the last two home games against IU by an average of 57.5 points per game. Wisconsin is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 home games as a favorite of 20 points or more.
Northwestern (-3, 53) vs. Michigan

The off week came at the perfect time for Northwestern. The Wildcats were off of a grueling loss to Nebraska on a Hail Mary as time expired, and coach Pat Fitzgerald listed 13 key players that would have been out if the team had played last Saturday. Northwestern should be a little healthier when Michigan comes to town this weekend. The offense has been terrible over its five-game losing streak. QB Siemian is completing less than 50% with 3 TD and 4 INT during the streak and they've failed to rush for 100 yards in three of the five games (averaging just 17 points per game over that span). Northwestern needs to win two of the final three games to become bowl eligible. This weekend Michigan comes to town on its own skein. The Wolves have dropped three of their past four games and are out of the Legends Division race. They've endured the worst two-week stretch of rushing offense for any FBS team in the past decade with a total of -69 yards. Devin Gardner has been a turnover machine this season and the offense isn't doing the defense - which is pretty good - any favors. Michigan has won seven of the last eight meetings between the two, but Northwestern has covered four of the last five including last year's overtime finish in the Big House (Michigan, 38-31). The Wolves are just 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games as a road underdog.

Penn State (-21½, 44½) vs. Purdue

Penn State has alternated wins and losses every game since September 7th, so this week you can plan on another win after the Nittany Lions fell to Minnesota last week. They return home where they've won three straight to face the Boilermakers. PSU's offense was stalled on too many occasions last week as it managed just 353 yards and was 1-for-9 on third downs. Freshman QB Hackenberg played his third consecutive sub-par game (0 TD and fumbled at the 1-yard line) and he seems to be hitting a midseason freshman wall. Defensively they've improved over the last two weeks (20.5 PPG allowed) after surrendering 40+ points in three straight contests. If that defense struggles against Purdue this week, then it'll really be time to panic. The Boilers scored a touchdown for the first time since Oct. 12 and ended a 200-play drought of no plays in the opposing red zone against Iowa. But the Boilers' offense didn't do much else, gaining just 266 yards and 12 first downs. Purdue has scored just 21 points in the last four games and currently ranks 122nd in total offense, 124th in rush offense, and 122nd in points scored. Defensively the Boilers couldn't stop Iowa's ground game, which piled up 318 yards. Penn State has won six straight meetings with Purdue, including last year's matchup at Ross-Ade stadium, 34-9. Purdue is just 6-13 ATS in its last 19 games as an underdog of 20 points or more. PSU is just 3-8 ATS in the last 11 home games as a 20-point favorite or more.

Minnesota - BYE

Minnesota is the surprise of the Big Ten this season with four straight wins and an 8-2 record. David Cobb continues to spark the power run game, and the defense limited Penn State to 10 points on Saturday. The Gophers still remain two games behind Michigan State in the Legends division, but has two key games against Wisconsin and Michigan State remaining that could shift the power in their favor - with a little extra help, of course.

Iowa - BYE

After a one-year hiatus, the Hawkeyes will go bowling again this season after a businesslike performance against Purdue in which they racked up 318 rushing yards, including 165 by Jordan Canzeri. The defense limited Purdue to just 266 total yards, 12 first downs, and 14 points. The Hawkeyes now have an opportunity to turn a decent season into a good one as they are off this week before hosting struggling Michigan on Nov. 23.

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College Football Betting Preview: Michigan State at Nebraska
By Rob Veno

Michigan State at Nebraska
Saturday, 12:30 pm PT - ABC
CRIS Opener: Michigan State -3.5 O/U 41
CRIS Current: Michigan State -6 O/U 41.5
Rob Veno's Power Rating: Michigan State -6
Rob Veno's Recommendation: Michigan State

Major opportunity for Michigan State to put a near stranglehold on the Big Ten’s Legends Division title. The Spartans have obviously ridden their tenacious defense to this point and that group figures to be the focal point for success once again. Nebraska has a huge chance to capitalize on this game as well since a win would put them atop the Legends at 5-1 and in control of their own destiny. They’ve averaged nearly 40 points per game (39.8) in their six home contests thus far but the offense has sputtered lately scoring 23 points or less in their last three games if you subtract the Hail Mary game winner versus Northwestern. The Cornhuskers have not been a home underdog since November 7, 2009 (Bo Pelini’s third season) when they beat #20 Oklahoma outright 10-3 as +4 point dogs. This Saturday’s underdog status will only add to NU’s motivation. Meanwhile, Michigan State has been a profitable road play this season going 2-0-1 and they’ve been tough in divisional games going 2-0 ATS with 12 and 23 point wins over Iowa and Michigan.

Fundamentally this game doesn’t look good on paper for the Nebraska offense. With at least a pair and possibly three starting linemen now out due to injury (LG Jake Cotton now listed as questionable), Michigan State’s front seven appears to own a significant advantage. The Spartans run defense which has allowed a mere 43 yards per game will emphasize shutting down the potent Nebraska ground game and force them into uncomfortable down and distance positions. Nebraska has learned to play without starting QB Taylor Martinez for the better part of the past six weeks but backups Tommy Armstrong and Ron Kellogg have been consistent enough during Big Ten play. The good news for Nebraska is that their defense has started to show improvement allowing just 97 points against league opponents the past five games (19.4 average). With Michigan State owning a very pedestrian offense for the most part this year, Nebraska has a good chance to put forth another solid defensive effort. Last week against Michigan, they had seven sacks and have 11 over their last two games. Michigan State does not match up well through the air against the Cornhuskers pass defense but they may find the ground more accommodating since Minnesota and Northwestern went for 271 and 245 against them.

This game has serious post season implications but these teams are really not that close in current form. Nebraska which is wounded and on a pretty visible descent overall just doesn’t stack up right now with the confidence laden Spartans. Not only has their defense been among the nation’s elite all season, QB Connor Cook and the offense have begun to get a bit of rhythm and balance going as evidenced by their 142 rushing yard, 252 passing yard performance versus Michigan. State is also entering this game off of a bye week so they’ve had extra time to develop and game plan. Nebraska and their fans will be on an emotional high at the start of this one and it’s imperative that the Huskers ride that to an early lead. Playing from behind is likely to be difficult for them against this MSU squad. My power ratings projected Michigan State to open -6 and bettors agreed as early week money pushed this from the -3.5 opener to -6.5 and now its current -6. It could seem tough at first glance to get to the window laying nearly a touchdown on the road with a very average offense but the huge wins over Iowa and Michigan suggest Michigan State will be focused on dismantling another divisional opponent. That said, Michigan State -6 is worth a play.

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College Football Betting Preview: Oklahoma State at Texas
By Teddy Covers

Oklahoma State at Texas
Saturday, 12:30 pm PT - FOX
CRIS Opener: Oklahoma State -1 O/U 62.5
CRIS Current: Oklahoma State -3 O/U 63
Teddy Covers' Recommendation: Texas

The betting markets seem convinced that Oklahoma State is capable of beating a quality team on the road in the same fashion that the Cowboys have been beating weaklings. After all, Mike Gundy’s squad has won five straight (4-1 ATS) since their embarrassing loss as 19.5-point favorites at West Virginia back in late September.

But both key wins during that span were right team at the right time kind of victories. They beat Kansas State by only four (not covering -12.5) when Bill Snyder was still working to rebuild his squad from their massive graduation losses; a K-State team that has improved by leaps and bounds over the last month since that defeat. The other “signature” win came against Texas Tech when the Red Raiders were completely banged up and coming off their first loss of the season. Blowout wins against the likes of Iowa State and Kansas don’t mean much in a step-up-in-class game like this one.

The best Oklahoma State teams from recent years have been loaded with NFL talent at the skill positions; players like Brandon Weeden, Dez Bryant and Justin Blackmun. This year’s team lacks that same level of playmaking ability. Client Chelf has completed less than half of his passes against Big 12 competition while throwing at least one interception against every team except Kansas. It’s surely worth noting that Chelf struggled with incompletions and interceptions despite enjoying comfortable leads in all of those ballgames. He’s not a QB that I trust to make big plays and good decisions when stepping up in class.

The skill position talent around Chelf isn’t NFL caliber either; lacking big play ability at both WR and RB. And this defense is certainly not an elite unit. Kansas gained more than 200 rushing yards against them last week, one week after a banged up Texas Tech squad threw for 425 against them.

Texas has been a supremely focused team since their ugly back-to-back September losses to BYU and Ole Miss. Mack Brown’s quote following the second loss: “We are not as far away as it looks like after three weeks. Our goal is to win the Big 12 championship. We've still got a chance to do that." He was right! The Longhorns haven’t lost since; demonstrating true ‘refuse to lose’ attitude in their come-from-behind OT win at West Virginia last week – the same West Virginia team that beat up on Oklahoma State.

