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

Sep 12, 2013 |
Saturday's NCAAF Top 25 betting cheat sheet: Afternoon action
Manziel has six TD tosses and one pick through his first two games.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Manziel has six TD tosses and one pick through his first two games.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
We give a quick look at all of Saturday's Top 25 afternoon betting action from Week 3 of the college football schedule:

Louisville Cardinals at Kentucky Wildcats (+13.5, 59.5)

Teddy Bridgewater looks to build on his early-season productivity when No. 7 Louisville visits in-state rival Kentucky on Saturday. The junior quarterback passed for 752 yards and nine touchdowns in the Cardinals’ first two victories and completed 19-of-21 passes in Louisville’s win over Kentucky last season. The Wildcats are transitioning under first-year coach Mark Stoops and the offense rolled up 675 yards in last Saturday’s 41-7 rout of Miami (Ohio).

Kentucky had 413 passing yards and 262 on the ground against Miami in the second game under new offensive coordinator Neal Brown to rack up the third-most yards in program history. The Wildcats rotated sophomore quarterbacks Maxwell Smith and Jalen Whitlow in the first two games and now face a rugged Louisville defense that allowed just seven points in each of two victories. The explosive Cardinals rank fifth in passing offense (406.5), tied for 16th in scoring offense (46.5 points) and 18th in total offense (545.0).

Temperatures will be in the low-60s with clear skies over Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington.
LINE: Louisville opened as 11.5-point road faves and is as high -14 at some books. The total is 59.5.

* The road team is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* The over is 7-3 in Cardinals last 10 road games.
* The Wildcats are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS win.

Akron Zips at Michigan Wolverines (-37, 56.5)

The last time Michigan secured a home victory against Notre Dame, it struggled initially against a downtrodden Mid-American Conference opponent before recovering en route to a 6-0 start. The 12th-ranked Wolverines look to avoid another early letdown Saturday when they host Akron. Michigan, which defeated the Fighting Irish 41-30 in its last home game between the two longtime rivals, followed up a dramatic victory against Notre Dame in 2011 with a sloppy 31-3 win over Eastern Michigan.

While Eastern Michigan went on to finish 6-6 that year for its only non-losing season since 1995, the Zips - who are coming off a 1-11 campaign - don’t appear to be a team capable of trading blows with the Wolverines. Akron, which is in its second season under former Auburn coach Terry Bowden, has dropped 27 consecutive road contests. The Zips have won only one game in each of the previous three seasons and are coming off a 35-33 home win over James Madison last Saturday.

WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-50s with clear skies. There is a small five percent chance of rain in the forecast.
LINE: Michigan opened as 36.5-point home faves and is now -37. The total is 56.5.

* The Wolverines are 6-1 ATS in their last seven versus the MAC.
* The Zips are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games overall.
* The under is 8-1 in the Zips last nine games overall.

UCLA Bruins at Nebraska Cornhuskers (-4.5, 70)

UCLA will be playing with heavy hearts this week following the death of walk-on wide receiver Nick Pasquale, who was hit by a car while walking in his hometown on Sunday. The 17th-ranked Bruins attempt to put that pain behind them when they visit No. 15 Nebraska on Saturday. UCLA had extra time to prepare after an opening destruction of Nevada on Aug. 31 and a bye week.

The Cornhuskers are searching for revenge against the Bruins, who rolled up 653 total yards in a 36-30 home win over Nebraska last season. That marked the second-most yards ever allowed by a Cornhuskers defense, and the loss threw an early wrench into their BCS bowl plans. UCLA used that triumph as a springboard to a strong campaign and hopes to turn the same trick in 2013.

WEATHER: Temperatures in Lincoln will be in the high-60s with a 24 percent chance of thunderstorms. Wind will blow from the south at 12 mph toward the north end zone.
LINE: Nebraska opened as a 4.5-point favorite. The total is 70.

* The Bruins are 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a ATS win.
* The over is 4-0 in the Bruins' last four road games.
* The Cornhuskers are 17-4-2 ATS in their last 23 home games versus a team with a winning road record.

Tulsa Golden Hurricanes at Oklahoma Sooners
(-24, 51)

Quarterback Blake Bell will make his first career start when No. 13 Oklahoma hosts in-state foe Tulsa on Saturday. Starter Trevor Knight suffered a bruised right knee late in the first half of the Sooners' 16-7 victory over West Virginia last week and left the game after three quarters in favor of Bell with Oklahoma ahead 13-7. Knight is expected to miss up to two weeks, but could miss only one game as the Sooners are off next week prior to their showdown at No. 21 Notre Dame on Sept. 28.

It may not matter who plays quarterback for Oklahoma as its defense has yielded seven points in two games - the fewest allowed by an FBS school that has faced two FBS teams. The Golden Hurricane, voted to win the Conference USA West Division in the preseason poll, were headed for an 0-2 start before rallying from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat Colorado State 30-27 last week. Julius Caesar (Trey) Watts III, son of former Sooners star quarterback and U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts, is responsible for 251 of Tulsa's 700 yards and should attract the majority of Oklahoma's attention.

Temperatures will be in the high-70s with partly cloudy skies. Wind will blow across the field from the east at 6 mph.
LINE: The Sooners opened as 24.5-point home faves at most books and are currently -24. The total opened at 49 and is up to 51.

