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Thread: NCAAF Trends and Indexes - Week 12 (Tues., Nov. 13 - Sat., Nov. 17)

  1. #16
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    Duke at Clemson
    Tom Wilkinson

    The No. 2 Clemson Tigers are heavily favored on Saturday night, as they host the Duke Blue Devils in a game that can be seen on ESPN. The Tigers look to be well on their way to an undefeated regular season and a spot in the College Football Playoff.

    They have this game against Clemson at home, a home game against South Carolina next week and then the ACC Championship Game. Clemson is nearly a four-touchdown favorite in this game against Duke. Let’s look at this matchup and college football picks.

    Date and Time: Saturday, November 17, 2018, 7:00 p.m. ET
    Location: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, NC
    Odds: Clemson -27.5
    Duke vs. Clemson TV Coverage: ESPN

    Even though Duke and Clemson are ACC rivals, they have not met since 2012. The teams played for 40 straight years from 1965 to 2005, but they have met just three times since and all three were Clemson routs. Another rout is expected on Saturday, with the Tigers heavily favored at home.

    Duke comes into this game at 7-3 overall and 3-3 in the ACC, while Clemson is 10-0 overall and 7-0 in the conference. Clemson is 6-4 ATS, with five of their games going over the total and five going under. Duke is 5-5 ATS, with five games going over and five going under the total.

    What we do know about Duke is that they can score and that is the only way any team is going to beat Clemson and that is to stay with them offensively. Duke is averaging just over 31 points per game this season. They have redshirt quarterback Daniel Jones who has played well when healthy. He accounted for 547 yards last week in the win over North Carolina. He threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns.

    Duke Injury Concerns

    If you are thinking about taking Duke in this game you should know they have a lot of defensive injuries. Duke lost Dylan Singleton to a broken ankle in the win over North Carolina. He is the third defensive starter lost for the season, as cornerback Mark Gilbert and tackle Edgar Cerenod are already out. It is also worth noting that starters Marquis Waters (safety) and Michael Carter II (cornerback) left the UNC game, and All-ACC linebacker Joe Giles-Harris missed the North Carolina game.

    Despite all of the injuries, Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said to the media that he knows his team will find the answers. “We’ve got a lot of fight left in us. Somebody is going to step up. I believe that in my heart. I couldn’t be more proud of players and staff and everybody that’s involved with Duke.”

    Key Stats

    Clemson leads the all-time series against the Blue Devils 36-16-1 and they have won 23 of the last 27 meetings. The Blue Devils are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Clemson. The Blue Devils are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games. The Tigers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 conference games.

    Looking at the total, the Under is 11-3 in the Blue Devils last 14 conference games. The Under is 8-3 in the Blue Devils last 11 road games. The Under is 6-1 in the Tigers last 7 home games.

  2. #17
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    Tulane at Houston
    Joe Nelson

    This week’s Thursday night ESPN game comes out of the American Athletic Conference with a West division battle between Tulane and Houston. Both teams are in a three-way tie with SMU at 4-2 on top of the division standings as the victor can remain in the mix for the division title.

    Here is a look at tonight’s game to start a big mid-November college football weekend.

    Match-up: Tulane Green Wave at Houston Cougars
    Venue: at TDECU Stadium in Houston, Texas
    Time/TV: Thursday, November 15, 8:00 PM ET ESPN
    Line: Houston -10, Over/Under 67½
    Last Meeting: 2017, at Tulane (+9) 20, Houston 17

    The American Athletic Conference West has had three different division champions in three years and a fourth new participant to the AAC title game is possible out of the West this season. SMU, Houston, and Tulane are all tied at 4-2 with SMU having wins over both Houston and Tulane. The Mustangs have a difficult game with Memphis this Friday before heading on the road to face Tulsa next week as a loss is certainly possible to open the door for the winner of this game.

    Along with Memphis, Houston was considered one of the favorites in the West riding five consecutive winning seasons even after a step-back to 7-5 last season in the first season under Major Applewhite. Houston won the inaugural AAC Championship game in 2015 and grabbed headlines nationally in 2016 with notable wins over Oklahoma and Louisville.

    Houston struggled to find a quarterback early last season but D’Eriq King emerged in late October, keying the upset over South Florida and finishing the season with strong results in the air and on the ground. Now a junior King has big numbers, accounting for 48 touchdowns but his passing numbers are slightly down and he has six interceptions this season. He is a threat on the ground as well with 13 rushing touchdowns on 5.9 yards per carry and he ranks 6th nationally in QB Rating behind five players on College Football Playoff contending teams.

    Offense hasn’t been an issue for Houston, averaging nearly 48 points per game for the fourth highest mark in the nation. The defense has really struggled however surrendering 34 points per game, including 37 points per game in AAC play. In back-to-back losses the past two weeks Houston has allowed 104 points and four straight foes have scored at least 36 points against Houston while rushing for at least 196 yards. Houston has also benefitted from not drawing UCF or Cincinnati in the East schedule draw.

    Houston has one of the highest profile defensive players in the nation with Ed Oliver a projected 1st round NFL pick next spring but Oliver hasn’t played in the past three games and appears likely to be ruled out to play again this week with a lingering knee injury. Houston’s defense has allowed big rushing numbers in recent weeks including surrendering 312 rushing yards in last week’s home loss to Temple and the Cougars are coming off back-to-back double-digit defeats.

    Home losses have been rare for the Houston program with a 22-3 S/U record at home since 2014 and it had been 31 games since Houston had lost a home game by more than a single score. Houston was a 27-point home favorite in a 30-18 win over Tulane at home two years ago but last season in New Orleans the Wave pulled off the upset, making this a revenge game in Houston’s final home game of the season.

    Tulane started the season with a competitive overtime loss hosting Wake Forest but wound up starting the season 2-5. Three straight wins have put the Wave back in the postseason conversation in the third season for Willie Fritz with Tulane last making a bowl game in 2013. Next week’s home game with Navy will be a reasonable opportunity but Tulane has won its past two road games and could emerge as an AAC title threat with another road win this week.

    Tulane runs the option and despite marginal numbers, the results have been better since making a move to Justin McMillan at quarterback. Jonathan Banks started most of last season and the senior was productive in the first seven games this season. McMillan is also a senior and played sparingly until replacing Banks in the loss at Cincinnati in early October. He didn’t play at all the next week but he has been the team’s quarterback the past three games, all wins, albeit against lighter competition than Banks faced in most of his games. McMillan had by far his best passing game last week as Tulane surprisingly threw 28 times for 372 yards to add some different wrinkles to the playbook.