These quotes tell the story of a very talented, very confident Longhorns team as they play for a chance to stay in the Big XII title race and BCS Bowl contention. Senior safety Adrian Phillips: “This team has a three-year chip on its shoulder. Our seniors haven't had a great year since we've been here and we want to get that right. The past three years, we saw how not to do it. We saw how all the other things we'd do got us 5-8, 8-5 and 9-4. We don't want that as a senior class and we know what we have to do to win every game.”

Senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat: “It's changed completely (since those losses). The team now feels like they have a chance to win the Big XII championship, which is what the goal has been since January. With us, we don't really pay attention to all the other things that come out around us. We focus on us. We want to improve. Those things are always on us, so nothing else matters. We're an older team with more experience and we know when we have to get better."

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis, talking about the Longhorns improved D after Greg Robinson took over for Manny Diaz as defensive coordinator: “What Greg did was he settled the defense down. They had been moving all over the place. Even last year when we played them, they were stunting all over the place. He's just settled them down. They already had a formidable front four to start with. Now they're just lining up and playing. They're letting their athletes be athletes rather than moving them all over the place. They don't let them get out of position."

A weaker Texas team than this one beat Oklahoma State in Stillwater last year. Expect another SU victory for the Longhorns in the rematch on Saturday.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, November 16

Saturday's NCAAF Top 25 Betting Cheat Sheet: Afternoon Action

Ohio State Buckeyes at Illinois Fighting Illini (+32, 67)

Riding the longest winning streak in the nation, the Buckeyes are ranked No. 3 in the BCS standings and almost certainly cannot catch Alabama or Florida State unless one of those squads lose. Still, Ohio State is having a championship-caliber season that continued its last time out on Nov. 2 with a 56-0 thrashing of Purdue – a game that featured four passing touchdowns by Braxton Miller and three total TDs by his backup, Kenny Guiton.

The Illini might have a chance to snap their Big Ten losing streak next week at Purdue, but it seems unlikely that they will defeat the Buckeyes for the first time since 2007. If Illinois has any shot, it will need a repeat performance from Nathan Scheelhaase, who set career highs with 38 completions and 450 yards last week in a 52-35 defeat to Indiana. Illinois has allowed 34.7 points per game this season.

LINE: Illinois is a 32-point underdog, down from an opening of +33. The total is set at 67, up from 66.5.
WEATHER: There is a 47 percent chance of rain and wind blowing N across the length of the field at 15 mph.

* Buckeyes are 4-0 ATS vs. teams with winning records.
* Fighting Illini are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games following a SU loss.
* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Illinois.

Iowa State Cyclones at Oklahoma Sooners (-24, 50)

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said he would evaluate everything about his offense - ranked 113th out of 123 FBS teams in yardage - after the season. Freshman quarterback Grant Rohach will make his second straight start but Rhoads wouldn't say if quarterback Sam Richardson (thumb) would be used in running plays like in last week's 21-17 loss to Texas Christian.

Brennan Clay (557 yards, three touchdowns) and Damien Williams (425 yards, five scores) lead the ground game and Oklahoma is 60-1 under head coach Bob Stoops when rushing for more than 200 yards. Freshman linebacker Dominique Alexander has two double-digit tackling performances - including 11 tackles and a sack for a safety against Baylor - in four games since replacing injured Corey Nelson.

LINE: Oklahoma is a 24-point fave, a slight dip from its 24.5-point open. The total is set at 50.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-60s with a 24 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms.

* Cyclones are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games vs. teams with winning records.
* Sooners are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games after scoring fewer than 20 points in their previous outing.
* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings.

Central Florida Knights at Temple Owls (+16.5, 56.5)

UCF's Blake Bortles, ranked 10th in passing efficiency (164.1) among FBS quarterbacks, followed up a career-high four touchdown performance over Connecticut with his second-lowest yardage total of the season (210) against Houston, throwing a pick and failing to find the end zone. Wide receiver Breshad Perriman is expected to play against Temple after passing baseline testing following a concussion against the Cougars.

P.J. Walker has helped the Owls revive their offense since taking over as their starting quarterback. Temple, which averaged 15.8 points through its first five games, has seen that figure nearly double to 30.5 in Walker's four starts, with the freshman amassing 1,094 yards on 80-of-128 passing and 11 touchdowns. Linebacker Tyler Matakevich leads all AAC tacklers with 113 on the season.

LINE: Central Florida has held steady as a 16.5-point fave with the total up from 55 to 56.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-50s with partly cloudy skies.

* Knights are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games on grass.
* Owls are 4-0 ATS in their last four conference games.
* Under is 4-1-1 in Temple's last six home games.

Indiana Hoosiers at Wisconsin Badgers (-24, 69.5)

The Hoosiers have the second best offense in the Big Ten behind Ohio State averaging 43.1 points and 527,1 yards per contest. Running backs Tevin Coleman (215), the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, and Stephen Houston (150) both rushed for over 100 yards for the second straight week. Quarterback Nate Sudfeld leads the Big Ten in passing touchdowns with 19.

The Badgers still have their sights set on a possible BCS bowl invite if they can win their final three games (Indiana, at Minnesota, Penn State) and get to 10 wins. Don't bet against them. Since 2006, the Badgers are 24-4 after Nov. 1 (excluding bowl games) and first-year head coach Gary Andersen has won 15 of his last 16 conference games dating back to his Utah State coaching days.

LINE: Wisconsin opened -20.5 but the line has since been bet up to -24. The total is down from 70 to 69.5.
WEATHER: There is an 86 percent chance of showers with wind blowing out of the southeast at 14 mph.

* Hoosiers are 2-6 ATS in their last eight conference games.
* Badgers are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games.
* Over is 11-1 in the last 12 meetings.

Michigan State Spartans at Nebraska Cornhuskers (+5.5, 42)

The Spartans are one of only two teams (Louisville) in the FBS to rank in the top five nationally in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass defense. Michigan State’s defense is allowing 3.47 yards per play and has yielded only 10 rushes of more than 10 yards – both of which are the lowest marks in the country.

The Cornhuskers held Michigan to minus-21 yards rushing and recorded a season-high seven sacks – including three by defensive end Randy Gregory – to boost their conference-leading total to 30. Gregory, who has notched seven of his Big Ten-best 7.5 sacks during league play, was named co-Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts against the Wolverines.

LINE: Michigan State opened -6.5 but has since been bet down to -5.5. The total is 42.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the mid-60s with partly cloudy skies.

* Spartans are 10-1-1 ATS in their last 12 road games.
* Cornhuskers are 18-4-2 ATS in their last 24 home games vs. teams with winning road records.
* Michigan State is 0-5 ATS in the last five meetings.

Miami Hurricanes at Duke Blue Devils (+3.5, 61)

The Hurricanes rushed for only 28 yards against Virginia Tech in their first game without standout running back Duke Johnson -- lost for the season with a broken right ankle. That must improve to give a struggling defense more of a break and allow the balance needed for quarterback Stephen Morris, who has 14 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions.

The Blue Devils need better play at quarterback from Anthony Boone and Brandon Connette, who have combined for 15 interceptions – seven the last two weeks by Boone. Whoever is under center will be looking for wide receiver Jamison Crowder, who is second in the ACC in catches per game (7.44) and is 97 shy of his second straight 1,000-yard campaign.

LINE: Miami has been installed as a 3.5-point fave with the total dipping a half-point to 61.
WEATHER: There will be cloudy skies with temperatures in the low-60s.

* Hurricanes are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 road games.
* Blue Devils are 4-0 ATS in their last four conference games.
* Over is 11-3-1 in Duke's last 15 conference games.

Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Longhorns (+3, 62.5)

The Cowboys are set up nicely with an injury-depleted Texas squad on the road and home games against Baylor and rival Oklahoma finishing out the regular season. Head coach Mike Gundy’s squad handily beat Kansas last week, 42-6, as quarterback Clint Chelf passed for season highs of 265 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover.

The Longhorns were left for dead after falling to 1-2 in September but picked themselves back up while rallying behind embattled coach Mack Brown. Texas was already playing through injuries to quarterback David Ash and linebacker Jordan Hicks, but the two latest setbacks could hamper what had been a strong running game while making one of the team’s weaknesses — run defense — an even greater concern.

LINE: OSU has remained a 3-point fave with the total dropping from 63.5 to 62.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-70s with cloudy skies.

* Cowboys are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games after allowing more than 200 rushing yards in their previous contest.
* Longhorns are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 home games vs. teams with winning road records.
* Under is 7-1 in Texas' last eight November games.

