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Thread: NCAAF Trends and Indexes - Week 10 (Tues., Oct. 30 - Sat., Nov. 3)

  1. #16
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    RED ZONE REVOLUTION

    The Pitt Panthers haven't exactly been a force in the red zone so far this season – but that might change Friday night as they visit the Virginia Cavaliers in an ACC showdown. The Panthers come into the game with one of the worst scoring rates inside the opponents' 20-yard line of any team in the nation, turning 23 red-zone visits into 15 touchdowns and three field goals. But the TD rate is actually decent compared to the rest of Division I – and things are set up to turn around for the Panthers against a Cavaliers defense that has given up points on 16 of its opponents' 17 voyages into the red zone.

    Virginia is a seven-point favorite for Friday's game, but the Cavs' red-zone struggles combined with Pitt having averaged better than 37 points over its last three games makes the road team a decent cover option here.


    WILDCATS’ FIRST-QUARTER WALL

    The Arizona Wildcats have had their share of ups and downs this season, but their first-quarter defense – particularly at home – remains one of the best of the nation entering Friday's meeting with the visiting Colorado Buffaloes. The Wildcats have faced four Division I opponents at Arizona Stadium (BYU, USC, California, Oregon) and have allowed only seven points on a Trojans touchdown and conversion in their Sept. 29 encounter. Colorado, meanwhile, might be without the services of top receiving threat Leviska Shenault, who has missed the previous two games with a toe injury.

    Whether Shenault plays or sits, the Wildcats have been sensational enough in the early stages of home games to make the under on Colorado's first-quarter total of 6.5 (-110) the recommended option. If you're looking for an even better payout, take Arizona to win the first quarter at nil, which pays +250.


    PRIMED FOR PICK 6

    Middle Tennessee State has proven capable of scoring on both sides of the football as it prepares to host Western Kentucky in a Friday night Conference USA encounter. The Blue Raiders not only sit third in the conference in interceptions with nine, they also lead C-USA with three interception returns for touchdowns. And that bodes well for MTSU Friday night, as they'll host a Hilltoppers team that has thrown just 10 touchdown passes against six interceptions. With the host Blue Raiders favored by nearly two touchdowns, WKU will need to throw a lot – and that plays right into MTSU's hands.

    Bettors should consider the defensive/special teams touchdown here, which pays out at +150.


    BACKFIELD REINFORCEMENTS FOR AZTECS

    The San Diego State backfield is about to be a lot more robust, with two key players returning to the fold. Running back Juwan Washington will return to action for the first time since suffering a fractured collarbone in a Sept. 22 victory over Eastern Michigan. Washington is one of the top rushing threats in the nation, with 513 yards and five touchdowns through parts of four games. He won't start Saturday against New Mexico – Chase Jasmin will assume that role – but should see carries. Fullback Isaac Lessard (neck) will also return to the lineup, though he won't start, either.

    SDSU should use its potent rush attack to punish a Lobos team that ranks eighth in the 12-team Mountain West in rushing yards allowed per game (171.5) and tied for second in rushing scores allowed (17). The Aztecs are a good play both against the spread (-10) and on the over for their team total of 28.5 (-110).

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    Alabama at LSU
    Brian Edwards

    Alabama (8-0 straight up, 5-3 against the spread) is ranked No. 1 in the newest College Football Rankings and that title is certainly well deserved. Nick Saban’s team has won all eight of its games by at least 22 points. The Crimson Tide has been so dominant that its star QB Tua Tagovailoa hasn’t taken a snap in the fourth quarter all season.

    On paper and by just about anyone’s eye test, this squad appears to be Saban’s best and one of the most dominant in college football history. But nobody earns the latter honor through only eight games. In fact, this team can’t even claim the former billing unless it wins the CFP. So obviously, Alabama still has plenty of work to do.

    With that said, let’s take a moment to consider what this club has accomplished to date. For gamblers who have backed the Tide in the first quarter and the first half, in addition to taking its team total ‘over’ in the first quarter, first half and for the game, those bettors have cashed tickets at an insane 36-3-1 clip.

