Saturday's NCAAF Top 25 betting cheat sheet: Afternoon action

Oct 24, 2013 |
Alabama looks for its 12th straight victory Saturday.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Alabama looks for its 12th straight victory Saturday.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Click here for the Saturday's evening games.

Louisville Cardinals at South Florida Bulls (+20, 46.5)

Cardinals QB Teddy Bridgewater has completed 68 percent of his passes during his career – 72 percent this season with 20 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. His top three targets – DeVante Parker, Damian Copeland and Eli Rogers – all have at least 26 receptions and 391 yards while combining for 14 touchdowns.

The Bulls average 258.5 total yards, which ranks 121st out of 123 FBS teams, while their defense has played well much of the season. Linebacker DeDe Lattimore boasts 56 tackles to lead South Florida, which is 22nd in the nation in passing yards against (200) and 33rd in total defense (360.5).

LINE: The Cardinals opened as 20.5 road faves and are now -20. THe total opened at 46.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-70s with clear skies.

* Underdog is 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Cardinals are 0-5 ATS in their last five games in October.
* Bulls are 1-8 ATS in their last nine games following a bye week.

Oklahoma State Cowboys at Iowa State Cyclones (+12.5, 56)

Cowboys QB J.W. Walsh was pulled in favor of Clint Chelf during the 24-10 win over Texas Christian and coach Mike Gundy admitted he won't reveal his starting quarterback until game time. "We won't publicly name one," Gundy said. "We'll let those guys practice and then we'll see how it goes this week."

Iowa State QB Sam B. Richardson has thrown for 1,255 yards with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions this season. Linebacker Jeremiah George made a career-high 18 tackles against Baylor and ranks fifth nationally with 11.5 per game while three Iowa State players are ranked in the top seven nationally in solo tackles - Jacques Washington (third, 7.0) and George and Sam E. Richardson (tied for seventh, 6.5).

LINE: The Cowboys opened as 14-point road faves and are now -12.5. The total is currently 56.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the mid-40s and wind will blow toward the S endzone at 14 mph.

* Favorite is 7-1 ATS in their last eight meetings.
* Under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings.
* Cowboys are 1-7 ATS in their last eight road games.

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Minnesota Golden Gophers (+10.5, 52)

Two open dates over the last four weeks allowed No. 21 Nebraska to get its feet wet in Big Ten Conference play. The inactivity may also have bought the Cornhuskers enough time to get quarterback Taylor Martinez back from injury as they head to Minnesota on Saturday to face the Golden Gophers. Martinez, who has been dealing with turf toe since Nebraska lost to UCLA on Sept. 14, has sat out the last three games as Tommy Armstrong Jr. and Ron Kellogg III have directed the team to three straight victories.

While the Cornhuskers boast the country’s 10th-ranked rushing attack (284.8 yards per game), the Golden Gophers are 28th in rushing offense (210.1) with four players (David Cobb, Mitch Leidner, Philip Nelson and Rodrick Williams) tallying at least one 100-yard game this year – the first time Minnesota has achieved that feat since 1967. However, Tracy Claeys revealed that Leidner – the team’s starting quarterback the past two games – is battling an illness. As a result, it is unclear if Leidner or Nelson, who came on in relief last week, will draw the start against Nebraska.

LINE: The Huskers opened as 10.5-point road faves. The total opened at 52.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-40s and wind will blow across the field at 14 mph.

* Cornhuskers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Golden Gophers are 1-4 ATS in their last five conference games.
* Under is 10-4 in Golden Gophers last 14 home games.

Connecticut Huskies at Central Florida Knights (-23, 52.5)

Connecticut has been unable to find any kind of rhythm offensively. After head coach Paul Pasqualoni was fired on Sept. 30, interim coach T.J. Weist plugged in freshman quarterback Tim Boyle. In two games, he's led the Huskies to just 26 points - including a 41-16 loss to Cincinnati last week.