    Tulane has been the best defensive team in the AAC West, allowing only 23 points per game with each of the past three foes held to 18 or fewer points. Pass defense has been a strong point holding opposing quarterbacks to just over 52 percent completions and only 7.2 yards per attempt. Tulane also has allowed just 3.8 yards per rush and just 141 yards per game. Houston has only allowed 3.9 yards per rush on the season but the numbers have been heading in the wrong direction the past four weeks.

    Houston’s defense will certainly be difficult to trust as a heavy favorite in any matchup though this is a Cougars team that has scored at least 41 points in five of six conference games, a figure Tulane has reached once vs. FBS competition this season. Whichever team controls the pace and avoids turnovers should have the edge and the recent scheduling has played a role in the recent opposing trajectories for these teams.

    Last season:
    Houston trailed 13-3 at halftime at Tulane but seemed likely to pull out the win as there were missed opportunities with a fumble near midfield while also failing going for it on 4th-and-1 from the Tulane 6-yard-line early in the second quarter. On the first drive of the second half King threw an interception in the end zone but after a Tulane interception Houston scored a touchdown to close to within three by the start of the fourth quarter. On the next drive Houston went 91 yards to take the lead but Tulane answered with Banks delivering a 64-yard touchdown pass. Down three in the final minutes Houston again went for it on 4th down rather than attempting a long field goal for the tie and came up empty as Tulane held on for the upset.

    Historical Trends:

    -- Houston has held a strong home field edge with a 65-16 S/U and 43-33-1 ATS record since 2006 while going 4-1 S/U and 3-2 ATS at home this season.

    -- Houston is on a 12-2 S/U and 11-3 ATS run in this series since 2003 though Tulane has covered in the past two trips to Houston including an upset win in 2014 as a 17-point underdog.

    -- Tulane is 9-49 S/U and 27-31 ATS as a road underdog since 2008, going 5-6 ATS since 2016 under Fritz with only one S/U upset, with that win the 41-15 win at South Florida earlier this month.

  3. #18
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    Week 12 Upset Alerts

    After going 1-2 ATS with these underdogs in Week 10, I was able to flip the script to a 2-1 ATS record last week, including an outright winner with the Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee took advantage of a Kentucky team that was still recovering from their disappointing loss to Georgia the week prior, and at 5-5 SU with two games remaining, the Volunteers have a shot at making a bowl game in 2018.

    Rutgers covering their big number (barely) was the other winner on the card, with Auburn coming up one score short in their matchup with Georgia. The Bulldogs were impressive in that win, but Georgia is still not a team I'd be overly thrilled about backing the rest of the regular season because motivation is still going to be a bit of a concern until that SEC Championship game arrives.

    It's on to Week 12 though and on the whole it feels like the calm before the storm as there really isn't a handful of marquee games featuring the top teams to discuss. Fans in Syracuse and UCF might disagree given the contests their two programs have on Saturday, but this week's underdogs are coming more from those peripheral games featuring teams either in good/bad spots or simply trying to gain bowl eligibility.

    Upset Alert #1: Underdogs in the +1 to +9 range

    YTD: 4-8 SU; 4-8 ATS

    Wake Forest +7 vs Pittsburgh


    The ACC Coastal division has been wild all year long, but with just a few weeks remaining in the year, it's the Pittsburgh Panthers that currently sit in the driver's seat. Pitt has just a single conference loss this year, beating Duke, Virginia, and Virginia Tech in the last three weeks. The Panthers closed as underdogs in the former two contests, but after they put up a 52-22 beating as FG favorites against Virginia Tech last week, betting markets have finally started to take notice. The Panthers have their final cross-division conference game this week as they visit Wake, and it's hard not to like the home side in this spot.

    Wake is coming off a huge upset (27-23 win as +19-point underdogs) over NC State a week ago, but that was also a Thursday game, so there is a few extra days of rest favoring them this week. Normally, backing a squad off such a big upset is tough to do, especially since Wake has been awful defensively for the majority of the campaign, but that win last week had to give the Demon Deacons a renewed sense of belief in how successful this year could be. At 5-5 SU now, all it takes is one more win for Wake Forest to be bowl-bound, and in their final home game of the year, I do expect them to show up.

    Knocks against Wake in this spot, outside of their suspect defense this year, will start with their 2-4 SU record at home. However, when those four home losses have come against Syracuse, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Boston College – all four teams currently ranked in Top 25 and two in Top 4 – maybe we throw out that home record for Wake as support for looking to fade. Pittsburgh may be atop the Coastal division right now, but they are nowhere near the same class of those four opponents, and Wake's offense is more than capable of making this a tight game throughout.

    With Pitt being on a 0-3-1 ATS run after a win of 20+ points, the chaos in the ACC Coastal may be far from done if Wake pulls off the outright upset this week.


    Upset Alert #2: Underdogs in the +10 to +19 range

    YTD: 1-10 SU; 5-6 ATS

    Illinois +14.5 vs Iowa


    The Iowa Hawkeyes have picked the wrong time of year to start playing their worst football, as they come into this week's matchup with the Illini having lost three in a row SU and ATS. Last week's home loss as a double-digit favorite against Northwestern was especially hard to stomach as they were gashed on the ground all day long and subsequently gave Northwestern the Big 10 West division title in the process. Now at 6-4 SU and sliding out of the Top 25 rankings, do you really want to trust that Iowa can be interested enough to go out on the road and win a game by more than two TD's? I know I sure can't, especially when Illiniois is hoping to win out to become bowl eligible themselves.

    Illinois has had a rough go of it in Big 10 play this year as they've given up 40+ to all conference rivals they've seen except Rutgers and Minnesota. That's not even good by any metric, but a slow, methodical offense like the Hawkeyes have isn't the worst matchup for the Illini to potentially see some improvement there. It's not like Illinois hasn't been a bad defensive team for years, and although Iowa is 4-0 SU (3-1 ATS) in this game the past four seasons, three of those four years have seen Iowa finish with no more than 30 points scored. Illinois' attack has topped the 30-point barrier in three straight weeks, and while Iowa's defense will be the best of the bunch they've faced in that span, motivation and focus could be a concern there.

    Looking at the 'over' may be another way to bet this game, but I'd rather take the points with Illinois in this spot as they try to push towards their first bowl game in the Lovie Smith era, and first bowl game since 2014. Offensively, if the Illini can get in a groove early, the outright upset will be in play, and with the home side on a 8-3 ATS run in the last 11 games between these programs, I'll take all these points on a spread that should be much closer to -10 than -14.


