ESPN Insider Help, ESPN Chalk (Stanford Steve)

Discussion in 'Gambling Board' started by bro, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. Juan

    Juan All you got for me is Lite Beer...
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    Here's the write up

    New York Yankees (+160 for the series) vs. Cleveland Indians (-190 for the series)

    Game 1 odds: New York Yankees (Gray) +129 @ Cleveland Indians (Bauer) -140

    Game 1 over/under: 8 1/2 (U -120)

    I think the common perception for this series is that the Yankees have the better lineup, the Indians have the better rotation and both teams have tremendous bullpens. That leads to some Yankees bullishness, especially at juicy underdog odds.

    The Yankees led the majors in home runs but, did you know that the Indians had the higher team slugging percentage and, even more shockingly, the higher isolated slugging reading? The difference was minimal in both cases, but that statement is no less true. In fact, these teams had identical batting and on-base averages, yet the Yankees scored 40 more runs. Why? Longtime readers know where I'm going with this -- "cluster luck."

    Two other factors help the Indians as well. Cleveland is the only team to make the playoffs in the American League while sporting an above-average defense. Compared to the Yankees, the Indians' ability to turn batted balls into outs and erase existing baserunners was almost certainly worth a couple of wins during the course of the regular season. Like a fine wine, their defense pairs perfectly with a pitching staff that has the highest strikeout rate in the league.

    Despite Gray's impressive 3.55 ERA this year -- more than a half-run better than Bauer's 4.19 -- from a skills perspective, it's Bauer who was the better pitcher in 2017, based on his higher strikeout rate and mildly-lower walk rate. Gray's work with the Yankees in 11 starts was particularly troubling, as his ground ball rate plummeted. With a bullpen that took on a huge workload just 48 hours ago, I'm firmly on the Indians in Game 1 and, by extension, for the series as a whole with Kluber teed up for Game 2.

    ESPN Chalk pick: Cleveland -162 for the series, and Cleveland -128 in Game 1
     
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  2. UKupNorth

    UKupNorth Well-Known Member

    This is great. Thanks.
     
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  3. Juan

    Juan All you got for me is Lite Beer...
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    Best CFB Week 6 bets

    Best CFB Week 6 bets
    Miami quarterback Malik Rosier and coach Mark Richt face Florida State this weekend. Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports
    5:47 PM ET
    • CFB Vegas Experts
    Our experts are back with their Week 6 college football picks. Every Thursday, Phil Steele, "Stanford Steve" Coughlin and Chris Fallica will pick two common games and as many wild-card games as they choose. It's all here in one file for your perusing pleasure.

    Here are the best bets for Week 6 of the college football season.

    ATS record:

    Phil Steele: 7-1 in Week 5 (18-22 season)
    "Stanford Steve" Coughlin: 2-3 in Week 5 (13-10-1 season)
    Chris Fallica: 2-6 in Week 5 (18-20 season)

    Note: Lines from Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of Wednesday morning.

    Common games
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    No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (-26.5) at Texas A&M Aggies


    Steele: Alabama takes care of business on the road in the SEC and has won 10 of the past 11 by more than Vegas expected. Texas A&M has struggled all season, and Alabama just blew out two SEC teams by an average of 61 points per game. I have sided with Alabama each of the past three years in this series, but this is just one of those games where the spread is inflated well beyond where it should be, and Vegas knows the Tide followers will pay the extra price. Texas A&M has 20 sacks and is allowing just 96 rushing yards per game (3.1 yards per carry). Additionally, Aggie quarterback Kellen Mond is mobile, which has given the Crimson Tide problems in the past. Texas A&M would be undefeated right now if not for that blown 44-10 third-quarter lead over UCLA, and the preseason line on this game was just 10. Finally, Texas A&M is 8-2-1 as a double-digit home 'dog the past 40 years and 3-1 ATS as a 21-point or higher home 'dog in that span.

    ADVERTISEMENT
    ATS pick: Texas A&M
    Score: Alabama 36, Texas A&M 16


    Coughlin: There has not been a better signing or hire in college football this year than Nick Saban's hiring of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. The ability Daboll has shown to change formations with different personnel, along with the different ways he uses his quarterback in and out of the pocket, has been so fun to watch. More importantly, it has been astoundingly effective, giving defensive coordinators nightmares. Aggies defensive coordinator John Chavis, who has called plenty of defenses in his time, might not have seen a system as versatile as that of the Tide. Bama has destroyed Vanderbilt and Ole Miss by a combined score of 125-3 in arguably the two most dominant performances of the Nick Saban era. Although it seems too easy to say Alabama will roll, it will be a night game in College Station, so I'll just say both teams will score more points than the expected outcome. Take the over.

    Pick: Over 53.5 points
    Score: Alabama 41, Texas A&M 17




    [​IMG]
    How Vegas ranks top 25 CFB teams
    Which college football teams are strongest in the eyes of Vegas experts? Phil Steele provides his updated ratings for the top 25 teams in Week 6 of the college football season.

    • [​IMG]
      CFB betting look for Week 6: Still hope for Nebraska
      In Week 6's college football look-ahead, Will Harris checks in on a prematurely written-off Nebraska team, examines Utah's chances against Bryce Love and Stanford, and applies the notion of defensive revenge to this week's Pitt-Syracuse test.


    Fallica: Alabama has some injuries mounting, which could be a concern long-term, and Christian Kirk is the type of player who maybe pops a big play and keeps the Aggies hanging around. I don't know how many stops A&M will get, but 26.5 is a big number. Yes, Alabama has throttled two SEC opponents thus far, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Texas A&M stay within that number this week, as the Aggies are the most talented team Bama has faced since the season opener. Because of the fashion of the loss to UCLA, it feels like A&M is 2-3 rather than 4-1, so I think the number is a bit inflated.

    ATS pick: Texas A&M
    Score: Alabama 41, Texas A&M 21


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    No. 13 Miami Hurricanes (-3) at Florida State Seminoles

    Steele: Florida State has won seven straight over the in-state rivals. Both teams had two full weeks off, and it took each a while to get back into gear. Florida State lost at home to North Carolina State and beat Wake Forest by only a touchdown on the road. Florida State's offense has struggled behind a leaky offensive line but has faced three top-25 defensive lines. Miami has rolled up 515 yards per game, but quarterback Malik Rosier has yet to face a dominating defense like the one Florida State possesses. Florida State has taken on my No. 1 toughest schedule overall, and Miami has faced just my No. 95 toughest slate. Florida State has been a home 'dog exactly once in the past six years, and it covered that game. Miami doesn't just have to win this game. The Canes have to win by more than three, so I'm taking the points with the battle-tested Seminoles.

    ATS pick: Florida State
    Score: Florida State 21, Miami 20


    Coughlin: I will just say this about Miami: It's time. The Hurricanes have suffered seven straight losses to the Seminoles, and the Canes are the better football team. The defense is still feeling things out, as they are a couple games behind due to Hurricane Irma, but they are fresh off their best effort of the season, holding Duke to six points in Durham in a battle of the unbeatens. Miami enters the game protecting the ball as well as anyone in the nation, ranking second nationally with only two turnovers in three games. Rosier, a first-year starter as a junior, is averaging 273 passing yards per game, with eight touchdowns and only two interceptions. Rosier now has receiver Ahmmon Richards back as his No. 1 target, and you know the U will rely on stud running back Mark Walton, who has surpassed 400 rushing yards on the season. I trust Mark Richt in this spot and will lay the points, even though I would play the money line if possible to not have to worry about the points, seeing how intense this game will be.

    ATS pick: Miami
    Score: Miami 24, Florida State 19


    Fallica: I'm staying far away from the side in this one, as this game opened with FSU as a favorite and has swung to Miami favored in the area of a field goal. It has been coulda, woulda, shoulda for Miami the past three years in this one, as the Canes blew a double-digit lead last season, blew a fourth-quarter lead in Tallahassee in 2015 and blew a double-digit, fourth-quarter lead in 2014. Yes, Florida State's offense is statistically the worst in the ACC, and the offensive line has struggled mightily, but maybe the comeback last week at Wake Forest will turn the Noles' season around. But if it doesn't, this will be the year Miami ends the losing streak against its rival. Still, I'm more certain this will be a lower-scoring game with defenses controlling the game, especially with the prospect of bad weather.

    Pick: Under 48 points

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    Stanford Cardinal (-5.5) at No. 20 Utah Utes

    Steele: Utah has won three in a row in the series, with the most recent meeting coming in 2014. The Utes are fresh off a bye, while Stanford is on its third road game in four weeks and fifth straight tough game. Utah got very banged up in its previous game and might be without quarterback Tyler Huntley and star defensive lineman Kylie Fitts. Stanford might be giving redshirt freshman K.J. Costello his first road start, while Utah has Troy Williams, who started all 13 games last season. Bryce Love just topped 300 yards versus the Arizona State defense but now faces a defense that allows just 86 rushing yards per game and 2.6 yards per carry. This is not your typical Stanford defense, as they're giving up 445 yards per game and 32 yards more than their opponent's average.

    ATS pick: Utah
    Score: Utah 28, Stanford 27


    Coughlin: This is an absolute brutal spot for the Cardinal. Utah is home off a bye week, and the game is at night. Stanford's quarterback situation is not set in stone, as Keller Chryst could be back under center for the Stanford offense after Costello helped the team win its past two games while Chryst was injured. Utah watched Bryce Love run up and down the field on ASU last week for a Stanford school-record 301 yards. Whether its Chryst or Costello under center for the Cardinal, I don't see the Cardinal being able to consistently move the chains in a hostile environment. Add that Kyle Whittingham is 2-0 versus David Shaw and has beaten two way better offenses than this Cardinal outfit, and I say the Utes remain undefeated.

    ATS pick: Utah
    Score: Utah 24, Stanford 23


    Thursday games
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    No. 17 Louisville Cardinals (-3.5) at No. 24 NC State Wolfpack

    Fallica: I'm surprised Louisville is favored here, and FPI agrees with me, as it has the line completely flipped with the Wolfpack as four-point favorites. The Pack were predictably sluggish last week against Syracuse, but I expect a much sharper, focused effort against the Cardinals. It was 54-13 last season, and I'm sure Dave Doeren will remind his team about that this week. Given Louisville's struggles on the offensive line and the injury to Lamar Jackson's top target, Jaylen Smith, Jackson will be even more of a one-man show on offense against that NC State defensive line. A home team getting points -- what's better than that?

    ATS pick: NC State
    Score: NC State 33, Louisville 31


    Friday games
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    Boise State Broncos (-9) at BYU Cougars

    Coughlin: I don't know why, but I really like BYU this week. The Cougars are 0-4 ATS in their past four home games, and they are 0-6 ATS in their past six games overall. However, Boise State hasn't shown much ability to run the football, as the Broncos come in averaging just more than 100 yards on the ground. The BYU defense is giving up only 212 yards per game through the air, so the Cougars should be able to make the Broncos one-dimensional on offense. Boise State almost beat Wazzu a couple weeks ago, and BYU has been trucked by the biggest programs it has played (LSU and Wisconsin). It is not going to be a pretty game, but I will take the home team getting the points and predict an upset.

    ATS pick: BYU
    Score: BYU 20, Boise State 19


    Saturday games
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    No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers (-12) at Nebraska Cornhuskers

    Steele: Wisconsin was home last season and needed overtime to win 23-17. The Badgers come in averaging 460 yards per game, but against the one Power 5 team they faced, Northwestern last week, they were held to 303 yards. Nebraska's defense allowed 52 points per game over the first six quarters of the season but adjusted to Bob Diaco's 3-4 scheme, and in the past 14 quarters, it is allowing just 7.7 points per game if you take away three pick-sixes. This is only the fourth time this decade that Nebraska is a home 'dog and the first time it is a double-digit home 'dog. Nebraska has won 20 consecutive home night games at Memorial Stadium.

    ATS pick: Nebraska
    Score: Wisconsin 23, Nebraska 17


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    Ole Miss Rebels at No. 12 Auburn Tigers (-21.5)

    Steele: Auburn is a legitimate top-10 team, and its only loss was to powerful Clemson in Death Valley by just eight points. Its defense is holding foes to 186 yards per game below their season average, which is No. 4 in the country. Ole Miss has a depth-shy team that might be run down after getting pounded by physical Alabama 66-3 on the road last week and is now traveling again. The Rebels' defense is allowing opponents 64 yards above their season average. They are struggling to run the ball at just 74 yards per game and 2.9 yards per carry. Auburn, since facing the best defense in the country on the road, has put up 501 yards per game, and last week, it had 256 yards more than Mississippi State came in allowing.

    ATS pick: Auburn
    Score: Auburn 41, Ole Miss 13


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    Duke Blue Devils at Virginia Cavaliers (-2)

    Steele: My average game grade has Duke at 97.5. That includes an impressive road win at North Carolina and a dominating win over a solid Northwestern team. Virginia has an average game grade of 85.5 and should be a 9-point 'dog according to that rating. My computer shows Duke with a 26-21 win and 384-348 yardage edge as well as the better offense and defense. Shaun Wilson (412 rushing yards, 6.1 yards per carry) and Brittain Brown (373 rush yards, 6.0 yards per carry) give Duke the rushing yard edge, with my computer forecast showing a 180-63 yard advantage.

    ATS pick: Duke
    Score: Duke 26, Virginia 21


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    Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Tulane Green Wave (-4)

    Steele: Tulsa just faced two option teams in New Mexico and Navy, and now it faces another for a third straight week, which is a large advantage (Tulane is fresh off a bye). Tulsa nearly knocked off Toledo on the road, losing in part to an extra point that was returned in the three-point loss. I trust that Golden Hurricane offense with quarterback Chad President and running back D'Angelo Brewer. I also love the fact that defending the option is now old hat, and Tulsa takes on the least potent option-rush attack of those three games. Tulsa is 11-1 ATS in this series.

    ATS pick: Tulsa
    Score: Tulsa 31, Tulane 28


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    Marshall Thundering Herd (-15.5) at Charlotte 49ers

    Steele: In the most recent meeting between these teams at Charlotte (2015), the Thundering Herd led by 31 points until a garbage-time 49ers touchdown with 6:29 left. Marshall will be out for revenge after being upset at home last season as a two-touchdown favorite. I have used Marshall as a best bet three times this season, and since they are perfect versus the Las Vegas number, they're 3-0 in those. Charlotte is 0-12 at home versus FBS foes and 2-9-1 versus the Vegas number, and it lost to Georgia State at home by 28 points. Marshall outgained Cincinnati by only 17 yards last week, but Cincinnati had 207 of its 349 yards in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach. Charlotte fired its offensive coordinator last week and put up 30 points against FIU (led 26-7). Charlotte quarterbacks have thrown for 135 yards per game, completing just 47.9 percent with a 4-9 ratio, while Marshall has 11 sacks and a solid pass defense. I will keep riding the Herd.

    ATS pick: Marshall
    Score: Marshall 37, Charlotte 13


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    Minnesota Golden Gophers at Purdue Boilermakers(-4)

    Coughlin: I said in the preseason to take the over on Purdue's season total of 2.5 wins, and the Boilermakers have gotten off to a better than advertised start. Saturday will be a special day in West Lafayette, as the Boilermakers will honor former head coach Joe Tiller, who passed last week, and his first team, the 1997 squad. There will be plenty of emotion in the stadium. Although everyone likes what they have seen from Jeff Brohm's offense, there haven't been too many units in college football more improved than the Purdue defense. After giving up more than 38 points a game in 2016, they enter this game giving up only 21. Boiler up!

