Friday's Tip Sheet
October 12, 2017
By Brian Edwards
Editor's Note: Brian Edwards owns a 26-17 record (60.5%, +7.4 units) during the 2017 college football season. Brian went 6-2 in Week 6, easily cashing his guaranteed plays on Wednesday (Arkansas State), Thursday (N.C. State) and Friday (Boise State). Don't miss out on any of his pay-if-they-win-only selections for Week 7!
**Clemson at Syracuse**
-- As of late Thursday night, most betting shops had Clemson (6-0 straight up, 4-2 against the spread) installed as a 23-point favorite with a total of 57.5. The ‘Cuse was available on the money line for a 10/1 return (risk $100 to win $1,000).
-- With Oklahoma falling at home last week to 31-point underdog Iowa State, Clemson now owns the nation’s longest winning streak at 11 games. Dabo Swinney’s squad owns wins vs. Kent State (56-3), vs. Auburn (14-6), at Louisville (47-21), vs. Boston College (34-7), at Virginia Tech (31-17) and vs. Wake Forest (28-14).
-- Clemson failed to cover the number in last week’s 28-14 over Wake Forest at Death Valley. The Demon Deacons took the cash as 21-point road underdogs, while the 42 combined points stayed ‘under’ the 50.5-point total. The Tigers actually moved ahead of the number early in the fourth quarter on Hunter Johnson’s 13-yard scoring strike to Canon Smith for a 28-0 advantage. However, Wake Forest responded with a 16-yard TD throw from Kendall Hinton to Scotty Washington to trim the deficit – and pull even on the spread – to 21 with 8:32 remaining. Then with 2:28 left, Hinton found Cam Serigne for an 11-yard TD pass to give the Deacs the backdoor cover.
-- Clemson junior QB Kelly Bryant exited the Wake game with an ankle injury in the third quarter. Nevertheless, he’s been upgraded to ‘probable’ and will get the starting nod at the Carrier Dome. Bryant completed 21-of-29 passes vs. Wake for 200 yards with one TD and one interception. He ran for 39 yards on 12 attempts. Johnson, the true freshman who was a five-star recruit, completed all five of his throws for 42 yards and one TD without a pick. Another true freshman, RB Travis Etienne, rushed for 67 yards and one TD on 15 carries, while Hunter Renfrow had six catches for 61 yards.
-- For the season, Bryant has connected on 67.3 percent of his passes for 1,259 yards with a 4/4 TD-INT ratio. He has rushed for a team-high 401 yards and seven TDs with a 4.1 yards-per-carry average. Etienne is the team’s second-leading rusher with 378 yards, five TDs and an 8.2 YPC average. Ray-Ray McCloud has 26 receptions for 291 yards and one TD, while Renfrow has 29 grabs for 282 yards.
-- Clemson’s defense is ranked eighth in the nation in total defense, fifth in scoring defense (11.3 PPG), 15th against the pass and 13th versus the run.
-- Clemson is 2-0 ATS as a road ‘chalk’ this season, 14-16 in its last 30 such spots going back to the start of the 2009 campaign.
-- Syracuse (3-3 SU, 3-2-1 ATS) has won three of four home games while going 1-2-1 ATS. This is the Orange’s first game as a home underdog this season. They are 1-4 ATS in five games as home ‘dogs since Dino Babers took over.
-- Syracuse has covered the spread at a 3-0-1 ATS clip in its last four outings. The Orange pushed its way past Pittsburgh last week in a 27-24 triumph as a three-point home ‘chalk.’ The 51 combined points stayed ‘under’ the 63-point tally. Junior QB Eric Dungey was the catalyst, completing 33-of-49 passes for 365 yards and two TDs without an interception. He also rushed 12 times for 48 yards and one TD. True freshman TE Ravian Pierce hauled in nine receptions for 99 yards, while Steve Ishmael had five catches for 97 yards and one TD.
