October 27, 2012
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Sportsbook.ag College Football Odds
FLORIDA GATORS (7-0) vs. GEORGIA BULLDOGS (6-0)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Florida -7 & 47
Opening Line & Total: Bulldogs -6 & 48
Unbeaten No. 2 Florida and 10th-ranked Georgia square off in Jacksonville for their annual neutral-site meeting on Saturday afternoon.
The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party hasn't been much fun for Georgia, which is 4-18 in the past 22 meetings with Florida. But the Bulldogs barked loudly in last year's 24-20 victory, outrushing the Gators 185 to minus-19 yards. This season, Florida's defense has been stellar, allowing just 12.1 PPG (4th in FBS) and 282 total YPG (7th in nation), and posting six straight ATS wins. Georgia barely beat 26-point underdog Kentucky last week 29-24, marking its third straight ATS loss. Considering UGa's struggles last week while Florida was crushing South Carolina, the nation's 7th-ranked team, by 33 points, this appears to be a much bigger mismatch than the moderate spread would indicate. The Gators allow less than 100 rushing yards per game and Georgia is 0-7 ATS versus great rushing defenses (120 rush YPG or less) over the past three seasons. The Bulldogs are also 0-8 ATS as an underdog in the past three years, while Florida is 8-1 ATS after an ATS win under Will Muschamp, winning these games by an average score of 33-14.
Gators QB Jeff Driskel was quite efficient in last week's 44-11 rout of South Carolina, as four of his 11 completions went for touchdowns. In the previous game, Driskel rushed for 177 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Vanderbilt. His Gators team was held to a mere 89 yards on 48 carries last week, but South Carolina's run-stop unit is much tougher than Georgia's rushing defense which has allowed 211 rushing YPG in its past three contests. If Florida's offense is to get back on track, it will need to know where UGa star linebacker Jarvis Jones is at all times. Jones had four sacks in last year's matchup in Jacksonville, and already has 5.5 sacks this season. Defensively, Florida has helped itself with 15 takeaways this season, including 11 over the past four games. But the strength of the team is its rushing defense that ranks 10th in the country (97 rush YPG) and has allowed a paltry 68 rushing YPG on 2.1 yards per carry in the past three contests.
Although Murray has been tremendous this season (9.6 YPA, 16 TD, 4 INT), he wasn't great in last year's meeting with Florida, completing just 15-of-34 passes for 169 yards (5.0 YPA), 2 TD and 1 INT. Bulldogs leading receiver Tavarres King (511 rec. yds, 5 TD) is coming off a season-high 188 receiving yards and 2 TD versus Kentucky, and has scored in each of the past two meetings with the Gators. But for Georgia's passing attack to be more efficient this time around, the ground game has to improve. In the past two weeks, the Bulldogs have rushed for only 192 yards on 68 carries (2.8 YPC). Leading rusher, freshman Todd Gurley (622 rush yds, 9 TD), has just 86 yards on 25 carries (3.4 YPC) in this two-game span. Georgia shouldn't have much trouble with Florida's passing game, considering it allows less than 200 passing YPG this year (28th in FBS), but its 74th-ranked rushing defense could have its problems stopping Florida's multi-player ground attack. The Bulldogs have not forced a turnover in either of its past two games.
NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (7-0) at OKLAHOMA SOONERS (5-1)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Oklahoma -12 & 48
Opening Line & Total: Sooners -10 & 48.5
No. 5 Notre Dame tries to stay unbeaten when it faces its toughest test of the season, a trip to No. 8 Oklahoma.
Notre Dame is 8-1 SU all-time versus Oklahoma, but the schools have played just once since 1969, a 34-30 Irish win in 1999. Notre Dame is on a two-game ATS skid, and has scored 20 points or less five times this year. But the Irish have not allowed more than 17 points in a game this year, ranking second in FBS with 9.4 PPG allowed and placing sixth in the nation with 281 YPG allowed. No Sooners opponent has eclipsed 24 points in 2012, as the offense has piled up 52.0 PPG and 485 YPG during a three-game win streak (SU and ATS). It's comical that Notre Dame is getting more points (11) than it allows on the season (9.4 PPG). The Sooners have faced one top-30 scoring defense all year, losing 24-19 at home to Kansas State. They gained just 386 yards and turned the ball over three times in that defeat. The Irish have been pounding the football on the ground with 265 rushing YPG in the past three contests, and the Sooners have given up 207 rushing yards to UTEP and 185 last week to Kansas. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly loves the underdog role too, going 21-9 ATS (70%) as a college coach.
