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

Nov 14, 2013 |
Saturday's NCAAF Top 25 betting cheat sheet: Afternoon action
Tre Mason has 1,038 rushing yards and 16 TDs on the season.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Tre Mason has 1,038 rushing yards and 16 TDs on the season.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Click here for Saturday's late cheat sheet.

Ohio State Buckeyes at Illinois Fighting Illini (+32, 67)

Riding the longest winning streak in the nation, the Buckeyes are ranked No. 3 in the BCS standings and almost certainly cannot catch Alabama or Florida State unless one of those squads lose. Still, Ohio State is having a championship-caliber season that continued its last time out on Nov. 2 with a 56-0 thrashing of Purdue – a game that featured four passing touchdowns by Braxton Miller and three total TDs by his backup, Kenny Guiton.

The Illini might have a chance to snap their Big Ten losing streak next week at Purdue, but it seems unlikely that they will defeat the Buckeyes for the first time since 2007. If Illinois has any shot, it will need a repeat performance from Nathan Scheelhaase, who set career highs with 38 completions and 450 yards last week in a 52-35 defeat to Indiana. Illinois has allowed 34.7 points per game this season.

LINE: Illinois is a 32-point underdog, down from an opening of +33. The total is set at 67, up from 66.5.
There is a 47 percent chance of rain and wind blowing N across the length of the field at 15 mph.

* Buckeyes are 4-0 ATS vs. teams with winning records.
* Fighting Illini are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games following a SU loss.
* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Illinois.

Iowa State Cyclones at Oklahoma Sooners (-24, 50)

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said he would evaluate everything about his offense - ranked 113th out of 123 FBS teams in yardage - after the season. Freshman quarterback Grant Rohach will make his second straight start but Rhoads wouldn't say if quarterback Sam Richardson (thumb) would be used in running plays like in last week's 21-17 loss to Texas Christian.

Brennan Clay (557 yards, three touchdowns) and Damien Williams (425 yards, five scores) lead the ground game and Oklahoma is 60-1 under head coach Bob Stoops when rushing for more than 200 yards. Freshman linebacker Dominique Alexander has two double-digit tackling performances - including 11 tackles and a sack for a safety against Baylor - in four games since replacing injured Corey Nelson.

LINE: Oklahoma is a 24-point fave, a slight dip from its 24.5-point open. The total is set at 50.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-60s with a 24 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms.

* Cyclones are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games vs. teams with winning records.
* Sooners are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games after scoring fewer than 20 points in their previous outing.
* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings.

Central Florida Knights at Temple Owls (+16.5, 56.5)

UCF's Blake Bortles, ranked 10th in passing efficiency (164.1) among FBS quarterbacks, followed up a career-high four touchdown performance over Connecticut with his second-lowest yardage total of the season (210) against Houston, throwing a pick and failing to find the end zone. Wide receiver Breshad Perriman is expected to play against Temple after passing baseline testing following a concussion against the Cougars.

P.J. Walker has helped the Owls revive their offense since taking over as their starting quarterback. Temple, which averaged 15.8 points through its first five games, has seen that figure nearly double to 30.5 in Walker's four starts, with the freshman amassing 1,094 yards on 80-of-128 passing and 11 touchdowns. Linebacker Tyler Matakevich leads all AAC tacklers with 113 on the season.

LINE: Central Florida has held steady as a 16.5-point fave with the total up from 55 to 56.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-50s with partly cloudy skies.

* Knights are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games on grass.
* Owls are 4-0 ATS in their last four conference games.
* Under is 4-1-1 in Temple's last six home games.

Indiana Hoosiers at Wisconsin Badgers (-24, 69.5)

The Hoosiers have the second best offense in the Big Ten behind Ohio State averaging 43.1 points and 527,1 yards per contest. Running backs Tevin Coleman (215), the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, and Stephen Houston (150) both rushed for over 100 yards for the second straight week. Quarterback Nate Sudfeld leads the Big Ten in passing touchdowns with 19.

The Badgers still have their sights set on a possible BCS bowl invite if they can win their final three games (Indiana, at Minnesota, Penn State) and get to 10 wins. Don't bet against them. Since 2006, the Badgers are 24-4 after Nov. 1 (excluding bowl games) and first-year head coach Gary Andersen has won 15 of his last 16 conference games dating back to his Utah State coaching days.

LINE: Wisconsin opened -20.5 but the line has since been bet up to -24. The total is down from 70 to 69.5.
WEATHER: There is an 86 percent chance of showers with wind blowing out of the southeast at 14 mph.

* Hoosiers are 2-6 ATS in their last eight conference games.
* Badgers are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games.
* Over is 11-1 in the last 12 meetings.

Michigan State Spartans at Nebraska Cornhuskers (+5.5, 42)

The Spartans are one of only two teams (Louisville) in the FBS to rank in the top five nationally in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass defense. Michigan State’s defense is allowing 3.47 yards per play and has yielded only 10 rushes of more than 10 yards – both of which are the lowest marks in the country.