    ATS pick: Purdue
    Score: Purdue 34, Minnesota 24


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    Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (-11.5) at UAB Blazers

    Fallica: The Blazers sit at 2-2 in their first season back to football and have played hard in all four games, covering three of them. That's kind of what I expected from them this season when suggesting the over on the win total for the year. They almost cashed in at North Texas, where they rallied to tie the game at 43, only to lose on a last-second field goal as double-digit underdogs. I think UAB is still undervalued, as FPI says LA Tech should be around a 4.5-point favorite. With a touchdown of value, I'll take UAB to again keep it close.

    ATS pick: UAB
    Score: Louisiana Tech 41, UAB 35


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    Arizona Wildcats at Colorado Buffaloes (-6.5)

    Fallica: When last seen, the Wildcats couldn't stop turning the ball over against Utah, and it cost them. In watching that game, it's clear that the Wildcats' defense is improved and kept them in a game that easily could have gotten away from them. We knew Colorado was set for a step back this season, and the past two games have shown that to be true, though there is no disgrace in losing to Washington or on the road to one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Josh Rosen. However, our numbers have this one as a pick 'em, so we'll take the points and the Cats.

    ATS pick: Arizona
    Score: Arizona 31, Colorado 30


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    No. 25 UCF Knights (-17) at Cincinnati Bearcats

    Fallica: I can see a little letdown for the Knights after last week's throttling of Memphis. The Bearcats were embarrassed at home last week by Marshall, and I would expect a better effort here. The Cincy defense held Michigan in check for the most part a few weeks back, and I can see Luke Fickell's bunch doing the same this week against the undefeated -- both SU and ATS -- Knights.

    ATS pick: Cincinnati
    Score: UCF 37, Cincinnati 27


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    Maryland Terrapins at No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes(-30.5)

    Fallica: We're into the part of the schedule when the Buckeyes' offense gets right against weaker opponents. This one was 62-3 last season in Maryland, and though I don't think it will be 62-3 this time around, I don't like the matchup for the Terps' inexperienced quarterback against that Ohio State defense.

    ATS pick: Ohio State
    Score: Ohio State 48, Maryland 13

     
  4. Juan

    Juan All you got for me is Lite Beer...
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    How to bet Cubs-Nationals NLDS

    How to bet Cubs-Nationals NLDS
    With Max Scherzer's health in question, can the Nats take down a Cubs team that dominated the second-half? Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
    10:00 AM ET
    • [​IMG]
      Joe PetaSpecial to ESPN.com

    En route to finally winning their respective World Series championships, the Red Sox and Cubs were inundated with stories about the 'Curse of the Bambino' and the 'Billy Goat Curse.' In their current iteration, having relocated from Montreal in 2005, the Washington Nationals are a fairly new franchise, but perhaps we should start talking about their curse, which we'll call the Curse of Self-Affliction.

    In Washington's case, the curse is all the more painful because it's of their own making. In 2012, having won a still-standing franchise record of 98 games (even including the Expos years) Washington's front office decided to shut down the completely healthy staff ace, Stephen Strasburg. Not only have the Nats never won a playoff series in three tries since, it seems like they are never healthy. Last year, injuries to Strasburg and Wilson Ramos hampered the team in a 3-2 series loss to the Dodgers, and this year there are questions around Strasburg, Bryce Harper, and most concerning of all, Cy Young candidate Max Scherzer.



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    How MLB teams fared against Vegas win totals
    From the Dodgers to the Tigers, a look at how every team in the MLB fared in 2017 compared to its Vegas win totals.



    Despite coming off a 92-win season, the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs are the underdog in this series and were as low as fifth or sixth in pre-playoff futures markets to repeat as champions. This from the team that had, by far, the shortest odds to win before the season started. Then again, the Cubs do have a losing record against every team that made the playoffs in the National League this season, including a 3-4 mark versus Washington. Still they easily had the best record in the National League after the All-Star break, backed by the highest-scoring team in baseball during that time.

    Chicago isn't entirely without injury concerns of its own, as Jake Arrieta's status for the series is in question. Cubs skipper Joe Maddon is giving the Game 1 starting nod to Kyle Hendricks, as last season's ERA champ and World Series Game 7 starter, has been the most consistent starter for the Cubs down the stretch. For the Nats, it'll be Strasburg making the start and a shutdown gem would go a long way toward banishing the memories of 2012.

    I certainly have fond memories of each Cubs playoff series last year, after backing them every step of the way. For this year's take on the Cubs' chances, keep reading.


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    Chicago Cubs (+125 for the series) vs. Washington Nationals (-135 for the series)
    Game 1 odds: Cubs (Hendricks) +148 @ Nationals (Strasburg) -163

    ADVERTISEMENT
    Game 1 over/under: 7 (U -125)

    As mentioned above, not only did the Cubs score more runs than any other team since the All-Star break, they also made huge progress on the other side of the ledger and that should give anyone pause who thinks the Cubs can't repeat.

    As I've covered in all my Cubs commentary this year, Chicago performed so spectacularly on defense last year, it was positively non-repeatable even if all of the same players returned. Sure enough, the Cubs defense the first half of the season didn't just decline, it was below league average. That played a large part in their under .500 record at the time. Since the All-Star game though, the Cubs quietly had the best defense in baseball by my adjusted defensive efficiency rankings. That performance actually gives the Cubs the highest-ranked defense in all of 2017 among playoff teams. They have a very real chance to repeat.

    And I actually think they will repeat as NL pennant-winners if they get out of this round. However, if Strasburg and Scherzer are at full strength, that's a big edge for Washington in a five-game series. For baseball fans, the reward for a rather drama-free regular season is four fantastic division series matchups. To my eye, this is the best of all and I hope is destined to go five games. I believe the winner gets to the World Series so there's a lot at stake and thanks to home field advantage and the starting pitching edge, I have the Nationals advancing and finally exorcising the demons of Pete Kozma from 2012. But it will take more than one series win to truly break the Curse of Self Affliction.

    ESPN Chalk pick: Nationals -135 for the series
     
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  5. Juan

    Juan All you got for me is Lite Beer...
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    Best CFB Week 7 bets
    Best CFB Week 7 bets
    Can Kenny Hill and TCU hold off Kansas State on the Wildcats' home turf? Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports
    10:28 AM ET
    • CFB Vegas Experts
    Our experts are back with their Week 7 college football picks. Every Thursday, Phil Steele, "Stanford Steve" Coughlin and Chris Fallica will pick out their top plays from some of the week's best matchups. It's all here in one file for your perusing pleasure.

    Here are the best bets for Week 7 of the college football season.

    ATS record:

    Phil Steele: 2-5-1 in Week 6 (20-27-1 season)
    "Stanford Steve" Coughlin: 3-2 in Week 6 (16-12-1 season)
    Chris Fallica: 6-0 in Week 6 (24-20 season)

    Note: Lines from Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of Thursday morning.

    Common games
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    No. 6 TCU Horned Frogs (-6) at Kansas State Wildcats

    Total: 52

    Steele: TCU enters this matchup coming off of a game against West Virginia in which there were only 10 total points scored in the first half. The Horned Frogs are holding their opponents to 101 yards per game below their average, No. 14 in the FBS, and TCU has held all four of its FBS foes to their season low in total yards. Kansas State is holding its opponents to 26 yards per game below their average. Wildcats quarterback Jesse Ertz was injured last week in the third quarter and Alex Delton was trusted to throw only five passes in a double-overtime game. This should be a low-scoring game.

    Pick: Under 52
    Score: TCU 27, Kansas State 21


    Coughlin: We all know how good Kansas State teams are in the home underdog role with Bill Snyder as a head coach. The numbers simply speak for themselves. We also know about the job Gary Patterson has done with his team. The Horned Frogs are coming off an emotional win at home against a very good West Virginia team to remain undefeated. The biggest factor in this game is that K-State's quarterback is out and Delton will be under center. Delton is more of a runner than a thrower and I expect Snyder to have plenty of designed quarterback runs installed for this game. The Wildcats will want to keep the ball away from Kenny Hill and the TCU offense, and try and drain the clock. Delton came in last week and rushed for 72 yards and two TDs on 10 carries.

    ADVERTISEMENT
    Pick: Under 52
    Score: TCU 27, Kansas State 20




    [​IMG]
    How Vegas ranks top 25 CFB teams
    Which college football teams are strongest in the eyes of Vegas experts? Phil Steele provides his updated ratings for the top 25 teams in Week 7 of the college football season.



    Fallica: Our only mandatory game of the week is one I wouldn't normally play with Ertz out. This number will climb, though. Ertz's replacement, Delton, can run some, and Snyder's team typically plays well as a 'dog. While TCU remained undefeated last week, I wonder how much longer it will remain that way, as West Virginia did a pretty good job against the Horned Frogs defensively and outgained them by nearly 100 yards. If you limit the numbers to matchups with Power 5 teams, the TCU offense is seventh in the Big 12 in yards per game, and K-State has the best defense in the Big 12 against P5 teams. Don't be surprised if this one is a four-quarter game, despite Ertz's absence.

    ATS pick: Kansas State +6
    Score: TCU 31, Kansas State 27


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    Florida State Seminoles (-7) at Duke Blue Devils
    Steele: Florida State does not have the worst offensive line in the country and the improvement starts this week. Florida State's offensive line struggled last season and it has really struggled this season, but part of that is due to a very tough slate of opposing defensive lines. So far the Seminoles have taken on three defensive lines that I had rated in my top six in Alabama, NC State and Miami, plus No. 25 Wake Forest. Last week Florida State had a 406-337 yard edge at home versus Miami. This week it takes on a Duke defensive line that's not even in my top 60. Florida State has taken on my No. 1 toughest schedule and Duke has taken on just my No. 54 slate. I like Florida State to go on the road and win by over two touchdowns.

    ATS pick: Florida State
    Score: Florida State 27, Duke 10


    Coughlin: With all the preseason love the boys from Tallahassee were getting, it's curious to think what the Noles will make of the rest of their season as they sit at 1-3. If Bobby Bowden were still the head coach I would be worried, but this is where Jimbo Fisher earns the millions he makes. Look at the three defenses that true freshman quarterback James Blackman has faced in the first three starts of his career: NC State, Wake Forest and Miami. Those three teams have NFL talent all over the defensive side of the ball, and two of those teams are ranked in the top 20. I like the spot here for Florida State and I don't think Fisher has lost his locker room, so I expect a solid effort.

    ATS pick: Florida State
    Score: Florida State 28, Duke 17


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    No. 5 Washington Huskies (-18) at Arizona State Sun Devils
    Steele: Arizona State had actually won 10 in a row in this series, but last season a beat-up Sun Devils team down about half of its starters finally lost its streak. ASU limped into Washington near the end of the season and got hammered 44-18. The Sun Devils are not deep but have remained fairly healthy and have the athletes to stand toe-to-toe with the Huskies. Washington has taken on just my No. 100 schedule and Arizona State is its toughest foe faced all season. Arizona State has taken on my No. 9 toughest schedule with losses to San Diego State, Texas Tech and Stanford. Those teams have combined for only three losses and the Sun Devils have not lost a game by more than 10. This one is in the desert at night and Arizona State is fresh off a bye, while Washington is playing its third road game in four weeks.

    ATS pick: Arizona State
    Score: Washington 31, Arizona State 24


    Coughlin: Could this Washington defense be better than last year's unit that led the Huskies to the College Football Playoff? Well, we're going to get a good idea if it is on Saturday, in what looks to be a special #Pac12AfterDark game for the fans to enjoy. The Huskies come in with that stingy defense, which has given up only 10 points per game and around 228 yards of offense per game. I think this matchup is about who these teams have played so far and if they've been put to the test. The Sun Devils have played far better competition, and I know the Huskies can only play who's on their schedule, but the evidence thus far favors the Devils. Did I mention this is the biggest underdog ASU has been in over 20 years? In 1996, Arizona State beat No. 1-ranked Nebraska 19-0 as a 24-point 'dog.

    ATS pick: Arizona State
    Score: Washington 38, Arizona State 27


    Other games
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    Purdue Boilermakers at No. 7 Wisconsin Badgers(-17.5)
    Steele: Wisconsin has beaten Purdue nine straight times by at least 17 points and is almost perfect against the Las Vegas number, going 10-1 ATS over an 11-game series winning streak. Making the Wisconsin side even more attractive is that Purdue is coming off a misleading final versus Minnesota last week. With 1:30 left in the game, Purdue trailed by one but got a touchdown and two-point conversion with 1:17 left to lead by seven. Minnesota was at the Purdue 27 and threatening to tie the score but had an interception returned for a touchdown for the 14-point margin. I feel Wisconsin is better than Michigan and the Wolverines beat the Boilermakers by 18 on the road. This game is in Madison, and Paul Chryst wins home games by an average of 27.3 points.

    ATS pick: Wisconsin
    Score: Wisconsin 34, Purdue 13


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    Old Dominion Monarchs at Marshall Thundering Herd (-16.5)
    Steele: Marshall won the first two meetings between these programs by wide margins before dropping last season's game. Under head coach Doc Holliday, the Herd are 23-6 hosting Conference USA foes and three of those defeats are against schools no longer in the conference (two versus UCF, one versus Tulsa). Marshall is 15-8-1 versus the Vegas number as a home favorite and Old Dominion is just 1-7 ATS as an away 'dog. Old Dominion is a banged-up team with its top running back and wide receiver both out for the year.

    ATS pick: Marshall
    Score: Marshall 34, Old Dominion 13


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    No. 10 Auburn Tigers (-7) at LSU Tigers
    Steele: I feel Auburn is a legitimate national title contender. The Tigers let me down last week as they led 35-3 at the half and were dominating. In the second half, they settled for some field goals, had their backups in on defense and gave up three touchdowns to win by only 21. The matchup of this game is a banged-up LSU offensive line that will be playing two or three true freshman against one of the best defensive lines in the country. LSU is giving up 240 rushing yards per game and 5.6 yards per carry. That plays into the hands of Auburn. Daniel Carlson gives Auburn a large edge at kicker and the Tigers have the more balanced offense. In SEC games, Auburn is averaging 138 yards more than its opponents give up and holding foes to 86 yards below their average. LSU is minus-43 yards per game and plus-1 yard per game in those two categories.

    ATS pick: Auburn
    Score: Auburn 24, LSU 14


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    Northern Illinois Huskies (-5) at Buffalo Bulls
    Steele: Buffalo has lost all nine MAC meetings with the Huskies by an average of 29 points. Marcus Childers is perhaps Northern Illinois' most dynamic quarterback, but he didn't win the job in August. Last week, Childers got the start and threw three touchdowns. Despite little playing time, he's the team's No. 3 rusher with 123 yards. Northern Illinois has a rock-solid defense that is giving up only 261 yards per game and holding foes to 68 yards per game below their season average. Buffalo's defense is giving up 4.7 yards per carry and 96 yards per game more than what their opponents' average. Quarterback Tyree Jackson has missed the past two games and is questionable to return for this one. Northern Illinois already beat Nebraska on the road and outgained San Diego State 429-263 with a 23-10 first-down edge on the road.