    Upset Alert #3: Underdogs in the +20 and above range

    YTD: 10-1 ATS

    Texas State +23.5 vs Troy


    As has been the case with many of the plays on these large underdogs all year, this week's play is more of case where I'm fading the favorite, rather than coming up with multiple reasons why to back the underdog. And this week, the Troy Trojans couldn't really be in a worse spot.

    At 8-2 SU and atop the Sun Belt East, Troy is well on their way to an appearance in the conference championship game. The Trojans put themselves in the driver's seat by knocking off a very tough Georgia Southern team on the road a week ago to eliminate them from contention, but there is still one more rival the Trojans have to get through before they can book that date in the conference championship: Appalachian State.

    Now, I'm sure many of you know where I'm going next, as the Trojans have to visit App State a week from now in a game that will decide the division crown. Coming off that Georgia Southern game, and with App State on deck, this week's home finale against a sub-par Texas State game is about as big of a sandwich spot as it gets for the Trojans to deal with. They've probably already got one eye on that meeting with App State, and considering they hung 62 on the Bobcats in this game a year ago (62-9 win), Troy's just looking to get the outright W and remain as healthy as can be.

    Troy may be 7-2-1 ATS on the year, but the reverse is true in that their last 10 home games against a losing road team has produced a 2-7-1 ATS mark. Texas State has also been playing great ATS football of late with a 5-2 ATS run over their last seven outings, including seeing a 4-0 ATS run get snapped against the aforementioned App State bunch a week ago. With the Bobcats on a 4-1 ATS run after a loss by 20+, and 3-0-1 ATS in their last four away from home, I expect them to hang around long enough to get this ATS win against a distracted Troy squad this week.

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    Friday's Tip Sheet
    Brian Edwards

    **Memphis at Southern Methodist**

    - -As of early Thursday, most betting shops had Memphis (6-4 straight up, 6-4 against the spread) installed as an 8.5-point favorite with a total of 73. The Mustangs were +270 on the money line (risk $100 to win $270).

    -- Mike Norvell’s team has dropped three of its four road assignments both SU and ATS. The Tigers are only 3-3 in AAC action, but they are still alive in a four-team race to win the West Division. Houston, SMU and Tulane are tied for the division lead with 4-2 records, but Memphis gets SMU on Friday night and Houston at home next Friday night at the Liberty Bowl. Tulane was a listed as a double-digit underdog at Houston (on Thursday, “tonight” when this column was filed) and hosts Navy this weekend. The Tigers have lost at Tulane, but they could own head-to-head tiebreakers over SMU and Houston if they win out their next/last two outings.

    -- Memphis lost 22-21 at Navy during a driving rainstorm – which was clearly advantageous to the Midshipmen and their run-heavy offensive attack -- and dropped a 31-30 decision to UCF at home. The Tigers’ other defeats came in lopsided fashion at Tulane (40-24) and at Missouri (65-33). All six of Memphis’s wins have come by margins of 17 points or more.

    -- Memphis is ranked sixth in the nation in both total offense and scoring with its 44.6 points-per-game average. The Tigers are fifth in rushing yards and 38th in passing offense. They are led by junior running back Darrell Henderson, who is second in the country in rushing yards (1,446) and tied for an FBS-best 20 touchdowns. Henderson, who averages 9.2 yards per carry, has 17 rushing scores and three TD receptions. He has 15 catches for 283 yards and three TDs.

    -- Brady White, a grad transfer QB from Arizona St., has completed 64.3 percent of his throws for 2,512 yards with a 22/3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Junior WR Damonte Coxie has emerged as his favorite target, hauling in 58 receptions for 949 yards and seven TDs. Tony Pollard has 28 catches for 318 yards and three TDs, while John Williams has 28 grabs for 275 yards and two TDs.

    -- Pollard is one of the nation’s premier all-purpose playmakers. As a freshman, he garnered AAC Special Teams Player of the Year honors and was on the Freshman All-American team as a kickoff return specialist. Pollard had four KO returns for TDs in 2017, easily leading the FBS in KO return average (40.0) and earning first-team All-American honors. Opponents have done their best not to allow him touches on special teams this year, as he’s turned 12 KO returns into just 258 yards. However, Pollard has made plays running the ball, producing 289 rushing yards and four TDs with a 7.0 YPC average.

    -- Memphis is 1-2 both SU and ATS as a road favorite this season, 5-4 ATS as a road ‘chalk’ during Norvell’s three-year tenure.

    -- SMU (5-5 SU, 5-5 ATS) owns a 3-2 record both SU and ATS in five home games. The Mustangs have been home underdogs four times this season, compiling a 3-1 spread record with two outright victories vs. Navy (31-30 in OT) and Houston (45-31).

    -- Sonny Dykes’s first SMU team started the season 0-3, losing 46-23 at North Texas, 42-12 vs. TCU and 45-20 at Michigan. Since then, however, the Mustangs have won five of seven games SU with their losses coming 48-20 at still-undefeated UCF and 26-20 at home vs. one-loss Cincinnati in overtime.

    -- SMU saw its three-game streak of spread covers halted in last week’s 62-50 win at UConn as an 18-point road favorite. Sykes’s squad darted out to a 31-10 halftime lead and held three separate 21-point leads in the second half, including a 52-31 advantage early in the final stanza. But the Huskies scored 26 points in the four quarter, including a 14-yard TD pass from David Pindell to Hergy Mayala with 36 ticks remaining. SMU had extended its lead to 62-44 and had its backers at least poised to push when Kevin Robledo buried a 30-yard field goal with 3:35 left.

    -- SMU junior QB Ben Hicks connected on 19-of-29 pass attempts for 276 yards and one TD without an interception. Xavier Jones rushed for 133 yards and two TDs on 11 attempts, while Ke’Mon Freeman turned 17 carries into 116 rushing yards and three TDs. Hicks ran four times for 50 yards, while junior WR James Proche had six receptions for 101 yards.

    -- Hicks is already the school’s leader in career passing yards, surpassing Chick Hixson’s record-setting numbers that were compiled from 1968-70 earlier in the season. The junior has completed 56.5 percent of his passes for 1,919 yards with a 16/4 TD-INT ratio. Hicks has a 68/31 career TD-INT ratio. Proche has enjoyed a dynamite campaign, bringing down 70 receptions for 882 yards and nine TDs. Facing one of the nation’s premier defenses in Week 3 at Michigan, Proche had 11 catches for 166 yard and two TDs. Sophomore WR Reggie Roberson Jr., who started his career at West Virginia, has 42 receptions for 648 yards and six TDs.

