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Thread: NCAAF Trends and Indexes - Week 13 (Tues., Nov. 20 - Sat., Nov. 24)

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Welcome Back, Ed

    It appears that Ed Oliver's time with the Houston Cougars hasn't come to an end, after all. ESPN is reporting that the standout defensive lineman is expected to play Friday against Memphis; the announcement comes as a minor surprise after Oliver missed the previous four games with a knee injury. He was also involved in a strange sideline incident with Houston head coach Major Applewhite, a skirmish some believed would end Oliver's tenure with the team. Oliver is widely expected to be one of the first players taken in next year's NFL draft.

    Even with Oliver in the fold, the Cougars aren't in position to challenge a Memphis side that has scored at least 47 points in five of its six home games this season. We suggest taking the Tigers to cover -7.5, and to go over their team total, which stands at approximately 42.

    Uncertainty in Syracuse

    The Syracuse Orange don't know who will be under center for Saturday's pivotal ACC showdown with host Boston College. Starting quarterback Eric Dungey left last weekend's loss to Notre Dame in the early going with a back injury, and backup Tommy DeVito was completely negated by the Irish defense in a 36-3 defeat. Both players are listed atop the early-week Orange depth chart, with Dungey's practice participation likely the determining factor in whether he will suit up. Dungey has had a sensational season with Syracuse, throwing for 14 TDs and adding 12 more on the ground.

    Bettors should monitor this line closely, and pounce on the visitors receiving more than a touchdown if Dungey is ruled fit to participate Saturday. Boston College is a strong cover play at -7.5 if Dungey can't go.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Friday's Tip Sheet
    Brian Edwards

    **Oklahoma at West Virginia**

    -- As of Wednesday, most betting shops had Oklahoma (10-1 straight up, 4-7 against the spread) installed as a 2.5-point favorite for this Big 12 showdown at Milan Puskar Stadium. The total was 84 points and WVU was available on the money line for a +120 return (paid $120 on $100 wagers). By Thursday night, however, the Sooners were 3.5-point ‘chalk’ and the total was up to 85. Most spots had the Mountaineers at +140 to win outright (risk $100 to win $140).

    -- Lincoln Riley’s team hasn’t missed a beat offensively despite losing Heisman Trophy winner, Baker Mayfield. Kyler Murray, a former five-star recruit who initially went to Texas A&M, has been nothing short of sensational. Murray has connected on 70.3 percent of his passes for 3,310 yards with a 34/6 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He’s an explosive runner as well, rushing for 739 yards and 10 TDs while averaging 7.1 yards per carry. Murray was the ninth overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft by the Oakland A’s. The plan was to play as the starting QB at OU for one season and then report to A’s spring training in early 2019. However, there’s some optimism in Norman that Murray might consider returning for another season next year.

    -- Murray has the second-shortest odds to win the Heisman Trophy at, where he has +500 odds. Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa is the -750 ‘chalk.’

    -- Marquise ‘Bollywood Brown has a team-high 59 receptions for 1,021 yards and eight TDs, while CeeDee Lamb has 46 grabs for 829 yards and nine TDs. Lee Morris has 19 receptions for 426 yards and eight TDs.

    -- When Rodney Anderson went down with a season-ending injury, the bulk of the carries were left to RBs Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks. Both players have been up to the task – and then some. Sermon has 851 rushing yards, 10 TDs and a 6.4 yards-per-carry average, and Brooks has rushed for 811 yards, 11 TDs and is averaging 9.9 YPC.

    -- Oklahoma has failed to cover the number in three straight games. Riley’s bunch beat Kansas by a 55-40 count last week but never threatened to cover the spread as a 35-point home favorite. Murray threw for 272 yards and two TDs with one interception. Brooks ran for 171 yards and two TDs on 25 attempts, while Murray turned eight rushed into 99 yards and three TDs. Brown had six receptions for 55 yards.

    -- Sermon left the KU game with a sprained ankle that has him listed as ‘questionable’ at WVU.

    -- OU has been dreadful on defense all season. Mike Stoops, the brother of former head coach Bob Stoops, was fired several weeks ago. Out of 130 FBS teams, the Sooners are ranked 87th in the nation in total defense, No. 106 in pass defense, 64th at defending the run and 86th in scoring ‘D’ (30.7 PPG).

    -- Oklahoma is tops in the country in total offense and scoring with its 49.5 points-per-game average. The Sooners are seventh in rushing yards and 11th in passing.

    -- OU is playing just its fourth road game of the year. The Sooners are 3-0 SU and 1-2 ATS in their three road assignments. As road favorites during Lincoln Riley’s two-year stretch as head coach, they own a 2-4 spread record.

    -- West Virginia (8-2 SU, 6-3-1 ATS) is undefeated in five home games with a 4-1 spread record. The Mountaineers are 4-6 ATS in 10 games as home underdogs during Dana Holgorsen’s eight-year tenure. This is their first home ‘dog spot since dropping a 50-39 decision to Oklahoma State last season.

    -- WVU is in bounce-back mode after losing 45-41 at Oklahoma State as a six-point road ‘chalk’ last week. OSU’s Taylor Cornelius found Tylan Wallace for an 11-yard scoring strike to put the Cowboys up 45-41 with 42 ticks remaining. With two timeouts left, WVU had time to rally back. However, Holgorsen went completely ‘Mad Hatter’ with his clock management and made two baffling mistakes in not using a timeout. The drive started with a three-yard run by Grier, who got out of bounds at WVU’s 28 to stop the clock with 37 seconds left. Grier then hit Gary Jennings Jr. for an 11-yard gain that temporarily stopped the clock for the first-down markers to be moved. This is when ‘Holgo’ should’ve used his first timeout. Instead, by the time Grier hooked up with Jennings again for a 33-yard reception, there were only 11 ticks remaining. Jennings didn’t get out of bounds, but the clock stopped momentarily for the chains to be moved. At this point with two timeouts left, you obviously and belatedly burn one, right? Nope, not if you’re ‘Holgo.’ He allowed several seconds to drip away yet again and when Grier hit David Sills V for a 14-yard gain to the OSU 14, there was only two seconds remaining. Finally, ‘Holgo’ used a timeout. Had he used one after either of the completions to Jennings, there would’ve been more than 10 seconds – perhaps even 14-15 – remaining instead of merely two. Grier’s pass to Sills in the end zone fell incomplete to end the game. Again, if ‘Holgo’ would’ve simply utilized one morsel of common sense and used a timeout when he was supposed to, Grier would’ve had at least one – maybe two – shots at the end zone.