    ATS pick: Northern Illinois
    Score: Northern Illinois 28, Buffalo 17


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    UNLV Rebels at Air Force Falcons (-7.5)
    Total: 66

    Steele: I understand why the total is 66. UNLV games have averaged 64 points and Air Force games 68, but I love the matchup here. Air Force has taken on two elite defenses in Michigan and San Diego State and two defenses that defend the option every day in practice in New Mexico and Navy. They now take on a young UNLV defense that has only two starters back, and head coach Tony Sanchez has not faced the option since taking over. UNLV has a potent offense led by running back Lexington Thomas. The Rebels are averaging 6.1 yards per carry and have two wide receivers who average over 20 yards per catch, including Devonte Boyd. They also have faced two of the nation's top defenses in Ohio State and San Diego State. UNLV has averaged 554 yards and 42 points in its three other games, and Air Force has only one returning starter on defense. I think this game will be over the total in the third quarter.

    Pick: Over 66
    Score: Air Force 49, UNLV 40


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    No. 24 Texas Tech Red Raiders at West Virginia Mountaineers (-3.5)
    Coughlin: This game is interesting, with a ranked team getting points against an unranked team. What's important to me is who each team has played coming into this game. While the Red Raiders come in with one fewer loss, they have played an inferior competition compared to Dana Holgerson's team. The Mountaineers have the two best losses in the country: a close loss to Virginia Tech in a neutral-site game and the aforementioned loss last week to TCU. I talked about my love for Will Grier and this offense before the season started, and Grier has done nothing to disappoint as he has thrown for over 1,700 yards and 16 touchdowns.

    In its only loss, Texas Tech was lucky to lose by only seven points as Oklahoma State went up and down the field on the Red Raiders, only to crumble on five possessions inside the 5-yard line, including two short misses on field goal attempts. I think the Mountaineers come home, where they always play better, and get a great effort and take care of the ranked Red Raiders.

    ATS pick: West Virginia
    Score: West Virginia 38, Texas Tech 24


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    Connecticut Huskies at Temple Owls (-9)
    Coughlin: There's a feeling and a mindset a team forms in the days after getting embarrassed on national television -- "let's not let that happen again." This is the vibe I am getting from the Huskies as they prepare for this Temple game. These two schools compete to recruit a lot of the same players, so it means a lot to the coaching staffs. When you look at the UConn schedule to see few remaining winnable games, this one means more. While the defense has struggled with speed, the offense is 12th in the country in passing yards per game at 325. On the other side, Temple enters this game averaging only 19 points. The Huskies keep it close enough.

    ATS pick: UConn
    Score: Temple 28, UConn 24


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    No. 17 Michigan Wolverines (-8) at Indiana Hoosiers
    Fallica: Michigan has significant problems on offense right now. Last week against Michigan State, John O'Korn's QBR was 20. And if you eliminate the eight carries for minus-9 yards by O'Korn, the Wolverines ran for only 111 yards on 31 carries with one gain of 10-plus yards. The offensive line has to improve and fast, especially heading to Penn State next week. A glance of Indiana's season shows a 3-2 record, but dive in a little deeper and you know the Ohio State game was a real contest for three quarters. Michigan doesn't have a back as dynamic as J.K. Dobbins. The win at Virginia looks a lot better now. And yes, the final score at Penn State was 45-14, but the Hoosiers gave up only 370 yards, held Saquon Barkley to 56 yards on 20 carries, gave up two non-offensive touchdowns and turned the ball over four times. The last time these two met at Bloomington, IU lost by only seven as a 13-point 'dog. Last season in Ann Arbor, it was just a 10-point game with IU easily covering the 24. I won't go as far to pick IU to win outright, because you can always count on a late turnover or two, but I do think this will be close.

    ATS pick: Indiana
    Score: Michigan 23, Indiana 20


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    Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (-6) at UAB Blazers
    Fallica: Why does UAB continue to get such little respect in Las Vegas? The Blue Raiders are riddled with injuries all over the field right now entering this matchup. If the Blazers can win here, they would have a legitimate shot at six wins and bowl eligibility as they still host Rice and UTEP, which are their only home games in their final six games. Riding high after upsetting Louisiana Tech last week, the Blazers pull another upset this week and get to 4-2.

    ATS pick: UAB
    Score: UAB 27, Middle Tennessee 24


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    Akron Zips at Western Michigan Broncos (-14)
    Fallica: The Broncos are coming off that marathon seven-overtime affair in Buffalo last week and have been money-burners as a favorite this season, going 0-3 ATS as favorites. In this matchup last season, Akron was embarrassed 41-0 as a 14-point 'dog in Akron, but Terry Bowden's team looks improved from last year. Quarterback Thomas Woodson is coming off his best game of the season and the Zips are using a bunch of backs. In the past three games, Akron nearly won at Troy as a huge 'dog and handled its business versus Bowling Green and Ball State. I don't think the Zips can win here, but they are playing better and I'll grab them and the points here.

    ATS pick: Akron
    Score: Western Michigan 38, Akron 28


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    Tulane Green Wave (-13) at Florida International Golden Panthers
    Fallica: Tulane blitzed a bad Tulsa team last week, but I don't know about laying 14 (now down to 13) on the road here despite the fact I love what Willie Fritz is doing with this team. Sure, FIU got blown out by UCF in the opener and turned the ball over a ton, but since then, the Panthers have cut down on turnovers and done a really good job on third down. And if Butch Davis' team can have some success on the early downs and take Tulane out of its comfort zone, FIU can win on third down again and keep this one close. But since the Panthers have scored more than 17 only once in five games, it's hard to see FIU scoring more than 20 or pulling the outright upset. I think the defense will do its part, though.

    ATS pick: FIU
    Score: Tulane 28, FIU 20


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    New Mexico Lobos at Fresno State Bulldogs (-2.5)
    Fallica: The Lobos have pulled two straight upsets and I like them to pull off a third here as a slight road 'dog. The idle week came at a good time for Bob Davie's team as it got a chance to get a bit of a breather after those two upsets and prep for an improved Fresno State team under Jeff Tedford. But I like New Mexico's offense to give Fresno some trouble here and outscore the Bulldogs.

    ATS pick: New Mexico
    Score: New Mexico 35, Fresno State 31
     
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  6. LeVar Burton

    LeVar Burton Knee deep in a dynasty, ROLL TIDE!
    Kansas JayhawksAlabama Crimson Tide

    Houston series and Houston game 1

    MLB - How to bet the AL Championship Series between the New York Yankees and Houston Astros
    MLB - How to bet the AL Championship Series between the New York Yankees and Houston Astros
    by Joe Peta on (original: http://www.espn.com/chalk/insider/s...onship-series-new-york-yankees-houston-astros)

    Baseball fans without a specific rooting interest in the remaining American League teams may have wanted to see a Championship Series matchup between two 100-win clubs for the first time since 1977, but the New York Yankees are certainly happy that's not going to be the case. Frankly, so are the Houston Astros. By virtue of the Yankees' impressive comeback from 0-2 down in the ALDS against the Indians, Houston gets home-field advantage for the ALCS. They also get to face a Yankees squad in Game 1 with at least a little bit of a taxed bullpen.




    Both teams established themselves as offensive forces during their respective divisional series. The Astros did it by pounding out a postseason-high 49 hits -- in just four games -- while making a mockery of the Red Sox pitching staff with a .333/.402/.571 slash line. New York, to no one's surprise, leads all teams with 10 postseason home runs, although, of course, they've had six games in which to do it. Power can come with a trade-off, however, and in the Yankees' case it shows up in another stat in which they lead the postseason: 69 strikeouts.

    Scraped at insider2text.xyz, brought to you by HeheStreams — No ads, No Bullshit Live & On-Demand NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL Streaming



    Houston and New York faced each other seven times during the regular season, with the Astros capturing five of those games. However, the Yankees actually scored more runs over the seven contests, 43 to 41. Houston's Game 1 starter Dallas Keuchel did nothing to contribute to that deficit, having limited the Yankees to just a single run over six innings in his only start against the Bronx Bombers this year. Of course, Keuchel also has some postseason success tucked away against New York, having shut them out in the 2015 Wild Card Game.

    With the Cubs winning last night's decisive Game 5, I ended up dropping two of the four Division Series matchups, with the Indians loss as a pricy -190 favorite doing the most damage to my bottom line. For the postseason, I currently stand at 5-3 (+0.75 units) as we turn our attention to the League Championship Series.

    New York Yankees (+145 for the series) vs. Houston Astros(-170 for the series)

    Game 1 odds: New York Yankees (Tanaka) +150 @ Houston Astros (Keuchel) -160

    Game 1 over/under: 8 (U -115)

    The Yankees escaped the ALCS despite striking out in nearly one-third of their plate appearances. Perhaps their fans are thinking, "Yeah but that's the Indians staff." It's true that Cleveland's pitchers struck out more batters than any other team in the majors this year, but guess who came in second? You guessed it. It was the Astros.

    Those same fans might be saying, "The old Tanaka is back" after seeing his stellar outing against the Indians which came on the heels of a 15-strikeout effort in his final regular-season start. Tanaka certainly has the pedigree, sporting a lifetime ERA of 3.56 despite this season's lackluster 4.74 ERA. However, I'm much more inclined to rely on the first 171 innings Tanaka pitched this season, rather than just the last 14 in projecting his start tonight. Make no mistake about it, there were some disastrous starts this season -- and as recently as September. Tanaka was especially vulnerable on the road, where he had a 6.48 ERA.

    The Red Sox learned that, even with running the likes of Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel out to the mound for one-third of the series, those innings weren't a shield against the potency of the Astros lineup. The Boston duo posted a 7.94 ERA in the ALDS.


    Even the Yankees unquestioned strength, their bullpen, can be matched by the Astros. Yes, Houston's relievers had a much higher ERA in the regular season, but the pitchers most responsible for that gap are not on the post-season roster. Houston is very well-equipped to protect a one-run lead, pretty much from the sixth inning on.

    The Astros are an offensive juggernaut and tonight they have home-field advantage, the more-rested bullpen, and the better starter on the hill. This Game 1 call for me is just as emphatic as the overall call for the series. Mark it down: Astros in 5.

    ESPN Chalk pick: Houston -170 for the series, and Houston -160 in Game 1
     
    Juan likes this.
  7. UKupNorth

    UKupNorth Well-Known Member

    Anything for game 5 tonight? TIA
     
  8. LeVar Burton

    LeVar Burton Knee deep in a dynasty, ROLL TIDE!
    Kansas JayhawksAlabama Crimson Tide

    @MagicRatSF
    So no WS write-up, though there was a lot to cover. Rest assured, I will still be rooting for the same team I called to win it all in March.

    thought my 92-win projection would result in a table-pounding "over" call. Instead it was barely higher than Vegas' opening market; however, that market has dropped to 89.5 (from 91.5), so I'm prepared to make this an "over" call.

    It's my belief you're reading the preview for not only the American League pennant winners, but the 2017 heirs to the banner being raised on the North Side of Chicago on Opening Day. Improbably, I like Houston's World Series futures odds at 12-1 more than the "over" 89.5 wins.
     
    #108 LeVar Burton, Oct 24, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  9. Juan

    Juan All you got for me is Lite Beer...
    Donor
    Auburn TigersAtlanta BravesAtlanta Falcons

    Best Bets Week 9
    Best CFB Week 9 bets
    Ryan Finley and the Wolfpack go to South Bend on Saturday. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
    12:00 PM ET
    • CFB Vegas Experts

    Our experts are back with their Week 9 college football picks. Every Thursday, Phil Steele, "Stanford Steve" Coughlin and Chris Fallica will pick out their top plays from some of the week's best matchups. It's all here in one file for your perusing pleasure.

    Here are the best bets for Week 9 of the college football season.

    ATS record:

    Phil Steele: 4-3 in Week 8 (27-35-1 season)
    "Stanford Steve" Coughlin: 4-1 in Week 8 (24-13-2 season)
    Chris Fallica: 3-5 in Week 8 (31-27 season)

    Note: Lines from Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of Thursday morning.

    Common games
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    No. 2 Penn State Nittany Lions at No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes (-6.5)
    Steele: Ohio State is playing with legit revenge after last year's loss in Happy Valley cost them a spot in the Big Ten Championship game. Urban Meyer is 24-10-1 versus the Vegas experts in revenge games. The Buckeyes enter fresh off a bye, while Penn State just gave an all-out effort in front of their white-out crowd versus Michigan. This year's Ohio State team reminds me of the 2014 version, which lost in its second game and then rolled to the national title. Since falling to Oklahoma in their second game this year, the Buckeyes have been rolling along, winning by an average of 42 points per game and outgaining their opponents by 377 yards per game. J.T. Barrett has a sensational 21-1 ratio, and a statement win here will catapult him into the Heisman Trophy discussion.


    ATS pick: Ohio State
    Score: Ohio State 34, Penn State 23


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    Coughlin: Urban Meyer's teams are 20-1 after a bye week over his career and 5-0 against top-25 opponents. The Buckeyes have scored 50 points and produced more than 500 yards in each of their past four wins, the latest being a 56-14 blowout at Nebraska two weeks ago. Revenge is on the Buckeyes' minds. Still, I can't pass on taking the Lions here. I think their offense is as good as there is in the conference. They have faced adversity on the road already this year, winning on the last play of the game at Iowa. Most importantly, I think their defense will keep them in this game; they haven't given up 20 points in a game yet this year. Penn State wins on the road.

    ATS pick: Penn State
    Score: Penn State 27, Ohio State 24


    Fallica: I don't understand why everyone is playing up an Ohio State revenge theme here. Yes, Penn State beat the Buckeyes last year, but OSU went to the College Football Playoff instead of Penn State. The Nittany Lions probably have just as much of a grudge with OSU (even though the playoff debate last year was really between PSU and No. 4 Washington). Under Meyer, Ohio State has been far from great against top-10 teams at home, getting soundly beaten by Oklahoma in September, beating Michigan in overtime last year in a controversial finish, beating a Nebraska team that should have been nowhere near the top 10 and losing to a Michigan State and its backup QB in 2015.

    Will the Ohio State offense open up in a big game? Is the resurgence in recent weeks truly a resurgence, or is it the result of playing no team of signifance? Will the weather allow the offenses to operate carefree, as rain is a near certainty. I don't think Penn State will have a letdown after last week's win over Michigan mainly because the game was a blowout and it didn't have to be mentally sharp for four full quarters. Factoring in the weather, the stakes, two top-12 defenses in terms of efficiency, this has the makings of a lower-scoring game in which Penn State has a chance to win. Too many questions for me to take a stand with the side, so I will lean toward the under on the total points.

    Pick: Under 56.5 points
    Score: Ohio State 27, Penn State 24

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    No. 14 NC State Wolfpack at No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-7.5)

    Steele: The Irish come in averaging 318 rushing yards per game and 7.1 yards per carry, but have played only two top-25 rush defenses. They were held to 55 rushing yards and 1.5 yards per carry by Georgia, and 182 rushing yards and 4.6 yards per carry by Michigan State. North Carolina State has my No. 3 rated defensive line in the country and is allowing just 91 rushing yards per game and 3.0 yards per carry. Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush is completing only 52.3 percent of his passes, so there's not a big passing threat when the running game struggles. The Irish are holding foes to 33 yards per game below their average while allowing just 3.6 yards per carry. Take the under.

