November 2, 2012
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Since I started this feature two weeks ago, the plays are a perfect 4-0 ATS after Michigan State's cover and outright win, combined with Nebraska's dominance over Michigan last week. There are some huge games this Saturday that will no doubt shake up the BCS standings, but that doesn't mean they are must-bets. Here are the two games that I'm hoping can push the record to 6-0 ATS:
Game #1: Nebraska (-1.5) vs. Michigan State (+1.5); Total set at 44.5
Why not start with the Big 10 and the two teams that managed to bring home the cash for us last week. Both Nebraska and Michigan State are coming off huge wins against quality conference foes and now are looking to build off that momentum.
Nebraska is currently 1st in the Legends Division thanks to that win over Michigan last week and a win in this one would nearly lock up the title with only lesser foes left on the schedule (Penn St, Iowa, Minnesota). They managed to beat the Spartans 24-3 last year and that was when both were ranked in the top-15. The Cornhuskers came into that contest with the lower rank (13) but used their ground attack to take control of the contest. They rushed the ball over 50 times in that game and their defense limited Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell to only 58 yards on the ground himself. As long as the Cornhuskers can do that to Bell again, they are by far the better offensive team this year and should manage to come away with yet another win vs. Michigan State.
Finally, what may be most notable about this contest is that the line has flip-flopped to Nebraska now being the small favorite after opening up as a small dog. There isn't an overwhelming amount of action (55%) on the Cornhuskers either, making this line move the one to side with.
Game #2: Arizona State (+3.5) vs. Oregon State (-3.5); Total set at 55.5
Speaking of lines moving, this game opened up with the Beavers laying 5.5 points and with them getting most of the support, we have seen this move down to its current number of -3.5.
Oregon State is coming off their first loss of the year and generally that is a good time to fade teams in college football, especially this late in the season. The Cinderella dream of them going unbeaten and maybe competing for a National Title is now gone and that can be emotionally devastating for college football players. They are up against an ASU team that is looking to become Bowl eligible themselves and have got to be frustrated after two straight losses themselves.
The Sun Devils lost SU at home as 6-point favorites last week to UCLA, and that was a game they couldn't afford to lose. They may have been looking ahead to this game though and their own shot at knocking off a ranked foe, especially after they beat Oregon State by 15 last year. The Beavers defense has been dominant at home this year (20 points allowed total) but they have yet to face an offense the calibre of Arizona State's.
Again, I've got to side with the line move here and go with the Sun Devils on the road. Oregon State may have realistically known they weren't going to remain undefeated forever, but not being able to have that opportunity to be unbeaten when they play in the Civil War vs. Oregon at the end of the season has got to be disheartening.
Take the points with ASU.
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