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

Sep 5, 2013 |
Saturday's NCAAF Top 25 betting cheat sheet: Afternoon action
Road team is 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight meetings between Cocks and Bulldogs.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Road team is 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight meetings between Cocks and Bulldogs.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
We give a quick look at all of Saturday's Top 25 afternoon betting action from Week 2 of the college football schedule:

Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles at Wisconsin Badgers (-45)

If first-year head coach Gary Andersen can keep the Wisconsin defense performing on par with its running game, then Saturday's non-conference game against visiting Tennessee Tech could be just the latest in a long line of victories for the nation's 21st-ranked team. The Badgers ran for 393 yards last week in a 45-0 rout over Massachusetts, but more importantly, their new 3-4 defense shut out the Minutemen while holding them to 3.6 yards per play. "If I could characterize it in one word, it would be solid," defensive end Ethan Hemer said. "Guys made plays, caused turnovers. It was overall a pretty solid performance."

Tennessee Tech had an impressive showing of its own by posting a 63-7 victory over Cumberland of the NAIA. The margin of victory was its largest in a season opener. Sophomore Ladarius Vanlier had back-to-back touchdowns of more than 50 yards and quarterback Darian Stone passed for two scores and ran for two more while leading the offense to 505 total yards.

Key betting stat: Badgers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven non-conference games.

Southeastern Louisiana Lions at TCU Horned Frogs (-43)

Senior quarterback Casey Pachall will remain Texas Christian's starting quarterback despite a late-game switch in last week's loss to Louisiana State. Sophomore Trevone Boykin, who started nine games last year after Pachall left for an impatient rehab facility, could play wide receiver when the No. 24 Horned Frogs host Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday. "If anything we need to get the ball to (Boykin)," coach Gary Patterson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Sunday. "He played well as a wide receiver."

The Lions had a record day behind former Oregon quarterback Bryan Bennett but will have their hands full against a Horned Frogs' defense that has allowed 17 or fewer points eight times during an 11-game win streak in home openers. Patterson wouldn't divulge the availability for sophomore defensive lineman Devonte Fields, who was given a two-game suspension in May for breaking team rules. Fields is listed atop the team's depth chart and coaches are worried about the possibility of injury for next week's game against Texas Tech, but a decision will come from Patterson and TCU chancellor Victor Boschini.

Key betting stat:
Horned Frogs are 0-5 ATS in their last five home games.

Florida Gators at Miami Hurricanes
(+3, 48)

The state of Florida has produced some of the most bitter rivalries of the last generation in college football, and No. 9 Florida and No. 24 Miami are gearing up for another chapter on Saturday. The Hurricanes will host the Gators in what could be the last meeting for the foreseeable future, as Florida will lose a non-conference game in a proposed expansion to a nine-game SEC schedule. Miami and the Gators will both be putting strong defenses on display.

The Hurricanes are having a harder time finding their way into the top half of the Top-25 than in-state rivals Florida and Florida State, but showed plenty of promise in a Week 1 drubbing of Florida Atlantic. Miami sophomore running back Duke Johnson shouldered most of the offensive load and will be attacking a Florida defense that surrendered only 50 yards on the ground in its opening win over Toledo. Johnson racked up 186 yards despite sitting out most of the second half.

Key betting stat: Gators are 1-5 ATS in their last six non-conference games.

Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners (+26, 59.5)

It certainly did not take long for J.W. Walsh to earn the respect of Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. After coming off the bench in the Cowboys’ season opener, Walsh will start at quarterback in Saturday’s game at UTSA. Gundy said earlier this week that Walsh, a sophomore, would likely play the entire game, leaving fifth-year senior Clint Chelf on the bench for 14th-ranked Oklahoma State.

Chelf played the first two series last week against Mississippi State before Gundy switched to Walsh, who completed 18-of-27 passes for 135 yards. Walsh also ran for 125 yards and a score, while Jeremy Smith added 102 rushing yards and a pair of TDs in the 21-3 victory. The Cowboys’ defense bottled up the Bulldogs and will look to do the same against the Roadrunners, who scored 21 unanswered points to win at New Mexico last week 21-13.

Key betting stat: Under is 21-7-1 in Cowboys' last 29 road games.

Eastern Kentucky Colonels at Louisville Cardinals

No. 8 Louisville looks feed off the momentum of its explosive season-opening victory as it hosts Eastern Kentucky on Saturday. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater became the first Player of the Week in American Athletic Conference history, rolling up 355 yards and tying a career high with five touchdown passes in the Cardinals' 49-7 trouncing of Ohio. Louisville coach Charlie Strong's first collegiate win came against the Colonels in 2010.