    Pick: Under 58 points
    Score: Notre Dame 31, NC State 24




    [​IMG]
    Early CFB betting look for Week 9
    In the Week 9 college football betting look ahead, Will Harris sees good things for Georgia, not-so-good things for Texas A&M and is intrigued by the betting opportunity of the Texas-Baylor matchup this weekend.

    • [​IMG]
      How Vegas ranks top 25 CFB teams
      Which college football teams are strongest in the eyes of Vegas experts? Phil Steele provides his updated ratings for the top 25 teams in Week 9 of the college football season.


    Coughlin: This is a game that features great matchups on both sides of the ball. When Notre Dame has the ball, its sixth-ranked rushing offense faces off against the sixth-ranked rushing defense. When the other units are on the field, you'll see a Notre Dame defense that has remarkably turned 13 of the 17 turnovers it has created into touchdowns. But will it get those turnovers against NC State quarterback Ryan Finley, who hasn't thrown an interception in 313 consecutive passes dating to last season, the longest active streak in the country? So, what gives? I think my favorite offensive line in the country wears down the Pack, and the Irish win and cover as that fight song plays a lot more in the second half than it did in the first half.

    ATS pick: Notre Dame
    Score: Notre Dame 29, NC State 20


    Fallica: Notre Dame's performance in a monsoon in Raleigh last year might have been the low point in a season of low points for the Irish. This year's team is playing with an edge and has throttled everyone except Georgia. I sense there will be no letdown this week for the Irish. NC State has a very good defensive line and had two weeks to prepare, but the Notre Dame offensive line and running game hasn't been stopped by anyone outside of Georgia, so I like the Irish to continue their winning ways, making each game bigger as the season goes on. One nugget for you: As good as the NC State defense has been, it is Notre Dame's defense which is ranked 16th nationally in expected points, 25 spots higher than the Wolfpack.

    ATS pick: Notre Dame
    Score: Notre Dame 34, NC State 24


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    Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at No. 7 Clemson Tigers (-14)
    Steele: In the past two years, Clemson has had just three and four returning starters on defense and faced the complex Georgia Tech offense early in the year with those inexperienced defenses. The result? They held Georgia Tech, which averaged 272 rushing yards per game over those two years versus every other opponent, to just 71 and 95 yards rushing. This year, Clemson has seven starters back on defense, its most veteran group in three years, and is off a loss. The Tigers also had a bye last week to help prep for the option. The toughest defense Georgia Tech has faced this year was Miami, and the Hurricanes had a 481-281 yard edge against them.

    ATS pick: Clemson
    Score: Clemson 31, Georgia Tech 16


    Fallica: I'm taking a little bit of a leap of faith, assuming Kelly Bryant will be good to go by Saturday night, but Clemson played its best football of the season last year after the loss to Pittsburgh. The same could ring true this year. Tech is two heartbreaking losses away from being unbeaten at this point. This has been a really bad matchup for Tech the last couple of seasons, as Brent Venables' defense has done a great job versus the Jackets, holding them to 230 and 124 yards. The Tigers have outgained Georgia Tech by over 300 yards in each of the last two meetings. The road game next week at NC State gives me a little pause as to laying the big number, but I think the more pressing concerns of getting back to playing good football and gaining confidence again outweighs that.

    ATS pick: Clemson
    Score: Clemson 35, Georgia Tech 14


    Thursday games
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    Eastern Michigan Eagles at Northern Illinois Huskies (-7)
    Fallica: EMU may be on a five-game losing streak, but this team hasn't quit. Each of those five losses has come by seven points or less (a combined 20 points). In fact, dating back to last year, each of Eastern Michigan's past seven losses are by seven points or fewer. Chris Creighton has done a great job in Ypsilanti, getting the Eagles to a bowl last season. EMU has to win four of its final five games to again reach bowl eligibility. Looking at the schedule, it's doable, so I expect EMU to again give a great effort in an underdog role.

    ATS pick: Eastern Michigan
    Score: Northern Illinois 30, Eastern Michigan 27


    Saturday games
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    Tennessee Volunteers at Kentucky Wildcats (-4)
    Steele: Kentucky was handled at the line of scrimmage by Mississippi State, showing that its No. 10 rush defense ranking was inflated by taking on weak foes. Tennessee has faced the much tougher schedule (my No. 17 versus No. 53) with its four losses coming to foes that have a combined record of 23-5. Tennessee is an amazing 31-1 straight up in this series, and the one loss was by three points. Kentucky has not beaten Tennessee by more than three points since 1981, and they play every year. Tennessee has won the past five meetings by 23 points per game. Yes, Tennessee has not scored an offensive touchdown in its past 14 quarters, but it did just face Georgia (No. 2 defense), Alabama (No. 1 defense) and South Carolina (No. 19 defense), and now it takes on my No. 60 defense. Kentucky has been outgained by every FBS foe it has faced this year (minus 86 yards per game). Butch Jones' job and a bowl season are on the line for Tennessee, and the Vols will pull off the upset.

    ATS pick: Tennessee
    Score: Tennessee 24, Kentucky 23


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    Mississippi State Bulldogs (-1) at Texas A&M Aggies
    Steele: Texas A&M was ranked No. 4 in the initial playoff rankings last year and then was upset in Starksville as a 10.5-point favorite, which puts the Aggies in revenge mode this week. While Kevin Sumlin has struggled in October, A&M has actually covered both games against the Vegas line this month. The Aggies lost to Alabama by only one possession at College Station three weeks ago and enter fresh off a bye, giving true freshman quarterback Kellen Mond more practice repetitions. Mississippi State is being outgained by 47 yards per game on the road, while A&M is outgaining their opponents by 74 yards per game at home. The Aggies have played just one bad half of football all season, and I'll call for minor upset as Texas A&M should be favored in this game.

    ATS pick: Texas A&M
    Score: Texas A&M 30, Mississippi State 23


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    Nebraska Cornhuskers at Purdue Boilermakers(-5.5)
    Steele: Nebraska is fresh off a bye and its defense had been making major strides under new defensive coordinator Bob Diaco until it ran into the percolating Ohio State offense. The 633 yards allowed looks alarming, but it was only 65 yards more than the Buckeyes' average. Even including that, they've held foes to 81 yards per game below their season average over the last five games. Purdue is off three straight misleading finals. It got a 76-yard interception return touchdown versus Minnesota with 10 seconds left to win by 14, it was outgained by 273 yards versus Wisconsin but lost by only eight, and it finished with a 474-217 yard edge versus Rutgers but lost by two. Versus similar Big Ten schedules, Nebraska is even in net yards per game, while Purdue is minus-35 yards per game. In their four recent meetings, Nebraska has been favored by an average of 17 points per game and is now almost a touchdown 'dog. Tanner Lee is completing 60 percent with a 6-1 ratio his past three games despite facing Ohio State and Wisconsin in that stretch. I'll call for the Huskers to pull the upset.

    ATS pick: Nebraska
    Score: Nebraska 24, Purdue 23


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    Florida Intl Golden Panthers at Marshall Thundering Herd (-17)
    Steele: Marshall keeps delivering just about every week. In Conference USA play, the Herd are plus-153 yards per game, as their defense has allowed just 227 yards per game. FIU has taken on a light C-USA schedule, but is still minus-42 yards per game, being held to 67 yards per game less than its opponents allow on average. In C-USA play, Marshall holds foes to 119 yards per game below their season average, and FIU allows 75 yards per game more than its opponents average. Marshall's only loss is to powerful NC State, and the Herd were were only outgained by 34 yards. Marshall is hosting the game and playing with revenge. They have the edge on offense, defense and special teams.

    ATS pick: Marshall
    Score: Marshall 33, Florida International 6


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    No. 21 USC Trojans (-3.5) at Arizona State Sun Devils

    Steele: While USC is 14-3 in this series, it split the past six meetings. Last year, Arizona State was a banged-up team with 20 or more players on the weekly injury report. They were missing upward of 11 starters in some games. This year, they have just two players on the injury report. USC is the banged-up team this year, with more than 20 players injured. Sam Darnold is one of those players, but he will start. Notre Dame ran the ball down the Trojan's throat with 377 rushing yards at a 8.0 yards per rush rate. Arizona State has both of its star running backs, Kalen Ballage and Demario Richard, healthy, and they rushed for 205 yards and 4.5 yards per carry versus a stout Utah defensive front. While USC has taken on my sixth-toughest schedule, Arizona State isn't far behind at No. 8. USC is playing a ninth straight week and in the second of back-to-back away games. I'll call for another upset at night in the desert.

    ATS pick: Arizona State
    Score: Arizona State 31, USC 28


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    San Diego State Aztecs (-9.5) at Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors
    Steele: San Diego State was playing with unbeaten pressure two weeks ago and fell behind Boise State 14-0 after allowing touchdowns via a fumble return and punt return. They went through their bubble burst last week after their New Years bowl game thoughts were crushed and lost to a red-hot Fresno State squad. Both losses came against teams with top-notch defenses, but that's not the case with Hawaii. While San Diego State's offensive line is banged up, they will have success versus a Hawaii defensive front that is allowing 5.9 yards per carry in Mountain West play. The Aztecs will be angry off a pair of losses, and in their last road game, they squashed UNLV, 41-10. In Hawaii's last home game versus one of the top Mountain West teams (Colorado State), it lost by 30, and the Aztecs are at least as good as the Rams and won at Arizona State by 10 points earlier in the year.

    ATS pick: San Diego State
    Score: San Diego State 34, Hawai'i 17


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    UCLA Bruins at No. 12 Washington Huskies (-18)
    Coughlin: If you read my column or listen to the Behind The Bets podcast, you know I will give the advantage to a team coming off a bye at this point in the season. That is exactly what we have here. The last time we saw the Huskies, they were beaten by Arizona State in Tempe while scoring only one touchdown. The Bruins come in giving up 494 yards, including 303 yards on the ground. They have also lost seven consecutive road games and allowed more than 40 points on four occasions this season, including three road defeats this season -- Memphis, Stanford and Arizona -- in which they allowed an average of 51 points. I think coach Chris Petersen gets it right here and the Huskies take care of business pretty easily and cover the number.

    ATS pick: Washington
    Score: Washington 48, UCLA 17


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    Arkansas Razorbacks at Ole Miss Rebels (-3.5 at MGM Grand)
    Coughlin: This game is about the situation both of these teams are in when they face off on Saturday. Arkansas is still looking for its first conference win and Ole Miss just lost starting quarterback Shea Patterson, who was leading the league in passing yards. The Rebels now turn to Jordan Ta'amu to run their offense, which obviously favors the Razorbacks. While both defenses are not the best, I trust Arkansas to stop a new quarterback's passing attack more than I trust a Rebels defense that allows more than 470 yards of offense per game, including over 260 yards on the ground. I worry that this lost season for Ole Miss is about to get worse, and I'll take the Hogs to win.

    ATS pick: Arkansas
    Score: Arkansas 31, Ole Miss 30


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    Texas Longhorns (-8) at Baylor Bears
    Coughlin: The Boys from Waco are still looking for that first win of the season, and what better way to get it than to knock off the biggest program in the state. I watched Baylor last week come back and cover in fantastic fashion versus West Virginia, thanks to the efforts of true freshman Charlie Brewer. Now, Matt Rhule has a little decision to make at quarterback. Does he go with Brewer or stay with Zach Smith? As crazy as this sounds, I think either guy can get the job done. The issue I have in this game is actually the Longhorns offense. The status of quarterback Sam Ehlinger is unknown, and the Longhorns cannot run the football. Last week against an average Oklahoma State defense, they ran for 42 yards on 33 carries. I think the Longhorns hang on for a close win, but Baylor covers.

    ATS pick: Baylor
    Score: Texas 24, Baylor 21


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    Louisville Cardinals (-3) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
    Fallica: If a team can give up 45 points versus Boston College at home, I wouldn't feel great about laying points for them on the road. Yes, Louisville won in Tallahassee last week, but I think that three FSU turnovers had a lot to do with that. The Deacs have committed just four turnovers all season, so they probably aren't going to help Louisville much in that regard. Wake Forest did as good a job keeping Louisville in check last year before the defense finally broke late in the game; it was 12-10 Wake Forest, and Lamar Jackson was 5-16 through the air after three quarters. Wake has been close a lot lately and just failed to finish off the upsets. This is still a top-20 defense, and it seems like the Deacons are overdue to close one of these out.

    ATS pick: Wake Forest
    Score: Wake Forest 26, Louisville 24


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    No. 16 Michigan State Spartans (-2.5) at Northwestern Wildcats
    Fallica: Michigan State's first three Big Ten wins were by a combined 14 points, and the Spartans trailed Indiana in the fourth quarter last week before unleashing a bad beat on the IU backers. I see no reason not to expect another close game this week. If you look at the Northwestern schedule, there's a real chance the Wildcats could win out and finish 9-3 and have a shot at a 10-win season in a bowl game, but there is a long way to go. This Michigan State offense is 10th in the Big Ten and 105th in the FBS in yards per play. The weakness of the Northwestern defense has been in the passing game (allowing just 121 rushing yards per game and 3.3 yards per carry), and I don't know if Michigan State is the offense that will exploit that. Northwestern has typically played well in the underdog role, and with the Spartans having Penn State and Ohio State on the slate over the next two weeks, this could be a spot where they get knocked off.

    ATS pick: Northwestern
    Score: Northwestern 23, Michigan State 20


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    No. 11 Oklahoma State Cowboys (-7.5) at No. 22 West Virginia Mountaineers
    Fallica: After a close call in Austin last week, I expect Oklahoma State to have a lot more offensive success this week and take a lot more shots down the field, as West Virginia's defense is suspect. The Mountaineers' defense is 116th in the FBS and last in the Big 12 in yards per completion -- and 105th nationally in yards per play. That's a problem against a team that is third nationally in yards per play and sixth nationally in yards per completion. In other words, big plays are in the works. I can see WVU being a fairly trendy home 'dog, and while I love a good home 'dog, I just don't like this matchup for them. Oklahoma State survives the trap before next week's Bedlam series.

    ATS pick: Oklahoma State
    Score: Oklahoma State 41, West Virginia 31
     
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    Best CFB Week 10 bets
    Abdul Adams and the Sooners are underdogs at Oklahoma State this weekend. David Stacy/Icon Sportswire
    12:00 PM ET
    • CFB Vegas Experts

    Our experts are back with their Week 10 college football picks. Every Thursday, Phil Steele, "Stanford Steve" Coughlin and Chris Fallica will pick out their top plays from some of the week's best matchups. It's all here in one file for your perusing pleasure.

    Here are the best bets for Week 10 of the college football season.

    ATS record:

    Phil Steele: 4-4-1 in Week 9 (31-39-2 season)
    "Stanford Steve" Coughlin: 4-1 in Week 9 (28-14-2 season)
    Chris Fallica: 5-1-1 in Week 9 (36-28-1 season)

    Note: Lines from Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of Thursday afternoon.

    Common games
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners at No. 11 Oklahoma State Cowboys (-2.5)
    Steele: The Big 12 moved this game up to the earliest it has been played since 2004, as they were perhaps expecting a rematch in the Big 12 title game. Oklahoma is averaging 203 yards per game more than their opponents allow on average, and Sooners running back Abdul Adams is fully healthy. He's averaging an absurd 10.4 yards per carry, and Oklahoma State has allowed three foes to rush for over 200 yards. Backing up Adams will be Rodney Anderson, who has come back from a serious neck injury to rush for 328 yards and 7.6 yards per carry over the last two games. Each team has faced one top-10 foe: Oklahoma beat Ohio State on the road by 15, while Oklahoma State lost to TCU at home by 13. I will take the Sooners as a 'dog and call for the outright upset.


