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

Northern Illinois Huskies at Massachusetts Minutemen (+23.5, 58)

The undefeated Huskies, who have won 20 of their last 21 games, shouldn't have a problem with a Massachusetts team it defeated 63-0 a year ago. Jordan Lynch continues to light up opposing defenses through the air and on the ground, and recently became the tenth player in FBS history to surpass 3,000 yards rushing and 4,000 yards passing in a career.

The Minutemen are coming off a heart-breaking 31-30 defeat to Western Michigan, in which head coach Charley Molnar opted for a two-point conversion attempt down by one point with 22 seconds remaining. The attempt failed, leaving the Minutemen with a 2-18 record since joining the FBS last season. Rob Blanchflower led the offense with a career-high 131 yards receiving on seven catches.

LINE: Northern Illinois opened as a 22.5-point favorite, but the line has grown to 23.5. The O/U is set at 58.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the mid-50s with partly cloudy skies.
TRENDS:

* Huskies are 9-2-1 ATS vs. teams with losing records.
* Minutemen are 1-4 ATS vs. teams with winning records.
* Under is 7-1 in Massachusetts' last eight games.

Ohio State Buckeyes at Purdue Boilermakers (+31.5, 56.5)

Quarterback Braxton Miller and running back Carlos Hyde look to continue raising their games when No. 4 Ohio State visits struggling Purdue for a Big Ten clash on Saturday. Miller completed 40-of-51 passes the last two weeks and Hyde gained 464 yards rushing over the previous three games for the Buckeyes, who have won 20 straight.

Ohio State, which is averaging 42 points in four league games, faces a Boilermakers team that started eight underclassmen in a 14-0 loss at Michigan State on Oct. 19. Freshman quarterback Danny Etling will make his third start as Purdue attempts to snap a five-game losing streak. Etling is 28-of-60 for 344 yards over his last two games, DeAngelo Yancey has made 15 catches for 327 yards and Akeem Hunt leads the team in rushing (293) and receptions (24).

LINE: The line has moved slightly to 31.5 after Ohio State opened as a 31-point fave. The total is 56.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the mid-40s with wind blowing across the field at 12 mph.
TRENDS:

* Buckeyes are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a SU win.
* Boilermakers are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games following a bye week.
* Under is 7-2 in the last nine meetings.

Wisconsin Badgers at Iowa Hawkeyes (+9.5, 48.5)

The Badgers have won two straight games and had their second bye in four weeks last weekend. Iowa recorded a 17-10 overtime victory over Northwestern last Saturday after suffering consecutive losses to Michigan State and Ohio State. The Hawkeyes’ three defeats - Northern Illinois is the other team that beat them - are to teams with a combined 23-1 record.

Iowa middle linebacker James Morris is coming off a superb performance in which he had eight tackles, two sacks and recovered a fumble against Northwestern. Morris has 64 tackles - second on the squad behind the 79 of weak-side linebacker Anthony Hitchens - and ranks eighth in school history with 357 in his career.

LINE: The Badgers have held steady as a 9.5-point favorite. The total is set at 48.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-40s with wind blowing across the field at 14 mph.
TRENDS:

* Badgers are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games following an ATS win.
* Hawkeyes are 4-1 ATS in their last five conference games.
* The road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.

Mississippi State Bulldogs at South Carolina Gamecocks (-12, 52)

With its division title hopes rejuvenated, No. 16 South Carolina returns home Saturday to take on struggling Mississippi State in a Southeastern Conference cross-divisional matchup. After entering the game in the third quarter and engineering a comeback last week against Missouri, South Carolina starting quarterback Connor Shaw is questionable this week with a virus.

Despite being kicked in the left shin by a fellow student on Mississippi State’s campus early this week, according to the school’s website, dual-threat quarterback Dak Prescott will get the start for the Bulldogs. Prescott has just five touchdowns against three interceptions since taking over for an injured Tyler Russell in the opening week, but he has rushed for over 100 yards three times in the Bulldogs' last five games.