    For those gamblers who regularly read my weekly SEC Notebook, you’re freakin’ welcome since I’ve been pointing you toward this sequence of bets since Week 3! When I write my SEC content on Friday, the lines for the first quarter and the teams totals in the first quarter and first half usually aren’t available yet.

    As I write this on Friday afternoon, we do have a first-half line already as ‘Bama is a 7.5-point favorite with a total of 27.5. We also have a team total for the game (34.5 pts. for the Tide; LSU’s is 19.5). Most books have Alabama installed as a 14.5-point favorite (we’re talking about the game now) with a total of 53.5. The Tigers are anywhere from +450 to +500 on the money line.

    Tagovailoa is a monster -400 ‘chalk’ to win the Heisman Trophy at Sportsbook.ag. He has 25 TD passes without an interception, in addition to a pair of rushing scores. The true sophomore QB has connected on 70.4 percent of his passes for 2,066 yards.

    Najee Harris has run for a team-best 489 yards and four TDs with a 6.3 yards-per-carry average. Damien Harris has 435 rushing yards and five TDs while averaging 6.4 YPC.

    Jerry Jeudy reminds me of former Florida Gator WRs Jack Jackson and Jacquez Green. He has lightning-fast speed and an incredibly quick burst. Jeudy has 31 receptions for 777 yards and 10 TDs, while Jaylen Waddle has 21 catches for 457 yards and three TDs. Henry Ruggs has caught 24 balls for 444 yards and a team-best seven TDs. Devonta Smith, who was upgraded to ‘probable' on Friday, has 21 grabs for 409 yards and three TDs.

    Since giving up backdoor covers in three straight games, Alabama has covered the number in back-to-back outings vs. Missouri (39-10) and at Tennessee (58-21). Tagovailoa threw for 306 yards and four TDs against the Vols, while Josh Jacobs ran for 68 yards and two scores on 12 carries.

    LSU (7-1 SU, ATS) will be without its best player in junior LB Devin White for the first half. White was flagged for a shaky targeting penalty in the second half of his team’s 19-3 win over Mississippi State two weeks ago. The enormity of his absence for the first 30 minutes can’t be overstated. White was a second-team All-American last season and is en route to garnering first-team honors in 2018. He has recorded 76 tackles, six TFL’s, one sack, six QB hurries, four PBU, one forced fumble and one fumble return for 29 yards.

    LSU has notable wins over Miami (33-17 at Jerry World), at Auburn (22-21 on a walk-off FG), vs. La. Tech (38-21), vs. Ole Miss (45-16), vs. UGA (36-16) and vs. MSU (19-3). The Tigers took their lone defeat at Florida by a 27-19 score.

    LSU intercepted Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald four times at Tiger Stadium two weeks ago. Grant Delpit had a pair of picks, Nick Brossette scored on a one-yard TD run and Cole Tracy buried four FGs against the Bulldogs.

    The difference for LSU this season has been the timely play of Ohio State grad transfer QB Joe Burrow, who doesn’t have the cleanest stats but has been money at crunch time. Burrow has run for 250 yards and four TDs and wasn’t intercepted for the first time until Week 6.

    Brossette has rushed for a team-high 697 yards and 10 TDs, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has run for 521 yards and five TDs with a 5.0 YPC average. WR Justin Jefferson has 30 receptions for 471 yards and two TDs.

    Since Ed Orgeron replaced Les Miles as head coach, he has compiled a 15-4 spread record in 19 SEC games. Oregon owns an 11-1 spread record in his past 12 SEC contests. As a home underdog on his watch, LSU is 2-1 both SU and ATS.

    Since LSU won a 9-6 overtime decision at Alabama in 2011, the Crimson Tide has won seven games in a row over the Tigers while going 5-2 ATS. The past three wins and four of the last five have come by double-digit margins.

    When these bitter rivals squared off in Tuscaloosa last season, Alabama won by a 24-10 count but LSU took the cash as a 20.5-point road underdog. The 44 combined points slithered ‘under’ the 45-point tally. QB Jalen Hurts, who is ‘questionable’ Saturday night due to a sprained ankle, threw one TD pass and ran for another score.