    ATS pick: Oklahoma
    Score: Oklahoma 42, Oklahoma State 40


    Coughlin: I'm not sure there is a player tougher to bet against in college football than Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield. The moxy, the guts, the toughness and the talent make him one of my favorites to back on any given Saturday, especially as an underdog in a rivalry road game. I picked the Sooners when they went to Columbus earlier this year because of the continuity of the senior signal-caller and his first year head coach Lincoln Riley, and even though the opponent might have a closer relationship between Mason Rudolph and Mike Gundy (seeing how Gundy used to run the Cowboys' offense), I'll back the visitors here. While plenty of people point out how bad the Sooners' defense has been, that unit was pretty damn good in Columbus, and I think it has the talent to mirror the defensive blueprint that TCU laid out when they defeated the Cowboys last month in Stillwater.

    ATS pick: Oklahoma
    Score: Oklahoma 38, Oklahoma State 31


    Fallica: Rudolph hasn't looked right the last couple of weeks. He has attempted just seven passes thrown 20 yards in the air (9.7 percent of his pass attempts, down from 17.6 percent in the first six games), and he produced a season-low five attempts thrown at least 15 yards in the air last week. That leads me to believe something isn't right with the All-American-caliber signal-caller. The Sooners haven't been at their focused best since the Ohio State upset win, but on the road against their in-state rival as an underdog makes me think we'll see a better defensive effort and a fiery Baker Mayfield.

    ATS pick: Oklahoma
    Score: Oklahoma 44, Oklahoma State 38

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    No. 4 Clemson Tigers (-7.5) at No. 20 NC State Wolfpack

    Steele: Clemson dominated Georgia Tech last week. The Tigers had allowed just 151 total yards before a meaningless touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter, which unfortunately cost them the cover. North Carolina State was held to just 263 total yards last week versus Notre Dame, and Clemson has a much better defense than the Fighting Irish. The Wolfpack do have a great defensive line -- despite allowing 318 rushing yards last week -- which can slow down the Tigers enough to keep this game low scoring. Last year with Deshaun Watson under center, Clemson had just 24 points versus NC State. With two defensive-minded teams, I'll call for this game to go under the total.

    Pick: Under 51 points
    Score: Clemson 27, NC State 20




    [​IMG]
    College football Week 10 lines
    College football's Week 10 is highlighted by a Clemson-NC State meeting in Raleigh, along with the next installment of the Bedlam series in Stillwater. Here is the full list of game lines from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

    • [​IMG]
      How Vegas ranks top 25 CFB teams
      Which college football teams are strongest in the eyes of Vegas experts? Phil Steele provides his updated ratings for the top 25 teams in Week 10 of the college football season.
    • [​IMG]
      CFB betting look for Week 10: Bedlam could come down to 'D'
      In the Week 10 college football look-ahead, Will Harris explores which defense has the edge in Saturday's Oklahoma-Oklahoma State matchup, why a Big Ten disappointment could be on the ascent, and why option-based offenses offer good betting value.


    Coughlin: This ACC matchup features two defensive lines featuring professional talent. Against Notre Dame last week, the Wolfpack's defensive line got handled by what I think is the best offensive line in the country to the tune of 318 rushing yards. They face a rushing attack that they are more accustomed to this week, as the Tigers' offense will be in the shotgun with Kelly Bryantrunning that spread offense, so I think NC State will be better this week. In last year's game, the Pack held the Tigers to 117 yards on the ground. Many people forget that the Clemson needed a missed field goal at the buzzer and then overtime to beat this NC State team. I think the home teams feeds off a great home crowd and keeps the game close in a loss.

    ATS pick: NC State
    Score: Clemson 26, NC State 21


    Fallica: Last week was exactly what the Tigers needed, as Bryant looked healthy and the defensive line controlled the game. The winner basically locks up the ACC Atlantic this week, and that should help the Wolfpack bounce back from last week's loss in South Bend. I wonder how much of what happened last year is on the minds of Clemson's coaches and players, though. There will be no sneaking up on anyone this time. The Tigers have already gone on the road and throttled Louisville and Virginia Tech. Plus, NC State has some injuries it needs to worry about too. I have to make a pick in the common game, so I will side with Clemson.

    ATS pick: Clemson
    Score: Clemson 27, NC State 17


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    No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions (-8.5) at No. 24 Michigan State Spartans
    Steele: These two have faced four common opponents this year: Penn State has beaten Iowa, Indiana, Northwestern and Michigan by 21.5 points per game, while Michigan State is 3-1 versus those teams with a point differential of only plus-1.7 points per game. Penn State struggled versus perhaps the best defensive line in the country last week, and while Michigan State is good on defense, they don't have the same type of athletes. Penn State has a large edge in my offensive rankings (No. 8 versus No. 52) with an even larger edge in my special teams rankings (No. 9 versus No. 111). Even in a tough spot off Michigan and Ohio State, my computer has the Nittany Lions by over two touchdowns, and I agree.

    ATS pick: Penn State
    Score: Penn State 30, Michigan State 14


    Fallica: It was close on the scoreboard last week, but Penn State was statistically dominated by Ohio State. The Buckeyes outgained the Nittany Lions 529-283 (6.8 to 4.4 yards per play). Penn State was unable to run at all (35 carries for 91 yards), and I don't know if the Lions will find running the ball much easier this week. After Penn State poured it on Michigan State last year in the fourth quarter in an effort to impress the CFP Committee (throwing with less than four minutes left in a 38-12 game), don't be surprised if Mark Dantonio and his team remember that. If Brian Lewerke and Felton Davis IIIplay the way they did in the overtime loss at Northwestern, the Spartans have a real shot. Remember, MSU controls its destiny to get to the Big Ten title game and each of their conference games have been decided by one score. I expect this one will be, too. Michigan State has been a dangerous home underdog (and underdog in general) when getting a bunch of points.

    ATS pick: Michigan State
    Score: Michigan State 28, Penn State 27


    Friday games
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    Marshall Thundering Herd at Florida Atlantic Owls(-7.5)

    Steele: Marshall lost to Florida International by 11 at home last week, as it was minus-three in turnover margin. Meanwhile, Florida Atlantic beat Western Kentucky on the road by 14 last week, despite having nine fewer first downs. The Owls' first two touchdown drives were just 8 and 18 yards, and they trailed by eight in the fourth quarter. There's solid value with Marshall, as Florida Atlantic is more than a touchdown favorite. Marshall is plus-141 yards per game in C-USA play, while Florida Atlantic is plus-125. I will gladly take the extra value provided from last week's results.

    ATS pick: Marshall
    Score: Marshall 30, Florida Atlantic 27


    Saturday games
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    No. 13 Virginia Tech Hokies (-2.5) at No. 10 Miami Hurricanes
    Steele: At the start of the year, I had Miami as the top team in the ACC Atlantic Division, and I still feel that way. The Canes have taken on the tougher schedule and won at Florida State. While they beat Georgia Tech by only one point, they did finish with a 200-yard edge. In Virginia Tech's biggest games, they were outgained by West Virginia by 123 yards and trailed Clemson by 21 before a late touchdown. Miami has a talented defensive front seven, and while it hasn't played to its potential, I expect it to do so this week. Miami has been winning a lot of close games, but is undefeated and a home 'dog.

    ATS pick: Miami
    Score: Miami 24, Virginia Tech 20


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    Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-10) at Virginia Cavaliers
    Steele: Georgia Tech beat Virginia by two touchdowns in a misleading game last year. Virginia had a 25-8 first down edge on the road, with the majority of Georgia Tech's points coming from four big plays, including a 24-yard interception return at the end of the game. The Jackets are off three straight misleading finals. They were outgained 481-281 by Miami, but lost by only one; they trailed Wake Forest at home by five late in the third quarter, but a 70-yard touchdown put them ahead by seven with 1:57 left and they won by 14; and they were dominated last week by Clemson (outgained 399-151) prior to a late drive for a garbage touchdown in their 14-point loss. Don't forget that Bronco Mendenhall is one of the best at defending the option.

    ATS pick: Virginia
    Score: Georgia Tech 21, Virginia 20


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    Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at Arkansas Razorbacks (-23.5)
    Steele: Coastal Carolina has played five Power 5 teams and lost them all by an average score of 55-5. Arkansas may have saved Bret Bielema's job with the late comeback last week, but it did beat a much stronger New Mexico State team by 18 and now faces a one-win Coastal Carolina team that lost to Texas State by 20 at home last week. Arkansas has played a vastly tougher schedule (No. 31 versus No. 109). The Razorbacks' offense is improving with each Cole Kelly start at quarterback, and after facing defenses like Alabama and Auburn, he will thrive against a Coastal Carolina defense that's allowing 510 yards per game over its past three games.

    ATS pick: Arkansas
    Score: Arkansas 48, Coastal Carolina 17


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    Wake Forest Demon Deacons at No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-14)
    Steele: Notre Dame has a nice edge with new defensive coordinator Mike Elko having been the Wake Forest coordinator the last three years, so he knows the personnel inside and out. Wake Forest is on their third road game in four weeks and just pulled a big upset over Louisville at home. The Deacons lost their top wide receiver, Greg Dortch, who had four touchdowns last week. Elko's defense is allowing just 16 points per game while not allowing 20 points in a single game all season. Notre Dame has taken on my No. 9 toughest schedule, while Wake Forest has taken on my No. 34 toughest slate. My computer loves the Irish here, and they've won six in a row versus the Vegas number and will continue to roll.

    ATS pick: Notre Dame
    Score: Notre Dame 38, Wake Forest 17


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    Florida Gators at Missouri Tigers (-3)
    Steele: Missouri has taken on six non-Power 5 teams over the past two years and has averaged 671 yards and 63 points per game in those games. When taking on Power 5 teams, it is averaging just 20 points per game, which is 45 points per game less. Drew Lock averages 423 passing yards per game, completing 65 percent of his throws versus non-Power 5 teams -- his numbers drop to 229 passing yards per game, 51 percent completion against Power 5 squads. After scoring 68 points versus Idaho and 52 versus Connecticut the past two weeks, there will be a large drop off this week. I'm not afraid of the fact that Florida has an interim head coach in Randy Shannon. Oregon State, UTEP and Georgia Southern all covered versus the Vegas line in their first games with interim head coaches this season.

    ATS pick: Florida
    Score: Florida 28, Missouri 24


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    No. 21 Stanford Cardinal at No. 25 Washington State Cougars (-2)
    Coughlin: Sometimes you have to gamble in order to gamble. You have to take a chance and have to go on a notion. I'm making this pick based off the idea that Bryce Love won't be playing for the second straight week due to an ankle injury. I also can't get the Wazzu blowout of Stanford last year in Palo Alto out of my head, as Luke Falk picked apart the Cardinal defense for 357 yards and four touchdowns. I know Falk was benched last week in Tucson, but he is going to start this week as Mike Leach announced, and you add that on top of Stanford losing their top cornerback in Alijah Holder last week for the year. That Stanford offense looked awful without Love, and even if David Shaw decides to shake things up and start K.J. Costello at quarterback, it would be his first start on the road in a tough environment.

    ATS pick: Washington State
    Score: Washington State 28, Stanford 17


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    No. 22 Arizona Wildcats at No. 17 USC Trojans(-7.5)
    Coughlin: There are few things that I like more in the sport of college football than an "angry" Sam Darnold, and I was so happy to see "angry" Sam Darnold back under center for the Trojans last week as he scorched the favorite Arizona State Sun Devils on their home turf for 266 yards and three scores through the air. The Trojans also rushed for 318 yards, led by my most underrated player in the country, Ronald Jones II, who went for 216 yards on just 18 carries. In a win over the Washington State Cougars last week, the Wildcats gave up over 500 yards in the air in the second half to a backup quarterback and only outscored the Cougs thanks to Wazzu's four red zone interceptions. I think USC slows down quarterback Khalil Tate and wins a track meet on Saturday night in the Coliseum.

    ATS pick: USC
    Score: USC 48, Arizona 38


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    Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Vanderbilt Commodores (-9.5)
    Coughlin: This line simply doesn't make sense to me. A 3-5 team is favored by nearly double digits over a team with five wins? I know Vanderbilt plays in the SEC and WKU is in Conference USA, but a 9.5-point spread? I'll try to not overthink this one and trust the guys who make the spreads and take the favorite. Western Kentucky seems like one of the most overrated teams in the country. They were picked by many to win C-USA and have done nothing to prove they are worthy. The 'Dores have lost five games in a row, starting with that 59-0 dismantling from Alabama. In that losing streak, they have improved on the offensive side of the ball by averaging over 25 points in their last four games. There aren't too many games on the Vandy schedule that are more winnable than this one, and I think the home team wins and covers the number.

    ATS pick: Vanderbilt
    Score: Vanderbilt 35, Western Kentucky 20


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    No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers (-13.5) at Indiana Hoosiers
    Fallica: Indiana has some injuries to worry about, as the Hoosiers may play one-time starter Richard Lagow if Peyton Ramsey can't go. But that might not be a bad thing, as the better way to attack the Badgers is through the air. Wisconsin has injury concerns of their own with running back Jonathan Taylorand receiver Quintez Cephus. IU has seemingly found ways to lose each week, but they finally gave up a bunch of points on defense last week. Despite that, 13.5 points are too many for me to pass up. The Hoosiers' propensity to be in close games and the fact the Wisconsin offense could be shorthanded again puts the Hoosiers on my docket.

    ATS pick: Indiana
    Score: Wisconsin 23, Indiana 17


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    Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles at Tennessee Volunteers (-6.5)
    Fallica: The Vols' last stand might have been last week, as they nearly pulled the upset in Lexington. The fan base is irate that Florida has made a coaching change while the status of Butch Jones is still up in the air. Check out the #EmptyNeyland campaign on Twitter to get a gauge of the feelings in Knoxville right now. Will that carry over to the players? Nobody knows for sure, but don't expect much of a home-field edge at all on Saturday. Southern Miss is coming off a loss as a double-digit favorite versus UAB, so it looks like this should be a win for the Vols. But the Southern Miss offense with running back Ito Smithand quarterback Keon Howard have put up points most of the year, and I don't think this will be a "gimme" at all for the Vols.

    ATS pick: Southern Miss
    Score: Tennessee 22, Southern Miss 21


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    Maryland Terrapins (-3) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights
    Fallica: After three straight double-digit losses in which the offense was a no-show, Maryland put up 42 on Indiana last week. Odds of a second-straight offensive outburst? Not great. Rutgers has actually shown improvement this year, especially on defense, winning at Illinois, beating Purdue at home, giving Washington a game into the second half and throwing a scare into Nebraska in Lincoln. After a predictable loss in Ann Arbor last week, I think Chris Ash will have his team ready, and the State University of New Jersey will pick up win No. 4 on the year.