    -- Grier completed 27-of-48 passes for 364 yards and two TDs without an interception at OSU. Kennedy McKoy ran for 148 yards and two TDs on 21 carries, while Grier also had a TD run. Jennings caught seven balls for 92 yards and one TD, and Sills had four receptions for 68 yards and one TD.

    -- Grier has connected on 67.2 percent of his throws for 3,325 yards with a 33/8 TD-INT ratio. Sills has 53 receptions for 765 yards and 13 TDs, while Jennings has caught 47 balls for 692 yards and 11 TDs. Marcus Simms has 44 catches for 682 yards and two TDs. McKoy has run for a team-best 648 yards and six TDs, averaging 5.8 YPC. Martell Pettaway has 486 rushing yards, four TDs and a 6.2 YPC average.

    -- Behind Tagovailoa and Murray, Grier has the third-shortest odds (10/1) to win the Heisman.

    -- This is the highest total both teams have seen this season. Not only that, but it’s the highest tally in all of college football this year.

    -- The ‘over’ has been an enormous money maker in OU games this year, cashing at a 10-1 overall clip. The ‘over’ is 3-0 for the Sooners on the road. Their games have averaged combined scores of 80.3 PPG.

    -- OU’s last three games have netted combined scores of 95, 97 and 95. In five of the Sooners’ past seven games, they’ve had combined scores of at least 93 points.

    -- The ‘over’ has hit in four consecutive WVU games to improve to 6-4 overall and 3-2 in its home outings. The Mountaineers’ highest previous totals were 73.5 and 73 points and the ‘over’ cashed in both instances. Their games have averaged combined scores of 64.2 PPG.

    -- Kickoff from Morgantown is scheduled for Friday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

    Washington at Washington State**

    -- As of Thursday night, most books had Washington State (10-1 SU, 10-1 ATS) listed as a 2.5-point favorite with a total of 49. The Huskies were +125 on the money line (risk $100 to win $125).

    -- Mike Leach’s team is undefeated in six home games with a 5-1 spread record.

    -- Gardner Minshew, the grad transfer QB from East Carolina, has enjoyed a helluva season. Minshew has completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 4,325 yards with a 36/7 TD-INT ratio. He has 92 rushing yards and three TDs.

    -- Minshew has eight players who have caught 26 balls or more led by Dezmon Patmon, who has 54 catches for 735 yards and four TDs. Tay Marting has 62 receptions for 637 yards and eight, while Easop Winston has caught 47 balls for 600 yards and eight TDs.

    -- Washington State RB James Williams has run for 487 yards and 10 TDs with a 4.5 YPC average. Williams has 69 receptions for 530 yards and four TDs.

    -- Washington State is No. 14 in the nation in total offense, No. 1 in passing yards and 12th in scoring with its 40.5 PPG average.

    -- Washington (8-3 SU, 2-9 ATS) is 2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS in four road assignments.

    -- Chris Petersen’s team was – at least to me – considered a national-title contender coming into the 2018 campaign. But three trips into the red zone in the second half of the opener in Atlanta vs. Auburn produced merely three points, resulting in a 21-16 loss to the Tigers. UW responded with a five-game winning streak but with star RB Myles Gaskin injured, it lost 30-27 at Oregon in overtime. Then on Oct. 27, the Huskies went to Berkeley and lost a 12-10 decision.

    -- UW is mired in a 0-6 ATS slump.

    -- Gaskin is Washington’s all-time leading rusher, but he’s rushed for a career-low 906 yards and seven TDs with a 4.9 YPC average. The senior RB has missed two games due to injury. Gaskin also has 15 catches for 72 yards and one TD.

    -- Washington senior QB Jake Browning is the school’s leader in career passing yards. He has connected on 64.5 percent of his throws for 2,485 yards with a 16/8 TD-INT ratio this year. Browning has four rushing scores this year and 16 career rushing TDs.

    -- Browning’s favorite targets are Aaron Fuller and Ty Jones, who has 27 receptions for 457 yards and six TDs. Fuller has 49 catches for 754 yards and four TDs.

    -- Washington has been a road underdog seven times during Petersen’s five-year tenure, producing a 4-3 spread record. If you count the game against Auburn in Atlanta as a road game, then that record is 4-4. If you don’t count that game, then this is UW first road ‘dogs spot since 2015.

    -- Washington has dominated the Apple Cup rivalry in recent years, winning five games in a row over the Cougars. The Huskies have covered the spread in four straight encounters, including last year’s 41-14 win as a 9.5-point home favorite. The 55 combined points went ‘over’ the 50-point total. The ‘over’ is 2-0-1 in the last three meetings. Gaskin gashed WSU for 192 rushing yards and four TDs on 25 carries.

    -- Washington is ranked 11th in the nation in scoring defense, limiting opponents to an average of 16.6 PPG. The Huskies are 16th in the country in total defense, 22nd in run defense and 28th at defending the pass.

    -- The ‘over’ is 7-4 overall for the Cougars, 3-3 in their home games. They’ve seen their games average combined scores of 63.1 PPG.

    -- The ‘under’ is 8-3 overall for the Huskies, 4-1 in their five road assignments. Their games have averaged combined scores of 44.6 PPG.

    -- FOX will provide television coverage at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

    **B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

    -- As of Thursday, most spots had Appalachian State installed as a 10.5-point home favorite for Saturday’s showdown vs. Troy that’ll decide the Sun Belt’s East Division. During Neal Brown’s four-year tenure, the Trojans are 9-1 ATS in 10 games as a road underdog. They’ve been double-digit underdogs nine times, compiling an 8-1 spread record with three outright victories.