LINE: The Gamecocks opened as 12.5-point favorites, but the line has since dipped to 12. The total is set at 52.
WEATHER: Sunny skies are expected with wind blowing across the field at 10 mph.
TRENDS:

* Bulldogs are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games.
* Gamecocks are 0-5 ATS in their last five games on grass.
* Over is 8-2 in South Carolina's last 10 conference games.

Clemson Tigers at Virginia Cavaliers (+17, 54.5)

No. 8 Clemson will try to break out of its offensive funk when the Tigers travel to play ACC rival Virginia on Saturday. Clemson, also No. 8 in the latest BCS rankings, struggled to put away Maryland last week after falling flat in a 51-14 loss to No. 3 Florida State. The Tigers should have an easier time against the Cavaliers, who have lost five straight and are allowing nearly 30 points a game.

Red-zone efficiency is of particular focus for the Tigers, who led the Terrapins 19-13 in the third quarter before claiming a 40-27 victory. Clemson settled for four field goals after getting inside the 20. Some of the Tigers’ offensive struggles can be attributed to quarterback Tajh Boyd, who got banged up against both the Seminoles and the Terrapins.

LINE: Clemson opened as a 17-point favorite, but the line has dropped to 16.5. The total is 54.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-60s with wind blowing across the field at 7 mph.
TRENDS:

* Tigers are 4-11-2 ATS in their last 17 road games vs. teams with losing home records.
* Cavaliers are 5-15-2 ATS in their last 22 games.
* Under is 9-1 in Virginia's last 10 November games.

Michigan Wolverines at Michigan State Spartans (-6, 46.5)

First place in the Legends Division will be on the line when the 24th-ranked Spartans host No. 21 Michigan on Saturday. he Wolverines will be playing just their third true road game and barely scraped by a winless Connecticut team 24-21 away from home on Sept. 21 before suffering their lone loss, 43-40 in four overtimes, at Penn State on Oct. 12.

Michigan State padded its record and showed off on defense while making some necessary adjustments offensively in last week’s 42-3 triumph over Illinois, as quarterback Connor Cook went 15-of-16 for 208 yards and three touchdowns in his most efficient performance. Cook’s emergence complements a running attack that is averaging 196.5 yards.

LINE: MSU was installed as a 4.5-point favorite, but the line has since vaulted to 6. The total is set at 46.5.
WEATHER: There is a 40 percent chance of rain with wind blowing diagonally out of the northwest at 9 mph.
TRENDS:

* Wolverines are 1-8 ATS in their last nine games after racking up more than 280 yards in their previous contest.
* Spartans are 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 games following an ATS win.
* Over is 6-1 in Michigan's last seven conference games.

Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-17, 48.5)


Notre Dame seeks its fourth straight victory Saturday afternoon when it hosts Navy as the longtime rivals meet for the 87th straight season. The Fighting Irish are coming off their most lopsided win of the year, a 45-10 rout at Air Force. They have put a 3-2 start in the rear view mirror and are gearing up for a challenging stretch run that ends with a visit to Stanford on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The Midshipmen also took care of Air Force earlier in the year and are coming off a 24-21 win over Pittsburgh last Saturday. A 30-yard field goal as time expired was the difference as Navy scored 10 points in the final three-plus minutes to improve to 3-0 at home. The Midshipmen have dropped three straight on the road, however, including two to non-BCS conference schools.

LINE: Notre Dame has held steady as a 17-point favorite. The total has dipped from 49 to 48.5.
WEATHER: There is a 46 percent chance of rain and wind blowing across the width of the field at 13 mph.
TRENDS:

* Midshipmen are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games on grass.
* Fighting Irish are 0-6 ATS in their last six games after scoring 40 or more points in their previous outing.
* Road team is 15-3 ATS in their last 18 meetings.

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