    This rivalry has seen the ‘under’ hit in four straight games and nine of the past 10. The ‘under’ is on a 5-0 run when the game is played in Baton Rouge. The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the past five head-to-head meetings.

    The ‘over’ is 6-2 overall for ‘Bama this season, 2-1 in its three road contests. Both ‘unders’ came when the total was in the 70s. In fact, both totals were the highest we’ve seen in Alabama football history. The Tide’s games have averaged combined scores of 70.0 PPG.

    The ‘over’ is 5-3 overall for LSU, 3-2 in its home games. The ‘over’ had hit in four consecutive outings for the Tigers until their win over MSU fell way below the 45.5-point total. LSU’s games have averaged combined scores of 45.5 PPG.

    CBS will provide the broadcast at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
    Last edited by Udog; 11-02-2018 at 11:16 PM.

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    The Triple Option: College football Week 10 picks and predictions
    Andrew Caley

    Halloween is over. The calendar has flipped to November. That means a few things. The fun part of fall is has come to an end, and the two-month stress fueled build up to Christmas is upon us.

    I am legitimately shocked about how fast my house transforms from the oranges and browns of October to the halls being decked out with Christmas trimmings. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas as much as anyone and I can’t wait to watch Jingle All The Way multiple times in a few weeks, but it is too god damned early to be hearing Christmas songs and for the lady to be bugging me about when the lights can go up.

    Thank goodness I’m a bit of a traditionalist and require a real tree, or there might be one standing up in my living room already. But the main point of this is we can’t get ahead of ourselves, whether its Christmas or college football.

    Because the Christmas switch getting flipped means something else: Another college football season is flying by. It’s already Week 10, which means the College Football Playoff (still hate that name) selection committee gave us our first look at the initial CFP rankings and there were no surprises.

    Alabama, of course led the way, followed by Clemson, then LSU at No. 3 and Notre Dame rounded out the top 4. But an interesting stat surfaced this week. The No. 3 ranked team in the initial rankings have never made the Playoff in the four previous seasons of this process. And I’m sorry Tigers fans, the way things are set up, it might happen again.

    Oddsmakers certainly think they’re still a long shot to make it to the CFP, at least in terms of the Tigers national championship odds. LSU’s odds are also a little perilous at 40/1. Here’s what the Top 4 would look like according to the Superbook at Westgate in terms of national title odds:

    * 1: Alabama 2/5
    * 2: Clemson 7/2
    * 3: Notre Dame 6/1
    * T-4: Ohio State 12/1
    * T-4: Michigan 12/1
    * T-4: Georgia 12/1

    But first and foremost, the biggest reason LSU is a longshot to make the CFP, is staring it right in the face this weekend. Alabama. The No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide head to Death Valley Tide for a huge SEC matchup where they are currently two-touchdown faves.

    Two touchdowns may seem like a lot considering the Tigers are the third ranked team in the country, have an elite defense, have played the tougher schedule and are at home. Well, that’s just how impressive the Tide and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa have been this season.

    Tagovailoa, the runaway Heisman favorite, has thrown for 2,066 yards on 70.4 percent passing with 25 touchdowns and no interceptions and he still hasn’t played a fourth quarter yet this season. He is special and a true difference maker. While the Tigers have Joe Burrow, who is a game manager at best.

    And don’t give me the “Tagovailoa hasn’t faced the pressure he will in Death Valley” argument. He came into the national championship at halftime, down 13-0, and just led the Tide to one of the most exciting comeback victories in recent memory.

    Alabama won’t only dash LSU’s CFP hopes this weekend (no two-loss team has qualified for the CFP so far). They’ll cover the spread as well. I’m going to play it a little safe though and buy a half-point.

    Pick:
    Alabama -13.5

    West Virginia Mountaineers at Texas Longhorns (-2, 58)

    Everyone knows not to fade Todd Herman when he’s an underdog. Luckily, for us Texas is a slight home favorite for this week’s matchup with West Virginia.