The Knights, ranked in the Top 25 for the first time since 2010, are led by efficient quarterback Blake Bortles. His 64.9 percent completion rate and 11-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio are large reasons why Central Florida ranks 46th in the nation in passing offense.

LINE: The Knights opened as 22.5-point home faves and are now -23. The total opened at 52.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-70s with wind blowing toward the S endzone at 7 mph.

* Huskies are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven road games.
* Knights are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall.
* Under is 11-5 in Knights last 16 home games.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Miami Hurricanes (-24.5, 54)

The Demon Deacons seek a third straight win after knocking off North Carolina State and Maryland in consecutive weeks following a 2-3 start. Against the Hurricanes, Wake Forest hopes to improve its presence on the road, where it has disappointed this season.

hings definitely are looking up from all angles for the Hurricanes, who have not been ranked this high since November 13, 2005. Quarterback Stephen Morris has Miami poised for the big play at all times, ranking fifth in the nation with an average of 16.52 yards per completion. Duke Johnson averages a conference-best 7.1 yards per carry, and his 109.2 yards per game trail only Boston College's Andre Williams among ACC rushers.

LINE: Miami opened as a 21-point fave and is now -24.5. The total is currently 54.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-80s with wind blowing across the field at 13 mph.

* Demon Deacons are 2-14 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
* Hurricanes are 8-1 ATS in their last nine home games.
* Under is 19-7 in Demon Deacons last 26 games overall.

Vanderbilt Commodores at Texas A&M Aggies (-17.5, 69)

The Commodores have yet to announce whether quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels, who left Vanderbilt's upset of Georgia in the second quarter with a leg injury, or redshirt freshman Patton Robinette will get the start.

Johnny Manziel is second nationally in total offense (396.4 yards per game) and the Aggies are ranked fifth in the country in passing yards (377.1), third in total offense (588.7) and fourth in scoring (46.9 points). The Texas A&M defense is on the other end of the national rankings, allowing 494.4 yards (ranked 118th out of 123 FBS teams), 226.6 rushing yards (112th) and 33.9 points (104th).

LINE: The Aggies opened -18 and are now -17.5. The total opened 68.5 and is up to 69.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-70s with a 20 percent chance of rain.

* Commodores are 5-1 ATS in their last six road games.
* Over is 6-1 in Aggies last seven games overall.
* Aggies are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games in October.

Eastern Michigan Eagles at Northern Illinois Huskies (-31, 66.5)

Eastern Michigan takes the field for its second game since wide receiver Demarius Reed was found shot to death in an off-campus apartment Oct. 18. The Eagles honored Reed by wearing his No. 2 on their helmets in last week’s 56-28 loss to Ohio.

he Huskies rank fourth nationally in rushing, with Jordan Lynch and Cameron Stingily leading the way for an offense averaging 304.7 yards on the ground. Northern Illinois has scored 30 or more points in six of seven games, and its season low in points is 27.

LINE: The Huskies opened -30 and are now -31. The total is currently 66.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-40s with wind blowing across the field at 14 mph.

* Favorite is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Under is 7-2 in the last nine meetings.
* Road team is 13-3 ATS in their last 16 meetings.

Clemson Tigers at Maryland Terrapins (+14.5, 60)

Clemson is coming off a humiliating loss against Florida State, but Maryland knows exactly what that feels like. The 10th-ranked Tigers aim to bounce back from their lopsided top-five showdown on Saturday when they visit the Terrapins in ACC action. All eyes will be on Tajh Boyd and Clemson, which was demolished by the Seminoles, 51-14, last weekend in a game that could have potentially propelled the Tigers to the forefront of the national title picture.

The Terps lost two receivers, Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, to broken legs against Wake Forest. That was the last thing Maryland needed, as its passing game - and its offense in general - is struggling, managing a total of 37 points over the last three games.

LINE: The Tigers opened -13 and are now -14.5. The total opened at 60.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-50s with wind blowing across the field at 12 mph.

* Under is 6-1 in the last seven meetings.
* Tigers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games.
* Terrapins are 3-14 ATS in their last 17 games following a S.U. loss.