Notre Dame will start Everett Golson under center for this game after sitting out last week's win over BYU because of a concussion. He has reached 200 passing yards just once this year and his overall numbers aren't fantastic: 58.5% completions, 7.2 YPA, 4 TD, 3 INT. Backup QB Tommy Rees could also play for a fifth straight game, but he struggled against the Cougars last week, completing 7-of-16 passes for 117 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. However, the running game will be much more vital to the Irish's success on Saturday. They rushed for 270 yards last week, 150 the prior week and 376 against Miami three weeks ago. Theo Riddick (451 rush yds, 3 TD) had a season-high 143 rushing yards on 9.5 YPC in last week's win, while Cierre Wood (393 rush yds, 2 TD) rumbled for 114 yards on 18 attempts (6.3 YPC). Defensively, Notre Dame simply has no weakness, ranking 14th in the nation in passing defense (174 YPG) and 16th in FBS against the run (107 YPG). Although the Tackles For Loss numbers are weak (4.7 per game, T-102nd in nation), the 2.7 sacks per game rank 21st in the country. The Irish have forced 2+ turnovers in five of seven games, totaling 17 takeaways this season.
Oklahoma enters Saturday with a 79-4 SU record at home under Bob Stoops. QB Landry Jones has eclipsed 300 passing yards just once this season, but he has thrown for 880 yards, 7 TD and 1 INT in his past three games, leading his team to 15 scores (12 TD, 3 FG) in the past 20 drives. But the Sooners rely on Kenny Stills way too much, as his 38 catches are 15 more than any other teammate, and he's the only player to reach 300 receiving yards this year with 471 yards and 4 TD. Notre Dame has allowed just 5 TD through the air this year, while racking up 12 INT. Oklahoma ran all over Texas two weeks ago (343 yards), but has averaged just 101 rushing YPG on 4.1 YPC in its other three games versus BCS opponents (all in Big 12). Going up against an Irish defense that hasn't allowed a single rushing touchdown this year will certainly be a challenge. Damien Williams leads the Sooners with 552 rushing yards and 7 TD, but has been held under 50 rushing yards in three of the past four games. Defensively, Oklahoma has been pretty solid all year, not allowing more than 24 points in a game, and ranking among the nation's top-15 in passing defense (164 YPG, 9th), scoring defense (15.3 PPG, 12th) and total defense (303 YPG, 15th). It has also forced three turnovers in each of the past three games. But the pass rush has generated just two sacks per game, a number far below its 3.1 sacks per game in 2011, which ranked eighth in the country.
USC TROJANS (6-1) at ARIZONA WILDCATS (4-3)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: USC -6.5 & 65.5
Opening Line & Total: Trojans -6.5 & 66
No. 9 USC tries to extend a four-game win streak when it visits Arizona on Saturday afternoon.
USC is 9-1 SU (5-5 ATS) in the past 10 meetings with Arizona, including five straight SU wins in Tucson. The Wildcats hung tough in L.A. last year, gaining 554 yards in a 48-41 loss. Trojans QB Matt Barkley was 32-of-39 for 468 yards and 4 TD in that game, and was even better last week versus Colorado (19-for-20, 298 yards, 6 TD) in a 50 to 6 victory. Arizona snapped a three-game losing skid last week with a 52-17 drubbing of Washington. Matt Scott has 1,150 passing yards and 10 TD over the past three games. Road favorites are 110-63 ATS on Saturdays over the past five seasons when coming off four or more consecutive straight-up wins. Arizona is 4-14 ATS since the start of the 2010 season when it allows 28 or more points; USC's high-powered attack should have little trouble surpassing that number against a Wildcats defense that's giving up 39.5 points per game against conference opponents in 2012. The pick here is USC to win and cover on the road.
Barkley is now firmly back in the Heisman discussion with 10 TD and just 1 INT in his past three games. Although he lit up Arizona last year, he didn't play very well in his lone visit to Tucson in 2010, completing 21-of-35 passes for just 170 yards (4.9 YPA), 1 TD and 1 INT. However, WR Robert Woods was also limited at Arizona in 2010 with just 41 receiving yards on eight catches. However, Woods burned the Wildcats for 14 catches, 255 yards and 2 TD last year, and is coming off his best game of 2012, grabbing eight passes for 132 yards and four touchdowns. Teammate Marqise Lee leads the Pac-12 and ranks in the top-10 nationally in both receptions (8.6 per game) and receiving yards (112 YPG). USC has not run the football very effectively on the road this year, gaining just 120 rushing YPG on 3.6 yards per carry. Leading ground gainer Silas Redd (583 rush yds, 6 TD) has yet to rush for 100 yards in back-to-back games, with a season-low 13 rushing yards (on just three carries) last week. Defensively, the Trojans have allowed just 301 total YPG with 14 forced turnovers during their four-game win streak. They also have the fifth-most sacks in the country (27) and are tied for 12th among all FBS teams with 7.7 Tackles For Loss per game. DE Morgan Breslin anchors the D-Line with seven sacks and 32 tackles this season.