    -- Jones, the senior RB who was a second-team All-AAC selection in 2017 when he had 1,075 rushing yards for nine TDs, has taken a backseat to fellow senior RB Braeden West in the backfield this year. West has run for a team-high 536 yards and six TDs with a 4.5 YPC average, while Jones has 303 rushing yards, two TDs and a 4.5 YPC average. West also has 29 catches for 277 yards and one TD. Freeman, who rushed for 543 yards and 11 TDs in 2017, missed four games injured from mid-September to mid-October. He has been given the most touches in the past two games, however, rushing for 107 yards and two TDs on 20 carries in the 45-31 win over Houston.

    -- SMU has two key members of its secondary listed as ‘questionable’ vs. Memphis, including Rodney Clemons and Jordan Wyatt. Clemons is the Mustangs’ third-leading tackler with 64 stops, 2.5 TFL’s, three PBU, one forced fumble and one interception. Wyatt has 16 tackles, four PBU, one interception and one TFL. Also, junior DT Demerick Gary is suspended for the first half due to a targeting penalty issued in the second half of last week’s non-covering victory over UConn. Gary has produced 23 tackles, 2.5 TFL’s, 0.5 sacks, one QB hurry and one PBU.

    -- When these teams joined the AAC in 2011, SMU won three in a row over Memphis both SU and ATS. However, it has been all Tigers since 2014 with four wins both SU and ATS. In fact, they’ve throttled the Mustangs by scores of 48-10, 63-0, 51-7 and 66-45. In last year’s encounter at the Liberty Bowl, Memphis covered the number as a 10.5-point home favorite in the win by 21 points. The 111 combined points soared ‘over’ the 71.5-point tally to prevent a third straight ‘under’ from appearing in this rivalry. Henderson stole the show with a 64-yard kickoff return, 147 rushing yards and two TDs on only 10 totes and a 15-yard reception. Hicks held his own in the losing effort. His accuracy wasn’t great with merely 15 completing on 34 attempts, but he threw for 218 yards and four TDs without an interception. Jones rushed 20 times for 175 yards and two TDs, while Proche had four catches for 70 yards.

    -- The ‘over’ has cashed in three consecutive Memphis games to improve to 6-4 overall, 2-2 in its road contests. The Tigers have seen their games average combined scores of 75.1 PPG.

    -- Totals have been an overall wash (5-5) for the Mustangs, who have watched their games average combined scores of 69.1 PPG.

    -- ESPN will provide television coverage at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

    *Boise State at New Mexico**

    -- Most books had Boise State (8-2 SU, 5-4-1 ATS) listed as a 19.5-point road ‘chalk’ early Thursday. The number for ‘over/under’ wager was 62.5 points, while the Lobos had +700 odds to win outright (risk $100 to get $700).

    -- Bryan Harsin’s team needs a win in this spot to remain just one game back of Utah State in the Mountain West Conference’s Mountain Division. If BSU were to lose at UNM, it would remain alive in the division race only if Colorado State can upset Utah State on Saturday in Ft. Collins. If BSU and Utah State both win or both lose, it’ll set up a showdown for the MWC’s Mountain Division title on the smurf turf in Boise on Nov. 24. The winner would most likely face Fresno State, which can clinch the MWC’s West Division with a home win over San Diego St. this weekend.

    -- Speaking of Fresno State, it saw its eight-game winning streak both SU and ATS snapped in last Friday’s 24-17 loss at Boise State. BSU won outright as a 2.5-point home underdog in its first home ‘dog role since losing to Boston College in the 2005 Humanitarian Bowl. The Broncos had not been regular-season home underdogs since 2001. Trailing 17-3 midway through the third quarter, BSU got a seven-yard TD run from Alexander Mattison to cut the deficit in half. Then on the opening play of the fourth quarter, Mattison’s one-yard TD plunge tied the game at 17-17. With 9:22 remaining, senior QB Brett Rypien found Khalil Shakir for a 49-yard scoring strike to provide the game-winning points. Rypien completed 24-of-29 passes for 269 yards with one TD and one interception. Mattison ran for 144 yards and two TDs on 30 workmanlike attempts.

    -- Boise State took its two defeats at Oklahoma State (44-21) and at home vs. San Diego State (19-13). Since the loss to the Aztecs, Harsin’s squad has won five consecutive games while going 2-2-1 ATS.

    -- BSU is ranked 21st in the nation in total offense, 13th in passing yards and 23rd in scoring with its 36.6 PPG average. Rypien, a two-time All-MWC first-teamer and a second-team All-MWC choice in 2017, has connected on 68.9 percent of his passes for 3,048 yards with a 25/7 TD-INT ratio. He has 12,921 career passing yards with potentially four games left to play (or three if BSU doesn’t make the MWC Championship Game), but he’s unlikely to catch Kellen Moore’s school record (14,667). For his career, Rypien has an 85/29 TD-INT ratio.

    -- Rypien is generous with his ball distribution. Sean Modster has 50 receptions for 723 yards and four TDs, while A.J. Richardson has 44 grabs for 719 yards and eight TDs. John Hightower has caught 30 balls for 496 yards and six TDs, and C.T. Thomas has 31 catches for 407 yards and three TDs.

    -- Mattison has rushed for 870 yards and 12 TDs while averaging 4.2 YPC. Hightower has turned eight rushing attempts into 163 yards and two TDs, while Mattison has 21 receptions for 121 yards.

    -- Boise State is 2-2-1 with one outright defeat in five games as a road ‘chalk’ this season. During Harsin’s five-year tenure, the Broncos have posted a 16-9-1 spread record in 26 games as road favorites.

    -- BSU is down three defensive starters – DT David Moa, LB DeAndre Pierce and LB Riley Whimpey – to season-ending injuries. Moa, a first-team All-MWC selection in 2016 and a second-teamer last year, was lost in early October. Whimpey, the team’s leading tackler, went down in a 21-16 non-covering home win over BYU two weeks ago. Three other starters – Hightower, junior NT Sonatane Lui and junior OG Eric Quevedo – are listed as ‘questionable’ at UNM due to undisclosed injuries.