Syracuse Orange at Florida State Seminoles (-37.5, 55.5)

The Orange need one more win to become bowl eligible, but with zero wins over the Seminoles since 1966 and this year's edition looking better than ever, they will likely need to defeat Pittsburgh or Boston College later this month to reach the postseason. Syracuse got two rushing touchdowns and 118 yards from Jerome Smith in last week’s 20-3 triumph against Maryland, while its defense limited the Terrapins to 2.3 yards per carry and forced four turnovers.

The Seminoles clinched the ACC’s Atlantic Division title and a berth in the conference championship game with last week’s win over Wake Forest, a game in which the Seminoles forced seven turnovers, including two returned for scores in a span of 19 seconds. Winston appears destined to be a Heisman Trophy finalist, as the redshirt freshman has racked up 2,661 passing yards with 26 touchdowns on the season.

LINE: FSU opened at -38.5, but the line has been bet down by a point. The total is set at 55.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-60s with wind blowing across the width of the field at 6 mph.

* Orange are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games.
* Seminoles are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games on grass.
* Over is 8-2-1 in Florida's last 11 home games.

Georgia Bulldogs at Auburn Tigers (-3.5, 64)

Injuries derailed the Bulldogs' high hopes entering the season, but they're inching closer to full strength. Most notably, star running back Todd Gurley (104.2 rushing yards per game) is back in the mix after missing three games with an ankle injury. Georgia's defense has been maligned but actually ranks 20th in the nation against the run (126 yards per game), presenting a favorable matchup against Auburn.

The Tigers' ascent has been spurred by the nation's No. 3 rushing attack at 320 yards per game, and it's not just one player leading it. Tre Mason ranks second in the league with 1,038 rushing yards to go with 16 rushing touchdowns, and quarterback Nick Marshall (734 yards, seven TDs) and running backs Cameron Artis-Payne (568 yards, five TDs) and Corey Grant (504 yards, four TDs) can also do damage on the ground.

LINE: Auburn has held steady as a 3.5-point fave, while the total has risen from 62.5 to 64.
WEATHER: Partly cloudy skies are in the forecast with temperatures in the low-70s.

* Bulldogs are 0-6-1 ATS in their last seven games.
* Tigers are 5-0 ATS in their last five conference games.
* Over is 7-1 in Georgia's last eight games vs. teams with winning records.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, November 16

Saturday's NCAAF Top 25 Betting Cheat Sheet: Evening Action

Utah Utes at Oregon Ducks (-26, 64.5)

The Utes have excelled at pressuring the quarterback as they lead the nation in sacks per game (3.67) and their 33 total sacks are second to Missouri’s 34. Defensive end/linebacker Trevor Reilly leads the squad in tackles (78), tackles for loss (13.5) and sacks (seven), and linebacker Jacoby Hale (6.5 sacks) has also been a force.

The Ducks likely had their national championship aspirations extinguished with the 26-20 loss to Stanford as they were stunningly blanked for three quarters before attempting to rally. The season-low output drops Oregon’s scoring average to 51.7 per game – third nationally – and the Ducks now need Stanford to stumble to have any chance of being the North’s representative in the Pac-12 title game.

LINE: Oregon opened as a 25-point fave, but the line has been bet up to -26. The total is currently 64.5.
WEATHER: Rain is in the forecast with temperatures in the low-40s.

* Utes are 2-7 ATS in their last nine conference games.
* Ducks are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games.
* Over is 13-3-1 in Oregon's last 17 home games vs. teams with losing road records.

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Baylor Bears (-27.5, 85)

Texas Tech, which has lost three straight after a 7-0 start, is averaging 37.8 points and 530.5 yards per game. The Red Raiders are coming off a 49-26 loss to Kansas State, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury isn't sure who will be his starting quarterback against the Bears. Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb, both freshmen, each have started five games.

There's no debate on who will start at quarterback for the Bears. Bryce Petty leads the nation in passing efficiency (210.6) and yards per completion (19.68) and has started popping up on some Heisman Trophy lists. But the Bears also can run the ball, as they're averaging 255 yards on the ground, and will be going up against a Texas Tech defense that surrendered 291 yards rushing in last week's loss to Kansas State.

LINE: Baylor is installed as a 27.5-point fave with the total set at a whopping 85.

* Red Raiders are 0-4 ATS in their last four neutral-site games.
* Bears are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games after scoring 40 or more points in their previous contest.
* Over is 14-2 in Baylor's last 16 games following a SU win of more than 20 points.

Florida Gators at South Carolina Gamecocks (-12, 41.5)

A season that began with high expectations has fallen victim to the injury bug as the Gators have lost seven starters to season-ending injuries, including quarterback Jeff Driskel, running back Matt Jones and defensive tackle Dominique Easley. If Murphy can’t go because of the shoulder sprain, the job will belong to freshman Skyler Mornhinweg, who has yet to throw a collegiate pass.

The Gamecocks enter Saturday very much alive in the race for a berth in the SEC Championship game. South Carolina needs a win Saturday and for Georgia and Missouri to each just lose once to punch its ticket to Atlanta. The Gamecocks will look to lean on running back Mike Davis, who leads the SEC in rushing yards per game with 117.6.

LINE: South Carolina opened as a 13.5-point fave but is now -12. The total has held at 41.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-50s with cloudy skies.

* Gators are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games following a bye week.
* Gamecocks are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 home games.
* The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.

Houston Cougars at Louisville Cardinals (-15.5, 57.5)

The winner of this matchup and once-beaten Cincinnati likely will be the only teams with a chance to overtake Central Florida, which is unbeaten in conference play. The Cougars are a decided underdog on the road, despite losing at Central Florida by just five points last week. Freshman quarterback John O'Korn didn't play exceptionally well against the Knights, so as he goes, so does Houston.

Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has played well in every game this season, and that's not likely to change against a Cougar defense ranked 30th in points allowed. Strong knows what his quarterback can do, but he believes there are similarities between what Central Florida and Houston do on offense. The Cougars lead the nation with a plus-21 turnover margin, while the Cardinals are second at plus-14.

LINE: Louisville is a 15.5-point favorite - down from an opening of -17 - while the total is holding at 57.5.
WEATHER: There is a 19 percent chance of showers in the forecast with temperatures in the high-50s.

* Cougars are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games.
* Cardinals are 2-5 ATS in their last seven vs. teams with winning records.
* Under is 14-6 in Louisville's last 20 home games.

Alabama Crimson Tide at Mississippi State Bulldogs (+23.5, 52)

AJ McCarron has not been intercepted in his last 123 passing attempts; he owns the school record at 291 and is in the midst of his third streak of at least 100 consecutive passes without a turnover. Over the past seven contests, the Crimson Tide offense has outgained the opposition by 1,609 yards -- an average of 229.9 yards per game.

Safety Nickoe Whitley posted his 14th career interception against the Aggies, tying him for the most among active FBS players and leaving him two shy of matching the school record (Walt Harris, Johnthan Banks). Jameon Lewis, who has a team-high 39 catches, is the only player in the country with at least four receiving, three rushing and three passing touchdowns.

LINE: Alabama has seen the line dip from 24.5 to 23.5, with the total set at 52.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-60s with wind blowing across the width of the field at 10 mph.

* Crimson Tide are 5-0 ATS in their last five conference games.
* Bulldogs are 1-4 ATS in their last five games on grass.
* Under is 5-0-1 in the last six meetings.

Stanford Cardinal at USC Trojans (+4, 46)

The Cardinal is ranked No. 4 in the BCS standings, but they’ll need help to land a spot in the national championship game. They certainly appeared worthy in their win over previously unbeaten Oregon, with the offensive line dominating the line of scrimmage and Tyler Gaffney rushing for 157 yards on 45 carries. Coach David Shaw indicated the offense will be more diversified against the Trojans.

Tailback Silas Redd is questionable after suffering a knee injury last week, so the Trojans will likely lean on Javorius Allen against Stanford, which leads the Pac-12 in run defense. Quarterback Cody Kessler has improved since Orgeron took over on Sept. 29, and he’s completed 82 percent of his passes over the last two games. The Trojans rank tied for third nationally in red zone defense.

LINE: Stanford opened at -3 but has seen the line bet up by a point. The total is set at 46.
WEATHER: Skies will be mostly cloudy with temperatures in the low-60s.

* Cardinal are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. teams with winning home records.
* Trojans are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games following a SU win.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings at USC.