Scott ranks fourth in the nation with 374 YPG of total offense, but he has thrown seven interceptions in his four Pac-12 games this year. He has never played against USC's relentless pass rush, but he knows that he has a ground game strong enough to keep the Trojans honest. Arizona rushed for 277 yards on 49 carries (5.7 YPC) in last week's demolition of Washington, including 172 yards on 5.9 YPC from Ka'Deem Carey. That was Carey's fifth 100-yard game this season, including three straight. He is also a weapon catching passes out of the backfield with 138 receiving yards in these past three games. Although the Wildcats' defense held Washington to 17 points and 370 yards last week, they have been among the worst teams in the nation in terms of total defense, allowing 465 total YPG (107th in FBS). They generate just 1.4 sacks per game, but have forced eight turnovers in the past four weeks.
TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (6-1) at KANSAS STATE WILDCATS (7-0)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Kansas State -7 & 60.5
Opening Line & Toal: Wildcats -7 & 60
Two of the biggest surprises in the Big 12 do battle on Saturday when No. 3 Kansas State hosts No. 14 Texas Tech. Texas Tech defeated Kansas State five straight times (SU and ATS) until last year's 41-34 Wildcats' win in Lubbock where the Red Raiders gained 580 yards, but committed four turnovers. TTU's Seth Doege threw for 1 TD and 3 INT in that loss, but he has 817 passing yards and 13 TD in the past two games, wins over West Virginia and TCU in overtime. KSU's Collin Klein is the Heisman front-runner after scoring seven times and completing 19-of-21 passes in last week's 55-14 win over WVU. He has 14 touchdowns in the past three games.
The Wildcats know they can have a special season in Manhattan, and Texas Tech isn't about to ruin it. Bill Snyder is 21-7 ATS (75%) versus Big 12 opponents as KSU's coach, which includes a whopping 10-2 ATS mark over the past two seasons. Favorites of 3.5 to 10 points off an upset win as an underdog over a conference rival facing a team coming off a close win by three points or less in conference play are an astounding 22-3 ATS (88%) since 1992. And in the past 10 seasons, underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points off two straight conference wins facing an opponent coming off a double-digit road win are just 12-38 ATS (24%).
Doege ranks seventh in the nation in passing efficiency, throwing for 2,209 yards (8.3 YPA) with a nation-leading 28 TD. That includes stellar road numbers of 323 passing YPG, 15 TD and just 2 INT in three away games. He has done a great job using all of his talented receivers, with an emphasis on finding his three best pass catchers -- TE Jace Amaro (394 rec yds, 4 TD), WR Darrin Moore (377 rec yds, 8 TD) and WR Eric Ward (356 rec yds, 8 TD). Because Doege has thrown the football in excess of 40 times in each game, the rushing attack is sometimes overlooked. The Red Raiders have rushed for just 98 YPG in Big 12 action, as leading ground gainer Kenny Williams (423 rush yds, 3 TD), has carried the ball just 19 times in the past three weeks for 102 yards (5.4 YPC). On the other side of the football, TTU ranks seventh in the nation in total defense (282 YPG), despite having just played Oklahoma, West Virginia and TCU. The defense has taken more gambles on the road this year, forcing nine turnovers in three away games, compared to just one takeaway in three home tilts.
Klein ranks second in the nation in passing efficiency (71% completions, 10.1 YPA, 10 TD, 2 INT) having not thrown an interception in four straight games spanning 80 pass attempts. He had a well-rounded game in last year's 41-34 win over Texas Tech, completing 12-of-18 passes for 146 yards, 1 TD and 0 INT, while adding 110 yards and 3 TD on the ground. John Hubert has also had a strong season running the football (658 rush yds, 8 TD), but he was nothing special against the Red Raiders last year with 76 yards on 19 carries. KSU's offensive line has allowed just five sacks all year, and the Wildcats also have great special teams with a nation's best 26.3 yards per punt return and 27.4 yards per kick return (7th in FBS) led by Tyler Lockett's 30.9 average. Defensively, the Wildcats have held five of seven opponents to less than 100 rushing yards, and have decreased their passing yards allowed in each of the past four games from 298 to 213 to 166 to 155 last week. For the season, they have allowed just 7 TD through the air while recording eight interceptions as part of their impressive +12 turnover margin.