    Texas has struggled since its impressive win over Oklahoma. It followed that victory up by having to tough out a 6-point win over Baylor as 14-point home favorites and lost outright at Oklahoma State last week 38-35 as 2.5-point road faves.

    West Virginia meanwhile, followed up its disappointing loss to Iowa State by beating the snot out of Baylor 58-14 as 14.5-point faves and it matches up very well against Texas. The Mountaineers are one of the best passing teams in the nation behind senior quarterback Will Grier, while the Longhorns rank 90th against the pass. Grier has passed for 2,272 with 25 touchdowns compared to just seven interceptions on 70.3 percent passing.

    While both teams still have a shot at the Big 12 title, only West Virginia still has a shot at the CFP and Grier has too many weapons for the Longhorns to handle. The Mountaineers won’t just cover but win outright.

    Pick:
    West Virginia +2

    Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Wolverines (-12, 52.5)

    Michigan definitely has a shot at the CFP if it can win out and claim a Big Ten title, but just like everyone else a second loss can dash those hopes in a hurry.

    There’s no doubting the awesomeness of the Wolverines defense. They rank sixth in points allowed per game and first in total and passing yards. However, Trace McSorely is the most talented quarterback they have gone up against this year and Penn State is probably a little better than its record suggests.

    After a gut-punch of a loss to Ohio State, the Nittany Lions dropped its second in a row in an obvious letdown spot against Michigan State. But James Franklin should have his team up for this matchup with Michigan.

    While the Wolverines defense is great, the other side of the ball has been a little more of a question mark. The biggest being whether Shea Patterson step up in a big game?

    This matchup is much closer than 12-points.

    Pick:
    Penn State +12

    Last week: 2-1
    Season to date: 15-12
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-03-2018 at 10:54 AM.

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    ⚠️COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEATHER WARNING⚠️

    ��️High winds expected for Oklahoma State (-6) at Baylor. Forecast calling for cross winds of 20 to 30 MPH with higher gusts possible . Line opened at -8 and has moved to -6.


    Forecast calling for winds of 10 to 20 mph corner to corner today as Michigan State (-3) travels to face an embattled Maryland program.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-03-2018 at 10:57 AM.

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    Burning Questions - Week 10
    Tony Mejia

    Saturday

    Syracuse (-5.5/77) at Wake Forest, 12 p.m. ET:
    Can Syracuse’s banged up secondary rise up with corners Scoop Bradshaw and Chris Frederick moving well and ready to return to the lineup? Can Dave Clawson make it three straight wins over Dino Babers in this battle of offensive gurus and former Bowling Green head coaches? Will Syracuse improve on its plus-9 turnover margin by pressuring freshman QB Sam Hartman into mistakes? Does Wake improve its chances for a third straight bowl berth with an upset here?

    Nebraska at Ohio State (-19.5/73), 12 p.m. ET:
    Will Nebraska freshman QB Adrian Martinez be able to hang with Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, who hosted him on a recruiting visit to Columbus less than a year ago? Does a Huskers secondary that has been torched by most QBs have any chance to slow down the best passer on their schedule in Haskins and the tremendous receiving corps he has at his disposal? Can the Huskers improve on a pass rush that has produced just six sacks to give their DBs a fighting chance? Will WR Binjimen Victor emerge quickly in place of injured Austin Mack, who is out the rest of the way after foot surgery?

    Memphis (-11.5/65) at East Carolina, 12 p.m. ET:
    Can the nation’s second-leading rusher, Memphis’ Darrell Henderson (10.07 ypc), pick up where he left off before experiencing leg pain that kept him out against Missouri? Will head coach Mike Norvell’s inclination that Henderson won’t be under any restrictions hold true? How can the porous Memphis defense keep WR Trevon Brown from finishing with double-digit receptions, 140-plus receiving yards and at least one touchdown for the third straight game? Who will be passing him the ball, Reid Herring, still dealing with coming back from a concussion, or freshman Holton Ahlers, a top recruit who threw for 406 yards against UCF? Will the Tigers win their first road game of the season and snap a run of four straight losses in Greenville?