    ATS pick: Rutgers
    Score: Rutgers 27, Maryland 24


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    UMass Minutemenat No. 16 Mississippi State Bulldogs (-31.5)
    Fallica: The Minutemen lost quarterback Andrew Ford to injury last week, but still pulled off an overtime win over Appalachian State. Even if Ford doesn't play, this could be a spot to take the Minutemen plus the big number, as the Bulldogs host Alabama next week and are coming off convincing wins at Texas A&M and versus Kentucky. Last year in Massachusetts, Mississippi State struggled on the road as a 23-point favorite in the week before hosting Auburn. It seems like a similar spot here.

    ATS pick: UMass
    Score: Mississippi State 42, UMass 17
     
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    Best CFB Week 11 bets

    Best CFB Week 11 bets
    Nick Chubb and Jake Fromm face Auburn this weekend. Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire
    12:00 PM ET
    • CFB Vegas Experts
    Our experts are back with their Week 11 college football picks. Every Thursday, Phil Steele, "Stanford Steve" Coughlin and Chris Fallica will pick out their top plays from some of the week's best matchups. It's all here in one file for your perusing pleasure.

    Here are the best bets for Week 11 of the college football season.

    ATS record:

    Phil Steele: 4-5 in Week 10 (35-44-2 season)
    "Stanford Steve" Coughlin: 5-0 in Week 10 (33-14-2 season)
    Chris Fallica: 4-3 in Week 10 (40-31-1 season)

    Note: Lines from Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of Thursday morning.

    Common games
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    No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (-2.5) at No. 10 Auburn Tigers
    Steele: Georgia has won nine of the past 11 in the series and has pulled off back-to-back upsets in the past two years. Georgia is playing with unbeaten pressure and has the No. 1 target on its back. Auburn has solid numbers, registering plus-146 yards per game in SEC play and with its defense holding foes to 111 yards per game below their season average. Auburn's defensive numbers have suffered from giving up yards with large leads. Up big versus Mississippi, the Tigers allowed 20 points in the second half, and they gave up late touchdowns in each of their past two games. Georgia has even better numbers at plus-228 yards per game in conference play, and its defense holds foes to 152 yards per game below their season average. Both teams have excellent defensive fronts, but with Kamryn Pettway out, Georgia has the deeper roster of running backs. Home teams have done well in big games this year (not to mention, the home team has won six of the past eight in this series), and these two squads are very close in talent. I give a slight edge at quarterback to Auburn, so I'm going with the home team to pull the upset.


    ATS pick: Auburn
    Score: Auburn 23, Georgia 20


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    Coughlin: What should we expect from the Bulldogs in this spot, on the road against a rival as the No. 1 team in the country? Earlier this year, the Bulldogs went to Notre Dame and won, but they were the underdog. I don't see either team scoring more than 20 points. Jarrett Stidham had to envision games like this when he chose Auburn as the school he would play for after Baylor. I trust Georgia's talent to win and cover this game on the road.

    ATS pick: Georgia
    Score: Georgia 20, Auburn 16


    Fallica: This will be Georgia's toughest task to date. We've seen the Auburn defense shut down Clemson and Mississippi State, and I'd expect that unit to be flying around Jordan-Hare Stadium with everything in front of them this season. The same goes for the other side of the field, where Kirby Smart's crew is a pretty salty bunch themselves. I don't expect many points in this one, and the winner is basically a coin flip. I feel stronger about the total here.

    Pick: Under 47 total points
    Score: Georgia 20, Auburn 17


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    No. 6 TCU Horned Frogs at No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners (-6.5)



    [​IMG]
    CFB betting look for Week 11
    In the Week 11 college football look-ahead, Will Harris explores the value of turnover metrics, how big plays will impact a Pac-12 showdown and why a team on a five-game losing streak could finish strong.

    • [​IMG]
      How Vegas ranks top 25 CFB teams
      Which college football teams are strongest in the eyes of Vegas experts? Phil Steele provides his updated ratings for the top 25 teams in Week 11 of the college football season.


    Steele: Oklahoma has played the tougher schedule of the two (No. 11 versus No. 56) and is playing to an average game grade of 108.8, compared with TCU at 102.2. Factor in a five-point home edge, and that power rating has Oklahoma by 11.4. Still, TCU has the best defense in the Big 12 and holds foes to 161 yards per game below their season average. TCU also holds the edge on special teams (No. 17 versus No. 104), and Gary Patterson has the big-game coaching edge. Lincoln Riley is 2-0 in his biggest games this year, but both were as an underdog.

    Oklahoma is 104-10 at home over the past 19 years, and it is plus-273 yards per game in home games this season; the Horned Frogs are just plus-73 yards per game on the road. Oklahoma also has the best offense in the country and averages 223 yards per game more than what their opponents normally allow in Big 12 play, whereas TCU's offense gains 15 yards per game less than what their Big 12 foes normally allow.

    ATS pick: Oklahoma
    Score: Oklahoma 37, TCU 27


    Coughlin: The winner will be alone in first place in the Big 12 with two games to play, but the loser will still be in solid position to make the conference title game. The Horned Frogs are first in rushing defense nationally, allowing less than 70 yards per game. Baker Mayfield has been unreal running the Sooners' offense, which averages 45 points and 608 yards of offense per contest, but it should be pointed out that Oklahoma has run for 200 or more yards just three times this season. Patterson might use a game plan similar to the one he used to defeat Oklahoma State earlier this year, and I think the Horned Frogs will slow down the Sooners' offense in this one, as well. Expect the TCU rushing offense, which averages 193 yards per game, to control play enough for the Horned Frogs to stay in the game.

    ATS pick: TCU
    Score: Oklahoma 31, TCU 28


    Fallica: OU moved through the Oklahoma State defense at will last week, but TCU has done a good job this year, slowing down Oklahoma State and West Virginia, two of the best offenses in the Big 12. It's rare to win in both Stillwater and Norman in the same year, but I get the sense that Patterson and his team are still irked by letting one get away last year versus Oklahoma. The Horned Frogs defense will do enough to keep TCU, at the very least, in this one all the way.

    ATS pick: TCU
    Score: Oklahoma 38, TCU 35


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    No. 19 Washington State Cougars (-1) at Utah Utes

    Steele: Washington State opened with five home games, but now plays its fourth road game in six weeks. The Cougars lost their past two road games by 34 and 31 points. Utah was without quarterback Tyler Huntley versus Stanford and USC, but also dropped the next two when he returned. However, Huntley then guided Utah to 506 yards and 48 points against UCLA last week. Utah is now in its second straight home game, increasing its altitude advantage. The Utes sit at five wins, just one shy of bowl eligibility. Washington State does have the better defense, holding foes to 111 yards per game below their season average, but the Cougs also net just 4 yards per game on the road.

    ATS pick: Utah
    Score: Utah 27, Washington State 23


    Coughlin: Few coaches give me the confidence that Kyle Wittingham does, and few teams in college football give me the confidence that Utah does when it plays at home. Just look at last week, a Friday night home game versus a 4-4 UCLA team. There wasn't an empty seat in Rice-Eccles Stadium. A nationally ranked Washington State team comes in with a potential Pac-12 title-game spot on the line, along with a very slim chance at the College Football Playoff. The issue I have with the Cougars -- and trust me, it has nothing to do with them beating my Cardinal last week -- is that they haven't looked like themselves in their past two road games, getting blown out by California and Arizona. I think Utah has the talent on defense to limit the Wazzu run game and focus on pressuring Luke Falk, and I think Utah wins.

    ATS pick: Utah
    Score: Utah 27, Washington State 24


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    No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (-14) at No. 16 Mississippi State Bulldogs

    Steele: Not only has Alabama won nine in a row in the series, it has held Mississippi State to seven total touchdowns in those nine meetings. The Tide have allowed 10 points or less in all but one, winning by 25 and 48 points in the past two years. They were coming off LSU in each of those, just as they are this year, and they only have Mercer on deck. Alabama held Nick Fitzgerald to 15 rushing yards and 145 pass yards last year, with Mississippi State gaining 166 of its 274 yards after trailing by 30 at the half. The Tide get more motivated on the SEC road and have beaten the Vegas number nine of the past 11 times. Bama is plus-294 yards per game in SEC play, averaging 6.1 rushing yards per carry.

    ATS pick: Alabama
    Score: Alabama 34, Mississippi State 10


    Fallica: Alabama hasn't been this small of a favorite since the FSU season opener. The Tide look like a team in need of a breather right now. The defense is littered with injuries, and I get the sense quarterback Jalen Hurts isn't quite 100 percent right now, either. The Tide had trouble running the ball on LSU at home, and after predictably sleepwalking through the UMass game last week, I think Dan Mullen will have his Bulldogs ready for a prime effort. I don't know if it will be good enough to win outright, but it could mimic the 2014 game, which ended with an Alabama 25-20 win. The Bulldogs have been very pesky as a big home 'dog lately.

    ATS pick: Mississippi State
    Score: Alabama 31, Mississippi State 21


    Friday games
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    Temple Owls (-2.5) at Cincinnati Bearcats

    Coughlin: The Owls went to Michie Stadium a few weeks back and lost a heartbreaking game to Army in overtime. The Black Knights drove the length of the field in the last minute of the game to force overtime and hit a field goal to start the extra frame, and Temple went on to miss a 20-yard attempt. The Owls started Frank Nutile at quarterback in that game, and they looked a lot better on offense. They then hosted Navy last Thursday out of their bye and pulled a 34-26 upset, with Nutile throwing for 289 yards and four touchdowns. I like the spot for Temple here. The Owls need this game to keep their bowl chances afloat. Give me the road favorite to win and cover.

    ATS pick: Temple
    Score: Temple 17, Cincinnati 3


    Saturday games
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    No. 23 NC State Wolfpack (-3) at Boston College Eagles

    Steele: Boston College has won eight of 12 in the series and upset the Wolfpack on the road last year as a two-touchdown underdog. The visitor has now won three in a row. This is a great situation for Boston College, which is fresh off a bye, whereas North Carolina State just had tough losses in huge games versus Notre Dame and Clemson. Boston College has a slight schedule edge (No. 33 versus No. 15). Both own upsets of Louisville and Florida State to go along with losses to Notre Dame and Clemson. BC averaged just 322 yards per game its first six games, but then jumped to 465 yards per game over its past three games. The Eagles actually have my No. 1-rated pass defense and held their last two foes to season-low yard totals. Both teams have dynamic pass-rushers, and the sack totals for each team are close. Boston College has beaten the Vegas number by 19.8 points per game in its past five games, so I'll call for the upset.

    ATS pick: Boston College
    Score: Boston College 28, NC State 23


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    Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Marshall Thundering Herd (-13)

    Steele: Western Kentucky is on the road for a second-straight game, but Marshall is off a pair of tough losses. The Herd offensive line has allowed just four sacks, and Western Kentucky has recorded just seven sacks, so Chase Litton should have plenty of time to throw. When Marshall chooses to rush, it has seen success, averaging 175 yards per game and 4.4 yards per carry in C-USA play; Western Kentucky averages just 38 rushing yards per game and 1.3 yards per carry, and it is also allowing 5.8 yards per carry in conference play. Since being embarrassed by 54 points to end last year, Marshall has covered in seven of nine games. WKU quarterback Mike White (14-6 TD-INT ratio) is also questionable for this game.

    ATS pick: Marshall
    Score: Marshall 30, Kentucky 10


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    Michigan Wolverines (-17) at Maryland Terrapins

    Steele: Maryland third-string quarterback Max Bortenschlager got injured last week, and Air Force transfer Ryan Brand took over and could be the starter this week. Even if Bortenschlager is able to play, Maryland is averaging just 303 yards per game in conference play, which is 42 yards per game less than its opponents allow on average. In Brandon Peters' first start, Michigan put up 427 yards versus a Minnesota team that was allowing just 317 yards per game -- Maryland's defense is allowing 449 yards per game. Versus Ohio State and Wisconsin, Maryland lost by an average of 50-14 and was outgained by 345 yards per game.

    ATS pick: Michigan
    Score: Michigan 38, Maryland 10


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    Duke Blue Devils (-3) at Army Black Knights

    Steele: David Cutcliffe does a great job when facing option offenses, holding the past seven to 41 yards per game below their season average. Duke has the added edge of being off a bye, and with Georgia Tech on deck, it will be fully focused. The Blue Devils won their last trip here in 2015 by 41 points, and Army was held to a season-low 168 yards. Duke then held Army to a season-low 214 yards last year in Durham. This year, the Blue Devils are allowing just 340 yards per game.

    Duke has taken on my 46th-toughest schedule, whereas Army has taken on my 102nd-toughest. Quarterback Daniel Jones began the season completing 67 percent of his passes, but has completed just 45 percent during the Blue Devils' five-game losing streak. Keep in mind that streak is against five ACC teams, including Miami, Florida State and Virginia Tech, which combine to average my No. 9 pass-efficiency defense. Army has my No. 106-ranked pass-efficiency defense. The Black Knights have beaten the Vegas line versus FBS foes at home just once in their past 10 games and are coming off a huge upset win over their rival.

    ATS pick: Duke
    Score: Duke 20, Army 13


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    No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-3.5) at No. 7 Miami Hurricanes

    Coughlin: Last week's Miami win impressed me quite a bit. The defense demolished Virginia Tech and made it so hard on the offense. But how challenging is the Hokies' offense when you really think about it? That offense doesn't come close to the Irish's talent. Notre Dame comes in averaging 41 points per game and an amazing 324 yards on the ground, which ranks fifth in the country. I'm just not sure that Miami can play better on defense than it did last week, when it created four turnovers and held Virginia Tech to 10 points. I think the Irish are ready for this atmosphere and stage, and I think the road favorite wins and covers.

    ATS pick: Notre Dame
    Score: Notre Dame 23, Miami 17


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    No. 17 Virginia Tech Hokies (-3) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

    Fallica: The Jackets have dropped their last couple of games, one by a big margin and one by a close score. Including the loss at Miami, they have lost three of four. This series has recently been controlled by the road team, but I like the home side here catching points. After Virginia Tech saw their Coastal hopes dashed, I wonder if this spot sets up perfectly for the Jackets to catch the Hokies sleeping with the early kick, as they run that option up and down the field intent on snapping their recent slump. Paul Johnson is a proud man, and there will be no quit in the Jackets.

    ATS pick: Georgia Tech
    Score: Georgia Tech 33, Virginia Tech 28


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    No. 15 Oklahoma State Cowboys (-6.5) at No. 21 Iowa State Cyclones
    Fallica: Iowa State continues to be undervalued. A win here would give the Cyclones a big tiebreaker edge in the race for the Big 12 championship game. Iowa State's defense has played lights out much of the season in Big 12 play, and after falling down 20 last week in Morgantown, it shutout one of the better offenses in the conference the rest of the way. The Cyclones just couldn't capitalize in the red zone to get the win. Back home for the final time this season, I like Iowa State to win. Oklahoma State has struggled in Ames lately, and I expect that to continue.

    ATS pick: Iowa State
    Score: Iowa State 31, Oklahoma State 30


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    Purdue Boilermakers at No. 25 Northwestern Wildcats (-4.5)
    Fallica: This line stinks. Purdue has dropped three of four since a 3-2 start, but each of those losses were of the close variety. Purdue needs two wins to hit the magic number of six for bowl eligibility, and that would mean pulling a road upset this week or at Iowa next week, in addition to capturing the bucket in the season finale against Indiana. How much do the Wildcats have in the tank after winning three straight overtime games? Aren't they due to come out a little flat here? As I said, even in defeat, Purdue has scrapped, losing 17-9 to Wisconsin, losing by two at Rutgers and blowing the Nebraska game. The Boilers will be in this one with a good chance to win outright.

