Utah Utes at Oregon Ducks (-26, 64.5)
The Utes have excelled at pressuring the quarterback as they lead the
nation in sacks per game (3.67) and their 33 total sacks are second to
Missouri’s 34. Defensive end/linebacker Trevor Reilly leads the squad in
tackles (78), tackles for loss (13.5) and sacks (seven), and linebacker
Jacoby Hale (6.5 sacks) has also been a force.
The Ducks likely had their national championship aspirations
extinguished with the 26-20 loss to Stanford as they were stunningly
blanked for three quarters before attempting to rally. The season-low
output drops Oregon’s scoring average to 51.7 per game – third
nationally – and the Ducks now need Stanford to stumble to have any
chance of being the North’s representative in the Pac-12 title game.
LINE: Oregon opened as a 25-point fave, but the line has been bet up to -26. The total is currently 64.5.
WEATHER: Rain is in the forecast with temperatures in the low-40s.
* Utes are 2-7 ATS in their last nine conference games.
* Ducks are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games.
* Over is 13-3-1 in Oregon's last 17 home games vs. teams with losing road records.
Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Baylor Bears (-27.5, 85)
Texas Tech, which has lost three straight after a 7-0 start, is averaging 37.8 points and 530.5 yards per game. The Red Raiders are coming off a 49-26 loss to Kansas State, and
head coach Kliff Kingsbury isn't sure who will be his starting quarterback against the
Bears. Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb, both freshmen, each have started
There's no debate on who will start at quarterback for the Bears. Bryce
Petty leads the nation in passing efficiency (210.6) and yards per
completion (19.68) and has started popping up on some Heisman Trophy
lists. But the Bears also can run the ball, as they're averaging 255
yards on the ground, and will be going up against a Texas Tech defense
that surrendered 291 yards rushing in last week's loss to Kansas State.
LINE: Baylor is installed as a 27.5-point fave with the total set at a whopping 85.
* Red Raiders are 0-4 ATS in their last four neutral-site games.
* Bears are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games after scoring 40 or more points in their previous contest.
* Over is 14-2 in Baylor's last 16 games following a SU win of more than 20 points.
Florida Gators at South Carolina Gamecocks (-12, 41.5)
A season that began with high expectations has fallen victim to the
injury bug as the Gators have lost seven starters to season-ending
injuries, including quarterback Jeff Driskel, running back Matt Jones
and defensive tackle Dominique Easley. If Murphy can’t go because of the
shoulder sprain, the job will belong to freshman Skyler Mornhinweg, who
has yet to throw a collegiate pass.
The Gamecocks enter Saturday very much alive in the race for a berth in
the SEC Championship game. South Carolina needs a win Saturday and for
Georgia and Missouri to each just lose once to punch its ticket to
Atlanta. The Gamecocks will look to lean on running back Mike Davis, who
leads the SEC in rushing yards per game with 117.6.
LINE: South Carolina opened as a 13.5-point fave but is now -12. The total has held at 41.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-50s with cloudy skies.
* Gators are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games following a bye week.
* Gamecocks are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 home games.
* The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
Houston Cougars at Louisville Cardinals (-15.5, 57.5)
The winner of this matchup and once-beaten Cincinnati likely will be the
only teams with a chance to overtake Central Florida, which is unbeaten
in conference play. The Cougars are a decided underdog on the road, despite losing at
Central Florida by just five points last week. Freshman quarterback John
O'Korn didn't play exceptionally well against the Knights, so as he
goes, so does Houston.
Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has played well in every game this season,
and that's not likely to change against a Cougar defense ranked 30th in
points allowed. Strong knows what his quarterback can do, but he
believes there are similarities between what Central Florida and Houston
do on offense. The Cougars lead the nation with a plus-21 turnover margin, while the Cardinals are second at plus-14.
LINE: Louisville is a 15.5-point favorite - down from an opening of -17 - while the total is holding at 57.5.
WEATHER: There is a 19 percent chance of showers in the forecast with temperatures in the high-50s.
* Cougars are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games.
* Cardinals are 2-5 ATS in their last seven vs. teams with winning records.
* Under is 14-6 in Louisville's last 20 home games.
Alabama Crimson Tide at Mississippi State Bulldogs (+23.5, 52)
AJ McCarron has not been intercepted in his last 123 passing attempts;
he owns the school record at 291 and is in the midst of his third streak
of at least 100 consecutive passes without a turnover. Over the past
seven contests, the Crimson Tide offense has outgained the opposition by
1,609 yards -- an average of 229.9 yards per game.
Safety Nickoe Whitley posted his 14th career interception against the
Aggies, tying him for the most among active FBS players and leaving him
two shy of matching the school record (Walt Harris, Johnthan Banks).
Jameon Lewis, who has a team-high 39 catches, is the only player in the
country with at least four receiving, three rushing and three passing
LINE: Alabama has seen the line dip from 24.5 to 23.5, with the total set at 52.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-60s with wind blowing across the width of the field at 10 mph.
* Crimson Tide are 5-0 ATS in their last five conference games.
* Bulldogs are 1-4 ATS in their last five games on grass.
* Under is 5-0-1 in the last six meetings.
Stanford Cardinal at USC Trojans (+4, 46)
The Cardinal is ranked No. 4 in the BCS standings, but they’ll need help
to land a spot in the national championship game. They certainly
appeared worthy in their win over previously unbeaten Oregon, with the
offensive line dominating the line of scrimmage and Tyler Gaffney
rushing for 157 yards on 45 carries. Coach David Shaw indicated the offense will be more diversified against the Trojans.
Tailback Silas Redd is questionable after suffering a knee injury last
week, so the Trojans will likely lean on Javorius Allen against
Stanford, which leads the Pac-12 in run defense. Quarterback Cody
Kessler has improved since Orgeron took over on Sept. 29, and he’s
completed 82 percent of his passes over the last two games. The Trojans
rank tied for third nationally in red zone defense.
LINE: Stanford opened at -3 but has seen the line bet up by a point. The total is set at 46.
WEATHER: Skies will be mostly cloudy with temperatures in the low-60s.
* Cardinal are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. teams with winning home records.
* Trojans are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games following a SU win.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings at USC.
Oregon State Beavers at Arizona State Sun Devils (-14, 63.5)
Brandin Cooks has 91 receptions to tie the school mark shared by James
Rodgers (2009) and Markus Wheaton (2012), and is nine away from becoming
the fifth player in Pac-12 history to reach 100. Cooks has 1,344 yards
and 14 touchdown receptions as a top-notch target for quarterback Sean
Mannion, who leads the nation with 3,540 yards and is tied for second
with 31 touchdowns.
Running back Marion Grice hasn’t scored a touchdown in back-to-back
games after finding the end zone 18 times over the first seven games.
Grice (12 rushing scores, six receiving) has teamed with multi-purpose
quarterback Taylor Kelly (24 passing touchdowns, seven rushing) to fuel
an offense averaging 43.7 points per game.
LINE: ASU has held steady as a 14-point fave, while the total has dropped one point to 63.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-60s under partly cloudy skies.
* Beavers are 21-9-1 ATS in their last 31 road games.
* Sun Devils are 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games.
* Over is 17-5 in Arizona State's last 22 games following a SU win.