Games to Watch - Week 4
September 16, 2013
By Brian Edwards
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Arizona State (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) at Stanford (2-0 SU, 0-2 ATS)
Todd Graham’s team was extremely fortunate to beat Wisconsin 32-30 as a six-point home favorite Saturday night in Tempe. Stanford won 34-20 at Army but never threatened to cover the number. Most books are listing the Cardinal as a 7 ½ or eight-point ‘chalk.’ Stanford is an abysmal 2-7 ATS in its last nine games as a home favorite. Since 2011, ASU is 1-4-1 ATS as a road underdog. These Pac-12 rivals haven’t met since 2010 when Jim Harbaugh’s last team picked up a 17-13 win at ASU. However, the Cardinal failed to cover as a 4 ½-point road favorite. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on FOX.
Michigan State (3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS) at Notre Dame (2-1 SU, 0-3 ATS)
As of early Sunday night, most books had Notre Dame favored by 6 ½ or seven. During Mark Dantonio’s tenure, Michigan St. owns an 11-3 spread record in 14 games as a road underdog. The Spartans are the nation’s top-ranked defense in total yards allowed, surrendering just 177.0 per game. They finally got decent quarterback play in Week 3 when Connor Cook threw four TD passes without an interception. Notre Dame is 0-3 ATS this year after failing to cover in Saturday’s 31-24 win at Purdue as a 17-point road favorite. Irish QB Tommy Rees has 960 passing yards and a 7/2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Brian Kelly’s team has cashed tickets at a 7-9-3 ATS pace in 19 games as a home favorite on his watch. NBC will have the telecast at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.
Tennessee (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) at Florida (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS)
The Gators have won eight in a row over UT, including last season’s 37-20 victory in Knoxville as three-point underdogs. Most books had UF favored by 14 or 14 ½ on Sunday night. Will Muschamp’s team had an open date after losing a 21-16 decision at Miami. QB Jeff Driskel sprained his knee against the Hurricanes, but he’s ‘probable’ and expected to start vs. UT. UF starting OG Jon Halapio is poised to make his season debut after missing the first two games with a strained pectoral muscle. Butch Jones’s team took a 59-14 shellacking Saturday at Oregon as a 29-point road underdog. UF is 5-7 ATS as a home favorite under Muschamp. CBS will provide television coverage at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.
North Carolina (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) at Georgia Tech (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS)
North Carolina opened the season with a 27-10 loss at South Carolina. Next, the Tar Heels beat Middle Tennessee 40-20 as 19 ½-point home favorites. They had an open date following the win over the Blue Raiders. Senior QB Bryn Renner, who had a 28/7 TD-INT ratio last year, has thrown a pair of TD passes and one interception. RB Romar Morris has rushed for a pair of scores and is averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Ga. Tech has won four in a row and seven of the last eight against UNC, including a 68-50 triumph in Chapel Hill last season. The Yellow Jackets are 2-0 both SU and ATS with wins vs. Elon (70-0) and at Duke (38-14). Vad Lee threw four TD passes and ran for another score against the Blue Devils. Most books have tabbed Paul Johnson’s team as a six-point favorite. Johnson’s team is in the midst of a 7-1 ATS run dating back to 2012. ESPN will have the telecast at noon Eastern.
Arkansas (3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS) at Rutgers (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS)
Due to the uncertain status of Rutgers QB Gary Nova, there was no line as of early Sunday night. Arkansas will be seeking revenge for last season’s 35-26 loss to the Scarlet Knights as a 9 ½-point home favorite. The Razorbacks are off to a 3-0 start under new coach Brett Bielema, but they have failed to cover the spread in back-to-back outings. Arky is 1-5 ATS in its last six games as a road underdog. RU is 3-5 ATS as a home favorite during Kyle Flood’s tenure. Since losing a 52-51 overtime decision at Fresno St. in its opener, Rutgers has won a pair of games over Norfolk St. (38-0) and Eastern Michigan (28-10). Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
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