    -- Florida, a six or 6.5-point favorite at FSU as of Thursday, is favored over the Seminoles for the first time since 2009. The Gators are ‘chalk’ in Tallahassee at Doak Campbell Stadium for the first time since 2008. UF safety Brad Stewart is listed as 'questionable’ with a quad injury.

    -- Michigan DE Chase Winovich is ‘questionable’ at Ohio State due to an injury. Winovich has recorded 58 tackles, four sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss, seven QB hurries and one pass broken up.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-23-2018 at 03:29 AM.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Tech Trends - Week 13
    Bruce Marshall

    Friday, Nov. 23

    ...Solich 15-8 vs. line since LY and has covered last 7 vs. FBS foes at Peden Stadium. Zips on 1-6 spread skid TY. Though Akron has covered last three in series.
    Solich and Ohio, based on recent trends.

    ....ECU 10-23-1 vs. line since in 2016. Cincy has covered 3 of last 4 in series.
    Cincy, based on team trends.

    ...EMU 4-1 vs. line away TY, 16-2 vs. spread last 18 away from Ypsilanti. Golden Flashes 4-8 vs. line last 12 MAC games.
    EMU, based on team trends.

    ...BGSU 11-23-1 vs. line since 2016. Bulls 8-3 vs. line last 11 on board and has covered last four vs. Falcons.
    Buffalo, based on team and series trends.

    ...Frost has covered last six vs. BCS foes TY. Hawkeyes, however, have covered last 3 and 5 of last 6 in this series.
    Slight to Nebraska, based on recent trends.

    ...KU has covered last 2 and 4 of last 6 in series.
    Slight to Kansas, based on series trends.

    ...Mizzou has covered 7 of last 9 at home though the two Ls have been in last two at Columbia. Tigers 4-1 vs. line against Hogs since entering SEC. Porkers 1-5-1 vs. line last seven as true visitor (some neutral sites in there).
    Mizzou, based on team and series trends.

    ...Jags 2-5 L7 vs. line. CC 4-1 vs. line last five away TY.
    Coastal Carolina, based on team trends.

    ..CMU on 1-5 spread skid. Though Chips have surprisingly covered 4 of 5 on road this season. Toledo has won last 8 SU in series, covering 7 of those.
    Toledo, based on series trends.

    ..Charlie Strong on 5-11 spread skid in reg season. Though USF has covered last 3 in series. UCF 7-2 vs. spread last 9 away from home (if count Cincy LY as W).
    UCF, based on team trends.

    Saturday, Nov. 24

    ...Canes 4-11 vs. spread last 15 since late 2017. Pitt has covered last six TY and 7-2 vs. number last 9 away.
    Pitt, based on recent trends.

    ...Owls 7-2 vs. line last 9 TY, 14-6 last 20 on board. Edsall 2-8-1 vs. line TY but did beat Owls LY.
    Temple, based on team trends.

    ...Cards 1-10 vs. line TY, Cats however no covers last 11 as chalk!
    Slight to Kentucky, based on recent trends.

    ...Dabo has won and covered six in a row TY and has romped past Muschamp last two. Though Gamecocks have covered 10 of last 11 away from Williams-Brice!
    Slight to Clemson, based on team trends.

    ...Ugh! ‘Gers on surprising 4-game late-season cover streak. Though Dantonio has buried Rutgers each of past four years. Spartans 1-6 vs. spread last seven at East Lansing.
    Slight to Michigan State, based on series trends.

    ...State no covers 9 of last 10 TY. Southern 10-4 vs. line last 14 since late 2017.
    Southern, based on recent trends.

    ...Butch Davis 13-5 vs. line last 18 reg season. MU 8-3 vs. line away since LY. FIU has buried Herd last two years.
    FIU, based on team trends.

    ...Eagles on 16-4 reg season spread run. Cuse Dino 9-3 last 12 as dog.
    Slight to Boston College, based on team trends.

    ...Urban 6-0 SU vs. Michigan but 1-4 vs. line last 5, and note road team has covered last four in series.
    Michigan, based on series trends.

    ...Lovie 1-5 vs. line last six TY and no covers last three away, 3-7 last ten vs. line as Big Ten visitor. Cats have won and covered big last three meetings. But note that underdogs are 10-0-1 vs. line in Cat games TY (NU 0-4 as chalk!).
    Slight to Northwestern, based on recent series trends.

    ...Major road series, a bit more pronounced when Bulldogs are visitor. But GT has won outright as dog last two at Athens, 5-1-1 last seven and 7-2-1 vs. spread last ten at Sanford Stadium. Paul Johnson 13-7 last 20 as dog.
    Georgia Tech, based on team and series trends.

    ...Wake only 3-8 vs. line TY but has covered last two on road. Clawson 2-6 as dog TY but entered season on 10-2-1 dog run. Road team has covered last 3 meetings. Cutcliffe no covers last 4 at home TY.
    Wake Forest, based on team and series trends.

    ...Axe! Slab of Bacon! Badgers 3-8 vs. line this season, 1-5 vs. line at Camp Randall. Though Fleck just 1-6-1 vs. points as Big Ten visitor since LY.
    Slight to Wisconsin, based on series trends.

    ...NCS only 2-4 vs. line last six TY. Fedora 5-3 as dog TY, 8-3 last 11 in role. Road team however has covered last five in series.
    Slight to NC State, based on series trends.

    ...WKU 1-4-1 vs. line last six TY. Skip has won and covered last 2 meetings in reg season.
    La Tech, based on team trends.

    ODU at RICE
    ...ODU 1-5 last six as chalk. Rice 4-1 vs. line last four TY though only 1-4 vs. line at home.
    Slight to Rice, based on team trends.

    ...Jay Hopson 2-4 as road chalk with USM.
    Slight to UTEP, based on team trends.

    ...Rematch of 49-41 Ag win on Oct. 6! But NMSU 2-9 vs. spread TY and 1-4 vs. line away.
    Liberty, based on team trends.

    ...Utags 8-2-1 vs. spread TY. Boise just 7-18 vs. points at home since late 2014.
    Utah State, based on recent trends.