    Michigan State (-3/45) at Maryland, 12 p.m. ET:
    Will all the distractions and disharmony over Maryland’s inept handling of former head coach D.J. Durkin’s reinstatement and subsequent firing be too much for the team to overcome at home? Will top Terps running back Ty Johnson return from a calf strain to challenge the Big Ten’s top rush defense, surrendering just 2.7 ypc? With normal starting QB Brian Lewerke dealing with a shoulder injury, will redshirt freshman Rocky Lombardi continue to impress in his first road start? Will RB L.J. Scott getting back close to 100 percent help the Sparty offense get comfortable despite a reshuffled offensive line and the absences of center Matt Allen and top receiver Felton Davis?

    Rutgers at Wisconsin (-28.5/50.5), 12 p.m. ET:
    How will star RB Jonathan Taylor bounce back from a brutal game where he managed just 46 yards and fumbled twice in a loss at Northwestern? How many turnovers will the Badgers add to their haul of eight forced over the past two weeks against miscue-prone freshman Art Sitkowski and the Scarlet Knights? Will Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook hang in there in the pocket to wait for plays to develop or will he be looking to throw immediately since he just came out of concussion protocol? Can the Badgers avoid looking ahead to road games against Penn State and Purdue to secure this easily despite resting multipe defensive starters like NT Olive Sagapolu and safety Scott Nelson?

    Central Michigan at Eastern Michigan (-13.5/46.5)
    , 12 p.m. ET: Will the Chippewas record their first MAC win of the season by beating rival EMU for the sixth time in seven meetings? Will the QB tandem of Tyler Wiegers and Mike Glass III continue to flourish in holding serve at home to get the Eagles to .500 through 10 games? With freshman LaQuan Johnson and sophomore Robinson Stuart set to start for injured upperclassment up front, can the CMU defensive line generate pressure and stop the run? Will 6-foot-7, 240-pound QB Tony Poljan be able to move the Chips effectively now that he's got the starting gig back with Tommy Lazzaro out for the season and freshman George Pearson back in a reserve role?

    Air Force at Army (-6/42.5), 12 p.m. ET:
    Who will value the ball and avoid turnovers best in the face of steady showers and driving winds expected in West Point for this one? After dominating Navy 35-7 to open October, will the Falcons claim the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy by pulling off a road upset of the current holders? Can the Black Knights beat Air Force in consecutive seasons for the first time in over a decade? With 10 starters back from last year's 21-0 home loss to Army, does Air Force have enough talent and experience to return the favor? Can Air Force QB Isaiah Sanders improve on a 60.6 completion percentage that ranks best among the service-academy QBs? Will Army dominate possession at home by winning a few gambles to add to a fourth-down conversion percentage (89.7%) that leads the nation?

    Iowa State (-16/46) at Kansas, 12 p.m. ET:
    Can ISU star running back David Montgomery, the Big 12's rushing leader, pick up his fifth 100-yard game in a row? Does KU freshman RB Pooka Williams continue striking a blow for the Jayhawks with his ability to break big gains? Coming off an upset of TCU, will the Jayhawks have the requisite confidence to flirt with another upset? WIll Cyclones freshman QB Brock Purdy continue his emergence by again hooking up with standout WR Hakeem Butler?

    Texas A&M at Auburn (-4/48), 12 p.m. ET:
    Which dual-threat QB, Kellen Mond or Jarrett Stidham, finds a rhythm first? With WR Jhamon Ausbon still out with a foot injury, do the Aggies have the firepower to consistently move it through the air against the Tigers? Can a rushing offense that has had issues moving it consistently and is averaging the fewest yards in the Gus Malzahn era overcome the potential absence of top RB JaTarvious Whitlow, who is listed as questionable due to a shoulder injury and ankle sprain? Coming off a bye, can an offensive line that's as healthy as it has been this season and is getting back right tackle Jack Driscoll produce results against the SEC's third-ranked run defense?