    -- New Mexico (3-7 SU, 4-6 ATS) is an abysmal 1-3 both SU and ATS in four home games this year. Since winning its MWC opener by a 50-14 count at UNLV, UNM has lost five games in a row while limping to a 1-4 ATS ledger. The Lobos are off a 42-24 loss at Air Force as 14-point road underdogs. They only trailed 21-17 at intermission and were ahead of the number going into the fourth quarter. However, the Falcons extended a 35-24 lead to 42-24 on a Cole Fagan three-yard TD run with 10:01 remaining and kept the backdoor closed from there.

    -- UNM lost starting sophomore QB Tekava Tuioti to season-ending injury in late September. He had completed 55.8 percent of his throws for 439 yards with a 5/2 TD-INT ratio. Tuioti had rushed for 100 yards and one TD on 15 attempts.

    -- Sheriron Jones has taken most of the snaps under center since then, with Coltin Gerhart getting some playing time in the past three games. Gerhart is ‘questionable’ vs. BSU, though, due to a leg injury. Jones has completed 54.4 percent of his passes for 1,311 yards with a 13/11 TD-INT ratio. He has 213 rushing yards and a 3.5 YPC average. Gerhart has connected on 25-of-42 throws (59.5%) for 235 yards with a 3/2 TD-INT ratio. He has one rushing score.

    -- In addition to the win at UNLV, UNM’s two other wins came vs. Incarnate Word (62-30) and at New Mexico St. The Lobos have lost by margins of 17 points or more four times.

    -- UNM senior RB Tyrone Owens has rushed for a team-high 628 yards and six TDs, but he’s averaging merely 3.9 YPC. He has six catches for 42 yards and one TD. Owens has just one 100-yard effort, producing 110 yards and one TD on 30 carries in the win over NM St.

    -- Senior WR Delane Hart-Johnson has team-highs in receptions (29), receiving yards (430) and TD catches (five). Elijah Lilly has 21 grabs for 365 yards and five TDs, while Anselem Umeh has caught 16 balls for 316 yards and two TDs.

    -- New Mexico is 1-1 ATS in a pair of games as a home underdog this season. During Bob Davie’s seven-year tenure (one that this space wants to last forever out of fear for being forced to agonizingly listen to him broadcast second-tier SEC games that sometimes include my Gators and bring four hours of automatic chafeness to my life!), the Lobos are 10-11 ATS in 21 games as home ‘dogs.

    -- Totals have been an overall wash for the Broncos (5-5), but the ‘over’ is 3-2 in their five road assignments. They’ve seen their games average combined scores of 59.6 PPG.

    -- The ‘over’ is 8-2 overall for the Lobos, 3-1 in their home games. They’ve seen the ‘over’ hit in three consecutive contests and their games have average combined scores of 66.0 PPG throughout the entire year.

    -- Since joining the MWC, BSU is 6-1 SU but only 1-6 ATS in seven games against the Lobos. When these teams met on the blue carpet last year, the Broncos won a 28-14 decision but failed to cover as 14-point home ‘chalk.’ The ‘under’ is 4-3 in the past seven games of this rivalry.

    -- Kickoff is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on the CBS Sports Network.

    **B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

    -- The Westgate SuperBook has Alabama listed as a 7.5-point favorite vs. Clemson. The wager is ‘action’ only if these schools meet in the finals of the College Football Playoff. Also, the Crimson Tide is the -250 ‘chalk’ to win the CFP.

    -- The Westgate has Michigan installed as a 3.5-point favorite for next Saturday’s game at Ohio St.

    -- Ole Miss RB Scottie Phillips is ‘questionable’ at Vanderbilt with an ankle sprain. Phillips has run for 927 yards and 14 TDs in his first year with the Rebels after arriving as a juco transfer.

    -- Ohio State sophomore LB Baron Browning is ‘out’ Saturday at Maryland with an unspecified injury. Browning has recorded 22 tackles, 3.5 TFL’s and one sack. The Buckeyes ended a five-game ATS losing slide by taking the cash in last week’s 26-6 win at Michigan St. Browning was a five-star signed in the 2017 recruiting class.

    -- Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio is playing coy about this starting QB on Saturday at Nebraska. Brian Lewerke saw his streak of making 20 straight starts snapped on Oct. 27 due to a shoulder injury. In his absence vs. Purdue, Rocky Lombardi completed 26-of-46 passes for 318 yards and two TDs without an interception. Lewerke has returned to start the last two games, but he’s completed only 35 percent of his throws since returning from the injury.

    -- USF quarterback Blake Barnett is ‘questionable’ at Temple due to a shoulder injury. Barnett has thrown for 2,395 yards with a 13/11 TD-INT ratio.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-16-2018 at 01:19 PM.

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    ��COLLEGE FOOTBALL LINE MOVE��

    The Northwestern Wildcats are on the road this week to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Minnesota opened as a 3-point underdog on Sunday and have since jumped the fence and are currently 1-point favorite.
    Current Total: 47.5

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    By: Monty Andrews


    Code Red for SMU

    The SMU Mustangs need a victory to secure bowl eligibility – but they face a tall task Friday night, as they're 7.5-point underdogs for a home date with the high-flying Memphis Tigers. The Mustangs should have no trouble scoring on the Tigers, who have allowed an average of 46.7 points over their previous three road games. But SMU might not be able to slow down a Memphis team that has scored points on 40 of its 41 red-zone trips this season (33 touchdowns, seven interceptions) – good for a 96.7-percent success rate that ranks as the third-highest in the country.

    We like the Tigers to surpass their 41.5-point team total regardless of what the Mustangs do on offense.


    Don't Buck These Broncos

    There are two compelling reasons to like the Boise State Broncos on Friday as they continue their pursuit of Utah State atop the Mountain West's Mountain Division. The 8-2 Broncos visit the New Mexico Lobos, and will look to improve on a 56.4-percent third-down success rate that ranks tied for first in Division I. The Lobos have allowed teams to extend drives on 43.2 percent of their third-down chances, ranking outside the top 100. Boise State also boasts the No. 13 pass offense in yards per game (313.9), while New Mexico features the No. 121-ranked pass defense (280.9 yards against per game).

    By dominating through the air and being able to extend drives, Boise State is a great option to cover at -20.5 and should surpass its team total of 41.5.


    Bowman Still on the Sidelines

    Texas Tech won't have its starting quarterback for Saturday's Big 12 encounter with host Kansas State. Alan Bowman is still recovering from a collapsed lung suffered back at the end of September, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury says the freshman signal-caller still isn't ready to return. Kingsbury did, however, suggest that Bowman might be able to suit up for the Red Raiders' season finale against Baylor on Nov. 24. Jett Duffey will once against start under center for Texas Tech; Duffey threw for 444 yards and four scores in a 41-34 loss to Texas last time out.