    BYU at UTAH
    ...Sitake on 11-5 spread uptick since late LY. Cougs 5-1 last six as dog. Road team has covered last three in series, dog team has covered last four. Utes, however, on 9-3 spread run at Salt Lake.
    Slight to BYU, based on series trends.

    ...Troy on 8-2 spread run TY! App, however, 11-2-1 last 14 on board. Trojans 9-3 as dog since 2014.
    Slight to Troy, based on team trends.

    ...Davie had won 3 and covered 4 straight vs. Wyo prior to LY. Lobos 3-9 vs. points last 12 at home and on 4-12 spread skid. Bohl 3-1 vs. line L4 TY and 6-4 vs. spread last 10 away from Laramie.
    Wyoming, based on team trends.

    UAB at MTSU
    ...Blazers 15-5-1 last 21 vs. spread. UAB 12-6 L18 as dog. MTSU 5-1 vs. line last six at home.
    Slight to UAB, based on team trends.

    ...Buffs no wins or covers last six TY. Bears on 4-game cover streak TY after dropping previous 5 vs. line.
    Cal, based on recent trends.

    ...Tree has brutalized UCLA with ten straight series wins and covers in 9 of those. Bruins 7-18 vs. spread at Rose Bowl since late 2014.
    Stanford, based on series trends.

    ...Vandy has turned around this series, winning 4 and covering 5 of last 6 meetings. Though Vols are 3-0 vs. line on SEC road for Pruitt TY and Dores 1-6 L7 as SEC host.
    Slight to Tennessee, based on recent trends.

    ...Frogs 1-7 vs. line last 8 TY. Cowboys 5-2 vs. points last seven away from Stillwater.
    Oklahoma State, based on team trends.

    ...Taggart 4-7 vs. line TY, though Noles have won and covered last three in series.
    Slight to Florida, based on team trends.

    ...James Franklin has routed Terps last 2 years, and Nittany 13-5 vs. spread last 18 at Happy Valley. Terps 1-6 vs. spread last seven on Big Ten road.
    Penn State, based on team trends.

    TEXAS TECH vs. BAYLOR (at Arlington)
    ...TT has won and covered last two meetings and 3-1 vs. line last four in series.
    Texas Tech, based on series trends.

    ...Tedford 18-5-2 vs. line since arriving at Fresno LY. Spartans 4-1 vs. line away TY.
    Slight to Fresno State, based on team trends.

    ... Bill Snyder has covered 5 of last 6 as dog TY and now 32-16 in role since 2011. ISU however has covered last four meetings and on 22-10-1 spread run.
    Slight to Iowa State, based on recent and series trends.

    LSU at TEXAS A&M
    ...Tigers have owned this series since A&M joined SEC, winning and covering all six meetings. If Orgeron a dog here note covers in last four in role on road. Jimbo 6-0 vs. spread at Kyle Field TY.
    Slight to LSU, based on series trends.

    ...Old Oaken Bucket! Purdue has covered 5 of last 7 Buckets. Brohm 7-4 vs. spread away from Ross-Ade.
    Purdue, based on team trends.

    ... Mids only 4-7 vs. line TY but 2-1 as dog away from Annapolis, now 19-10 as visiting dog since 2009. Road team has covered last 3 in series.
    Navy, based on team and series trends.

    ULL at ULM
    ...Cajuns on 6-2 spread run. Visiting team 7-0-1 vs. points last 8 meetings!
    ULL, based on team trends.

    SMU at TULSA
    ...Tulsa only 7-13 last 20 vs. spread. Road team has covered last four in series.
    SMU, based on team and series trends.

    ... FAU on 2-0-1 spread run. Though Kiffin just 3-7-1 vs. points TY. 49ers were one of only two C-USA teams to cover vs. FAU LY. Owls 6-3-1 vs. spread last 10 at Boca Raton vs. FBS.
    Slight to FAU, based on team trends.

    ...ASU has covered 4 of last 5 TY, but TSU 5-1 vs. line L6. Bobcats have covered last 2 meetings.
    Texas State, based on series trends.

    ...Runners 4-15 spread skid. UNT no covers last 4 TY. Home team has covered last 4 in series.
    Slight to UTSA, based on team trends.

    ...Helton 3-8 vs. line TY, 7-19 vs. points since late 2016. Home team has won and covered last five meetings, but Helton 1-8 last nine as dog.
    Notre Dame, based on recent trends.

    ...Iron Bowl! Tigers have not covered at Tuscaloosa in three tries since Cam beat Saban in 2010. After Malzahn 5-0 as dog in 2013 debut, he’s just 6-10 as dog since.
    Alabama, based on team trends.

    ...Fremont Cannon! Pack is 11-2 SU last 13 meetings and has won six straight at Sam Boyd. Sanchez 2-6 vs. line last 8 at home vs. FBS.
    Nevada, based on team and series trends.

    ...Rocky Long 0-5 as home chalk TY, though Aztecs have won and covered last six in series. UH on 2-7-1 spread skid.
    Slight to San Diego State, based on series trends.

    ...Territorial Cup! Cats have covered 4 of last 5 at Tucson TY. Home team has covered last 5.
    Slight to Arizona, based on series trends.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-24-2018 at 03:27 AM.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Friday's Essentials
    Tony Mejia

    Unless you're reading this while standing in line to buy some frivolous piece of electronics, congratulations for winning on Black Friday by committing yourself to a full day of watching football. Consider this preview of the day's best games your reward:

    Oklahoma (-3.5/85) at West Virginia, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN:
    The Mountaineers were upset in a shootout at Oklahoma State last Saturday but remain in control of their Big 12 Championship game destiny with the Sooners coming into town. Unlike last season’s regular-season finale, West Virginia will have its leader and Heisman Trophy candidate available with Will Grier healthy and ready to play. Without him, the Mountaineers were held to just 137 passing yards in a 59-31 loss. Dana Holgorsen’s team has scored 40 or more points in four straight games, but the defense has surrendered more than 40 twice in the past three games after not allowing more than 34 in any of the first seven. Although snow can often be a factor in West Virginia this time of year, conditions are expected to be mild other than temperatures in the high 30s.

