Games to Watch - Week 8
October 15, 2013
By Brian Edwards
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Florida at Missouri
As of Tuesday, most books had Florida (4-2 straight up, 2-4 against the spread) listed as a 3½-point favorite with a total of 44 or 44.5. Gamblers can take the Tigers on the money line for a +145 return (risk $100 to win $145). The Gators, who are 3-2 ATS as road favorites on Will Muschamp’s watch, are coming off a 17-6 loss at LSU as seven-point underdogs. UF lost starting RB Matt Jones to a torn meniscus. He becomes the fifth starter to go down with a season-ending injury. Look for true freshman Kelvin ‘Baby Fred’ Taylor to get more touches.
Missouri (6-0 SU, 5-0-1 ATS) picked up a monster win last week at Georgia. Gary Pinkel’s squad raced out to a 28-10 lead, withstood 16 unanswered points from UGA and then finished the deal in a 41-26 triumph as a seven-point road underdog. The victory was bittersweet, however, because star senior quarterback James Franklin was lost for the next 3-5 weeks with a separated shoulder. Since 2003, Mizzou is 5-6 ATS in 11 games as a home underdog.
The ‘under’ is 4-1-1 overall for the Gators, 3-0 in their road assignments. They have held 13 consecutive SEC opponents to 20 points or less. The ‘over’ has hit at a 4-2 overall clip for the Tigers, but they have seen the ‘under’ go 2-1 in their three home outings. This game will come off the board at 12:20 p.m. Eastern and is part of the ESPN Game Plan package.
Auburn at Texas A&M
As of Tuesday, most betting shops had Texas A&M (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS) installed as a 13½-point favorite with a total of 72. Auburn (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS) is available for a +400 payout if it wins outright. Kevin Sumlin’s team captured a 41-38 win last week at Ole Miss thanks to a Josh Lambo 33-yard field goal on the game’s final play. The Aggies failed to cover the number as 6½-point road ‘chalk.’ Johnny Manziel ran for a team-high 113 rushing yards and two TDs, including a seven-yard scamper from one side of the field to the other pylon to tie things up with 3:07 remaining. Manziel completed 31-of-39 passes for 346 yards. For the season, the former Heisman winner has 14/5 touchdown-to-interception ratio and five rushing scores.
Gus Malzahn’s team is off a 62-3 clubbing of Western Carolina as a 41½-point home favorite. Starting QB Nick Marshall sat out against the Catamounts to rest a sore knee, but he is 100 percent now and will start Saturday. Marshall has a 4/4 TD-INT ratio, but he has run for 288 yards and a pair of scores. Tre Mason leads AU in rushing with 515 yards and seven TDs, averaging 5.6 yards per carry. The ‘over’ is 5-1 overall for the Aggies, 3-1 in their four home contests. The ‘under’ is 4-2 overall for Auburn, but the ‘over’ cashed in its lone road game this year.
When these schools met on The Plains in 2012, Texas A&M dealt out a 63-21 shellacking as a 14-point road favorite. Manziel had 350 yards (260 passing, 90 rushing) of total offense and five TDs (two passing three rushing). CBS will have the telecast at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.
UCLA at Stanford
As of Tuesday, most spots had Stanford (5-1 SU, 2-4 ATS) favored by six with a total of 54. The Bruins were +190 on the money line. David Shaw’s team lost a 27-21 decision at Utah as a 7½-point road ‘chalk’ last weekend. The Cardinal got into the red zone in the final minute but ran out of downs at the Utes’ six yard line with 47 ticks remaining. UCLA (5-0 SU, 5-0 ATS) smashed California 37-10 Saturday to take the cash as a 26½-point home favorite. Brett Hundley threw for 410 yards and three TDs while playing turnover-free football. The sophomore signal caller has a 12/4 TD-INT ratio, 1,469 passing yards, 260 yards on the ground and three rushing scores.
Stanford QB Kevin Hogan has a 12/4 TD-INT ratio. His favorite target is Ty Montgomery, who has a team-high 31 receptions for 514 yards and five TDs. Montgomery is an explosive special-teams player who has 1,179 all-purpose yards. Stanford has won five in a row in this rivalry, going 4-1 ATS.
When these teams met in the Pac-12 Championship Game last season, the Cardinal won 27-24 but failed to cover as a 9½-point home favorite. The ‘over’ has connected in three straight head-to-head meetings. Gamblers should check the status of UCLA’s leading rusher Jordon James, who didn’t play vs. Cal and was listed as ‘questionable.’ Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Eastern on ABC.
Washington at Arizona State
As of Tuesday, most books had Arizona St. (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS) listed as a three-point favorite with a total of 65.5. Washington (4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS) has lost back-to-back games against two of the nation’s elite programs. UW took the cash as a nine-point underdog but lost 31-28 at Stanford two weeks ago. Then at home last weekend, the Huskies lost 45-24 to Oregon as 12½-point home underdogs. During Steve Sarkisian’s tenure, UW is 8-11 ATS as a road underdog.
Todd Graham’s team destroyed Colorado 54-13 as a 28½-point home favorite this past Saturday. Taylor Kelly threw two TD passes and had one rushing score. For the season, Kelly has a 16/6 TD-INT ratio. ASU running back Marion Grice leads the nation in TDs with 15 (10 rushing, five receiving). The Sun Devils are 6-2 ATS in eight games as a home favorite under Graham.
ASU has dominated this rivalry with seven consecutive wins over UW both SU and ATS, including last year’s 24-14 triumph as a one-point road puppy. The Pac-12 Network will provide television coverage at 6:00 p.m. Eastern.
LSU at Ole Miss
As of Tuesday, most books had LSU (6-1 SU, 4-2-1 ATS) installed as an eight-point favorite with a total of 60. The Rebels were +270 on the money line. Ole Miss (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) is 2-1 ATS in three games as a home underdog since Hugh Freeze took over in Oxford. Freeze’s bunch will be without starting DE Robert Nkemdiche vs. LSU due to a hamstring injury. The Rebels’ other starting DE, C.J. Johnson, is ‘questionable.’ QB Bo Wallace is sporting a 9/3 TD-INT ratio and also has three rushing TDs. He has a pair of WRs destined to play on Sundays in Donte Moncrief and Laquon Treadwell. Jeff Scott leads Ole Miss in rushing with 434 yards and two TDs while averaging 8.2 YPC.
LSU’s Zach Mettenberger has solidified his status as a future first-round pick every game this year. Mettenberger currently has a 15/2 TD-INT ratio and he might also have the country’s best combo of WRs in Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. Jeremy Hill lead the Tigers in rushing with 715 yards and nine TDs, averaging 7.3 YPC. The ‘over’ is 6-1 overall for LSU, 2-0 in its road outings.
Totals have been a wash both overall (3-3) and at home (1-1) for the Rebels. LSU has won the last three head-to-head encounters, but Ole Miss has covered the spread in seven of the last 10 meetings. This rivalry has seen four consecutive winners from the ‘over.’ ESPN will have the telecast at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.