    Oklahoma State (-6/69) at Baylor, 12 p.m. ET:
    Which high-powered offense best handles 20-plus-mile-per-hour wind gusts? How does Bears QB Charlie Brewer bounce gack from going 1-for-8 with three interceptions in a loss to West Virginia now that he's made it through concussion protocol? Can Oklahoma State build on last week's upset of Texas to secure bowl eligibility and get back to .500 in Big 12 play? With this year's Cowboys continue to be more effective on the ground than through the air due to Taylor Cornelius' inconsistent passing and the explosiveness of Justice Hill and Chuba Hubbard?

    Louisville at Clemson (-40/61), 12 p.m. ET:
    Should this spread, Louisville's largest since 1987, be an indictment of where the Cardinals program has fallen post-Lamar Jackson under Bobby Petrino? Can the 'Ville improve to 2-7 ATS by hanging within this big number? Can Tigers RB Travis Etienne get back on track against Louisville's brutal run defense to make life easier on freshman QB Trevor Lawrence?

    South Carolina (PK/69) at Ole Miss, 12 p.m. ET:
    What effect will Ole Miss' bowl ban for this season being upheld earlier this week have on the team since picking up a sixth victory here no longer carries any significance? Can the Gamecocks adjust to playing only their third road game of the season, a rarity this deep into things in November? How will South Carolina's depleted secondary fare against the best set of receivers it has seen since surrendering 41 points to Georgia at home two months ago?

    Georgia Tech (-5/65) at North Carolina, 12:15 p.m. ET:
    Can the Yellow Jackets remain hot on the trail of an ACC Coastal crown by taking down the least successful team in the ACC outside of the 'Ville? With starting QB Ta'Quon Marshall back, will we see Tobias Oliver improve on a brilliant debut that delivered a convincing win over Virginia Tech? Since both QBs are set to play, does that increase the chances they'll pour it on against the Tar Heels? Will Georgia Tech snap a run of defeats in Chapel Hill, winning for the first time at Kenan Stadium since a 68-50 eye-opener back in 2012?

    Penn State at Michigan (-12/52.5), 3:45 p.m. ET:
    Will star Michigan DE Rashan Gary return from a foot injury to quell rumors that he's already hung up his cleats to start preparing for the draft? Can Trace McSorley's deft ball-handling and ability to tuck and run give a Wolverines defense that has been dominant since losing the opener at Notre Dame fits? Will Shea Patterson continue improving to punish a Penn State defense that has looked vulnerable when it's mattered most? Can Jim Harbaugh put last week's bye to good use to improve to just 4-3 with extra time to prepare?
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-03-2018 at 10:58 AM.

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    ⚠️COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEATHER WARNING⚠️

    Forecast are calling for high winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts potentially reaching over 40mph corner to corner as Air Force travels to West Point to take on Army (-6) .


    Forecasts are calling for more high winds as Liberty takes on Umass. With corner to corner winds starting at 10 to 15 mph then increasing to 25 to 35 mph later today.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-03-2018 at 10:59 AM.

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    ⚠️COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEATHER WARNING⚠️


    Winds look to be a factor today in Houston as UTEP (-1) visits Rice. Forecast calls for cross winds of 10 to 20 mph


    Fort Worth, Texas is forecast for high winds as Kansas State takes on TCU (-9.5). Cross field winds of 20 to 30 mph with even higher gusts possible 😬. Line opened at TCU -8 and has now moved to -9.5


    As with other games in Texas today wind will be a factor as WVU battles Texas in a Big 12 matchup. Forecasts call for winds of 10 to 20 mph travelling across the field.

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    CLEMSON COVERS BIG NUMBERS

    You won't often see a Power 5 team favored by 30+ points against a conference rival – but that's what bettors are dealing with Saturday as the Clemson Tigers find themselves giving up more than five touchdowns against visiting Louisville. The Tigers have been a strong cover option when facing the largest possible spreads, having gone 5-2 ATS in their last seven games as a favorite of 35 or more points. Clemson has averaged a whopping 50.4 points in that seven-game stretch, while allowing just 29 total points. It's the first time on record that Louisville has been an underdog of 30 or more points.