    With Duffey having established himself as a legitimate threat, bettors should consider the over on the Texas Tech-Kansas State total of 57. The teams have surpassed the number in nine of their past 10 meetings overall.


    Don't Close the Book

    The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are apparently going to have Ian Book back on the field for this week's marquee showdown with visiting Syracuse. Book missed last week's victory over Florida State due to a rib injury but has had a "good week" of practice, according to Irish head coach Brian Kelly. Book's return should give the Notre Dame offense a boost, though it had no problem putting up 42 points against a sagging Seminoles team even with Brandon Wimbush at the helm. Book has thrown for 1,824 yards with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions on the season.

    Notre Dame will need to win out to guarantee a spot in the College Football Playoff and will be looking to set an example against the highly competitive Orange. Look for the Irish to cover -10 and to surpass their team total of 38.5.

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    The Triple Option: College football Week 12 picks and predictions
    Andrew Caley

    I jinxed it.

    Just one week after complaining about Daylight Savings and fearing the onset of winter, it happened. We got our first significant dumping of snow today.

    Snow Day! A day of making snowmen, sledding and getting comfy by a fire drinking hot chocolate, right? WRONG. It means back pain and chills from shovelling wet snow. It means worrying about whether the power will go out. And, since I work for a website it means there are no days off. Which means I somehow have to juggle entertaining a cooped up six-year-old while writing this column. Good luck me!

    It has me thinking snow days are overrated. And I’m feeling the same way about Notre Dame.

    The Fighting Irish currently sit third in the College Football Playoff rankings thanks to their unblemished record to this point, but their schedule has been a little softer than usual. That’s not necessarily their fault, seeing as many of their regular rivals (Stanford, Navy, Florida State etc.) are having down years.

    That makes it a little surprising that of all the teams in the nation, that it's Syracuse that could be the one to give Notre Dame its final real challenge of the season.

    Dino Babers has changed the football culture at Syracuse and it has been fun to watch. In fact, Syracuse is about two plays away from being undefeated as well.

    The Orange offense, led by senior duel-threat quarterback Eric Dungey, is one of the most explosive in the country, ranking 13th in total yards and seventh in points per game. The Orange have topped 40 points seven times this year and in each of their last four games.

    Dungey can have problems with accuracy at times but does just enough that teams must respect his arm and that can open things up for him on the ground. He also has a great red-zone target in receiver Jamal Custis.

    Notre Dame has a solid defense, but it hasn’t faced a dynamic offense like this all season. But what really makes the Orange interesting in this spot is that they're one of the best teams in the country in taking care of the football with a plus-13 turnover margin.

    I don’t know if Syracuse will win, but getting more than 10-points on a neutral site in its home state? Sign me up. Plus, how could you ever pick a team with those hideous Yankee inspired uniforms. Yuck. Give me the points with my guy Dino.

    Pick:
    Syracuse +10.5

    West Virginia Mountaineers at Oklahoma State Cowboys (+5.5, 72)

    Last week, it was the game after the big game with Texas. This week, it’s the game before the big game with Oklahoma. To West Virginia, it doesn’t matter.

    That’s because, 1. The Mountaineers are better than what they’re give credit for. And 2. The College Football Playoff rankings system puts so much weight in every game, (more specifically every loss) that it's almost eliminated spot bet situations for many teams at this point in the season.

    To use a cliché: every game matters.

    For the Mountaineers, this matchup with Oklahoma State has a very similar feeling to their game earlier in the season when they visited Texas Tech. The Mountaineers are slight road favorites against a very good passing offense, but a porous defense. West Virginia got out to a fast start in that game and ended up winning by eight. The Neers have all the ingredients to produce more of the same here.

    For West Virginia, it all starts with Will Grier. The senior signal caller is on fire over the last three games, throwing for 1,042 yards while completing nearly 65 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns to just one interception. He faces a Pokes defense that ranks 103rd in the country in passing yards allowed and 92nd in points allowed.

    But what makes the Mountaineers too much for the Cowboys to handle is the number of weapons they have on offense. David Sills, Marcus Simms and Gary Jennings Jr. all have over 600 yards receiving on over 14 yards per reception. Plus, they have three running backs with at least 74 carries for an average of over five yards per rush.

    Oklahoma State will score some points, but West Virginia’s bend-don’t-break defense will do just enough. Plus, this game means too much to the Mountaineers. They win by at least a touchdown.

    Pick:
    West Virginia -5.5

    Arizona State Sun Devils at Oregon Ducks (-3.5, 64)

    It seems like a long time ago when we were making fun of Arizona State for hiring Herm Edwards as its head coach. But did you realize the Sun Devils control their own destiny in the Pac-12 South? No, seriously. They do.

    It won’t be easy, the Sun Devils need two road wins, beginning at the tough Auzten Zoo in Eugene, Oregon before closing the season at rival Arizona.

    But first thing's first: the Ducks. They're really struggling, dropping three of their past four games straight up and against the spread while allowing 32.7 points per game. Quarterback Justin Herbert has also been part of the problem. While he has eight touchdowns to one interception in the last four games, he's completing just 55.9 percent of his passes at a rate of just 6.7 yards per attempt.

    On the other side of field, the Sun Devils have really opened up the playbook, averaging 35.6 points per game in their last three wins. Their trio of quarterback Manny Wilkins, running back Eno Benjamin and wide receiver K’Neal Harry has made them very balanced. The defense is aggressive but sound and will make life tough on Herbert. They rank 29th in sacks racking up 26 this season.

    Herm will have his team motivated in this one and don’t be surprised if the Sun Devils win outright.

    Pick:
    Arizona State +3.5

    Last week: 2-1
    Season to date:19-14
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-17-2018 at 11:59 AM.

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    Key players might be missing for Ole Miss

    The Ole Miss Rebels could be without two of their top offensive weapons for Saturday's matchup with host Vanderbilt. Running back Scottie Phillips will be a game-time decision with an ankle injury; the junior standout has 927 rushing yards and 12 scores on the ground so far this season. Rebels wideout Braylon Sanders joins Phillips on the questionable list after missing Wednesday's practice with a bum ankle. Sanders has been inconsistent this season but erupted for 133 receiving yards and a touchdown on four catches in a Week 2 win over Southern Illinois.

