November 16, 2012
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Last week's college two-pack took a hit as Temple came out sluggish against the Bearcats while as entertaining as the Texas A&M/Alabama game was, it just didn't have enough points in the end to sail over the total. The Aggies shocked the country with that SU upset and now Alabama finds themselves on the outside looking in for the National Title; the first time in a few years that's happened.
The SEC apparently decided that this week in late-November was the best time to schedule FCS cupcakes so you won't see any of their games on the card this week. I do hope to get back to the winners circle though with these two plays and improve upon the 5-3 ATS record so far this NCAAF season.
Game #1: NC State (+16.5) vs. Clemson (-16.5); Total set at 64.5
Clemson needs this game to have any hope of taking the Atlantic division in the ACC but they will still need some help along the way. With that being said though, this still appears to be a few too many points to lay against a solid NC State team that has already beaten Clemson's top competition - Florida State.
The Wolfpack were getting 17 points in that game too and they showed an inspired effort and came away with the 17-16 win. They know that for themselves, a win over two ranked teams this year (Florida St and Clemson) would assuredly give them a very good Bowl game even if they were to lose their finale and finish 7-5 SU. NC State has completely recovered from that brutal loss they took in the rivalry game vs. UNC a few weeks back and they know how to play against this Clemson team. Last year, NC State won 37-13 as 7.5-point dogs thanks to four turnovers that really flipped the game. QB Mike Glennon was spectacular in that contest and he has been on the rise in recent weeks this year, getting plenty of attention from NFL scouts as a late-1st rounder.
Take the points with NC State.
Game #2: Oklahoma (-11) vs. West Virginia (+11); Total set at 74.5
Defensive aficionados will not want to even glimpse at any part of this game as points will be aplenty. West Virginia hasn't allowed less than 39 points against since back in late-Septmber and nothing will likely change here against the Sooners. Oklahoma may arguably be the best offense they have seen to date and QB Landry Jones has got to be salivating at the thought of facing this Mountaineers defense.
On the flip side, West Virginia's offense has been getting it going again after two poor performances vs. Texas Tech and K-State, to put up 34 or more in their last two contests. But as a team, they have got to be frustrated by the fact that they have lost four straight and still aren't even Bowl eligible. QB Geno Smith was a front-runner for the Heisman early on, but he's got to now turn his attention to getting wins and impressing NFL scouts. If he can show up and be a dominant passer against a team like the Sooners, it will only help his bank balance in about a year's time.
The Sooners have played 10 of their last 12 on field turf over the total while West Virginia is 10-4 O/U in their last 14 against a winning team. West Virginia will want to pull off the upset here and to do that they will have to keep it close until the end. They won't be able to keep it close with their defense, so that means scoring on almost every possession themselves.
Take the over.