    Given the chasm between the teams – and that Clemson already has three home wins by 30 or more points this season – the sharp play might be on the home team -38. Louisville might also struggle to reach its team total, which sits at around 12; the Cardinals have scored just 37 total points in their three road games.


    HALL ON THE WAY BACK?

    The Missouri Tigers might have their No. 1 receiver back in the lineup for Saturday's game against Florida. Emanuel Hall traveled with the team to Gainesville in hopes of hitting the field for the first time since suffering a groin injury in a 43-29 loss to Georgia back on Sept. 29. Hall had been on fire heading into that game, hauling in 18 passes for 430 yards and three touchdowns in three games before being held without a reception against the Bulldogs. His return would be a significant one for a Tigers team that has just one victory in five games after opening the season with three straight wins.

    Even if Hall sees limited action, his return bolsters the Tigers' shot at going over on their team total of 24.5. While Missouri did face weaker competition, it has averaged 43.7 points in three games with a healthy Hall this season.


    TAKE YOUR TIME, FOLKS

    Fans heading to War Memorial Stadium probably won't miss much if they don't show up until the second half. The host Wyoming Cowboys are coming off an impressive 34-21 victory over Colorado State last weekend, but still possess the most anemic first-half offense in the nation as they welcome San Jose State on Saturday. Wyoming has mustered just 5.4 first-half points per game against FBS opponents – but even that might be enough to secure a halftime lead against a Spartans unit that is averaging a minuscule 3.8 first-half road points against FBS foes, the second-lowest away average in the nation.

    Even with a rock-bottom first-half total of 18.5, it's hard to reconcile these teams doing much scoring. Bettors should lean toward the under, even with San Jose State scoring 24 first-half points in its previous game, a 50-37 home triumph over UNLV.


    ALL ABOUT POSSESSION

    Louisiana-Monroe would love nothing more than to pull off a home upset Saturday against Georgia Southern – but to do so, the Warhawks will need to take much better care of the football. Despite coming off back-to-back victories over Coastal Carolina and Texas State, UL-Monroe enters this one with an ugly minus-6 turnover differential, with just nine turnovers gained and 15 turnovers lost. That won't play well at all against a streaking Eagles team that leads the country in turnover differential at plus-16 (22 turnovers gained, three turnovers lost). Georgia Southern is the only Division I team that hasn't thrown an interception.

    Not only does the turnover gap make the visitors a terrific cover play at -6.5, but bettors might want to consider Georgia Southern turning one of those turnovers into a touchdown, which would cash the defensive/special teams score.


    BACKFIELD REINFORCEMENTS FOR AZTECS

    The San Diego State backfield is about to be a lot more robust, with two key players returning to the fold. Running back Juwan Washington will return to action for the first time since suffering a fractured collarbone in a Sept. 22 victory over Eastern Michigan. Washington is one of the top rushing threats in the nation, with 513 yards and five touchdowns through parts of four games. He won't start Saturday against New Mexico – Chase Jasmin will assume that role – but should see carries. Fullback Isaac Lessard (neck) will also return to the lineup, though he won't start, either.

    SDSU should use its potent rush attack to punish a Lobos team that ranks eighth in the 12-team Mountain West in rushing yards allowed per game (171.5) and tied for second in rushing scores allowed (17). The Aztecs are a good play both against the spread (-10) and on the over for their team total of 28.5 (-110).


    OLIVER GOOD TO GO

    The Houston Cougars might have their best defensive player back in the fold for Saturday's game against Southern Methodist. Defensive tackle Ed Oliver missed last week's 57-36 victory over South Florida with a knee injury but was reportedly close to playing. He's considered day-to-day but is trending upward for this weekend's showdown with the Mustangs. Oliver is widely expected to be a first-round pick in next year's NFL draft; the Houston native has had a sensational season to date, with 51 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble.

    If Oliver returns as expected, bettors should downgrade their expectations for the SMU offense; look at the under on their 27.5-point team total (-110) if he's back in the fold.