Eastern Kentucky entered the season following an 8-3 finish in 2012, tying for second in the Ohio Valley Conference with Tennessee-Martin. The Colonels cruised to a 38-6 win over Robert Morris last week in the debut for 11 starters. Quarterback Jared McClain, who was taking over for Eastern Kentucky's all-time passing leader T.J. Pryor, passed for two scores and ran for two more in the victory.

Key betting stat: Cardinals are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game.

South Carolina State Bulldogs at Clemson Tigers

Seven days after posting one of its biggest victories in recent memory, Clemson hopes to avoid a letdown against visiting South Carolina State on Saturday. The Tigers moved up to fifth in the national poll after edging previously No. 5 Georgia 38-35  in a Week 1 thriller. Tajh Boyd threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores in a win that “turned a lot of heads in college football,” according to the senior quarterback.

As Boyd continues his early-season push for Heisman Trophy consideration, the matchup with FCS foe South Carolina State presents an opportunity to rack up some impressive stats. The Bulldogs faced two FBS programs in 2012, losing to Arizona and Texas A&M by a combined margin of 126-14. In their 2013 season opener, South Carolina State held a slim halftime lead before falling to Coastal Carolina 27-20.

Key betting stat: Over is 7-1 in Tigers last 8 games in September.

San Diego State Aztecs at Ohio State Buckeyes (-27.5, 56)

Second-ranked Ohio State looks to stretch the nation’s longest winning streak to 14 games when it hosts San Diego State on Saturday. The Buckeyes defeated Buffalo 40-20 in their season-opening game and will have junior All-American cornerback Bradley Roby back from a one-game suspension due to a disorderly-conduct incident. San Diego State has just one victory in 32 road contests against ranked teams, and that victory occurred last season when the Aztecs won 21-19 at Boise State.

San Diego State got off to a poor start as it committed five turnovers and was drubbed at home 40-19 by FCS school Eastern Illinois. Buckeyes junior quarterback Braxton Miller, who finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting last season, passed for 178 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 77 yards against Buffalo. Miller has 2,063 career rushing yards and needs 18 more to surpass Cornelius Greene (1973-75) as the most prolific running quarterback in Ohio State history.

Key betting stat: Aztecs are 5-1 ATS in their last six road games.

Oregon Ducks at Virginia Cavaliers (+22.5, 61)

No. 3 Oregon takes its high-powered offense on the road to Virginia on Saturday, the farthest east the Ducks have played since a 1977 trip to Georgia. The Ducks, who have never played an ACC team during the regular season, own the nation's longest road win streak at 15 games. The Ducks had eight touchdown drives last less than two minutes and racked up a school-record 772 yards against Nicholls State last week in Mark Helfrich's debut as head coach.

The Cavaliers got a taste of an up-tempo offense last week as BYU gained 362 yards on 93 plays. Oregon and BYU each averaged 16.7 seconds per play last Saturday, but the Ducks' speed still is unlike anything first-year Virginia defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta has seen. "The plays are similar, everybody runs the similar plays ... out of the spread offense," Tenuta said during this week's conference call. "There's a lot of similarities based on that aspect, but as far as the speed factor is concerned, in the last few years, no."

Key betting stat: Cavaliers are 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine home games.

South Carolina Gamecocks at Georgia Bulldogs (-3, 56)

Sixth-ranked South Carolina opens its SEC schedule Saturday with an opportunity to take a big step toward winning the East Division title as it visits No. 12 Georgia. Junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney struggled throughout the Gamecocks' season-opening 27-10 victory over North Carolina due to a stomach virus, looking nothing like the player who won the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year honor in 2012. South Carolina displayed a balanced offensive approach in scoring the game’s first 17 points and will look to continue that trend this week.

Georgia’s defense struggled in a 38-35 loss at Clemson, allowing 13 plays of at least 10 yards. The bad news was not limited to that side of the ball - junior wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell injured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee celebrating the Bulldogs’ first touchdown and will miss the rest of the season. Two areas of focus for Georgia this week will be better results on third down (4-for-14 in the opener) and playing smarter (nine penalties for 84 yards).

Key betting stat: Road team is 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight meetings.

Check out our NCAAF Top 25 betting cheat sheet for Saturday's evening action.

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