* The Golden Hurricane are 1-6 ATS in their last seven versus the Big 12.
* The Sooners are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games.
* The favorite is 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.

Stanford Cardinal at Army Black Knights (+28.5, 51)

Fourth-ranked Stanford looks to extend its winning streak to 10 games when it travels to Army on Saturday in the first meeting between the schools since 1979. The Cardinal picked up where they left off in 2012 by trouncing San Jose State last weekend 34-13. It gave coach David Shaw a 24-4 mark since taking over at Stanford, including wins in his first three season openers, making Shaw the first Cardinal coach to do that in almost 80 years.

It has been nearly 41 seasons since Army knocked off a ranked opponent and almost 51 years since the Black Knights hosted a team ranked in the top five nationally. Army enters on a sour note after suffering a 40-14 loss at Ball State last weekend. The Black Knights turned the ball over three times and gave up 325 passing yards.

WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-50s with partly cloudy skies before clearing up later in the game. Wind will blow from the NW at 6 mph.
LINE: Army opened as 28.5-point home dogs. The total opened at 52 and has moved down to 51.

* The Cardinal are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 non-conference games.
* The Black Knights are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 home games versus a team with a winning road record.
* The under is 6-1 in Black Knights last seven games overall.

Nevada Wolf Pack at Florida State Seminoles (-33.5, 65.5)

One game into his much-anticipated college career and the bar has already been set impossibly high for Jameis Winston, who will look to build on a scintillating debut when No. 9 Florida State hosts Nevada on Saturday. Winston shattered the school's single-game completion percentage and posted an FBS-best passer rating of 252.2 as the Seminoles dismantled Pittsburgh on Sept. 2. Florida State has an extra week to prepare, but it is 1-2 coming off a bye the last three seasons.

Nevada, the alma mater of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, will be playing a ranked team on the road for the second time in three weeks after getting overwhelmed by UCLA 58-20 in the season opener. The Wolf Pack could be forced to play without dual-threat QB Cody Fajardo, who suffered a sprained right knee in last week's 36-7 victory over UC Davis. Fajardo is listed as day-to-day for Nevada, which went 5-1 on the road last season.

WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the mid-80s with a 41 percent chance of thunderstorms in Tallahassee.
LINE: The Seminoles opened as 32-point home faves and are currently -33.5. The total is 65.5.

* The Wolf Pack are 2-9-1 ATS in their last 12 games following a SU win.
* The Seminoles are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win.
* The under is 12-2 in Seminoles last 14 non-conference games.

Alabama Crimson Tide at Texas A&M Aggies (+7.5, 60)

The two-time defending national champions take on the Heisman Trophy quarterback who nearly derailed their title defense a year ago when top-ranked Alabama travels to No. 6 Texas A&M for a Southeastern Conference showdown Saturday afternoon. Star quarterback Johnny Manziel and the Aggies put their nation-best eight-game winning streak on the line against Alabama's vaunted defense in one of the most-anticipated matchups of the season. Last year in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Manziel's Heisman campaign hit high gear when he orchestrated a 29-24 upset of the undefeated Crimson Tide.

Coach Nick Saban has had two weeks to prepare for Manziel and the Aggies' high-powered offense, as the Crimson Tide had a week off following a 35-10 win over Virginia Tech in the opener. Alabama hasn't lost a road or neutral-site game since Nov. 6, 2010, a span of 15 games - the longest active streak in the nation. It's the first trip to College Station, Texas, for the Crimson Tide since a 30-10 victory in 1988.

WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-90s with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Wind will blow across the field at 6 mph.
LINE: Most books opened with the Crimson Tide as 7.5-point road faves. The total opened at 62 and has come down to 60.

* Crimson Tide are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 road games.
* The Aggies are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a SU win.
* The over is 4-1 in the Aggies last five home games.

Tennessee Volunteers at Oregon Ducks (-27.5, 71)

It’s safe to say the transition from Chip Kelly to Mark Helfrich has been seamless as No. 2 Oregon hosts Tennessee on Saturday in the third game of the post-Kelly era. The high-flying offense hasn’t missed a beat by scoring an average of 62.5 points (third nationally) and ranking second in total offense (664.5) and second in rushing offense (425.0). Tennessee has allowed just 20 points in two games, ranks 29th in total defense (302.0) and has forced nine turnovers.

The Volunteers’ gaudy defensive statistics will be tested by the high-powered Ducks as the first two opponents – Austin Peay and Western Kentucky – lacked the weapons Oregon possesses. First-year Tennessee coach Butch Jones said his team needs to prevent the quick long-yardage scores the Ducks are known for and make them drive the field for points. Oregon is averaging a stellar 9.5 yards per play after opening the Helfrich era with routs over Nicholls State (66-3) and Virgina (59-10).

WEATHER: Skies will be clear and temperatures will be in the high-70s at Autzen Stadium.
LINE: Oregon opened as a 27-point home fave and has been bet up to -27.5. Most books opened to total at 70 and it is currently 71.

* The Volunteers are 0-7-1 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS win.
* The Ducks are 7-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
* The over is 26-8-1 in the Ducks last 35 home games.

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