Oregon State Beavers at Arizona State Sun Devils (-14, 63.5)

Brandin Cooks has 91 receptions to tie the school mark shared by James Rodgers (2009) and Markus Wheaton (2012), and is nine away from becoming the fifth player in Pac-12 history to reach 100. Cooks has 1,344 yards and 14 touchdown receptions as a top-notch target for quarterback Sean Mannion, who leads the nation with 3,540 yards and is tied for second with 31 touchdowns.

Running back Marion Grice hasn’t scored a touchdown in back-to-back games after finding the end zone 18 times over the first seven games. Grice (12 rushing scores, six receiving) has teamed with multi-purpose quarterback Taylor Kelly (24 passing touchdowns, seven rushing) to fuel an offense averaging 43.7 points per game.

LINE: ASU has held steady as a 14-point fave, while the total has dropped one point to 63.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-60s under partly cloudy skies.

* Beavers are 21-9-1 ATS in their last 31 road games.
* Sun Devils are 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games.
* Over is 17-5 in Arizona State's last 22 games following a SU win.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, November 16

ACC Report - Week 12
By Joe Williams

We're heading toward the finish line in the Atlantic Coast Conference. In fact, Clemson and Georgia Tech kicked off the weekend Thursday, and the Tigers blitzed the Yellow Jackets in the second half for a cover and win. The Tigers are now done with their conference portion of the schedule, with only games against The Citadel and South Carolina remaining. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech suffered a tough blow to their chances in the Coastal Division race.

The biggest game, incredibly enough, is the Miami-Duke battle at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham. Who would have thought that at the beginning of the season. The Hurricanes have slipped back to the pack, and good things are within reach for the Blue Devils if they can get it done on the field. That will be the big game to watch, as we figure out if Miami can get untracked, and if Duke is for real.

North Carolina State at Boston College

The Eagles are going to be a popular pick this week, at least for trend bettors. First off, NC State is just 1-4 ATS in their past five ACC games, and 2-8-1 ATS in their past 11 road contests. They have also failed to cover in each of their past six outings on fieldturf. Meanwhile, BC is 4-0 ATS in their past four home games and 4-1 ATS in their past five ACC contests. However, they have managed a rather meager 8-17 ATS mark at home against visitors with a losing road record, and 7-22 ATS in their past 29 against sub-.500 teams overall. Still, the home team is 8-0 ATS in the past eight meetings, and NC State is 0-4 ATS in their past four forays into Chestnut Hill. BC is playing better ball, and they have the three-headed monster of QB Chase Rettig, RB Andre Williams and WR Alex Amidon, which can be hard to contain.

North Carolina at Pittsburgh

Tar Heels head coach Larry Fedora was under considerable fire and scrutiny for the team's early-season slump. After a 1-5 start, UNC has come storming back to the precipice of .500 and bowl eligibility. Credit North Carolina for not quitting, and Fedora for not letting his team hang its head. In fact, the team has a little bit of swagger back, and heads up to the Steel City with an attitude. UNC is 4-0 ATS in the past four games, and 4-0 ATS in their past four ACC outings. Still, they need to prove they can win on the road. They're just 2-8 ATS in the past 10 road games, and 1-7 ATS in the past eight road games against a team with a winning home record. Pitt is 10-2-2 ATS in the past 14 against a team with a losing record, and 6-2 ATS in their past eight home games against a team with a losing road record. They are flying high after dropping Notre Dame last weekend. The 'under' might be the thing to focus on here. The under is 5-0 in UNC's past five road games, and 4-1 in their past five against a team wtih a winning record. The under has cashed in six straight for Pittsburgh after the over hit in their first three contests, and the under is 7-3 in their past 10 home games against a team with a losing road record. The line is set at 53, and that's looking awfully good.

Miami, Fl. at Duke

Originally when I set my schedule of games to attend this season, I never expected Miami-Duke would have such heavy postseason implications. This is a historic season at Duke, as they have knocked off a ranked opponent, become bowl eligible for the second straight season for the first time in school history, and they are pushing for a spot in the ACC Championship Game. If they can beat the Hurricanes, they will be able to take one giant step toward fulfilling those dreams. Miami started out 7-0, but they were outclassed by Florida State and surprised last week by Virginia Tech in a maelstrom in South Florida. Now, they're just trying to save their season from crumbling, and get back into the major bowl game picture. Miami has failed to cover in four straight, but they are 9-4 ATS in their past 13 road games, and 7-3 ATS in their past 10 on the road against a team with a winning home record. Duke is 12-5 ATS in the past 17 home games, and 4-0 ATS in their past four overall. The Blue Devils defense has been superb, but do they really have the horses to hang with the speedy Hurricanes? If so, a ranking in the AP Top 25 might be in store.

Syracuse at Florida State

The Seminoles have done a good job managing to stay focuses, and not let their heads get too big even after dismantling Clemson and Miami in pre-hyped games. Now, the focus turns to an off-field issue, as QB Jameis Winston made headlines this week after having his name included in a sexual assault complaint from Dec. 2012. The report seems a little sketchy, but the facts are still coming out. Still, can Winston and the Seminoles keep their eye on the prize? They're favored by 38 heading into the weekend against an Orange team which has ascended to the middle of the pack in the ACC. In fact, Syracuse is 10-3 ATS in the past 13 games dating back to last season, and 5-2 ATS in their past seven against winning teams. Still, they're just 2-6 ATS in their past eight trips against a team with a winning home record. And, Florida State has been a machine. They're 5-1 ATS in the past six home games, and 4-0 ATS in their past four home games against a team with a winning road record.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, November 16

Pac-12 Report - Week 12
By Joe Williams

The Pac-12 kicked off the schedule with a tussle between UCLA and Washington Friday night. That is the undercard for the main event which is Stanford-Southern California in the Los Angeles Coliseum in prime time. While USC might not be ranked in the AP Top 25, they have been playing better than anyone in the country lately, and this should be a knock-down, drag-out fight.

Another game of interest is the late-night game between Oregon State and Arizona State. This should be a high-scoring affair with plenty of aerials. Both QB Sean Mannion of the Beavers and QB Taylor Kelly of the Sun Devils can sling it with the best of them, and that could very well be a game with numbers resembling a video game when the dust clears Saturday night. Enjoy!

Washington State at Arizona

The Cougs roll into Tucson looking to keep their slim postseason aspirations alive. While the wins might not be piling up in the standings, there have been plenty of covers for bettors when it comes to WaZu. The Cougs are 4-0 ATS in the past four road games, and 8-3 ATS in their past 11 games against a team with a winning record. They're also 7-3 ATS in their past 10 games overall, and 12-3-1 ATS in their past 16 games following an ATS loss. On the flip side, Arizona has failed to cover in five of its past seven conference tilts, and they're just 2-6 ATS in the past eight home games against a team with a losing road record. Still, it's awfully hard to trust Washington State, as they aren't the best at stopping the run, allowing a whopping 7.9 yards per carry. That has Arizona RB Ka'Deem Carey, one of the best in the nation, licking his chops.
Utah at Oregon

The Utes head to Eugene looking to slay Goliath, but that's a pretty tall order. Utah has been night and day as a team at home as compared to on the road. The Utes are just 1-5 ATS in the past six road games, and 2-7 ATS in their past nine conference tilts. Oregon is still smarting from a spanking at the hands of Stanford last time out, and it could be ugly for the Utes as the Ducks take out their aggression. Oregon is still 14-3 ATS in their past 17 games overall, and 10-3 ATS in their past 13 conference battles. They're also 33-16-2 ATS in the past 51 games against a team with a losing record.

Stanford at Southern California

Stanford heads to the Coliseum for one of the most anticipated games in all of college football this weekend. Lately, Stanford has had its way with USC, especially as far as the books are concerned. Stanford is 4-0 ATS in their past four trips to Los Angeles, and 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings overall. In addition, the road team is 6-2 ATS in the past eight battles in this series, while the underdog is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings overall. All trends appear to point to Stanford, except for the latter. In addition, the Trojans are 0-5 ATS in their past five home games against a team with a winning road record.

Oregon State at Arizona State

This game has the potential to be a shootout, with plenty of offensive stars dotting the rosters of the two sides. QB Sean Mannion and WR Brandin Cooks have been a dynamic duo, and TE Connor Hamlett is a weapon, as are RBs Storm Woods and Terron Ward. The Sun Devils have one of the best, and most underrated quarterbacks in Taylor Kelly. In fact, the AZ State passing offense is racking up 490.4 yards per game through the air. Oregon State is 21-9-1 ATS in their past 31 road games, and 15-6-1 ATS in their past 22 road outings against a team with a winning home record. For AZ State, they're 6-1 ATS in their past seven home games, and 5-2-1 ATS in their past eight home games against a team with a winning road record. In this series, the Beavers are 3-0-1 ATS in their past four meetings, but 2-5-1 ATS in their past eight meetings in Tempe.