    ATS pick: Purdue
    Score: Northwestern 28, Purdue 27
     
  13. Juan

    Juan All you got for me is Lite Beer...
    Donor
    Auburn TigersAtlanta BravesAtlanta Falcons

    Best CFB Week 12 bets

    Best CFB Week 12 bets
    Jonathan Taylor and the Badgers face Michigan this weekend. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
    12:00 PM ET
    • CFB Vegas Experts

    Our experts are back with their Week 12 college football picks. Every Thursday, Phil Steele, "Stanford Steve" Coughlin and Chris Fallica will pick out their top plays from some of the week's best matchups. It's all here in one file for your perusing pleasure.

    Here are the best bets for Week 12 of the college football season.

    ATS record:

    Phil Steele: 3-4 Week 11 (38-48-2 season)
    "Stanford Steve" Coughlin: 1-4 in Week 11 (34-18-2 season)
    Chris Fallica: 2-4 in Week 11 (42-35-1 season)

    Note: Lines from Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of Thursday morning.

    Common games
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    No. 24 Michigan Wolverines at No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers (-7.5)
    Steele: Michigan is on the second of back-to-back away games and has rival Ohio State on deck. The home team has won seven of the past eight in this series, and Michigan's most recent win in Madison was in 2001. While Michigan has a top-notch defense, it is just average on offense. Wisconsin is even better on defense, as the Badgers are holding their opponents to 127 yards per game below their season average, while also averaging a full touchdown more per game on offense. Jonathan Taylor has run for 1,525 yards, while averaging 7.0 yards per carry. Wisconsin has the stronger run game, offensively and defensively, and has the more experienced quarterback. And don't forget about the home field edge, which is huge in Madison.


    ATS pick: Wisconsin
    Score: Wisconsin 26, Michigan 13


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    Coughlin: No one has been a bigger backer of the Badgers than me, as they continue to be ranked behind some one-loss teams, including Clemson and Oklahoma. I will continue to say that Wisconsin can only play the teams on its schedule. It isn't Wisconsin's fault that BYU is having one of its worst seasons in the history of the program. In any other year, teams that win in Provo get a lot more credit. I will admit that this will be the biggest test that the Badgers' offense has faced. The Wolverines allow only 144 yards through the air and 110 yards on the ground per game. Now, on the other side, the Badgers allow even fewer rushing yards, so Michigan will have to fight for everything they get on Saturday, too. I'll say Wisconsin stays unbeaten.

    ATS pick: Michigan
    Score: Wisconsin 21, Michigan 19


    Fallica: Wisconsin's offense hasn't been a thing of beauty this year at 30th in efficiency, the worst of any team ranked No. 13 or higher. But the defense has been pretty solid most of the year against some pretty overmatched offenses. Michigan has been incapable of stretching the field, and that should continue this week. UM is 27 spots lower than Wisconsin in offensive efficiency. It won't be pretty, but the Badgers should win this one by double digits (FPI calls for an 11-point win).

    ATS pick: Wisconsin
    Score: Wisconsin 27, Michigan 16


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    UCLA Bruins at No. 11 USC Trojans (-16)



    [​IMG]
    CFB betting look for Week 12
    In the Week 12 college football look-ahead, Will Harris explains why he's selling on one of the best stories of the year, examines one of this week's SEC tilts with an eye toward Week 13, and explores the November phenomenon of scoreboard-watching.

    • [​IMG]
      How Vegas ranks top 25 CFB teams
      Which college football teams are strongest in the eyes of Vegas experts? Phil Steele provides his updated ratings for the top 25 teams in Week 12 of the college football season.


    Steele: Sam Darnold had seven interceptions through four weeks, and at that point, I said he would have seven or fewer interceptions over the rest of the year. Over the past seven games, he has just four, including a 15-3 ratio in the past six games.

    USC has averaged 590 yards per game in the past three weeks. Against Pac-12 foes, the Trojans are averaging 114 yards per game more than their opponents allow, and UCLA gives up 492 yards per game in Pac-12 play. Using that metric, USC is forecasted to gain 606 yards. UCLA allows 314 rushing yards per game and 5.9 yards per carry, and Ronald Jones II has rushed for 1,124 yards on 6.7 yards per tote. On the flip side, Josh Rosen returned to the lineup last week, and the Bruins put up 573 yards and 44 points on Arizona State. Points will be plentiful, and I like the over in this game.

    Pick: Over 71.5 total points
    Score: USC 48, UCLA 31


    Coughlin: The quarterbacks in this game have been discussed as potential No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the coming NFL draft. But when I look at this game, I can't help but notice that USC has gotten 552 yards rushing in its past three games from Jones -- and the Bruins' rush defense ranks dead last in college football, allowing 302 yards per game on the ground. You can't ignore that matchup. The UCLA offense has looked like a different animal with Rosen back under center, as the Bruins beat Arizona State last week thanks to his 381 yards throwing. Something tells me the backdoor will be open for the Bruins here at the end of the game, and I say the road underdog covers the spread.

    ATS pick: UCLA
    Score: USC 31, UCLA 24


    Fallica: I'll just admit it. If it weren't a selected common game, I would want no part of it. What I've seen so far from UCLA on the road has been pretty awful, as the Bruins were rolled at Stanford, Arizona, Washington and Utah. I would have to think the duo of Darnold and Jones will have a field day with the Bruins' defense and put up a big number heading into the off week prior to the Pac-12 title game.

    ATS pick: USC
    Score: USC 47, UCLA 28


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    Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-6.5) at Duke Blue Devils

    Steele: Duke head coach David Cutcliffe does very well versus the triple option. Duke had a bye two weeks ago and faced Army's triple option last week, so the Blue Devils basically had three weeks to work on defending the option. They held Army to a season-low 268 total yards last week. The last time Georgia Tech went on the ACC road, Virginia pulled out an outright upset, and Duke has an even better situation.

    ATS pick: Duke
    Score: Duke 17, Georgia Tech 16


    Fallica: It'd be a big deal for Duke to go to a bowl game, and the Blue Devils have to win out to reach one this year. Losers of six straight, four of which came by one score, Duke got a great look at the option offense last week in a 21-16 loss at Army. That's pretty good prep week for a must-win game. I was on the Jackets last week, and they upset Virginia Tech in Atlanta. However, I think an upset could be in the works this week, as Duke possesses a decent defense and is due to win one of these close games.

    ATS pick: Duke
    Score: Duke 27, Georgia Tech 24


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    Iowa State Cyclones (-9.5) at Baylor Bears

    Steele: The home team has won six of the past eight in the series, with Baylor winning the past four at home by an average of 33 points per game. Iowa State gave everything it had last week, and despite its quarterback being injured, it still had a chance to tie the game at the end. The Cyclones are now in a letdown spot, playing an unusual role. They are a Big 12 road favorite for just the third time in the past five years, and in the past two tries, they failed to beat the Vegas number. Baylor is a solid 6-1 as a home underdog. Charlie Brewer has thrown for 315 and 417 yards in the past two weeks, and the Bears actually had a 523-337 yard edge in their 14-point loss to Texas Tech last week. While Baylor is 1-6 in Big 12 play, it is only minus-12 yards per game.

    ATS pick: Baylor
    Score: Iowa State 26, Baylor 23


    Fallica: Half of Iowa State's games have been decided by one score, including each of the past three. After close losses in the past two weeks, along with further attrition at the quarterback position, a berth in the Big 12 title game isn't going to happen. It's the final home game of the year for the young Bears. Remember Baylor has put up more than 500 yards in home games versus Oklahoma and Texas Tech (and 497 on West Virginia). If the emotion of the season has taken a toll on the Cyclones, it will show this week.

    ATS pick: Baylor
    Score: Baylor 33, Iowa State 31


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    Missouri Tigers (-9.5) at Vanderbilt Commodores

    Steele: The home team has won three in a row in this series by an average of nine points per game. After just one win through six contests, Missouri used easy games against Idaho and Connecticut to get their offense going. It then beat beleaguered Florida and Tennessee teams by 26 and 33 points, respectively. The Tigers meet another team in disarray this week. Despite its 2-4 SEC mark, Missouri is plus-17 yards per game. Derek Mason was hoping to contend in the SEC East, especially after Vanderbilt's upset of Kansas State had the Commodores ranked and perfect after three games. It hasn't been pretty since, as Vanderbilt has lost all six of its SEC games and is minus-236 yards per game. The defense is giving up 322 rushing yards per game and 6.5 yards per carry. Missouri just ran the ball all over Tennessee to the tune of 433 yards and 8.2 yards per carry.

    ATS pick: Missouri
    Score: Missouri 43, Vanderbilt 29


    Fallica: Missouri has been blowing out bad teams and teams that shut it down for the season. Don't get me wrong, the fact that the Tigers have turned it around and are within one win of bowl eligibility is pretty incredible. The Commodores can still reach a bowl game themselves if they can beat Missouri at home and win at Neyland against Tennessee next week. Coming off a poor defensive effort last week, I'd be surprised if Vandy didn't put forth a lot better effort with a shot to still get to a bowl game.

    ATS pick: Vanderbilt
    Score: Missouri 37, Vanderbilt 34


    Other games
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    Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at No. 6 Auburn Tigers (-37)

    Steele: This is the biggest sandwich game that I have ever seen. Auburn just faced No. 1 ranked Georgia, was fired up at home as an underdog and dominated the game. The talk this week is how the Tigers can make the CFP if they beat No. 1 Alabama next week and Georgia the following week in the SEC title game. Sort of makes it tough to focus on the task at hand, right? Louisiana Monroe is off a bye, and this is their "Super Bowl." Kerryon Johnson carried the ball 32 times last week for Auburn, and he may need to tote it 32 more times versus Alabama. I would not expect many touches for him here.

    ATS pick: Louisiana Monroe
    Score: Auburn 49, Louisiana Monroe 21


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    No. 15 UCF Knights (-14) at Temple Owls

    Steele: Temple catches the warm weather Knights in cold Philadelphia for its final home game. This is a case of what have you done for me lately. UCF became the favorite for a New Year's Day bowl slot by demolishing opponents weekly and was plus-214 yards per game in its first five games (5-0 ATS). Temple's offense has gone from averaging 296 yards per game over its first five contests to 459 yards per game in its past five. The key to Temple's resurgence has been quarterback Frank Nutile, who has completed 65 percent of his passes with a 6-3 ratio. UCF is playing with unbeaten pressure, and I believe Temple takes this one to the wire.

    ATS pick: Temple
    Score: UCF 35, Temple 28


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    Rice Owls at Old Dominion Monarchs (-8.5)

    Fallica: ODU is coming off an outright win as a double-digit underdog at FIU last week, but I'm not sure I'd want to lay double digits with a team that was in this spot at home a couple weeks back versus Charlotte and won just 6-0. Rice has scored some points lately and showed some grit against a decent Southern Miss team last week. That makes me think the Owls can keep this one within the number.

    ATS pick: Rice
    Score: Old Dominion 41, Rice 34


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    Arizona State Sun Devils (-7) at Oregon State Beavers
    Fallica: The Beavers have battled at home since making the coaching change. Since the near upset of Stanford in Corvallis, Oregon State has predictably gone on the road and lost by double digits to Cal and Arizona. This seems like a good spot to grab the points at home against a team that has given up a lot of points recently and could be dealing with some weather in the Pacific Northwest.

    ATS pick: Oregon State
    Score: Arizona State 30, Oregon State 28


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    Florida International Golden Panthers at Florida Atlantic Owls (-14.5)
    Fallica: The fact that FAU is unbeaten in C-USA play and is north of a two-touchdown favorite over a conference foe with a new head coach of its own has to have Lane Kiffin crying out "rat poison." It's an especially dangerous spot with the Owls off another blowout road win and FIU just losing outright as a double-digit favorite. The past three times FIU has been an underdog, it has won the game outright, including twice as a double-digit underdog. I'm not sure FIU can keep the Owls out of the end zone enough to win outright, but I don't think this one will be a three-score game.

    ATS pick: Florida International
    Score: Florida Atlantic 38, Florida International 28


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    No. 12 TCU Horned Frogs (-7) at Texas Tech Red Raiders

    Fallica: Underdogs have fared pretty well lately in this series, and Texas Tech's win at Baylor last week has the Red Raiders one win away from a bowl game. Tech will have to pull an upset either this week at home against TCU or next week at Texas to secure eligibility. The Red Raiders haven't been a great team at home this year, losing close games to Oklahoma State and Kansas State, along with another to Iowa State. Still, I kind of get the sense that TCU has peaked. With just one turnover forced in the past four games, turnover luck has stopped for the Horned Frogs. They'll need to bounce back from a pretty poor offensive showing last week to keep their Big 12 title hopes alive.

    ATS pick: Texas Tech
    Score: Texas Tech 40, TCU 34


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    California Golden Bears at No. 22 Stanford Cardinal (-16)

    Coughlin: The Cardinal have so much to play for now after their upset win versus Washington last week. If they win this game and UW beats Wazzu, the Cardinal will find themselves playing for a Pac-12 championship in a rematch with USC. However, in a rivalry in which Cal has lost seven straight games, the Bears are awfully scary to me. They still need a win to become bowl eligible, and they have already shown that they can pull off the upset, as they beat Wazzu earlier this year. Actually, they blew Wazzu out. I think the great defensive mind of Justin Wilcox shows up here, the Golden Bears scare the crap out of Stanford and the Cardinal wins a close one with Cal covering.

    ATS pick: California
    Score: Stanford 27, California 21


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    Virginia Cavaliers at No. 3 Miami Hurricanes(-19.5)

    Coughlin: Hmm, what do we have here? This one features a second-place team in the ACC coastal traveling to play what might be the hottest team in the country, and the spread is 19.5 points. I'm not saying the Cavs can pull the upset, but the Wahoos have the combination of talent and coaching that can make it a game against the red-hot Hurricanes. They have beaten teams such as Georgia Tech and Boise State this year, so I don't think the Miami offense will overpower them in any way. I think The U wins by two scores, as the Cavs cover the spread.

    ATS pick: Virginia
    Score: Miami 17, Virginia 9


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    No. 19 NC State Wolfpack at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-1.5)

    Coughlin: After a stretch of playing teams such as Notre Dame, Clemson and Boston College, NC State finds themselves in a winnable game on the road. Even FSU won at Wake Forest this year. The Demon Deacons come in off a win at Syracuse where they put up 64 points and 734 yards of offense and accumulated 33 first downs, but that Syracuse's defense has nowhere the talent that the Wolfpack will bring on Saturday evening. Plus, the Orange got to play versus a backup quarterback last week. I'll take NC State to win the game outright.

    ATS pick: NC State
    Score: NC State 27, Wake Forest 20
     
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  14. SoCalDuck

    SoCalDuck sleep late, its much easier on your constitution
    Donor

    Best CFB Week 13 bets
    Quarterback Jarrett Stidham and the Auburn Tigers face the Alabama Crimson Tide in Week 13. Scott Donaldson/Icon Sportswire
    10:00 AM MT
    • CFB Vegas Experts

    It's rivalry week! Our experts are back with their Week 13 college football picks. Every Thursday, Phil Steele, "Stanford Steve" Coughlin and Chris Fallica will pick out their top plays from some of the week's best matchups. It's all here in one file for your perusing pleasure.