-- Dungey has completed 64.1 percent of his throws for 1,802 yards with a 9/4 TD-INT ratio. He has seven TD passes compared to two interceptions in the ‘Cuse’s four home outings. Dungey has legs as well, evidenced by his team-best 325 rushing yards for eight TDs with a 4.1 YPC average. Dungey has a pair of elite wideouts in Ishmael and Ervin Philips. Ishmael has 56 catches for 729 yards and three TDs, while Philips has 52 receptions for 475 yards and two TDs.
-- Babers’s squad is 1-1 in ACC play, defeating Pitt and dropping a 33-25 decision at N.C. State the previous week. The Orange did rally for a backdoor cover as a 14-point underdog at N.C. State, though. The week before, the ‘Cuse gave LSU all it wanted – just as it did at the Carrier Dome two seasons ago – in a 35-26 setback as a 21.5-point puppy.
-- Syracuse’s results in its first three games looked like this: 50-7 home win over Central Connecticut, 30-23 home loss to Middle Tennessee (before Brent Stockstill and Richie James went down with injuries) and a 41-17 home win over Central Michigan.
-- The ‘under’ is 5-1 overall for the ‘Cuse, 4-0 in its home contests. The Orange have seen its game average combined scores of 56.3 PPG.
-- The ‘under’ is 4-2 overall for the Tigers, 1-1 in their road assignments. They’ve seen their games average combined scores of 46.3 PPG.
-- Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern at the Carrier Dome on ESPN.
**Washington State at California**
-- As of Thursday night, most books had Washington State (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS) listed as a 15-point road favorite with a total of 54. The Golden Bears were +475 on the money line (risk $100 to win $475).
-- Washington State won its first five games at home vs. Montana State (31-0), vs. Boise State (44-41 in triple OT), vs. Nevada (45-7), vs. Oregon State (52-23) and vs. USC (30-27). The Cougars went on the road for the first time last week to collect a 33-10 win at Oregon as 1.5-point road faves for their third straight triumph over the Ducks. As usual, senior QB Luke Falk was money, completing 24-of-42 passes for 282 yards and three TDs without an interception. Gerard Wicks rushed seven times for a team-best 58 yards, while Kyle Sweet had seven catches for 86 yards.
-- Falk has completed 71.8 percent of his passes for 2,000 yards with a 19/2 TD-INT ratio. Taveres Martin Jr. has 34 receptions for 464 yards and seven TDs. Four other WRs have at least 283 receiving yards. Jamal Morrow has run for a team-high 288 yards and two TDs while averaging 7.8 YPC. He also has 23 catches for 179 yards and five TDs. James Williams has run for 230 yards and one TD, in addition to catching 41 balls for 290 yards and three TDs.
-- Washington State owns a 2-4 spread record in six games as a road favorite during Mike Leach’s six-year tenure.
-- California (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) has the advantage in this game from a situational standpoint. What I mean by that is WSU – just like USC when it came to Pullman (and lost as a favorite) two Fridays ago – is on the road on a short week and getting on an airplane for a second straight week.
-- Justin Wilcox’s first team in Berkeley raced out to a 3-0 record with wins at North Carolina (35-30), vs. Weber State (33-20) and vs. Ole Miss (27-16). Since then, however, Cal has dropped three in a row and has failed to cover the spread its last two times out. In the first defeat, the Golden Bears committed six turnovers in a 30-20 home loss to USC. They led for a good chunk of the game and were defeated due to their own miscues. Nevertheless, they covered the number as 16.5-point ‘dogs thanks to a late score for the backdoor cover. (To be clear, however, Cal was ahead of the number almost the entire game, so the backdoor is a bit misleading)
-- After losing to USC, Cal went to Eugene and took a 45-24 loss at Oregon as a 17-point road underdog. The 69 points elevated ‘over’ the 66-point total. Then last week at Washington, the Huskies put it on Cal by a 38-7 count as 28.5-point home ‘chalk.’ Cal’s defense put up a fight, but the offense was abysmal in generating merely 93 yards of offense. The ground game produced…..minus 40 yards on 26 attempts!