    WHO’S UNDER CENTER FOR UCLA?

    There's some mystery surrounding who will be under center for UCLA this weekend as the Bruins face off against the host Oregon Ducks. Senior Wilton Speight practiced with the starting unit Wednesday after getting the start in place of the injured Dorian Thompson-Robinson last week. But Thompson-Robinson returned to practice Tuesday, leaving both players' status for the Oregon game in doubt. Thompson-Robinson has thrown for 1,176 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions, while Speight has 413 passing yards with two TDs and three INTs.

    The uncertainty surrounding UCLA's QB situation, combined with Oregon's Justin Herbert returning to practice as he continues his recovery from a concussion, puts the betting focus back on the Ducks. This line dropped from Oregon -13 to -8.5 with word that Herbert might miss the game, so now is the time to consider backing the hosts.


    MARSHALL THE MAN FOR G-TECH

    TaQuon Marshall is ready to return to the Georgia Tech lineup for this Saturday's encounter with rival North Carolina. Head coach Paul Johnson says Marshall will be the starting quarterback for this weekend's game after missing last week's 49-28 win over Virginia Tech with an upper-body injury. Freshman Tobias Oliver filled in, and promptly ran for 215 yards and three scores in the one-sided victory, earning conference Rookie of the Week honors. Oliver and Marshall rank first and second on the team in rushing yards and have combined for 19 scores on the ground.

    The return of Marshall will enhance the Yellow Jackets' triple-option attack sufficiently to make the over on their team total an attractive option. With the favorite having gone 4-1 ATS in the last five games of the series, bettors might also want to consider the Yellow Jackets to cover at -6.


    NO HARNESS ON HENDERSON

    Memphis' electrifying running back will have no limitations when he hits the gridiron this weekend against East Carolina. Darrell Henderson aggravated a leg injury early in the Tigers' 65-33 loss to Missouri on Oct. 20, finishing with just four carries for 15 yards. Head coach Mike Norvell says Henderson won't be on a snap count against ECU as he looks to reach the 100-yard plateau for the sixth time in nine games. The junior standout ranks second in the nation in rushing yards with 1,155, just seven behind Wisconsin Badgers star Jonathan Taylor.

    With the Tigers favored by nearly two touchdowns and Henderson averaging an absurd 10.1 yards per carry on the season, taking a Memphis touchdown as the first scoring play is a decent option at +120.


    SEMINOLES TAKE HIT

    Discipline issues have forced the Florida State Seminoles to be without their top receiving option for the first half of their Saturday afternoon matchup with host N.C. State. Senior wide receiver Nyqwan Murray has been suspended for the opening two quarters against the Wolfpack after throwing punches during last week's loss to Clemson. Florida State head coach Willie Taggart was blunt in his assessment of Murray's actions, calling him "mentally weak." Murray has had a sensational season to date, racking up 40 catches for 536 yards and four touchdowns in eight games.

    With Murray out of the lineup, the Wolfpack look like a solid choice to cover both the first-quarter and first-half spreads. N.C. State is also a strong play at -7 on the full-game spread.


    DUCKS’ WINGS GET CLIPPED

    The Oregon Ducks could be in a whole heap of trouble on the offensive side of the ball this weekend against visiting UCLA. Junior quarterback Justin Herbert missed practice Tuesday as he recovers from a concussion suffered in last weekend's game against the Arizona Wildcats. He was placed in the concussion protocol after the game despite not being removed from the 44-15 loss. Herbert has had an up-and-down campaign in his third year at the helm of the Ducks' offense, completing just 59.6 percent of his passes for 2,069 yards with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions in eight games.

    Oddsmakers are bracing for Herbert's absence, dropping the line from Oregon -13 all the way down to -7.5. We recommend jumping on the Bruins at this number, which will likely shrink even further if Herbert doesn't show progress in his recovery.

  9. #24
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    ⚠️COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEATHER WARNING⚠️

    Uconn v Tulsa have a chance of thunderstorms with winds of 10 MPH gusting up to 25 MPH forecast for their matchup tonight in the ACC

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