    That should set the stage for both Grier and Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray to light up the defenses in this matchup, so it’s no surprise this total has been set where it lies. The Sooners have scored at least 45 points in each of the past seven outings, topping 50 five times. They lead the nation in scoring offense and rank second-worst defensively in the red zone, which is one reason the ‘under’ has cashed only once through their first 11 games. We could see most of OU’s rushing attack hinge on Murray’s legs since projected starter Trey Sermon is questionable with an ankle injury. Kennedy Brooks may be the Sooners’ lone scholarship running back available. Injuries have decimated Oklahoma on both sides of the ball, so we’ll see who suits up for a defense that has been particularly plagued on that end. Not having safety Kahlil Haughton would really hurt. The Mountaineers were accused of faking injuries to slow down Oklahoma State’s offense in Stillwater, so look for the Sooners to similarly employ an up-tempo approach. West Virginia has only defeated the Sooners twice over their last 10 meetings.

    Washington at Washington State (-2.5/50.5), 8:30 p.m. ET, FOX:
    The Huskies have dominated the Apple Cup since Chris Petersen took the helm in Seattle, winning all four meetings decisively. Last season’s 41-14 loss marked the closest Washington State has come since a 27-17 loss in 2013, Steve Sarkisian’s final season. Mike Leach won his first rivalry game in this series at home in a road upset back in 2012 and hasn’t won since. To date, that’s Washington State’s only victory since ’08 in this annual series where its margin of defeat has regularly topped three touchdowns. None of that matters to this year’s dream team of course, since the easy answer to why Cougar Nation can be so confident this time around is that Gardner Minshew has never taken the field in one of these. The graduate transfer from East Carolina will be looking to cement an invite to New York for the Heisman ceremony and needs four touchdown passes to get to 40 for the season, having already thrown for over 4,300 yards.

    Of course, no one has thrown for that many touchdowns against a Huskies secondary considered to be among the country’s best. The Washington defense hasn’t surrendered more than 24 points in regulation in any of its games this season, while Washington State has only been held under 28 once. The team often ignores running the football altogether, playing to their strengths in riding Minshew’s accurate arm and decision-making in addition to an extremely talented receiving corps. The Huskies have held Mike Leach’s offense to at least 16 points below their season average in each of the last three Apple Cups. Snow flurries are expected to make an appearance in Pullman, so we’ll see who handles inclement weather best, although the snowfall isn’t expected to be too intrusive. Washington will be healthier than its been in weeks on the offensive end with Myles Gaskin’s ankle feeling better, so we’ll see if he and record-setting QB John Browning can ride out with a perfect record over their in-state rivals, stealing a spot in the Pac-12 Championship in the process.

    UCF (-14/69.5) at USF, 4:15 p.m. ET, ESPN:
    The “War on I-4” is certainly a new-school rivalry lacking in tradition, but there’s plenty of venom involved. Not only are the two schools separated by less than hour’s drive on the interstate, there’s a history of vitriol that extends throughout multiple decades as the two programs have attempted to one-up the other amid their ascent. In South Florida’s case, that included snubbing playing this as an annual rivalry game back when they played football in the Big East. Riding an undefeated record into this contest for the second straight Black Friday, it’s Central Florida that has now become the driving force behind creating national intrigue for this matchup since it has elevated itself as the Sunshine State’s most decorated program over the past 24 months, complete with a Top-10 ranking from a begrudging College Football Playoff selection committee.

    USF nearly spoiled last year’s perfect run in Orlando, taking a late fourth-quarter lead before future NFL first-round pick Mike Hughes took back a kickoff 95 yards to snap a 42-42 tie with less than two minutes remaining. UCF won one of college football’s most dramatic games last season and then went on to upset Auburn in the Peach Bowl, ultimately earning the distinction of being “national champions” from the Colley Matrix as the lone undefeated FBS school in 2017. While that claim as co-champs next to Alabama sparks much debate, no one can question that the Knights have surpassed the Bulls as the program to beat in the American, having already secured a berth in the conference title game regardless of what happens here. First-year head coach Josh Heupel has navigated QB McKenzie Milton being banged up and has still produced an offense that has averaged 43.6 points per game, which includes an output of 42.4 in conference games.

    Charlie Strong’s defense will be tasked with containing the high-octane attack featuring dynamic running backs, speedy, sure-handed receivers and a pace that is often devastating with Milton at the controls. South Florida ranks 107th of 130 in allowing 61 plays of over 20 yards, while the Knights’ 72 “explosive” plays are tied for seventh in the country. UCF finished off a Saturday in which it hosted ESPN’s College Gameday by crushing Cincinnati 38-13 and has covered in six of its last eight games, which includes a 5-1 run as a double-digit favorite. Weather in Tampa is expected to be terrific and Knights fans travel well, so look for any homefield edge at Raymond James Stadium, home of the NFL’s Bucs, to be mitigated. USF seeks to reach .500 in league play with an upset but is just 1-3 (SU and ATS) as an underdog this season, defeating Georgia Tech while falling to Memphis, Temple and Cincinnati. All of the losses came on the road. The Bulls come in the more banged-up group, although QB Blake Barnett (shoulder) and tight end Mitch Wilcox (ankle) should play.

    Houston at Memphis (-7.5/76.5), 12 p.m. ET, ABC:
    The identity of UCF’s American Championship game foe will be determined by this outcome. Although the Cougars are currently ahead of the 4-3 pace of Memphis, SMU and Tulane, the Tigers would qualify with a victory here, setting up a rematch of a 31-30 outcome against the Knights on Oct. 13. Memphis surrendered 65 points the next week at Missouri but hasn’t lost since, carrying a three-game streak of double-digit wins into this one. Memphis has won its past four home finales and has helped third-year head coach Mike Norvell to a perfect 2-0 mark over Houston, posting a pair of four-point wins that required topping the 40-point mark to secure. Another shootout is likely here as Cougs head coach Major Applewhite looks to get on the board after losing last season’s game 42-38 despite a 17-point third-quarter lead. The winning touchdown in the last three contests between these West Division rivals has been scored in the final 90 seconds, and any heroics on the Houston side will have to be led by true freshman Clayton Tune, who as forced to take over under center against Tulane last week when prolific junior starter D’Eriq King was lost to a knee injury. Tune threw two TD passes and was picked up once in wrapping up a 48-17 win over the Green Wave, but this will be a completely new experience since he’ll be taking snaps on the road against a defense that will be game-planning for him. For the season, he’s 20-for-42 with 4 TDs and the one pick, throwing for 309 yards.