Other Games

California at Colorado

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, November 16

Georgia at Auburn
By Brian Edwards

Matchup: Georgia at Auburn
Venue: Jordan-Hare Stadium from Auburn, Alabama
Date: Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013
Time/TV: 3:30 pm. ET - CBS
Line: Auburn -3½, Over/Under 64
Last Meeting: 2012, Georgia (-15½) 38 at Auburn 0

Amid the rush to make Alabama vs. Florida State the official matchup for the final BCS Championship Game in January, there’s a team that’s quietly been going about its business. This squad controls its own destiny to win an SEC Championship.

It has a new head coach, one that helped lead it to its last national championship just three years ago. This team resides on The Plains and plays at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

I’m obviously talking about the Auburn Tigers, who had a nightmare season in 2012 and fired their head coach less than two years after he led the school to its first national title since the 1950s.

Guess what? The school made the right move in handing Gene Chizik a pink slip. The real leader from a coaching standpoint on that 2010 team was the offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, whose name sits next to Missouri’s Gary Pinkel at the top of every list pertaining to national Coach of the Year candidates in 2013.

When Malzahn left to take the Arkansas St. head-coaching job following the 2011 campaign, Auburn’s fortunes headed south immediately. Upon his return, everything has gone right for AU.

If Malzahn can guide his team to a win over Georgia on Saturday afternoon, the 2013 Iron Bowl will also be the SEC West Division Championship Game. And the Tigers will be at home Saturday and when it takes on the Crimson Tide.

As of early Friday night, most betting shops had Auburn (9-1 straight up, 8-2 against the spread) listed as a 3½-point favorite with a total of 64. Gamblers can take UGA on the money line for a +145 return (risk $100 to win $145). For first-half bets, AU is favored by two with a total of 31½.

Auburn went to Neyland Stadium last weekend and dealt out woodshed treatment to Tennessee in the form of a 55-23 clubbing. The Tigers took the cash for the seventh straight game.

Nick Marshall was the catalyst in Knoxville. The junior quarterback ran for 214 yards and two touchdowns and also threw for a score. But the Tigers threw the ball just seven times all day because the Volunteers couldn’t stop their ground attack. Tre Mason ran for 117 yards and three TDs.

Mason has run for 1,038 yards and 16 TDs this year. Marshall has 734 rushing yards and seven TDs. Mason and Marshall are averaging 5.9 and 7.1 yards per carry, respectively.

Marshall is completing 58.5 percent of his attempts for 1,301 passing yards. He has an 8/5 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Sammie Coates is his favorite target and he’s hauled in 26 receptions for 648 yards and five TDs.

Since suffering its lone loss by a 35-21 count at LSU in Week 4, Auburn has won six in a row with four of those wins coming by margins of 18 points or more. During the six-game winning streak, Auburn has covered the spread by at least 8.5 points each time out.

Georgia (6-3 SU, 1-7-1 ATS) is mired in a 0-6-1 ATS slump. The Bulldogs haven’t covered a number since a Week 2 home win over South Carolina.

Mark Richt’s team was the favorite to win the SEC East, but it has to win Saturday and have a lot of other things go right to return to Atlanta this season.

UGA’s demise actually started in a game it won at Tennessee. The Bulldogs pulled it out in overtime thanks to the heroics of senior QB Aaron Murray, but they’ve yet to find the form they had before a rash of injuries hit in the second half against the Vols.

Some of the injured that day, like WR Michael Bennett and safety Tray Matthews, have returned. Some, like RB Keith Marshall and Justin Scott-Wesley, are out for the season.

RB Todd Gurley, who missed three games after spraining his ankle in the first half of a 44-41 win over LSU, came back and led UGA to a 23-20 win over Florida two weeks ago. Gurley scored a pair of first-quarter touchdowns to put the Gators in comeback mode for the rest of that game.

However, after missing so much time, Gurley was winded early and often against UF. He rushed just 13 times for 75 yards in last week’s 45-6 non-covering win over Appalachian St. My point is that Gurley’s conditioning isn’t back to where it was going into the LSU game, and Marshall isn’t around to help shoulder the load.

But UGA still has Murray, who has thrown for 2,477 yards with a 20/7 TD-INT ratio. The Bulldogs’ leading receiver, Chris Conley, is going to be a game-time decision after missing the victory over the Mountaineers. Conley has a team-high 30 catches for 418 yards and four TDs.

For the season, Gurley has rushed for 625 yards and six TDs while averaging 6.2 YPC. He also has a pair of TDs receiving.

Georgia has won the last two meetings against Auburn by a combined score of 83-7. The Bulldogs cruised to a 38-0 win over AU last season as 15 ½-point road favorites.

Totals have been an overall wash for Auburn (5-5) this year, but the ‘under’ is 4-2 in its home games. The Tigers’ games have played to an average combined score of 59.0 points per game.

The ‘over’ is 6-3 overall for UGA, 2-2 in its four previous road assignments. The Bulldogs’ games have averaged a combined score of 64.3 PPG. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, November 16

Line Moves - Week 12
By Chris David

Week 11 Recap

Favorites: 1-1 (1-1 SU)
Underdogs: 0-3 (0-3 SU)
Totals: 3-2

There wasn’t a lot of movement last week and it sort of makes sense after looking at the results. The professional players making the first play last week went 1-4 against the spread, which included a straight up loss on Florida, who lost outright at home to Vanderbilt. The pros did catch a “Bad Beat” on West Virginia, which was the right side. The Mountaineers opened at 8 ½-point home underdogs and were bet down to 4 ½ on Friday. Public money pushed the number back to 6 ½-points on Saturday evening and the Longhorns captured a 47-40 win in overtime. The aforementioned professionals love to play middles like this and I’m sure plenty of them cashed both ways.

The totals went 3-2 last week and is now 4-2 (67%) the past two weeks. All three winners were never in doubt, especially the Texas A&M-Mississippi State affair. That number was steamed up four points to 71 and the pair still combined for 91 points.

Week 12 Line Moves

CRIS, one of the biggest offshore sportsbooks, opened up their college football lines for Week 12 last Sunday. Below are all of the moves of at least “Three Points” or more off the opening line from CRIS.


Wisconsin vs. Indiana
Open: Badgers -18½
Friday: Badgers -26½

Make a note that Hoosiers RB Tevin Coleman (ankle) is ‘doubtful’

Florida Atlantic at Southern Mississippi

Open: Owls -14
Friday: Owls -17

East Carolina vs. UAB
Open: Pirates -25
Friday: Pirates -28

Baylor vs. Texas Tech
Open: Bears -24½
Friday: Bears -27½

Boise State vs. Wyoming
Open: Broncos -20
Friday: Broncos -24


Rutgers vs. Cincinnati
Open: Scarlet Knights +3
Friday: Scarlet Knights -1

Northwestern vs. Michigan
Open: Wildcats +1
Friday: Wildcats -3

Week 12 Total Moves

CRIS opened their ‘over/under’ numbers on Tuesday. Five games saw significant movement and they're listed below.

Connecticut at SMU
Open: 59
Friday: 55½

West Virginia at Kansas
Open: 50
Friday: 46½

Iowa State at Oklahoma
Open: 51
Friday: 48

Michigan at Northwestern
Open: 52½
Friday: 49

San Diego State at Hawaii
Open: 55
Friday: 58½

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, November 16

Saturday's Top Action

GEORGIA BULLDOGS (6-3) at AUBURN TIGERS (9-1) Line & Total: Auburn -3.5 & 64.5
Opening Line & Total: Tigers -3 & 63

No. 7 Auburn, the surprise of the SEC, will look to improve to 6-1 in the conference on Saturday hosting No. 25 Georgia, which already has three losses after beginning the season ranked in the top 10.

Last year when these two teams played at Auburn, Georgia rolled to a 38-0 victory, part of a season in which the Tigers didn’t win a conference game. But this is a different season and Auburn is now on a six-game SU winning streak and seven-game ATS win streak ATS to improve to 9-1 SU and 7-2 ATS overall. Its only loss this season came on the road at LSU.

Georgia has won two in a row SU after dropping consecutive games to Missouri and Vanderbilt, but they have only one ATS win all year (1-7-1 ATS), losing five in a row ATS. Still, the Bulldogs have dominated this series since 2006, going 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS. They have also had success at Jordan-Hare Stadium with a 6-3 SU record (5-4 ATS) since 1996. And Georgia’s offense could help propel them to victory, as road underdogs averaging 450+ yards per game, after gaining at least 7.25 yards per play in their previous game, are 37-9 ATS (80%) over the past five seasons.

