Games to Watch - Week 13
November 19, 2013
By Brian Edwards
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Wisconsin at Minnesota
As of early Tuesday, most betting shops had Wisconsin (8-2 straight up, 9-0-1 against the spread) installed as a 16-point favorite. Gary Andersen’s squad has won five straight games both SU and ATS since losing 31-24 at Ohio St. The Badgers have covered the spread in eight consecutive games as double-digit favorites, including six such spots this season. UW beat up on Indiana by a 51-3 count as a 27-point home favorite last Saturday. James White led three Badgers who eclipsed the 100-yard mark by rushing for 208 yards and two touchdowns. Melvin Gordon and White have rushed for 1,306 and 1,156 yards, respectively, and both have run for 12 touchdowns apiece. Since suffering back-to-back losses vs. Iowa and at Michigan, Minnesota (8-2 SU, 7-3 ATS) has won four in a row both SU and ATS. The Gophers have had two weeks to prepare for the Badgers. They beat Penn St. 24-10 as 2.5-point home favorites two weeks ago. Philip Nelson threw for a TD and ran for another, while David Cobb ran 27 times for 139 yards and one TD. Minnesota is 5-6 ATS as a home underdog since Jerry Kill took over for Tim Brewster. The ‘under’ is 7-3 overall for Wisconsin, 2-2 in its road assignments. The ‘over’ is 6-4 overall for the Gophers, 3-3 in their home games. Kickoff is scheduled for noon Eastern on ESPN.
Oklahoma at Kansas State
As of early Tuesday, most books had Kansas St. (6-4 SU, 6-4 ATS) listed as a 3.5-point home favorite. Bill Snyder’s team lost its first three Big 12 games but has bounced back to win four in a row. The Wildcats had covered the spread in five consecutive games before slipping past TCU by a 33-31 count Saturday as 11.5-point home ‘chalk.’ Jack Cantele’s 41-yard field goal with three seconds remaining was the game winner. KSU is led by a pair of outstanding RBs in Daniel Sams and John Hubert. This duo has combined to rush for 1,516 yards and 19 TDs. Oklahoma (8-2 SU, 5-5 ATS) got an outstanding halftime chat from Bob Stoops when it went to intermission tied with Iowa St. at 10-10 Saturday in Norman. Whatever Stoops said, it worked because the Sooners scored all 38 points in the second half en route to a 48-10 triumph as 24-point home favorites. Damien Williams rushed for a team-high 128 yards and two TDs on just 10 carries. OU redshirt freshman QB Trevor Knight got his first significant playing time since Week 2 against the Cyclones. After Blake Bell was injured, Knight came in and rushed 10 times for 123 yards and one TD. Knight completed 8-of-14 throws for 61 yards. There’s no official word out of Norman yet, but I would expect Knight to get his first start Saturday since a 16-7 home win over West Va. on Sept. 7. The ‘over’ is 3-1 in OU’s last four games, but totals have been an overall wash (5-5) for the Sooners and in their road games (2-2). K-St. has seen the ‘under’ go 6-4 overall, 5-2 in its home games. Kickoff is slated for noon Eastern on Fox Sports 1.
Texas A&M at LSU
As of early Tuesday, most books had LSU (7-3 SU, 4-5-1 ATS) favored by three. Les Miles’s team had an open date after dropping a 38-17 decision at Alabama. Texas A&M (8-2 SU, 5-5 ATS) also had a bye week following a 51-41 win over Mississippi St. as a 19-point home ‘chalk.’ Johnny Manziel threw for 446 yards and five TDs against the Bulldogs. Manziel has thrown for 3,313 yards with a 31/11 TD-INT ratio. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner also has 600 rushing yards and eight TDs. Manziel’s favorite target is Mike Evans, who has 57 receptions for 1,263 yards and 12 TDs. LSU sophomore RB Jeremy Hill has rushed for 964 yards and 13 TDs. Zach Mettenberger has a 20/7 TD-INT ratio for the Tigers, who have two of the SEC’s top WRs. Odell Beckham Jr. has made 51 catches for 1,051 yards and eight TDs, while Jarvis Landry has hauled in 63 receptions for 972 yards and eight TDs. When these schools met in College Station last year, Texas A&M raced out to a 12-0 lead before LSU responded with 24 unanswered points. The Tigers held on for a 24-19 triumph as 3.5-point road favorites. Hill ran for 127 yards and one TD on 18 carries, but the defense was the story of the day. This unit limited Manziel to only 27 rushing yards and intercepted him three times. The ‘over’ is 8-2 overall for the Aggies, 2-0 in their road outings. The ‘over’ is 8-2 overall for LSU, 4-1 in its home games. CBS will have the telecast at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.