North Carolina State Wolfpack at Florida State Seminoles (-32, 58)

The Wolfpack had an extra week to prepare a stout defensive unit that has been holding opponents to 21.2 points per game, and knowing they have beaten Florida State twice in the past three meetings gives them confidence.

No. 3 Florida State is second in the initial BCS rankings and coming off a dominant victory at Clemson, but the Seminoles know they have a lot of work left to do if they want to play for the national championship. The Seminoles, tops in the nation with only four turnovers, boast the No. 3 scoring offense in the FBS (53.2 points per game) and have scored at least 41 in every game.

LINE: The Seminoles opened as 28.5-point home faves and are now -32. The total opened at 58.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-60s with sunny skies.

* Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Wolfpack are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 meetings.
* Over is 6-0 in Seminoles last six games overall.

Duke Blue Devils at Virginia Tech Hokies (-13.5, 47.5)

Duke arrives in Blacksburg with plenty of momentum, winners of three straight including last week's comeback victory at Virginia that featured 35 unanswered points to overcome a 22-0 deficit. Quarterback Anthony Boone moved to 5-0 as a starter with the win over the Cavaliers but fellow signal caller Brandon Connette had a major hand in the decision as well. The junior became the first quarterback in school history with two game-winning, fourth quarter touchdown passes.

Riding a six-game win streak and fresh off a bye week, Virginia Tech looks to stay unbeaten in conference play. The 19th-ranked Hokies appear to be in good position for a run at the ACC championship game, atop the Coastal Division alongside unbeaten Miami, with a November 9th showdown against the Hurricanes drawing ever closer. Against the Blue Devils, Virginia Tech may get a lift with the season debut of cornerback Antone Exum, who missed the first seven games following offseason knee surgery.

LINE: Tech opened as a 13.5-point home fave. The total opened at 47.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-50s with clear skies.

* Home team is 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Under is 7-1-1 in Hokies last nine games overall.
* Blue Devils are 14-4-1 ATS in their last 19 games in October.

Texas Tech Red Raiders at Oklahoma Sooners (-7, 59)

Texas Tech worked its way to the top of the Big 12 under first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury on the back of a strong passing attack. The ninth-ranked Red Raiders get their biggest test yet when they visit No. 12 Oklahoma on Saturday. Texas Tech is averaging 416.4 passing yards but has yet to face a defense like the Sooners, who are surrendering the fewest yards in the Big 12.

The Sooners roll the opposite way, leaning on the running game for an average of 227.9 yards while quarterback Blake Bell provides a dual threat under center. Oklahoma has allowed only two teams to go over 200 yards passing, led by Tulsa’s 226-yard effort on Sept. 14.

LINE: The Sooners opened -8 and are now -7. The total is currently 59.
WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for a 49 percent chance of thunderstorms.

* Home team is 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings.
* Sooners are 0-4 ATS in their last four conference games.
* Over is 9-2 in Red Raiders last 11 games overall.

Tennessee Volunteers at Alabama Crimson Tide (-28, 51.5)

Tennessee is re-energized under first-year coach Butch Jones and filled with confidence after upsetting South Carolina 23-21 last Saturday. The Volunteers have forced 17 turnovers (12 interceptions, five fumbles) with junior linebacker A.J. Johnson (55 tackles), sophomore strong safety Brian Randolph (46 tackles, three interceptions) and senior defensive end Marlon Walls (4.5 sacks) all enjoying solid campaigns.

Top-ranked Alabama is rolling toward its third consecutive BCS title game appearance and the host Crimson Tide attempt to win their 12th consecutive game and avoid the upset bid of improving Tennessee on Saturday. Alabama sits atop the first BCS standings and is looking for its seventh consecutive victory over the Volunteers.

LINE: The Tide opened as 28-point home faves. The total opened at 51.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-60s with sunny skies.

* Road team is 14-3-1 ATS in their last 18 meetings.
* Volunteers are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a ATS win.
* Under is 7-2-1 in Crimson Tide last 10 home games.
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