-- Cal has compiled a 2-0 spread record with one outright victory in a pair of home ‘dog spots since Wilcox took over (this year, obviously).
-- Mike Leach teams have always been known for its offense and this squad is no different – ranking 23rd in the nation in total offense, third in passing, and 20th in scoring (39.7 PPG). What’s different about this Leach-coached club is a shockingly stout defense, one that’s ranked 11th in the country in total defense, sixth in pass defense and 23rd in scoring ‘D’ (18.5 PPG).
-- The ‘under’ is 4-2 overall for the Golden Bears, 3-0 in their home games. They’ve seen their games average combined scores of 54.2 PPG.
-- The ‘under’ is 4-2 overall for the Cougars, 1-0 in their lone road outing. They’ve seen their games average combined scores of 58.2 PPG.
-- I’ve said that BYU is the nation’s most disappointing team for several weeks now. In terms of individual players, how disappointed must Cal fans be in its sophomore WRs, Marquise Stovall and Demetris Robertson? Both enjoyed stellar freshman campaigns after headlining Sonny Dykes’s final recruiting class at the school. Robertson was a 5-star recruit out of Savannah, Georgia, while Stovall was a four-star get for Dykes. Robertson had 50 receptions for 767 yards and seven TDs in 2016, while Stovall produced 42 catches for 415 yards and three TDs. This year, however, Stovall hasn’t touched the field and has been ruled out for the season. Ditto for Robertson, who had merely seven catches for 70 yards in limited action. He did rush for 40 yards and one TD on a pair of carries, though.
-- Washington State will most likely be without two of its best defensive players in senior LB Isaac Dotson and junior CB Darrien Molton. Dotson, who finished 2016 with 64 tackles, 0.5 sacks. 5.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions and two QB hurries, has recorded 30 tackles, 2.5 TFL's, one pass broken up and one QB hurry this year. Molton has produced 19 tackles this season after registering 71 tackles, six PBU and two TFL's last season. Both players are listed as 'doubtful' tonight. In addition, senior LB Nate DeRider and sophomore DE Nnamdi Oguayo are both listed as 'questionable.' DeRider has 21 tackles and 1.5 TFL's this season, while Oguayo has 15 tackles, one TFL, three sacks and four QB hurries.
-- When these teams met last season, Washington State captured a 56-21 win as a 17-point home ‘chalk.’ The 77 combined points slithered ‘under’ the 78-point total. Falk completed 36-of-50 passes for 373 yards and five TD with one interception. Wicks rushed for 128 yards and one TD on nine attempts, while Williams ran for 80 yards and one TD on 12 carries.
-- ESPN will provide the telecast at 10:30 p.m. Eastern from Berkeley.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
-- Kansas State QB Jesse Ertz is ‘out’ vs. TCU due to a knee injury. Ertz has completed 55.0 percent of his passes for 930 passing yards with a 7/3 TD-INT ratio. He has also run for 336 yards and three TDs with a 5.2 YPC average.
-- Pittsburgh QB Max Browne went down with a shoulder injury last week that required season-ending surgery to end his collegiate career. The 2013 five-star recruit to USC had a disappointing career, although he was playing decent for a bad team under Pat Narduzzi.
-- Miami (OH) star QB Gus Ragland (12/4 TD-INT) is listed as ‘doubtful’ at Kent State this week. The Golden Flashes lost starting QB Nick Holley in Week 2 and since then, their offense has been absolutely atrocious. They’ve scored 19 points in the last four games to – obviously!!! – result in four straight thunder ‘unders.’ The total is 41.5 for this MAC showdown.
-- Southern Cal continues to deal with injuries galore ahead of this week’s showdown vs. Utah at the Coliseum. Most important, star WR Deontay Burnett is a question mark with turf toe. Burnett has 41 receptions for 577 yards and six TDs this season.
-- The ‘under’ is a perfect 6-0 for Akron, which has won back-to-back games and covered the number in three consecutive outings.
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.
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