Arizona State at UCLA
This is a crucial game in the Pac-12 South race. As of early Tuesday, most books had Arizona St. (8-2 SU, 5-5 ATS) listed as a two-point road favorite. Todd Graham’s team has won five in a row, but it has failed to cover the number in back-to-back contests. The Sun Devils beat Oregon St. 30-17 as 13.5-point home favorites last weekend, but the Beavers hooked up their supporters with a backdoor cover thanks to a 29-yard TD pass from Sean Mannion to Connor Hamlett with 2:42 remaining. UCLA (8-2 SU, 7-3 ATS) has won all five of its home games while compiling a 4-1 spread record. Jim Mora Jr.’s team suffered its only losses in back-to-back weeks at Stanford and at Oregon. The Bruins beat Washington 41-31 as three-point home favorites last Friday night. Freshman LB/RB Myles Jack ran for 59 yards and four TDs on 13 totes. Brett Hundley threw two TD passes without being intercepted against the Huskies. Hundley has a 20/8 TD-INT ratio and seven rushing scores. UCLA has won three of the last four head-to-head meetings with ASU both SU and ATS, including last year’s 45-43 win in Tempe. The ‘over’ is 7-3 for Arizona St., 3-1 in its road games (if we count a neutral-site game against Notre Dame at Cowboys Stadium as on the road). The ‘under’ is 6-4 overall for UCLA, but the ‘over’ is 4-1 in its five home games. FOX will have television coverage at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
Missouri at Ole Miss
As of early Tuesday, most spots had Missouri (9-1 SU, 8-1-1 ATS) listed as a three-point favorite. There was no total yet, but I gave the game a 62-point tally. Gary Pinkel’s squad will welcome senior QB James Franklin back to the lineup following a four-game absence. Franklin separated his shoulder in a 41-26 win at Georgia on Oct. 12. He could’ve returned as early as a home game vs. Tennessee on Nov. 2, but there was no reason to rush him back. If the Tigers hadn’t taken comfortable leads vs. UT and at Kentucky (Nov. 9), I’m confident Pinkel would’ve turned to Franklin. My point is that he’s actually been ready to play for several weeks despite not seeing any game action. Before the injury, Franklin was completing 67.5 percent of his throws with a 14/3 TD-INT ratio. He had also rushed for 290 yards and three TDs in 5.5 games. Missouri has covered the number in all three of its games as a road favorite this year. The Tigers have to win both of their remaining games (vs. Texas A&M next weekend) to win the SEC East and get to Atlanta. If they fall, South Carolina wins the division. Ole Miss (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS) has won four in a row and has a 4-1 spread record in its last five games. The Rebels thumped Troy 51-28 as 28-point home favorites last weekend. Bo Wallace threw for 272 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. He also rushed nine times for 66 yards and one score. For the season, Wallace has a 17/5 TD-INT ratio and five rushing TDs. After missing three consecutive games, senior RB Jeff Scott returned to rush for 54 yards on 11 carries against the Trojans. Scott, who has run for a team-high 488 yards while averaging 7.6 YPC, also had two catches for 25 yards. On Hugh Freeze’s watch, Ole Miss owns a 3-1 spread record in four games as a home underdog. The ‘over’ is 6-4 overall for the Rebels, 4-2 in their home games. The ‘over’ is 6-4 overall for the Tigers, 4-0 in their road assignments. ESPN will have the telecast at 7:45 p.m. Eastern.
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