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

Sep 19, 2013 |
Saturday's NCAAF Top 25 betting cheat sheet: Afternoon action
Ohio State QB Braxton Miller has been ruled out vs. FAMU.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Ohio State QB Braxton Miller has been ruled out vs. FAMU.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
We give a quick look at all of Saturday's Top 25 afternoon betting action from Week 4 of the college football schedule:

Florida International Golden Panthers at Louisville Cardinals (-43, 56.5)

Louisville will try to avoid a letdown Saturday at home when it hosts Florida International, a team that has given the Cardinals fits the last two years. Louisville is coming off a 27-13 victory at Kentucky in its first road game last Saturday, which vaulted the Cardinals to the No. 6 spot in the country. Teddy Bridgewater threw for 250 yards and a touchdown as Louisville won for the 14th time in its last 16 games.

The Golden Panthers had two turnovers and committed seven penalties in a 34-13 loss at home to Bethune-Cookman last weekend. More notable was the fact that they were outgained on the ground by a 311-73 margin, which does not bode well against a Louisville rushing attack that found its groove at Kentucky. Sophomore quarterback Jake Medlock threw for a season-high 149 yards and had his first passing touchdown in the loss.

WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-70s with a 13 percent chance of rain.
LINE: Louisville opened as a 42-point favorite and is currently -43. The total has held firm at 56.5.

* The Golden Panthers are 0-6 ATS versus a team with a winning record.
* The Cardinals are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 versus CUSA.
* The Under is 5-1 in the Cardinals last six games overall.

Florida A&M Rattlers at Ohio State Buckeyes (-50)

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference representatives will be hard-pressed to keep pace with the explosive Buckeyes after mustering just nine first downs and 219 yards of total offense last week. Junior Damien Fleming has struggled mightily, throwing five interceptions while rolling up only 383 yards this season. Florida A&M has scored 54 points combined in its three games this season, which sits just nine better than Ohio State's average.

Ohio State anticipates the return of Heisman Trophy candidate Braxton Miller on Saturday to conclude the non-conference portion of its schedule. Sidelined with a sprained knee ligament, Miller expects to get the kinks out on Saturday afternoon as the third-ranked Buckeyes tune up for Big Ten play by hosting FCS representative Florida A&M. Senior quarterback Kenny Guiton didn't miss a beat last week as he threw for four touchdowns - including a school-record 90-yard scoring strike to Devin Smith on the team's second offensive play - in Ohio State's 52-34 triumph over California last week.

WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-60s and a 56 percent chance of rain is in the forecast.
LINE: Ohio State opened as a 50.5-point favorite and is currently -50.

* Rattlers are 0-6 ATS in their last six games overall.
* Buckeyes are 6-0 ATS in their last six games following a SU win.
* Rattlers are 0-6 ATS in their last six non-conference games.

North Texas Mean Green at  Georgia Bulldogs (-33.5, 67)

The Mean Green battled back from a 27-9 second-quarter deficit to earn a 34-27 win over Ball State last week behind a pounding running attack that churned out 231 yards. Quarterback Derek Thompson is part of that running game and led North Texas to 1,395 yards of total offense - the most for the school in its first three games since 1951. The Mean Green are getting plenty of help from their defense, which forced 11 turnovers in the first three contests.

The Bulldogs remade much of their defense in the offseason and believe they once again can return to an elite level on that side of the ball. While the defense gets settled, the offense has the ability to keep the team in the win column behind Aaron Murray, who threw for four touchdowns in a 41-30 victory over South Carolina on Sept. 7, and running back Todd Gurley.

Temperatures will be in the high-70s with a 96 percent chance of thunderstorms in the forecast.
LINE: Georgia opened as a 31.5-point favorite and is currently -33.5. The total opened at 67.

* Mean Green are 5-0 ATS in their last five games following a bye week.
* Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games.
* Over is 9-3 in Bulldogs last 12 home games.

Idaho State Bengals at Washington Huskies (-49)

The Bengals rolled up the yardage against the two Division II opponents with junior quarterback Justin Arias (868 yards) topping 400 yards in each game and senior receiver Cameron Richmond making a combined 21 receptions for 301 yards. Arias is completing 66.3 percent of his passes for four touchdowns but will be hard-pressed to come close to a high-yardage output against a Pac-12 defense. They have lost 18 consecutive games against FBS opponents.

Huskies tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins had just three receptions for eight yards against the Fighting Illini after missing the opener due to a suspension, while sophomore wideout Jaydon Mickens has been highly productive in the first two games with 17 receptions. Junior defensive end Josh Shirley has three sacks, while junior middle linebacker John Timu (team-high 18 tackles) is questionable after bruising his right rotator cuff against Illinois.

WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-60s with a 58 percent chance of rain.
LINE: Washington opened as a 49-point favorite.

* Over is 4-0 in Bengals last four road games.
* Huskies are 6-0 ATS in their last six home games.
* Over is 4-0 in Bengals last four non-conference games.

Michigan State Spartans at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-5, 42)

Spartans QB Connor Cook threw for four first-half touchdowns and 202 yards overall to seize the starting job. Running back Jeremy Langford has scored four touchdowns and is averaging 4.5 yards per carry but coach Mark Dantonio termed him a player that can "pop a big one." Still, the onus will fall on Michigan State's defense, which ranks fifth nationally with an average of 126.7 passing yards against but has yet to face a high-powered offense.

Tommy Rees threw two scoring passes to DaVaris Daniels during a 21-point blitz in a span of 3 1/2 minutes against Purdue and can become the first Notre Dame QB to open a season with four consecutive 300-yard games. The more pressing concern for the Irish is plugging the holes in a defense that has surrendered 65 points in the last two games - one fewer than it allowed in the first seven contests last season.

Temperatures will be in the mid-60s and wind will blow at 12 mph toward the south end zone.
LINE: Notre Dame opened as a 6.5-point favorite with the line now -5. The total opened at 40.5 and is up to 42.

* Spartans are 7-1 ATS in their last eight meetings in Notre Dame.
* Road team is 11-2 ATS in their last 13 meetings.
* Fighting Irish are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall.

Maine Black Bears at Northwestern Wildcats (-28)

The Black Bears, from the FCS Colonial Athletic Association, knocked off an FBS school in Massachusetts already this season and displayed a tight defense in their two road victories. That defense needs to find a way to contain the Wildcats’ running game, which is piling up an average of 249 yards. That ground game is supplemented by a two-quarterback system featuring Trevor Siemian and Kain Colter, who is also one of the team’s most effective runners.

Northwestern is getting used to strong starts under coach Pat Fitzgerald and 2013 is no exception. The 16th-ranked Wildcats are averaging over 500 yards of offense and already own wins over a pair of major-conference opponents as they gear up for the start of Big Ten play. Northwestern will get one more chance to pad its record before diving into the heart of the Big Ten when it hosts Maine on Saturday.

Temperatures will be in the mid-60s and wind will blow toward the south end zone at 10 mph.
LINE: Northwestern opened as a 28-point home favorite.

* Wildcats are 5-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
* Wildcats are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
* Wildcats are 11-0 ATS in their last 11 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.

Tennessee Volunteers at Florida Gators
(-16.5, 47)

The Volunteers have put up solid numbers on the ground - mostly in their first two contests - with running back Rajion Neal (257 rushing yards, 4 TDs) leading the way, but the passing game has left something to be desired. In fact, offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian told reporters Wednesday that junior quarterback Justin Worley is competing with freshmen Nathan Peterman, Joshua Dobbs and Riley Ferguson and "the process could go all the way into pregame warm-ups."

Florida ranks third in the nation in total defense (208.5 yards per game), but the offense was plagued by five turnovers against Miami. Quarterback Jeff Driskel's inconsistency has been emblematic of the Florida offense, as the junior passed for a career-high 291 yards against the Hurricanes but also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.

WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-80s with partly cloudy skies and a 19 percent chance of rain.
LINE: Florida opened as a 14.5-point favorite and is currently -16.5 The total opened at 47.

* Road team is 4-0-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Volunteers are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six meetings.
* Gators are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following a bye week.

UL Monroe Warhawks at Baylor Bears (-30, 75.5)

Baylor held on to beat the host Warhawks in last year’s meeting 47-42 and Louisiana-Monroe returns Kolton Browning at quarterback. He was named Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week after throwing for 315 yards and three touchdowns last weekend in a 21-19 victory at Wake Forest.

Baylor has outscored its first two opponents by a combined total of 139-16, so quarterback Bryce Petty hasn’t logged many second-half minutes. Still, he has connected on a nation-leading 80 percent of his passes and contributed four touchdowns through the air without an interception. Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk had just one carry when these teams last met, but has since reeled off six straight 100-yard games dating to last season.

WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-80s and wind will blow across the field at 9 mph.
LINE: Baylor opened as a 27-point favorite and is currently -30. The total opened at 74.5 and is up to 75.5.

* Warhawks are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games.
* Bears are 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a bye week.
* Over is 6-0 in Bears last six games in September.

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