    The Cougs rank fourth nationally in total offense, while Memphis comes in seventh. In order to make life easier on King, expect a heavy emphasis on the Patrick Carr-led ground game. Both teams are likely to attack via the run since rain is expected to impact action at the Liberty Bowl in addition gusting winds. Houston’s defense would get a significant boost if All-American Ed Oliver returns from a knee injury that has kept him out all month. Expectations are that he’ll be out there after practicing on Tuesday, although he’s been scratched as a game-time decision earlier this month. Safety Garrett Davis and DEs Isaiah Chambers, Jerard Carter and Payton Turner have been ruled out for Houston, which is also dealing with multiple injuries on the offensive side that may complicate Tune’s transition, although he’ll have some experience working with players that have co-existed alongside him as backups and will now be getting their chance.

    Nebraska at Iowa (-8/53.5), 12 p.m. ET, FOX:
    This Midwestern rivalry went dormant until the ‘Huskers moved into the Big Ten earlier this decade but is back in full swing, complete with a little hardware known as the Heroes Trophy going to the winner. The Hawkeyes have won in each of the last three seasons and will be looking for a fourth consecutive victory in the series for the first time ever. Last season’s game was a complete embarrassment for Nebraska, which lost 56-14 in Lincoln. The bat signal sent out to then-UCF head coach Scott Frost didn’t grow brighter last Nov. 24, but you would believe it if I wrote that it probably did. Mike Riley was fired afterward but was headed out the door as is. At any rate, it’s now Frost’s job to end Iowa’s dominance despite the fact that he was never touched by the rivalry as a player during his tenure nor as a grad assistant on the coaching staff back in ’02 since the schools played just twice between 1983 and the continuation of the rivalry in ’11.

    For Frost, this becomes the ‘Huskers bowl game since they lack the winning record required to continue practicing and playing another few weeks. It will be the first time since 1967-68 that Nebraska fails to play in a bowl in consecutive seasons. It has already guaranteed itself consecutive losing seasons for the first time since ’60-’61. Despite all that, the team is a dangerous foe for Iowa since it is focused on avoiding a carbon copy of last year’s 4-8 finish and intent on closing Frost’s first run with a three-game winning streak and victories in five of six. Iowa destroyed Illinois 63-0 on Saturday to snap a three-game skid that derailed its West Division title hopes, so it will be looking to close its home schedule out with a victory that would be a tremendous source of pride to the locals. Inclement weather is almost certain to be a factor with heavy winds and rain expected in Iowa City, which could slow down dual threat QB Adrian Martinez and the pace in which Frost’s offense can operate. Of course, it could also hinder Iowa QB Nate Stanley’s effectiveness on third down, which has been an area of strength for the Hawkeyes.

    Others to watch:
    Oregon at Oregon State, Texas at Kansas, Virginia at Virginia Tech, Arkansas at Missouri, East Carolina at Cincinnati, Buffalo at Bowling Green, Coastal Carolina at South Alabama, Akron at Ohio U., Central Michigan at Toledo, Eastern Michigan at Kent State
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-23-2018 at 11:56 AM.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Trouble with the Triple Option?

    The Georgia Bulldogs still have an outside shot at reaching the College Football Playoff, but to remain in the hunt, they'll need a strong showing in their regular-season finale Saturday against visiting Georgia Tech. The problem is, the Georgia defensive line is dealing with some key absences, with defensive end David Marshall and tackle Daquan Hawkins-Muckle both banged up and linebacker Monty Rice also not at full strength. The Yellow Jackets lead the nation by a wide margin in rushing yards per game (353.7), and their triple option attack could give Georgia fits in their quest for a one-sided victory.

    This rivalry has produced some odd trends; most notably, the road team has gone a blistering 17-4-1 ATS in the past 22 meetings. And with the Yellow Jackets expected to move the ball with some success against the Bulldogs' banged-up D-line, we like the road team to cover yet again at +17.5.

    No Long Drives for BC?

    Oddsmakers have high hopes for the Boston College offense as the Eagles host the Syracuse Orange on Saturday in the final regular season game for both teams. But if BC hopes to close out the campaign with a victory, it will need to overcome a sizeable mismatch when it comes to third-down play. The Eagles have converted just 33.7 percent of their third-down opportunities – ranking them 115th in the country – and won't get any breaks against a stout Syracuse defense that comes in boasting the fifth-best third-down conversion rate allowed at 27.4 percent.

    If the Orange can force BC into third downs with regularity, it should be a good bet to keep the hosts below their 34.5-point total. The Eagles haven't surpassed 31 points in any of their previous four games.

    Temple on a TD Tear

    The Temple Owls share the Division I lead in defensive touchdowns scored – and are in great position to finish alone at the top as they finish their regular season Saturday against woeful Connecticut. The Owls come into the weekend having scored six defensive TDs, tied with Utah State for the most in the nation. And that could be bad news for a Huskies team that is already all but assured of allowing the most points and yards per game in the country. And it gets worse: UConn has an ugly minus-14 turnover differential on the season (10 turnovers gained, 24 turnovers lost), even with Louisville for the worst in Division I.

    Bettors should strongly consider taking the defensive touchdown prop in this one, with Temple having scored on 25 percent of their 24 total turnovers.
    Michigan vs Ohio State college football betting picks and predictions: So much at stake in this Big Ten rivalry

    UTSA or North Texas For Three

    Field goals aren't a popular scoring option in college football, but kicker fans should pay close attention to Saturday's encounter between North Texas and host Texas-San Antonio. The Mean Green have booted 18 field goals so far this season, the third-highest FG tally of any team ranked in the top 20 in points per game. And while the Roadrunners have the dubious distinction of being the lowest-scoring team in all of Division I at just 13.5 points per game, they still have 14 field goals in 2018 – one shy of their total number of touchdowns scored through their first 11 games.