    With neither player expected to be 100 percent, Ole Miss' depth will be tested. Given that the Rebels are just 5-12 ATS in the past 17 meetings, we like the home team to cover the modest -3 spread.


    Gaines Out for the Season

    The Virginia Tech Hokies will play out the remainder of their schedule without the services of one of their top pass rushers. Junior defensive end Houshun Gaines has been ruled out for the rest of the season after tearing his ACL in last week's loss to Pittsburgh. Gaines, considered a candidate to go in the early-to-mid-rounds of next year's NFL draft, was enjoying a terrific season with the Hokies, having racked up 22 tackles (five for loss), a team-leading 4 1/2 sacks for 30 lost yards and two forced fumbles in nine games played.

    Losing the player responsible for more than a fifth of their total sacks is a significant problem for the Hokies, who are 5.5-point underdogs against visiting Miami on Saturday. The Hurricanes sit near the middle of the pack in sacks allowed per game (2.2) but with one less elite pass rusher to worry about, we like them to cover comfortably.


    No More Chillin' for Dillon

    Boston College running back A.J. Dillon is inching closer to full health as he prepares to lead the Eagles against the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday. Dillon has played each of the past three games despite battling an ankle injury and was able to practice in full Wednesday. Head coach Steve Addazio cautioned against expecting Dillon to be his old self, suggesting that the sophomore star isn't completely healed yet. Dillon has 284 rushing yards and two scores in three games since returning to action but was held to just 39 yards on the ground in last week's 27-7 loss to Clemson.

    With the Seminoles boasting one of the worst offenses in the country, Dillon will have every opportunity to rack up the yards – and if he's closer to 100 percent, the Eagles are a great bet to cover at -1.5 while keeping Florida State under their team total of 23.5 as they control the ball, and the clock.


    Baylor's Roberts Out for the Half

    The Baylor Bears will play the first half of their Big 12 showdown with the visiting TCU Horned Frogs this Saturday without the services of one of their top defensive players. Senior defensive end Greg Roberts has been suspended for the opening half of this weekend's tilt after getting ejected for throwing a punch in the third quarter of last Saturday's 28-14 defeat at the hands of Iowa State. Roberts has been terrific for the Bears so far this season, compiling 30 tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble and two passes defended through his first eight games.

    The Bears and Horned Frogs are a virtual toss-up on the first-half spread, with the Bears listed at -2 for the game. But with Roberts on the sidelines, we like the visitors to have enough of an edge to cover heading into the break.


    Cyclones Down a Man

    The Bears weren't the only team to come out of last week's tilt with Baylor a man down. Standout running back David Montgomery will sit out the first half of Iowa State's encounter with Texas following his skirmish with Roberts. It's a major blow to a Cyclones team that locked up bowl eligibility with last weekend's victory. Montgomery has been Iowa State's top offensive option so far in 2018, having racked up 765 yards on the ground with eight rushing scores. Montgomery was limited to 53 yards on 11 carries in the victory over Baylor.

    Kene Nwangwu will likely replace Montgomery as the starter, but he's averaging just 3.6 yards per carry with a long run of 13 yards. Texas looks like the superior first-half cover play, with the 1H under also a solid option.


    Francois the Man for Florida State

    Florida State head coach Willie Taggart has confirmed what Deondre Francois already knew: that the junior quarterback will remain the starter for the Seminoles' final two regular-season games. Francois returned to action last week at Notre Dame in place of James Blackman and completed 23 of 47 passes for 216 scoreless yards with an interception in the 42-13 loss to the Fighting Irish. It has been a difficult year for Florida State – and Francois, in particular. He has completed just 59.1 percent of his pass attempts with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

    The Seminoles need to beat Boston College and Florida to be eligible for a bowl game – but with Francois struggling and the Eagles having gone 7-3 SU and ATS this season, we suggest taking the visitors either straight-up (-125) or at -1.5.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-17-2018 at 12:00 PM.

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    Essentials - Week 12
    Tony Mejia

    Most of the SEC is snacking on cupcakes this weekend, but there are still a number of games crucial to college football's fortunes. Here are the highlights and what to watch:

    Syracuse (-14.5/53) at Notre Dame, 2:30 p.m. ET, NBC:
    The Irish must still visit USC next week, but this meeting against the upstart Orange in Yankee Stadium of all places is expected to carry enough juice to ensure that undefeated Notre Dame will remain among college football’s top-four regardless of what happens in December’s conference championship games. To secure a playoff spot, a Fighting Irish defense that has been tremendous all season must rise up against the top dual threat QB it has run up against, Syracuse junior Eric Dungey (14 TD passes, 12 TD runs). Notre Dame hasn’t given up more than 27 points in a single game this season, while the Orange have only scored fewer than 30 once. The anomaly occurred at Clemson in a game where it led into the fourth quarter despite leaving a lot of points on the board. Dino Babers’ team is legit. They’ve averaged over 46 points on this current four-game winning streak that included a 51-41 upset at N.C. State. Syracuse is 3-0 ATS in an underdog role, winning outright twice.

    The Irish will be tasked with slowing down an offense that operates at a faster tempo than any other team they’ve seen besides Wake Forest, a game that finished 56-27 and remains Notre Dame’s highest-scoring. Six of the last seven games involving the Irish have cleared the posted total, while four of the last five Syracuse games have also gone ‘over.’ Ian Book will be returning for Notre Dame after sitting out last week’s win over Florida State due to a rib injury. Brandon Wimbush was shaky (3 TDs, 2 INTs) against the ‘Noles, so he wouldn’t inspire confidence if pressed into action. Syracuse will have RB Moe Neal available and rank fifth nationally with 32 rushing TDs, so the Irish can’t just key in on the pass against this ‘Cuse offense, which is fortunate to get mild conditions in the Bronx, where temperatures are expected to be in the mid-40s with light wind.

    Iowa State at Texas (-7/51.5), 8 p.m. ET, Longhorn:
    Since Oklahoma and West Virginia play each other next weekend, the winner of this one will have a great chance to reach the Big 12 Championship game. The Cyclones are an underdog here but have been riding freshman QB Brock Purdy since October began and own five straight wins as they face their toughest test of the season. Purdy has accounted for 15 touchdowns while throwing just two picks despite being thrown into the fire with limited experience. At some point, will the ride feature a rocky start? Is it coming today? Purdy has hooked up with Hakeem Butler as a favorite target and ranks first in adjusted completion percentage on deep passes among Power Five QBs per Pro Football Focus. An offense that was expected to ride entirely on the legs of All-Big 12 standout David Montgomery now has balance that could trouble a Longhorns defense that has surrendered 34 or more points in four of the last five. Montgomery won't participate until the second half after being ejected for throwing a punch last week.