But Auburn's Gus Malzahn is 11-1 ATS after following a conference game and 9-0 ATS in the second half of the season in his coaching career.

Despite a slew of injuries to the Georgia offense, QB Aaron Murray has been outstanding this season, completing 63.3% of his passes for 2,477 yards (10.1 YPA), 20 TD and 7 INT. He was tremendous in last year’s meeting against the Tigers too, completing 18-of-24 passes for 208 yards and three touchdowns. He distributes the ball well among the Bulldogs receivers, as 10 different players have caught TD passes. Junior WR Chris Conley has been his main target, reeling in 30 catches for 418 yards and four touchdowns, but he has missed the past two games with an ankle injury and will be a game-time decision for Saturday.

RB Todd Gurley also had a big game against Auburn last year, taking the pigskin 11 times for 116 yards and one touchdown. Despite missing three games with an injury, he still has 625 yards this season on 101 carries (6.2 YPC), running for six scores. In the last SEC game versus Florida, Gurley ran for 100 yards and also caught three passes for 87 more yards, including a 73-yard touchdown.

The Bulldogs defense has held opposing rushers to 3.4 YPC, though through the air foes are averaging 7.3 yards per passing attempt, which is a big reason why the team has allowed 28.8 PPG (78th in FBS).

Auburn’s offense is difficult to stop with a rushing attack that averages 320.0 YPG, third most in the nation. That’s a big contrast from the last two seasons when they carried the ball 52 times for only 108 yards (2.1 YPC) and scored a total of seven points in two losses to Georgia. Tigers QB Nick Marshall is under center this season, and while he’s not a great passer with a 58.5% completion rate, 8 TD and 5 INT, he is a tremendous ball carrier. Marshall has rushed for 734 yards on 104 carries (7.1 YPC) with seven touchdowns, and he’s coming off a career game against Tennessee in which he took the ball 14 times for 214 yards (15.3 YPC) on the ground and two touchdowns.

Junior RB Tre Mason is the team’s leading rusher with 181 carries for 1,038 yards (5.7 YPC) and 16 TD. In the past five SEC games, Mason has rumbled for 672 yards (5.3 YPC) and 11 scores. Backing him up are junior RBs Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant, who each have more than 500 yards on the ground, combining for 1,072 yards and 9 TD. Auburn is 6-0 SU (4-2 ATS) at home this season where it has outscored opponents 38 to 9 and outgained them by a 506 to 364 margin.

The Tigers defense is holding opposing quarterbacks to a 56.6% completion rate while opposing ball carriers are averaging 4.2 YPC. Auburn has forced at least one turnover in nine of 10 games, including five games with multiple takeaways.

OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS (8-1) at TEXAS LONGHORNS (7-2) Line & Total: Oklahoma State -3 & 63.5
Opening Line & Total: Cowboys -3 & 64

Games in November play a big role in conference standings, such as the matchup between No. 12 Oklahoma State and No. 23 Texas in Austin on Saturday

Last season, the Cowboys lost a thrilling 41-36 game to the Longhorns in Stillwater. However, the teams are much different this season, as they both have different starting quarterbacks, and both have struggled throughout the season. After losing to West Virginia early in the year, Oklahoma State had many people wondering if it was truly a Big 12 contender or not. However, after five straight conference victories, the Cowboys are once again in contention for the conference title with just one loss and still having Big 12 unbeatens Baylor and Texas on the schedule. The Cowboys took care of business against Kansas last week with a 42-6 pummeling. The game was never in reach as Justin Gilbert took back the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. Oklahoma State has really turned it up on offense, averaging 50.7 points per game in the past three contests.

Last week, the Longhorns struggled to stop West Virginia in a 47-40 overtime win, but they had played great defense in the previous three weeks, allowing just 13.3 PPG. While they gave up a lot of points, the defense did a great job of stopping a solid West Virginia run game, allowing only 109 yards on 47 carries (2.3 YPC). Texas was dead in the water entering conference play, with many people wondering if head coach Mack Brown would make it to the end of the season. However, the Longhorns have rebounded to win six in a row (3-2-1 ATS), and now control their own destiny in the Big 12.
However, in the past three seasons Oklahoma State is 21-10 ATS (68%) when favored, and 13-4 ATS (77%) after 2+ straight SU wins. Texas, whose top RB Johnathan Gray suffered a season-ending torn Achilles last week, is 52-40 ATS (57%) after an ATS loss under Mack Brown.

The Cowboys' offense has been terrific all season long (40.7 PPG, 14th in FBS), and finally has developed a solid ground game with 170 rushing YPG. Junior RB Desmond Roland has had a mammoth workload in the past three games, rushing 73 times for 359 yards (4.9 YPC) and eight touchdowns, including a 219-yard effort against Iowa State. He is a big strong runner, with the ability to make people miss in the open field.

QB Clint Chelf has also been great in his past two games, totaling 581 yards and 7 TD (5 passing, 2 rushing). He has the ability to make plays with his feet, while allowing his receivers to get open when he scrambles. One of those pass catchers, WR Josh Stewart (40 rec., 510 yards, 2 TD), is one of the very best in all of the conference. He is electric when he has the ball in his hand, using his quickness to get by tacklers. But Stewart, who caught five passes for 81 yards and a touchdown versus Texas last year, suffered a leg injury in last week's win and is listed as questionable for this matchup.

Not only is Justin Gilbert terrific at special teams, he is also one of the elite cornerbacks in all of the country. Look for him to be matched up with both of the Longhorns top wideouts, Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley.

While it was not easy in Morgantown, Texas was able to get the overtime victory in large part to the performance of QB Case McCoy, who threw for 283 yards, 3 TD and 1 INT. On the season, McCoy has done a great job of managing the offense, and has thrown for 1,471 yards (6.7 YPA), 8 TD and 6 INT. Texas has a terrific rushing attack with 197.3 yards per game, but suffered a major setback last week when Johnathan Gray hurt his foot. Luckily, junior RB Malcolm Brown, a former No. 1 recruit, has been playing some great football as of late. In his past four games, Brown has rushed for 379 yards and four touchdowns, and will be counted upon more now that Gray is out. Brown is the type of running back that gets stronger as the game goes on, becoming very difficult to tackle in the fourth quarter. The Longhorns will also lean more on junior RB Joe Bergeron (191 rush yards, 5.5 YPC, 3 TD), as his two fourth-quarter touchdowns were the difference in last year's win over OSU.

Junior LB Steve Edmond (59 tackles, 2 INT, 2 sacks) continued his All-Big 12 campaign with 12 tackles and an interception against the Mountaineers. He is relentless in his pursuit of the ball, and he will be counted upon to produce more big numbers against such a great offense like the Cowboys.

MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS (8-1) at NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS (7-2) Line & Total: Michigan State -6 & 41.5
Opening Line & Total: Spartans -6.5 & 42.5

Nebraska has never lost to Michigan State in seven meetings, but enters Saturday’s contest as a home underdog with the No. 14 Spartans charging toward a potential berth in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Nebraska is 7-0 all-time against Michigan State, including 5-0 (SU and ATS) since 1995. For the first time in the series history, Michigan State was actually favored last season by a point, but the Cornhuskers pulled out a 28-24 victory in East Lansing with two late touchdowns. Unlike last year, however, Taylor Martinez (hip) won’t be under center, and redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong Jr. will start in his place. He has struggled though, and failed to command the offense in a way Martinez could.

The hallmark of this Michigan State team is its stingy defense that yields only 11.6 PPG, the third fewest in the nation. However, Nebraska is 10-0 ATS since 1992 against teams that give up 14 or fewer PPG. Michigan State, meanwhile, is 11-1 ATS after allowing 250 or fewer yards per game over their last three contests since 1992. The Spartans are riding a five-game SU win streak to put them at 8-1 SU and 5-3-1 ATS for the year, going 5-0 SU (4-1 ATS) against Big Ten opponents. The Cornhuskers are 5-4 ATS, including 1-0 ATS as an underdog after upsetting 6-point favorite Michigan last weekend on the road.

It’s been nearly impossible to rush against the Spartans defense this season as they give up a pithy 43 YPG on 1.6 YPC. Passing isn’t much easier, with the secondary holding opposing quarterbacks to 167 YPG with a 46.7% completion rate and 4.9 yards per attempt. The offense isn’t a juggernaut, but has been efficient with junior QB Connor Cook under center. He has completed 59.1% of his passes for 1,490 yards, throwing 13 TD and only 3 INT. His top targets have been WRs Bennie Fowler (26 catches, 353 yards, 5 TD) and Macgarrett Kings Jr. (28 catches, 317 yards, 3 TD).