The Cornhuskers held Michigan to minus-21 yards rushing and recorded a season-high seven sacks – including three by defensive end Randy Gregory – to boost their conference-leading total to 30. Gregory, who has notched seven of his Big Ten-best 7.5 sacks during league play, was named co-Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts against the Wolverines.

LINE: Michigan State opened -6.5 but has since been bet down to -5.5. The total is 42.
Temperatures will be in the mid-60s with partly cloudy skies.

* Spartans are 10-1-1 ATS in their last 12 road games.
* Cornhuskers are 18-4-2 ATS in their last 24 home games vs. teams with winning road records.
* Michigan State is 0-5 ATS in the last five meetings.

Miami Hurricanes at Duke Blue Devils (+3.5, 61)

The Hurricanes rushed for only 28 yards against Virginia Tech in their first game without standout running back Duke Johnson -- lost for the season with a broken right ankle. That must improve to give a struggling defense more of a break and allow the balance needed for quarterback Stephen Morris, who has 14 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions.

The Blue Devils need better play at quarterback from Anthony Boone and Brandon Connette, who have combined for 15 interceptions – seven the last two weeks by Boone. Whoever is under center will be looking for wide receiver Jamison Crowder, who is second in the ACC in catches per game (7.44) and is 97 shy of his second straight 1,000-yard campaign.

LINE: Miami has been installed as a 3.5-point fave with the total dipping a half-point to 61.
WEATHER: There will be cloudy skies with temperatures in the low-60s.

* Hurricanes are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 road games.
* Blue Devils are 4-0 ATS in their last four conference games.
* Over is 11-3-1 in Duke's last 15 conference games.
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Longhorns (+3, 62.5)

The Cowboys are set up nicely with an injury-depleted Texas squad on the road and home games against Baylor and rival Oklahoma finishing out the regular season. Head coach Mike Gundy’s squad handily beat Kansas last week, 42-6, as quarterback Clint Chelf passed for season highs of 265 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover.

The Longhorns were left for dead after falling to 1-2 in September but picked themselves back up while rallying behind embattled coach Mack Brown. Texas was already playing through injuries to quarterback David Ash and linebacker Jordan Hicks, but the two latest setbacks could hamper what had been a strong running game while making one of the team’s weaknesses — run defense — an even greater concern.

LINE: OSU has remained a 3-point fave with the total dropping from 63.5 to 62.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-70s with cloudy skies.

* Cowboys are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games after allowing more than 200 rushing yards in their previous contest.
* Longhorns are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 home games vs. teams with winning road records.
* Under is 7-1 in Texas' last eight November games.

Syracuse Orange at Florida State Seminoles (-37.5, 55.5)

The Orange need one more win to become bowl eligible, but with zero wins over the Seminoles since 1966 and this year's edition looking better than ever, they will likely need to defeat Pittsburgh or Boston College later this month to reach the postseason. Syracuse got two rushing touchdowns and 118 yards from Jerome Smith in last week’s 20-3 triumph against Maryland, while its defense limited the Terrapins to 2.3 yards per carry and forced four turnovers.

The Seminoles clinched the ACC’s Atlantic Division title and a berth in the conference championship game with last week’s win over Wake Forest, a game in which the Seminoles forced seven turnovers, including two returned for scores in a span of 19 seconds. Winston appears destined to be a Heisman Trophy finalist, as the redshirt freshman has racked up 2,661 passing yards with 26 touchdowns on the season.

LINE: FSU opened at -38.5, but the line has been bet down by a point. The total is set at 55.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-60s with wind blowing across the width of the field at 6 mph.

* Orange are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games.
* Seminoles are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games on grass.
* Over is 8-2-1 in Florida's last 11 home games.

Georgia Bulldogs at Auburn Tigers (-3.5, 64)

Injuries derailed the Bulldogs' high hopes entering the season, but they're inching closer to full strength. Most notably, star running back Todd Gurley (104.2 rushing yards per game) is back in the mix after missing three games with an ankle injury. Georgia's defense has been maligned but actually ranks 20th in the nation against the run (126 yards per game), presenting a favorable matchup against Auburn.

The Tigers' ascent has been spurred by the nation's No. 3 rushing attack at 320 yards per game, and it's not just one player leading it. Tre Mason ranks second in the league with 1,038 rushing yards to go with 16 rushing touchdowns, and quarterback Nick Marshall (734 yards, seven TDs) and running backs Cameron Artis-Payne (568 yards, five TDs) and Corey Grant (504 yards, four TDs) can also do damage on the ground.

LINE: Auburn has held steady as a 3.5-point fave, while the total has risen from 62.5 to 64.
WEATHER: Partly cloudy skies are in the forecast with temperatures in the low-70s.

* Bulldogs are 0-6-1 ATS in their last seven games.
* Tigers are 5-0 ATS in their last five conference games.
* Over is 7-1 in Georgia's last eight games vs. teams with winning records.

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