    Texas had a QB controversy to start the season, but it can safely be said that he made the right choice in Sam Ehlinger, who has accounted for 26 touchdowns since his last interception. He’s helped keep the Longhorns alive in their last three games that have produced a 1-2 record despite the offense averaging 39 points. With Collin Johnson (knee) upgraded to probable, Ehlinger will have both top targets available alongside Lil’Jordan Humphrey. RB Keaontay Ingram is also a go after dealing with a hip issue. The Longhorns have won 13 of 15 games in this series and the last three have gone way ‘under’ since the Cyclones have scored a total of just 13 points over the last two meetings and Texas was blanked 24-0 in Ames in ’15.

    Cincinnati at UCF (-9/54.5), 8 p.m. ET, ABC:
    The Longhorns went from leading the Big 12 with an unbeaten conference mark to tasting a loss in Stillwater that now complicates matters considering only one of their remaining four games can be chalked up as a win. The conference race is wide open, but the winner of this one will be in excellent shape. After allowing 260 first-quarter yards at Oklahoma State, Texas is placing a priority on getting off to a strong start as it looks to keep Mountaineers QB Will Grier from finding a rhythm.

    The Knights offense is more than just McKenzie Milton, but it helps to have his quick decision making as the key catalyst in ensuring that an attack that operates as fast as UCF’s does remains on schedule. RBs Adrian Killins, Otis Anderson, Taj McGowan and Greg McCrae all get carries and bring different skill sets to the equation, so Cincinnati will earn its upset if its able to keep this ground attack from finding legs. Milton terrorized the Bearcats last season, accounting for five touchdowns in a game that ended up not being graded despite crusing past the posted total since thunderstorms ended the Knights’ dominant 51-23 win prematurely. Perfect weather in the low-to-mid 60s is expected for tonight’s clash.

    Arizona at Washington State (-13/54.5), 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN:
    It’s going to be nice in Pullman too, freezing temperatures aside. Wind won’t be a factor amid the 28-degree weather that the Cougars and Wildcats will have to endure. From the standpoint of being more acclimated to the cold, Washington State should benefit from getting out there under the lights in one of Saturday’s late games. A defense that has dominated in wins over Oregon, Cal and Colorado over the past month will do their best to keep Khalil Tate from warming up. Tate dominated last year’s 58-37 win in Tucson as he and RB J.J Taylor combined to run for nearly 300 yards. He’s turned the corner over the past few weeks after getting his ankle healthy and showing a stronger grasp of the Kevin Sumlin/Noel Mazzone offense he was tasked with learning upon their arrival. The Wildcats have won consecutive games by topping the 40-point mark at home against Oregon and Colorado, so we’ll see if their game translates to the road, where they’ve won only once in four tries.

    The Cougs beat Arizona 69-7 in 2016 and are hoping for a similarly large cosmetic win considering they’re stuck on the outside looking in due to the lack of strength in the Pac-12 this season. Although an Apple Cup win next Friday over Washington would provide a boost, Washington State will have to hope multiple teams in front of them lose in order to be considered for the CFP semis. QB Gardner Minshew has a much better shot at being invited to New York for the Heisman Trophy and ceremony as he looks to continue a brilliant season by punishing an Arizona defense that has been brutalized for over 600 yards of total offense in each of the last two meetings and typically don’t fare well against the Air Raid. Minshew leads the country with 20 red zone TDs and will have most everyone at Martin Stadium sporting fake mustaches in his honor, so don’t expect him to be slowed down.

    Duke at Clemson (-18.5/58.5), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN:
    Duke QB Daniel Jones is experienced and isn’t easily rattled, so there’s that. David Cutcliffe’s prized protégé is healthy enough to play and coming off consecutive wins over Miami and North Carolina after missing time following shoulder surgery. Last week’s win over UNC saw him run for 186 yards as he set a school record for total offense with 547 yards in 42-35 shootout victory in Durham. The Tigers rank second in the nation in total defense (253.6) and have completely shut down the run, surrendering 82.3 yards per game, the third-fewest in the nation. Clemson’s front four is headed to the NFL and contributed to knocking out BC’s Anthony Brown to make last week’s game much easier, so Jones will have to be smart about taking hits in order to see the fourth quarter here to give his team a chance to even cover, much less compete for an upset. Defensively, Duke is hoping standout LB Joe Giles-Harris can return to lend a hand but a knee injury may keep him sidelined. The Blue Devils have already lost top corner Mark Gilbert, safety Dylan Singleton and standout DT Edgar Cerenord.

    West Virginia (-6.5/68) at Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC:
    The Cowboys have cleared star RB Justice Hill to play despite injured ribs, so that should clear up how interested Mike Gundy’s team is in bouncing back from another Bedlam disappointment in last week’s shootout loss to the Sooners. Oklahoma State needs an upset in today’s home finale or a win next Saturday at TCU just to get bowl eligible. Meanwhile, the Mountaineers have continued bouncing back from a tough loss at Iowa State a month ago and will look to enter next week’s crucial home game against Oklahoma with momentum by taking care of business as a road favorite for the fourth time in five tries. QB Will Grier is in the Heisman mix and has thrown nine touchdowns and just one interception on this run of victories over Baylor, Texas and TCU. Dana Holgorsen has lost his last three meetings against OK State, winning in Stillwater last in 2014. The Mountaineers surrendered 50 points in Morgantown last season, so they’ll be looking to rebound by stifling Taylor Cornelius, who has had his ups and downs replacing Mason Rudolph but tasted victory in his most recent home date, quieting critics in an upset of Texas.

    Others to watch:
    Northwestern at Minnesota, Boston College at Florida State, Indiana at Michigan, Miami at Virginia Tech, Wisconsin at Purdue, Utah at Colorado, Pittsburgh at Wake Forest, Ohio State at Maryland, USC at UCLA, South Florida at Temple, Middle Tennessee at Kentucky, Michigan State at Nebraska, Missouri at Tennessee, Pittsburgh at Wake Forest, Arkansas at Mississippi State, Texas Tech at Kansas State, N.C. State at Louisville, UAB at Texas A&M, Ole Miss at Vanderbilt, TCU at Baylor, Kansas at Oklahoma
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-17-2018 at 12:01 PM.

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