    The field goal as the game's first scoring play is worth +150, with a North Texas field goal priced at +260 and UTSA kicking off the scoring with a three-point play listed at +600.

    All Quiet on QB Front for Rainbow Warriors

    Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich isn't planning to announce his starting quarterback for Saturday's Mountain West tilt with San Diego State, until just prior to game time.

    The choice between sophomore Cole McDonald and freshman Chevan Cordeiro could be a difficult one; McDonald was sensational earlier in the season but has thrown for three touchdowns and five interceptions over his past three games. Cordeiro threw for 153 yards and three TDs in relief of an ineffective McDonald last week, but if he appears in the Warriors' final two games, he'll no longer be eligible for a redshirt.

    With Hawaii having already secured a bowl berth, it's likely that McDonald will play in order to allow Cordeiro an extra year of eligibility. And given how McDonald has fared of late, that decision would make the host Aztecs a prime play at -17.5, while adding intrigue to the Under on Hawaii's team total of 17.5.


    Historical trends are often just noise – but it's worth considering Troy's incredible road dominance going into the Trojans' final regular-season game of 2018 Saturday against host Appalachian State. Troy has reeled off wins in 10 of its previous 11 games away from Veterans Memorial Stadium, and is an equally impressive 9-1 ATS in its past 10 road contests. Troy has also fared well as a double-digit underdog, having gone 14-6 ATS in its past 20 games in this scenario – including back-to-back outright victories over Nebraska last September (at +10) and LSU in 2017 (at +20.5).

    With the winner advancing to the Sun Belt Conference championship game, expect it to be a tighter affair than oddsmakers are expecting. We like Troy +10.5 as one of the top underdog spread plays on this week's schedule.


    It isn't clear who will be under center for the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Saturday's season finale against Baylor at AT&T Stadium. Sophomore starter Jett Duffey suffered a knee injury in last weekend's loss to Kansas State and is considered questionable, with head coach Kliff Kingsbury admitting that Duffey "had some other issues that occurred during the game." Regular starter Alan Bowman, who has missed several games after suffering a collapsed lung, might see action in the finale whether Duffey is able to return or not. No. 3 option McLane Carter will also likely see the field at some point.

    With neither Duffey nor Bowman expected to be 100 percent and Carter having already played his way off the field, it might seem difficult to trust the Red Raiders favored by six points – until you remember that they're facing a Bears team that has scored 17 or fewer points in four of its past five games. Take Texas Tech to cover while holding Baylor below its 28.5-point team total.


    LSU head coach Ed Orgeron is expecting to have his No. 1 receiver in the lineup for Saturday's pivotal showdown with Texas A&M. Jefferson wasn't seen at practice Tuesday due to an undisclosed issue, but Orgeron is confident the sophomore will suit up this weekend despite being listed as questionable. Jefferson has been one of the Tigers' most consistent offensive options on the season, hauling in 45 passes for 725 yards and three touchdowns; he's also one of only three players to record at least 80 receiving yards against the Alabama Crimson Tide this season.

    The LSU offense needs Jefferson as a three-point underdog against the Aggies. If he plays, we like the Tigers to not only cover, but to win outright (+135) against a Texas A&M team ranked outside the top 100 in passing yards allowed per game (261.0).

    Uncertainty in Syracuse

    The Syracuse Orange don't know who will be under center for Saturday's pivotal ACC showdown with host Boston College. Starting quarterback Eric Dungey left last weekend's loss to Notre Dame in the early going with a back injury, and backup Tommy DeVito was completely negated by the Irish defense in a 36-3 defeat. Both players are listed atop the early-week Orange depth chart, with Dungey's practice participation likely the determining factor in whether he will suit up. Dungey has had a sensational season with Syracuse, throwing for 14 TDs and adding 12 more on the ground.

    Bettors should monitor this line closely, and pounce on the visitors receiving more than a touchdown if Dungey is ruled fit to participate Saturday. Boston College is a strong cover play at -7.5 if Dungey can't go.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-24-2018 at 03:32 AM.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Saturday's Essentials - Week 13
    Tony Mejia

    Michigan (-4.5/54) at Ohio State, 12 p.m. ET, FOX:
    The Buckeyes haven’t inspired much confidence on the defensive side off he ball over the past month, surrendering one big play after another in struggling with the likes of Maryland and Nebraska after getting crushed at Purdue. If Terps QB Tyrrell Pigrome hadn’t misfired on a two-point conversion attempt, the Buckeyes would already be cooked, so we’ll see if they make the most of their ninth life in front of the faithful in Columbus. Ohio State is 46-3 in the Horseshoe in the Urban Meyer era, handling business under co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day earlier in the season. Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano is on the hot seat due to all the miscues complicating matters on that side of the ball, but his track record suggests he should be able to save his best for a Wolverines offense that isn’t exactly innovative. A physical offensive line has helped produce 30 points or more in eight of Michigan’s last 10 games, while QB Shea Patterson has settled in.

    Showers are expected to rain down on this one, so avoiding turnovers will likely be the deciding factor. Michigan lists key linebacker Chase Winovich as questionable and may not have RB Berkley Edwards available, so this will be all about survival amid adverse conditions. The Wolverines would look like an CFP Top-4 lock if they pick up wins here and against Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship, allowing them to survive a season-opening loss to Notre Dame. They’re currently locked in at No. 4, while Ohio State comes in at 10 but would move up significantly with an upset here. The Buckeyes have won 13 of the last 14 installments of “the Game,” including each of the last six under Meyer. Jim Harbaugh lost in his lone visit to Columbus in triple overtime despite getting a game-tying field goal with one second left.