    Here are the best bets for Week 13 of the college football season.

    ATS record:

    Phil Steele: 4-3 Week 12 (42-51-3 season)
    "Stanford Steve" Coughlin: 3-2 in Week 12 (37-20-2 season)
    Chris Fallica: 3-6 in Week 12 (45-41-1 season)

    Note: Lines from Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of Wednesday morning.

    Common games
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (-4.5) at No. 6 Auburn Tigers

    Steele: Alabama has won five of the past six Iron Bowls, with the lone loss being the famed "kick six" game, and the five wins have come by an average of 24 points. Auburn endured one of the largest sandwich games ever last week, facing a Sun Belt team smack in the middle of two home games against No. 1 teams as a 'dog. Despite missing two games, Tigers running back Kerryon Johnson is making a real push for the Heisman, with his 1,172 yards and 5.3 yards per carry. Alabama is allowing just 87 yards per game on the ground but is down four linebackers. Plus, the Tide allowed LSU to rush for 151 yards and Mississippi State to pick up 172 on the ground. Alabama's largest advantages come in quarterback mobility, running back depth and receiving talent. However, Auburn is one of the few teams that can stand toe-to-toe with Alabama at the line of scrimmage, and it now has the edge at linebacker. Auburn is also the healthier team and is 12-6 as a home 'dog.


    ATS pick: Auburn
    Score: Alabama 26, Auburn 23




    [​IMG]
    CFB betting look for Week 13
    In the Week 13 college football look-ahead, Will Harris explains why he's changed his feelings on one Big 12 team and why sudden offensive issues might doom another, offers a simple look at unders and evaluates a seemingly meaningless Mountain West game.



    Coughlin: We got another Iron Bowl with a lot at stake. So much has been made of Alabama's injuries in recent weeks, especially on defense, that some people are actually saying Auburn has the edge at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. I'm not sure I agree, but I will say the matchup of Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and 'Bama OC Brian Daboll is as good as it gets. Although the Tigers completely dominated the Georgia offense a couple weeks ago, I don't think they will do the same to the Tide. Between Daboll's playcalling, Jalen Hurts' talent and the overall balance of this offense, I think the Crimson Tide will handle business on Saturday. They average 270 yards on the ground and more than 200 yards in the air per game, and I really liked what I saw from their passing game in the fourth quarter, when they came from behind to win against Mississippi State a few weeks ago. Nick Saban and the 'Bama boys win and cover.

    ATS pick: Alabama
    Score:
    Alabama 27, Auburn 20

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    Fallica: Which Auburn will we see Saturday? Will we again see the offensive line that was dominated by Clemson? Maybe it will be the team that didn't commit a turnover and had just five penalties for 29 yards in a near perfect effort versus Georgia? Can Auburn run the ball with authority, considering that its receivers might not get a ton of separation? The historical trends indicate that when both Alabama and Auburn are good, Auburn typically wins. But I ultimately have to go with the team that has thrived in big games and side with the ability of Hurts to create when it all breaks down.

    ATS pick: Alabama
    Score: Alabama 27, Auburn 17


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    No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-2.5) at No. 21 Stanford Cardinal

    Steele: Notre Dame just faced the option and cut blocking of Navy, but Stanford is off the "big game." The Cardinal's biggest area of improvement is the offensive line, which allowed 34 sacks last season and just 12 this season. Notre Dame improved everywhere, though. The defense is stronger versus the run and gets more pressure on the quarterback, and the pass defense went from No. 79 to No. 34 this year. On offense, Notre Dame is averaging 290 rushing yards per game and 6.6 yards per carry. The Irish have taken on the tougher schedule and are plus-88 yards per game, while Stanford is just plus-10. While Notre Dame is playing its season finale, Stanford can win the Pac-12 if Washington defeats Washington State, and the Apple Cup is going on at the same time. Running back Bryce Love isn't 100 percent healthy, and the Cardinal are averaging 141 rushing yards per game and 4.1 yards per carry over their past four games, after averaging 258 and 4.1 in their first seven contests.

    ATS pick: Notre Dame
    Score: Notre Dame 31, Stanford 23


    Coughlin: I rolled the dice and took Washington State versus Stanford a couple of weeks back because I wasn't sure of the status of Love, and I am going a similar route here this Saturday in Palo Alto. I think Notre Dame comes in extra motivated with a chance to get to 10 wins, which would probably give them No. 1 pick among the New Year's Six bowls. I'm not sure what Stanford will do here. As Fallica pointed out on Behind The Bets, wouldn't you rather have Love closer to 100 percent for a Pac-12 title game than risk that by playing him in an out-of-conference game that really doesn't mean much? I mean, I want my alma mater to beat Notre Dame more than anything when they play, but I respect whatever direction David Shaw wants to go in this game. I'll go with the notion that Love won't be a big part of the game plan, and that unfortunately makes me think there is no way the Cardinal can beat the Irish on Saturday night.

    ATS pick: Notre Dame
    Score: Notre Dame 30, Stanford 19


    Friday games
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    South Florida Bulls at No. 15 UCF Knights (-10)

    Steele: UCF benefitted from a plus-five in turnovers last week to win by 26 at Temple, scoring on "drives" of 21, minus-5 and 5 yards after turnovers in the first half. In their past five games against FBS foes, the Knights have allowed 210 rushing yards per game. Meanwhile, South Florida's lone loss was to Houston after the Cougars took their first lead of the day with 11 seconds left following an improbable fourth-down conversion. USF was the clear-cut favorite to win the conference coming into the season, and while UCF has McKenzie Milton at quarterback, USF counters with Quinton Flowers. The winner of this game is the favorite to grab the Group of 5 bid to a New Year's Day bowl. Despite being on the road, USF is capable of the upset and is getting double digits.

    ATS pick: South Florida
    Score: UCF 34, South Florida 31


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    No. 25 Virginia Tech Hokies (-7) at Virginia Cavaliers

    Coughlin: 13 games. That is how many times in a row the Cavaliers have lost to the Hokies. Virginia put the country on notice when it led undefeated Miami 28-14 last week in the second half, only to cough away the lead and fall by two scores. The talent and coaching are there for the Wahoos to come back six days later and take down their rival. On the other side, the Hokies have not impressed me in recent weeks, struggling since they went to Hard Rock Stadium to play the Hurricanes. Tech needed to stop Pitt four times to end the game last week, as the Panthers had a first-and-goal to try to win the game. The Hokies were owned by Georgia Tech in the previous week. I'll take the home underdog here.

    ATS pick: Virginia
    Score: Virginia 23, Virginia Tech 9


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    Navy Midshipmen at Houston Cougars (-4.5)

    Coughlin: If there is a team that can get over a tough loss, it's Navy. Last week, the Midshipmen took Notre Dame to the very end before getting stopped in the last minute of the game as they tried to tie the score. They took down Houston last season, and for those who say Navy might be looking ahead to Army, I don't buy that because they have a bye week between these games. I don't fear anything Houston does offensively, as the Cougars have lost to Tulsa and Tulane, scoring just 17 points against those mediocre AAC defenses. I think the road team keeps it close and covers.

    ATS pick: Navy
    Score: Houston 28, Navy 27


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    Iowa Hawkeyes (-3.5) at Nebraska Cornhuskers

    Fallica: Nebraska's defense has struggled all season, but what we saw offensively from the Hawkeyes versus Ohio State has been an aberration, and what we've seen from them against Purdue, Northwestern, Minnesota, Michigan State and Wisconsin has been more along the lines of who they are. This is not the worst matchup in the world for the Huskers' beleaguered defense this week. Iowa ran over the Huskers to the tune of 40-10 last season, but I think Nebraska rallies for a win here to cap off what has been a brutal home slate in Lincoln this season. I don't think the Cornhuskers have quit yet, as evidenced by a couple of late scores last week at Penn State. It might not be pretty, but I like the Huskers here.

    ATS pick: Nebraska
    Score: Nebraska 24, Iowa 17


    Saturday games
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    Indiana Hoosiers at Purdue Boilermakers (-3)

    Steele: Both teams enter this game needing a win to get to a bowl. Indiana plays in the stronger East division of the Big 10 and drew Wisconsin out of the West, while Purdue avoided Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State. Indiana easily could have beaten both Michigan and Michigan State. The Hoosiers have the special-teams edge at No. 52 versus No. 81, and I feel they also have edges on offense and defense. Indiana is a team that is better than its record, and it'll pull the upset.

    ATS pick: Indiana
    Score: Indiana 27, Purdue 23


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    Utah State Aggies at Air Force Falcons (-1.5)

    Steele: Air Force was a 10-win team last season and was outgained by 88 yards in its seven-point win in last year's meeting. Utah State won just three games last season but is much stronger this year and has already clinched bowl eligibility. The Aggies' only losses are to Wisconsin, Wake Forest, Colorado State, Boise State and Wyoming (which they gave away late). In their three Mountain West road games, they've won by 51, 24 and 14 points. Air Force was averaging 38.2 points per game, but the offense has scored only 33 points combined the past three games, and quarterback Arion Worthman was injured last week. Utah State just faced the option two weeks ago in a 14-point win over New Mexico, and it is averaging 32 points per game since inserting Jordan Love as the starter at quarterback four weeks ago. The Aggies also have the edge on defense and special teams.

    ATS pick: Utah State
    Score: Utah State 35, Air Force 27


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    Georgia Southern Eagles at Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns (-6.5)

    Steele: Georgia Southern just played its home finale and shut out South Alabama 52-0 for its first win of the season. The Eagles were minus-92 yards per game in Sun Belt play prior to their 388-yard edge on the Jaguars. Louisiana still needs one win to become bowl eligible. This is the Ragin' Cajuns' home finale, and Appalachian State is on deck. Jordan Davis retook the quarterback job for Louisiana, and running back Trey Ragas ran for 132 yards last week after missing the previous week. Louisiana has gotten its ground game going the past three weeks, averaging 257 yards per game and 5.6 yards per carry. Georgia Southern has allowed five teams to rush for 240 or more yards and is allowing 5.2 yards per carry overall. It is winless in five games on the road (1-4 ATS).

    ATS pick: Louisiana
    Score: Louisiana 37, Georgia Southern 23


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    No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs (-11) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

    Steele: While Georgia is on its third road game in four weeks, the Bulldogs don't lose the Governor's Cup often. They're playing with legitimate revenge and have rebounded with a win in three straight tries after losing in the year prior. They come in on a 16-2-1 ATS run and have the SEC title game on deck, and with dimming-but-not-gone playoff hopes, they can't afford a second loss. Georgia Tech just allowed Duke to rush for 319 yards and 6.3 yards per carry, and Georgia has a deep backfield that averages 267 rushing yards per game and 5.8 yards per carry. Georgia Tech has taken on two playoff contenders. Despite losing to Miami by just one point, the Jackets were outgained by 200 yards. They were also dominated by Clemson, trailing by three touchdowns before a garbage-time touchdown against backups resulted in a 14-point loss.

    ATS pick: Georgia
    Score: Georgia 34, Georgia Tech 16


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    Florida Atlantic Owls (-21.5) at Charlotte 49ers

    Coughlin: Here we have a team that will play in its conference title game next week after traveling to play the worst team in its division on Saturday. My usual thinking is that the team will just want to go take care of business and get a win, no matter how ugly it is. However, I throw conventional wisdom out the window with Lane Kiffin. He is going into Charlotte with the gas pedal through the floor. The Owls have scored 42 or more points in five of their past six games, and they have won seven straight in the conference. I don't see them scoring fewer than 55 points here. Take the big road favorite.

    ATS pick: Florida Atlantic
    Score: Florida Atlantic 63, Charlotte 28


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    No. 16 Michigan State Spartans (-14) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

    Fallica: The three meetings for these two as Big Ten foes have been heavily influenced by site. In East Lansing, the Spartans have won 45-3 and 49-0, but in the midst of their 2015 CFP run, they had to survive a 31-24 win on the road against a 4-8 Rutgers squad. That's kind of been the deal with the Spartans this year, too. Take away the blowout loss as a huge 'dog in Columbus, and you're looking at a team that lost at Northwestern, won in Ann Arbor by four points in awful weather and won by three on the road against a 5-6 Minnesota team. Last week was a rare egg from Rutgers. Sure, the Knights had been blown out by the teams that should have blown them out, but games versus Nebraska, Maryland, Purdue and Illinois all were competitive. Rutgers isn't going bowling, but a fifth win here could give the coaching staff and players a lot to build on for 2018, knowing they are getting that much closer to a bowl berth. The Scarlet Knights might not pull the outright upset, but I'd be surprised if they were again blown out. FPI agrees, calling for an eight-point MSU win here.

    ATS pick: Rutgers
    Score: Michigan State 31, Rutgers 24


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    North Texas Mean Green (-10.5) at Rice Owls

    Fallica: This game really means nothing in the grand scheme of things for North Texas, as it is locked into the Conference USA title game next week at FAU, so starters might play only part of the game. Five of North Texas' eight wins have come by one score, including four of its past five (only a blowout of winless UTEP broke that streak), so there might be a little bit of luck involved in the Mean Green's 8-3 mark. Rice has played better lately, especially on offense. It's interesting to look back and see that Rice was a 6.5-point favorite last season in Denton, while the Owls are now double-digit underdogs. I expect the Owls to play well against a team that will likely be looking ahead to next week.

    ATS pick: Rice
    Score: North Texas 34, Rice 26


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    Old Dominion Monarchs at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (-12)

    Fallica: The Blue Raiders need a win for bowl eligibility, but ODU has played better of late, winning three straight. Middle Tennessee has really been picked apart by injuries this season, but it should have enough on offense to score enough to get that sixth win. FPI sees about a field goal's worth of value with the 'dog as well.

    ATS pick: Old Dominion
    Score: Middle Tennessee 40, Old Dominion 31


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    No. 13 Washington State Cougars at No. 17 Washington Huskies (-10)

    Fallica: The Cougars have to pull the outright upset in Seattle to reach the Pac-12 title game. Washington is coming off a lethargic effort versus Utah and has no shot at getting to the Pac-12 title game, but there's a reason this number is as big as it is. UW has won four straight in the series, each coming by double digits, and Washington State has not been the same team away from home this season (though the Cougars did win in Utah in their last road game). It is surprising to see that UW ranks 13th in offensive efficiency, while the Cougs are 67th. Wazzu does have the better defense (sixth, versus Washington at 15th). It's a consolation prize, for sure, but I expect the Huskies to continue their success against their cross-state rival. FPI has Washington as a 14-point pick here.

    ATS pick: Washington
    Score: Washington 35, Washington State 23


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    UT San Antonio Roadrunners at Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (-2)

    Fallica: Yes, the Bulldogs need the win to become bowl eligible, but UTSA has ample motivation as well. The Roadrunners aren't guaranteed a bowl berth with six wins, and they would like to lock that up with a seventh win. There is also a big revenge factor, as Louisiana Tech put 63 up on UTSA last season. That hasn't been forgotten. Tech has not been its typical dominant self at home, and I like the Roadrunners to get the win to salvage a season that began with a ton of promise after a 3-0 start and a win at Baylor.

    ATS pick: UT San Antonio
    Score: UT San Antonio 28, Louisiana Tech 27