On the ground, junior RB Jeremy Langford is averaging 4.6 YPC with 775 yards and 10 TD. He has only gotten better as the season has wore on, now amid a stretch of four consecutive 100-yard games.

Tommy Armstrong Jr. has struggled to generate an offensive flow, completing only 55.3% of his passes for 659 yards in five games, tossing 5 TD and 6 INT. In his past three contests, he is a dismal 32-for-66 (48.5%) for 355 yards (5.4 YPA), 2 TD and 6 INT. The key in the passing attack is finding senior WR Quincy Enunwa, a dangerous weapon at 6-foot-2 with eight touchdowns and 536 receiving yards this season. Armstrong can also use his legs, rushing for two touchdowns and 166 yards on 51 carries. The strength of the offense though, is with the rushing attack (247 YPG, 15th in nation), as RB Ameer Abdullah has been fantastic, rumbling for 1,213 yards on 6.6 YPC and seven touchdowns. In the red zone, Imani Cross has also been quite effective, with nine touchdowns on 70 carries for 357 yards (5.1 YPC).

The Cornhuskers average 35.9 PPG (30th in FBS), but will face their toughest test of the year against this Spartans defense. Nebraska’s defense has been solid, yielding only 22.8 PPG this season (35th in nation), but have allowed an uncharacteristic 426 total YPG in six home games. The Cornhuskers give up just 160 rushing YPG on 4.0 yards per carry, but completely stifled Michigan last week with allowing minus-21 rushing yards on 36 carries. The Nebraska pass defense has limited opposing QBs to a mere 55.8% completion rate and a pedestrian 7.2 yards per pass attempt. 

STANFORD CARDINAL (8-1) at USC TROJANS (7-3) Line & Total: Stanford -4.5 & 46.5
Opening Line & Total: Cardinal -3 & 46.5

After struggling early in conference play, USC has a chance to send a message to the rest of the conference when it hosts red-hot No. 5 Stanford on Saturday night.

Although the Cardinal have beaten the Trojans four straight times, the past three wins have been by only 2, 8 and 7 points. This includes a 56-48 triple overtime thriller the last time the Pac-12 foes met in L.A. in 2011. This season has the chance to be another close one, because USC has turned things around under interim coach Ed Orgeron, going 4-1 (SU, and ATS), with the lone loss coming to Notre Dame.

The resurgence has also been sparked by sophomore QB Cody Kessler who has 6 TD passes and just 2 INT since Orgeron took over for Lane Kiffin. But Kessler will face his most difficult test Saturday as he goes against a Stanford defense that shut out Oregon for the first three quarters of last week's game. The Cardinal defense has been terrific this season, allowing just 19.4 PPG, which ranks 18th in the country. Stanford allows the short passes over the middle, forcing teams to have to go the entire field to score.

The Cardinal, who are riding a three-game win streak (SU and ATS) are a tough team to stop once they get hot, going 21-7 ATS (75%) after an SU win over the past three seasons, and 16-5 ATS (76%) after 2+ straight wins in this same timeframe. But since 1992, USC is 17-4 ATS (81%) at home after 2+ consecutive ATS victories, and 10-2 ATS (83%) at home coming off a road blowout win of 28+ points.

While the defense gets a lot of the talk for Stanford, it was the offense, namely the rushing attack, that played a key role in not allowing the Oregon offense to get rolling in last week's 26-20 upset. RB Tyler Gaffney carried the ball 45 times in the game for 157 yards and one touchdown. While the 3.5 yards per carry was not extremely high, the Cardinal lined up in a strong power formation and just wore the Ducks down. With Gaffney running the ball so effectively, it makes the play-action fake very difficult to stop for the Cardinal.

Junior WR Ty Montgomery has the ability to get behind the defense with his blazing speed, and has developed a solid rapport with quarterback Kevin Hogan (1,596 pass yards, 8.4 YPA, 13 TD, 5 INT). Although Montgomery hasn't caught a TD pass in four straight games, Hogan does have the ability to get out on the perimeter and allow his receivers more time to get open, setting up the big plays.

If the offense is able to move the football against the Trojans, then Stanford will be in good shape, as the defense will look to make the sophomore quarterback’s night miserable. Junior safety Jordan Richards has three interceptions on the season, including a 30-yard touchdown against Washington State. Look for Richards to play a lot of deep coverage to prevent USC star WR Marqise Lee from getting deep. If Lee is able to get behind the defense, he's just too fast to catch up with.

QB Cody Kessler struggled to get into a rhythm passing the ball early in the season, but has gotten more comfortable with the offense the past couple of weeks, evidenced by his 81.6% completion rate. In the victory over California last weekend, he had a great game, completing 14-of-17 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Junior WR Marqise Lee (38 catches, 521 yards, 2 TD) has not come close to duplicating his 1,721 yards and 14 TD catches as a sophomore, but he is still one of the most talented receivers in all of the country. He is able to go over the middle and make the tough catch, but also has the speed and elusiveness to take it the distance on every single play.

The emergence of sophomore RB Tre Madden has also helped the USC offense get rolling, as he has rushed for 671 yards (5.2 YPC) and three touchdowns this season. At 220 pounds, he is a powerful back that also has the ability to run by defenders. The Trojans did not have an offensive identity early in the year, but with Madden running the ball like he has, it has opened up the entire offense.

The defense, which was thought to be the weak point entering the season, has been terrific. The Trojans rank 19th in the country in scoring defense, allowing only 19.6 points per game. Junior safety Dion Bailey has been great all year, intercepting three passes to go along with 46 tackles. Like Richards of Stanford, he will be counted upon to not let the receiver behind him, as Montgomery has similar abilities to Lee.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, November 16

NCAAF Week 12

Duke is 7-2 and having a dream season, winning last five games since a 58-55 home loss to Pitt; they’re 3-2 SU at home, also losing 38-14 (+8) to Ga Tech; Blue Devils are 6-2 vs spread this year, 3-1 as an underdog- they’ve scored 35+ points in five of last six games. Miami won its last eight games with Duke, six by 10+ points; they’re 4-0 in Durham (2-2 vs spread); Hurricanes are 2-0 as a series favorite when spread was less than 17. Miami was 7-0 before losing to Florida State/Va Tech the last two weeks, giving up 83 points; ‘canes have two road wins, 49-21 (-16) at USF, 27-23 (-9) at North Carolina, and the loss at FSU- they’re 0-4 vs spread in last four games, 2-4 as a favorite this year. ACC home underdogs are 9-7 vs spread.

Houston’s only two losses are 47-46 (+9) at home to BYU, 19-14 (+12) at Central Florida last week; Cougars are 7-1 vs spread this season, 3-0 as underdogs- this is their third road game in four weeks and sixth road game this season. Since 2009, Houston is 6-3 as road underdogs, 2-0 this year (won 49-14 at Rutgers, +7). Louisville is 8-1, losing as a 14-point home favorite to UCF last month; Knights ran ball for 196 yards that game, only team to rush for 60+ yards vs Louisville in last six games. Cardinals are 1-4 vs spread in last five games, but scored 31+ points in each of their last three games. Every Louisville win this year is by 14+ points; they’re 9-12 as home favorites under Strong. AAC home favorites are 3-10 against spread this season. 

Home side won seven of last eight Boston College-NC State games; Wolfpack lost last four visits here, losing by 4-32-20-20 points. Favorites are 5-3 in last eight series games. BC needs one more win to be bowl eligible; they won last two games, scoring 82 points. Eagles are 3-1 at home this year, losing only to Florida State, winning by 14-21-7 points. BC is 2-0 as a home favorite this year. NC State lost its last five games, all by 8+ points, after a 1-3 start; they can’t decide on a QB, scoring only 17.8 ppg during losing streak. Wolfpack is 0-1-1 as road dogs this year, losing away games by 15-32-18 points; they’re 1-2-1 overall as underdogs this season. ACC home favorites are 15-9 vs spread this season.

Cincinnati lost 20-3/10-3 to Rutgers the last two years, after stomping Scarlet Knights 69-38 three years ago; Bearcats had 157 combined rushing yards in those two losses, after having 295/168 in previous two series games. Cincy is 7-2 this year because their schedule is horrible; Bearcats won last four games, scoring 35.3 ppg since bizarre loss at a terrible USF team Oct 5. Three of last five Rutgers games were decided by 4 or less points; Knights are 3-1 at home, losing 49-14 to Houston three weeks ago. Underdogs are 6-1 vs spread in Rutgers games this season; Knights are 2-0 as a dog, 5-1 when they allow less than 49 points. AAC home underdogs are 4-3 against spread this season.