    Auburn at Alabama (-24.5/53), 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS:
    The Tigers beat Alabama in this spot last season and came into the season as the team most likely to bring down the reigning champs. Of course, now that Auburn has looked rather ordinary in dropping four contests, most recently failing mightily at Georgia 27-10, the only reason anyone gives them a chance to keep this game remotely close lies in silly psychological reasons like the rivalry aspect or the fact that familiarity breeds an immunity towards being too shook to cook, so to speak. Auburn may save its best game for Alabama simply because players prepare to do so every morning they wake up. We’ll see if that narrative helps them score, because they’re not competing solely because they want to. A 53-0 blanking of Liberty during last week’s SEC Cupcake weekend produced the team’s highest-scoring output since a 63-9 Sept. 8 win over Alabama State, but the reality is that Auburn scored more than 30 points only twice in SEC play and looks more likely to score in single-digits against ‘Bama than they are at producing enough to seriously threaten.

    The Crimson Tide will have RB Damien Harris back after he’s cleared concussion protocol and also list safety Delonte Thompson as probable despite a knee issue. Offensive linemen Alex Leatherwood and Deonte Brown are also likely to participate. QB Tua Tagovailoa, the heavy Heisman favorite (-400) wasn’t even listed on the injury report, so expect him to play for as long as the Crimson Tide needs him. He’s only worked into the fourth quarter twice and looks to bounce back against a real defense after being sacked four times by Mississippi State. Counterpart Jarrett Stidham, a junior, may announce he’s turning pro as early as next week and enjoyed his highest-rated game last season against Alabama, so he can reverse all the damage he’s done to his stock with his shaky play this season by putting together a strong effort this afternoon.

    South Carolina at Clemson (-26/58.5), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN:
    This role hasn’t gone well for Will Muschamp, who has lost the first two Palmetto Bowls during this tenure by a 90-17 margin. QB Jake Bentley has started both games for South Carolina against the Tigers and has thrown three interceptions while being held to just 167 yards. He’ll be facing the best defensive line in the country, but has been able to produce over the last few weeks, passing the Gamecocks to over 30 points in each of the last three games, which includes a solid performance at Florida. He’ll have top target Deebo Samuel in the mix for this season’s game after being forced to miss last season’s contest, so count on getting the senior the ball being a huge priority.

    Clemson hasn’t beaten South Carolina five straight times since the 1930s. The Tigers have covered in three of the last four wins against the Gamecocks and are 5-1 against the number since October began, outscoring opponents 302-49 (50.3-8.2). The Tigers are averaging 47 points over freshman Trevor Lawrence’s seven starts since taking over for Kelly Bryant, while RB Travis Etienne has stepped up to take the pressure off and leads the ACC with 1,157 yards and a single-year school-record 17 TDs. Rain may factor in.

    Notre Dame (-11.5/54) at USC, 8 p.m. ET, ABC:
    Without a conference championship to worry about, defeating the Trojans would solidify Notre Dame’s spot in the college football playoff. That’s some heady circumstances, but USC is very invested in producing an upset too. Head coach Clay Helton may get axed without a victory to pick up a few extra weeks of work with his young group by getting to .500 and achieving bowl eligibility. Although there have been injury issues, losing four of five games in a season where the Pac-12 isn’t at all strong has the natives restless and calling for change. USC has only defeated Oregon State since mid-October, getting blown out at Utah while losing one-possession games against Oregon State, Cal and UCLA in Los Angeles. Freshman starting QB J.T. Daniels has thrown 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and has been criticized for an inability to hit big plays despite having talented options everywhere you look. Notre Dame has registered 29 sacks and has turned defensive coordinator Clark Lea into one of the country’s hottest assistants by backing up his aggressive calls. If Daniels can’t handle the pressure, the Trojans will have no shot at an upset. USC has scored just three second-half points over their last two losses and will need a big day from RB Aca’Cedric Ware to keep the Fighting Irish from coming after Daniels and imposing their will up front.

    The Fighting Irish offense had struggled until Brian Kelly replaced junior Brandon Wimbush with sophomore Ian Book, who doesn’t have much experience in true road games but has excelled in most situations, displaying poise beyond his experience level. He’ll be facing a Trojans defense that has already lost top pass-rusher Porter Gustin for the season and may be without middle linebacker John Houston (hamstring) or safety Marvel Tell (ankle). Both will be game-time decisions. Last year’s 49-14 win in South Bend was the most lopsided in series history. A repeat of that here would almost certainly seal Helton’s fate.

    LSU at Texas A&M (-7.5/75), 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC:
    The first Jimbo Fisher Bowl will be played in College Station, where the defensive coordinator the new Texas A&M head coach intended to hire will look to further earn his substantial pay raise that he signed to keep his at LSU. Dave Aranda has been well worth the raise, keeping the Tigers in the national conversation despite another underwhelming offense. Fisher hired Mike Elko away from Notre Dame, so two of the country’s top defensive minds will be facing off and trying to keep QBs Joe Burrow and Kellen Mond from finding a rhythm. Since being humbled at home by Alabama in a 29-0 loss, LSU has handled Arkansas and blown out Rice, so this season finale will be by far its toughest test and the most difficult road game since losing at Florida on Oct. 6.

    The Aggies have averaged 39.5 points in home wins over Ole Miss and UAB, but facing a defense featuring two of the top performers in the country is going to be a graduation of sorts for Mond and an offense that has wrestled with inconsistency over the past few months. Texas A&M has lost the last seven games against LSU and is winless against the Bayou Bengals since joining the SEC. The ‘under’ has clicked in five of seven featuring A&M and three of the last four LSU games.

    Others to watch:
    Georgia Tech at Georgia, Syracuse at Boston College, Stanford at UCLA, Oklahoma State at TCU, Florida at Florida State, Kansas State at Iowa State, BYU at Utah, Hawai'i at San Diego State, Texas Tech at Baylor, Tennessee at Vanderbilt, Minnesota at Wisconsin, Wake Forest at Duke, Colorado at Cal Purdue at Indiana, Kentucky at Louisville, UAB at Middle Tennessee, Troy at Appalachian State, Georgia Southern at Georgia State
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 11-24-2018 at 12:08 PM.



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