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

Nov 14, 2013 |
Saturday's NCAAF Top 25 betting cheat sheet: Evening action
Baylor's Bryce Petty leads the Big 12 with a 210.6 QB rating.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Baylor's Bryce Petty leads the Big 12 with a 210.6 QB rating.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Utah Utes at Oregon Ducks (-26, 64.5)

The Utes have excelled at pressuring the quarterback as they lead the nation in sacks per game (3.67) and their 33 total sacks are second to Missouri’s 34. Defensive end/linebacker Trevor Reilly leads the squad in tackles (78), tackles for loss (13.5) and sacks (seven), and linebacker Jacoby Hale (6.5 sacks) has also been a force.

The Ducks likely had their national championship aspirations extinguished with the 26-20 loss to Stanford as they were stunningly blanked for three quarters before attempting to rally. The season-low output drops Oregon’s scoring average to 51.7 per game – third nationally – and the Ducks now need Stanford to stumble to have any chance of being the North’s representative in the Pac-12 title game.

Oregon opened as a 25-point fave, but the line has been bet up to -26. The total is currently 64.5.
WEATHER: Rain is in the forecast with temperatures in the low-40s.

* Utes are 2-7 ATS in their last nine conference games.
* Ducks are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games.
* Over is 13-3-1 in Oregon's last 17 home games vs. teams with losing road records.

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Baylor Bears (-27.5, 85)

Texas Tech, which has lost three straight after a 7-0 start, is averaging 37.8 points and 530.5 yards per game. The Red Raiders are coming off a 49-26 loss to Kansas State, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury isn't sure who will be his starting quarterback against the Bears. Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb, both freshmen, each have started five games.

There's no debate on who will start at quarterback for the Bears. Bryce Petty leads the nation in passing efficiency (210.6) and yards per completion (19.68) and has started popping up on some Heisman Trophy lists. But the Bears also can run the ball, as they're averaging 255 yards on the ground, and will be going up against a Texas Tech defense that surrendered 291 yards rushing in last week's loss to Kansas State.

Baylor is installed as a 27.5-point fave with the total set at a whopping 85.

* Red Raiders are 0-4 ATS in their last four neutral-site games.
* Bears are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games after scoring 40 or more points in their previous contest.
* Over is 14-2 in Baylor's last 16 games following a SU win of more than 20 points.

Florida Gators at South Carolina Gamecocks (-12, 41.5)

A season that began with high expectations has fallen victim to the injury bug as the Gators have lost seven starters to season-ending injuries, including quarterback Jeff Driskel, running back Matt Jones and defensive tackle Dominique Easley. If Murphy can’t go because of the shoulder sprain, the job will belong to freshman Skyler Mornhinweg, who has yet to throw a collegiate pass.

The Gamecocks enter Saturday very much alive in the race for a berth in the SEC Championship game. South Carolina needs a win Saturday and for Georgia and Missouri to each just lose once to punch its ticket to Atlanta. The Gamecocks will look to lean on running back Mike Davis, who leads the SEC in rushing yards per game with 117.6.

LINE: South Carolina opened as a 13.5-point fave but is now -12. The total has held at 41.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-50s with cloudy skies.

* Gators are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games following a bye week.
* Gamecocks are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 home games.
* The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.

Houston Cougars at Louisville Cardinals (-15.5, 57.5)

The winner of this matchup and once-beaten Cincinnati likely will be the only teams with a chance to overtake Central Florida, which is unbeaten in conference play. The Cougars are a decided underdog on the road, despite losing at Central Florida by just five points last week. Freshman quarterback John O'Korn didn't play exceptionally well against the Knights, so as he goes, so does Houston.

Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has played well in every game this season, and that's not likely to change against a Cougar defense ranked 30th in points allowed. Strong knows what his quarterback can do, but he believes there are similarities between what Central Florida and Houston do on offense. The Cougars lead the nation with a plus-21 turnover margin, while the Cardinals are second at plus-14.
LINE: Louisville is a 15.5-point favorite - down from an opening of -17 - while the total is holding at 57.5.
WEATHER: There is a 19 percent chance of showers in the forecast with temperatures in the high-50s.

* Cougars are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games.
* Cardinals are 2-5 ATS in their last seven vs. teams with winning records.
* Under is 14-6 in Louisville's last 20 home games.

Alabama Crimson Tide at Mississippi State Bulldogs (+23.5, 52)

AJ McCarron has not been intercepted in his last 123 passing attempts; he owns the school record at 291 and is in the midst of his third streak of at least 100 consecutive passes without a turnover. Over the past seven contests, the Crimson Tide offense has outgained the opposition by 1,609 yards -- an average of 229.9 yards per game.

Safety Nickoe Whitley posted his 14th career interception against the Aggies, tying him for the most among active FBS players and leaving him two shy of matching the school record (Walt Harris, Johnthan Banks). Jameon Lewis, who has a team-high 39 catches, is the only player in the country with at least four receiving, three rushing and three passing touchdowns.

LINE: Alabama has seen the line dip from 24.5 to 23.5, with the total set at 52.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-60s with wind blowing across the width of the field at 10 mph.

* Crimson Tide are 5-0 ATS in their last five conference games.
* Bulldogs are 1-4 ATS in their last five games on grass.
* Under is 5-0-1 in the last six meetings.

Stanford Cardinal at USC Trojans (+4, 46)

The Cardinal is ranked No. 4 in the BCS standings, but they’ll need help to land a spot in the national championship game. They certainly appeared worthy in their win over previously unbeaten Oregon, with the offensive line dominating the line of scrimmage and Tyler Gaffney rushing for 157 yards on 45 carries. Coach David Shaw indicated the offense will be more diversified against the Trojans.

Tailback Silas Redd is questionable after suffering a knee injury last week, so the Trojans will likely lean on Javorius Allen against Stanford, which leads the Pac-12 in run defense. Quarterback Cody Kessler has improved since Orgeron took over on Sept. 29, and he’s completed 82 percent of his passes over the last two games. The Trojans rank tied for third nationally in red zone defense.

Stanford opened at -3 but has seen the line bet up by a point. The total is set at 46.
WEATHER: Skies will be mostly cloudy with temperatures in the low-60s.

* Cardinal are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. teams with winning home records.
* Trojans are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games following a SU win.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings at USC.

Oregon State Beavers at Arizona State Sun Devils (-14, 63.5)

Brandin Cooks has 91 receptions to tie the school mark shared by James Rodgers (2009) and Markus Wheaton (2012), and is nine away from becoming the fifth player in Pac-12 history to reach 100. Cooks has 1,344 yards and 14 touchdown receptions as a top-notch target for quarterback Sean Mannion, who leads the nation with 3,540 yards and is tied for second with 31 touchdowns.

Running back Marion Grice hasn’t scored a touchdown in back-to-back games after finding the end zone 18 times over the first seven games. Grice (12 rushing scores, six receiving) has teamed with multi-purpose quarterback Taylor Kelly (24 passing touchdowns, seven rushing) to fuel an offense averaging 43.7 points per game.

ASU has held steady as a 14-point fave, while the total has dropped one point to 63.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-60s under partly cloudy skies.

* Beavers are 21-9-1 ATS in their last 31 road games.
* Sun Devils are 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games.
* Over is 17-5 in Arizona State's last 22 games following a SU win.

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