Pitt is 5-4 with three games left; they need this game or win at Carrier Dome next week to become bowl eligible, assuming they won’t beat Miami Nov 29. Panthers beat Notre Dame at home last week, their 4th home win in row since Florida State hammered them 41-13 in opener. Will Panthers get fat/happy after beating a mediocre Irish team? North Carolina won its last three games, covered last four; at 4-5, they still have shot at bowl (Belk Bowl in Charlotte?) if they can win two of last three. Backup QB Williams has energized offense with more running. Tar Heels are 1-3 on road (only win at NC State, which is a road trip, but a short bus ride, not a plane trip), losing by 17-8-10 points.  ACC home teams are 25-16 against spread this season.

Florida is so banged up at QB that freshman Mornhinweg (son of Jets’ OC) is likely to get first college start here; Gators are 13-3 in last 16 series games, 1-2 in last three (261 or less TY in all three)- they beat Carolina 44-11 LY in odd game where total yardage was 191-183 SC, but Florida was +4 in turnovers. Gators split last four visits to Columbia; underdogs are 4-4 in Florida’s last eight visits here. 7-2 South Carolina had last week off and plays Coastal Carolina next, so they’re focused on avenging LY’s blowout loss; Gamecocks are 2-2 as home favorites this year, winning home games by 17-0-7-18 points. Florida lost its last four games (0-3-1 vs spread) by 11-19-3-17 points- they lost at home to Vandy last week for first time since 1945; they have to try and run ball to protect their young QB.

Michigan won seven of last eight games with Northwestern, with underdogs covering four of last five; in five of last seven meetings, total yardage was within 40 yards, so Fitzgerald has done excellent job evening talent level with league rivals. Wolverines won last four visits to Evanston, with all four wins by 12+ points, but they’re 1-3 in last four games overall and beat Indiana 63-47 for only win in that span- they scored total of 19 points in losing last two games. Wildcats have trouble finishing games; they’ve lost five games in row, last three all by 7 or less points. Northwestern is 0-5 this season when scoring less than 35 points, losing last two home games to Ohio State (40-30), Minnesota (20-17). Big Dozen home favorites are 12-8 vs spread.

Oregon State won four of last five games with Arizona State, in series where underdog covered four of last five meetings; Beavers lost six of last seven visits to Tempe, with five of six losses by 12+ points. Average total in last three series games: 58.7. ASU pulled game out at end last week in Utah, its fourth win in row since losing to Notre Dame in Dallas; Sun Devils are 3-1 as home favorites this year, winning by 2-21-41-29 points, scoring 50.3 ppg in those four games. Beavers had last week off after losing to Stanford/USC back/back; OSU is 4-0 on road this year, scoring 46.5 ppg and they were only favored in two of those four games. Pac-12 home favorites are 14-8 against the spread this season.

Georgia crushed Auburn 38-0/45-7 last two years, in series where Dawgs won six of last seven meetings (four of six wins by 24+ points) and favorites covered last four; Georgia won three of last four visits here, but 9-1 Tigers are having special season, winning last six games since 35-21 (+17) loss at LSU. Auburn scored 42 ppg in winning last five I-A games, three of which were on road, one at Texas A&M. Tigers are playing for 7th week in row, while Dawgs played I-AA team last week after beating Florida which followed a bye, so they should be getting some guys back. Georgia is 1-2 on road this year, with all three games decided by 4 or less points, with an average total of 65.3. SEC home favorites are 11-12 against the spread.

Texas won 13 of last 15 games with Oklahoma State, but lost last two played here (38-26/33-16), as road team won last four series games; favorites covered 10 of last 13 in series. State outgained Texas 576-440 LY but lost 41-36. Longhorns won last six games, scoring 30+ points every game; they’re 3-1 at home, with only loss to Ole Miss. Longhorns are 2-0 as underdogs this year, beating Oklahoma/TCU SU. OSU won its last five games, scoring 50.7 ppg in last three; they’re 3-1 on road, scoring 50+ at UTSA/Iowa State/Texas Tech, but losing 30-21 at West Virginia, their only loss this season. State covered its last four games; they’re 4-3 as a favorite this season. Big X home underdogs are 6-5 vs spread this year.

Nebraska won both its Big Dozen meetings with Michigan State, 28-24 LY in East Lansing, 24-3 here in ’11, but 8-1 Spartans won last five games, allowing total of nine points in last three, plus they had last week off after spanking rival Michigan 29-6 the week before. State covered four of last five games when favored; none of their eight wins was by less than 12 points. Cornhuskers won last two games by total of seven points, winning on Hail Mary on last play two weeks ago, then holding off impotent Michigan 17-13 last week, its first game as an underdog this year; Nebraska won four of last five games, is 4-1 at home, losing 41-21 to UCLA. Big Dozen home underdogs are 6-5 against the spread.

Stanford won its last four games with USC, with three of four wins by 7+ points; underdogs covered seven of last nine series games, winning three of last six SU. Cardinal won 55-21/56-48 in its last two visits to Coliseum; after scoring 31+ points in each of first five games this year, Cardinals scored 26 or less in its last four, getting upset 27-21 at Utah, its only loss in four road games (wins by 14-38-8 points). Stanford is 4-4 as a favorite this year. USC won its last three games, by 16-17-34 points; they’ve won last four home games since losing to Wazzu on Sept 7. Trojans held three of last four foes to 14 or less points; Cal scored more in 62-28 loss last week. Pas-12 home underdogs are 4-11 against the spread.

Little bit of sandwich game for Arizona, which lost tough 31-26 game to UCLA last week and has Oregon coming to town next week; Wildcats won their last five games with Washington State, last four by average score of 45-15. Coogs lost 48-7/48-20 in their last two visits to Tucson, where Wildcats are 2-1 as home favorites this year, beating UTSA 38-13, Utah 35-24. Wazzu started season strong but has now lost last three games, allowing 52-62-55 points; Coogs are 4-0 vs spread on road, winning at USC/Cal, losing by 7 at Auburn, 24 (+39) at Oregon, but they’ve given up 34-42 points in first half of last two games, giving up 665 rushing yards to Oregon/Arizona State. Pac-12 home favorites are 14-8 against the spread.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, November 16

College Football Betting Preview: Utah at Oregon
By Andrew Lange

Utah at Oregon
Saturday, 1 pm PT - FS1
CRIS Opener: Oregon -25 O/U 64
CRIS Current: Oregon -28 O/U 63.5
Rob Veno's Power Rating: Oregon -26
Andrew Lange's Recommendation: Oregon

A lot of bettors would look at Oregon as unplayable this weekend after having its hopes of a BCS Championship crushed in somewhat embarrassing fashion. But there are other factors to consider in this matchup that in my opinion offset the potential letdown for the Ducks.

For starters, unlike a majority of the PAC-12, Utah has little to no experience playing against Oregon's offense. The last meeting between the two schools was 2009 – Chip Kelly's third game on the job. Second, this is not an ideal spot for the Utes either. After losing back-to-back road games, Utah had a 19-7 lead against Arizona State but gave up a touchdown with a little over two minutes remaining to lose 20-19. Win that game and Utah goes to 5-4 and with remaining games at Washington State and Colorado a postseason berth likely awaits. Instead, the Utes fell to 4-5 and must head on the road to one of the toughest venues in the country.

Also a concern for Utah is its quarterback play. Travis Wilson, who has been playing injured, was ruled out leaving fellow sophomore Adam Schulz who is 22-of-45 (48.9%) in limited duty. The fact that they continued to play Wilson (six INTs his last three games) at less than 100% suggests the Utes don't have much confidence in Schulz. All told, Utah's passing game has produced 408 yards and seven INTs the last three weeks. And the running game hasn't been much better with 123 ypg at 2.6 ypc during that span. So that leaves Utah's good but not great defense in charge of trying to keep things close against a dynamic offense few players if any have seen.

It is hard to ignore the fact that if we look at common opponents we see that Stanford lost at Utah and obviously dominated Oregon last week. But the venues played a part as Utah has played arguably its three toughest PAC-12 opponents (UCLA, ASU, and Stanford) at home whereas the Ducks were outside the friendly confines of Eugene. Note also that Oregon can still reach the PAC-12 Championship and earn a BCS bowl berth. To get to the conference title game, they'll need Stanford to lose at USC – a short-lined game that takes place after Oregon's matchup against Utah. I'm not expecting the Ducks to play with as much gusto and flare as usual, but this is an opponent they should be able to handle on their home turf.

While I was doing this write-up, Wilson was ruled out and the market jumped all over the Ducks. Not a big difference between -26 and the currently prevailing number of -28 but I'd recommend shopping around and trying to find one of the -27/-27.5's still lingering.

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