Friday's Tip Sheet
September 26, 2018
By Brian Edwards
Editor's note: Brian Edwards went 5-1 in Week 4 of the college football season and is back with more winners this weekend! He's now on a 6-1 run after cashing the UM-UNC 'over' last night and his guaranteed plays are on a 4-1 roll! Since last Friday, Brian's picks have produced 4.9 units of profit for $4,900 of cash for his 'dime-player clients.' Get signed right now for his next pay-if-it-wins-only selection!
**Memphis at Tulane**
-- As of Wednesday afternoon, most betting shops had Memphis (3-1 straight up, 2-2 against the spread) installed as a 14-point favorite with a total of 67. The Green Wave was +420 on the money line (risk $100 to win $420).
-- Mike Norvell’s squad has beaten up on three non-conference foes at the Liberty Bowl, thumping Mercer (66-14), Georgia State (59-22) and South Alabama (52-35). The Tigers are 0-1 in AAC play, however, dropping their league opener 22-21 at Navy in Week 2.
-- Memphis didn’t have it quite as easy against the Jaguars last week, however. After taking a 21-7 lead on Brady White’s 25-yard touchdown pass to John Williams early in the second quarter, USA responded with a pair of TDs to tie the game at halftime. Norvell’s bunch pulled away in the fourth quarter behind star junior RB Darrell Henderson, a first-team All-AAC selection last year who may push for All-American honors this season. Henderson ran for 188 yards and two TDs on 22 attempts. White connected on 22-of-29 throws for 292 yards and two TDs without an interception. RB Patrick Taylor added 75 rushing yards and two scores on 17 carries, in addition to catching three balls for 22 yards. Henderson had two receptions for 34 yards, while Damonte Coxie had eight catches for 113 yards and one TD.
-- Henderson is the nation’s leader in rushing yards (709) by an 81-yard margin. He is in a second-place tie for rushing TDs (eight) and is also second in average yards per carry (12.2 YPC!). Henderson has produced those numbers despite averaging merely 14.5 attempts per game.
-- White, the grand transfer from Arizona State, has been outstanding for his new team. He has completed 72.2 percent of his passes for 1,064 yards with a stellar 12/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Coxie has been his favorite target, hauling in 23 receptions for 353 yards and four TDs. John Williams has 15 catches for 146 yards and one TD, while Henderson has six grabs for 124 yards and one TD.
-- The new fair-catch rule on kickoff returns and some shrewd coaching from opponents have really cut into Memphis star Tony Pollard’s ability to impact games through the first four. Pollard had 1,649 all-purpose yards and 10 TDs, including four TDs on KO returns, during the 2017 campaign. He’s been limited to 133 all-purpose yards and two TDs so far this year, only getting once chance to return a kick that went for negative two yards.
-- Memphis is ranked fourth in the country in total offense (593.0 yards per game), fifth in rushing yards (309.5 YPG), and 10th in scoring with its 49.5 points-per-game average. The defense is 24th in the nation in total ‘D’ (317.2 YPG) and 22nd at the defending the pass (166.2 YPG).
-- Tulane (1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS) has split a pair of home games while going 2-0 ATS. Willie Fritz is in his third season at the school. His 10-18 SU record doesn’t appear inspiring on the surface, but it says here that he’s the right man for the job and has this program on the right track. Tulane, which is 16-12 ATS on Fritz’s watch, has already lost a pair of one-possession games this season, and it lost three contests by six combined points in 2017.
-- Tulane opened the season by hooking up its backers like me in a 23-17 overtime loss to Wake Forest as a seven-point home underdog. Since then, the Green Wave has beaten Nicholls State 42-17 as a 17-point home favorite, before losing 31-24 at UAB and 49-6 at Ohio State.
-- Tulane owns a 4-2 spread record in six games as a home underdog during Fritz’s tenure. Meanwhile, Memphis has compiled a 4-3 ATS mark in seven spots as a road ‘chalk’ on Norvell’s watch.
-- Tulane senior QB Jonathan Banks has completed 49.5 percent of his passes for 792 yards with a 5/1 TD-INT ratio. Junior WR Darnell Mooney has 22 receptions for 385 yards and three TDs, while senior Terren Encalade has 15 catches for 310 yards and two TDs.
-- Junior RB Corey Dauphine, a transfer from Texas Tech, has run for 289 yards and three TDs on just 25 carries for a 11.6 YPC average. Darius Bradwell has 236 rushing yards, two rushing scores and a 5.6 YPC average.
-- Tulane’s top two TEs, Charles Jones and Kendall Ardoin, are both listed as ‘questionable’ with undisclosed injuries. Neither player was on the field at The ‘Shoe last week.
-- Tulane’s defense is ranked No. 116 in the nation in total defense (495.5 YPG), No. 120 in pass defense (304.0 YPG), No. 99 versus the run (191.5 YPG) and No. 91 in scoring ‘D’ (30.0 PPG).
-- The ‘over’ is 3-1 overall for the Tigers, but the ‘under’ cashed in their lone previous road assignment. However, we’ll note that the 22-21 loss at Navy was played in a driving rainstorm for the entire game. Memphis’s home games have gone ‘over’ by 14.5, 18 and 21 points apiece (53.5 combined pts.).
-- The ‘under’ is 3-1 overall for Tulane, 1-1 in its home outings. The Green Wave has seen its games average combined scores of 52.2 PPG.
-- Memphis has won 11 games in a row in this rivalry, going 8-2 ATS in the past 10 encounters. Nine of those 10 victories have come by double-digit margins and eight have come by 14 points or more. The ‘under’ is 6-2 in the past eight meetings.
-- As of Wednesday afternoon, the forecast at weather.com was predicting partly cloudy skies for Friday night in the Big Easy. There’s only a 10 percent chance of rain, temperatures are anticipated to be in the mid-70s and winds aren’t expected to rise over four miles per hour. The field could be a little wet, though, as the forecast Friday afternoon calls for scattered thunderstorms and a 50 percent chance of rain.
-- Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
**UCLA at Colorado**
-- My preseason prediction called for UCLA (0-3 SU, 1-2 ATS) to finish in the cellar of the Pac-12 South. It wasn’t a knock on new head coach Chip Kelly, but simply an assessment of the uphill challenge he faces in turning this program around. It hasn’t been pretty to date. Kelly’s debut was a nightmare, as the Bruins lost a 26-17 decision to Cincinnati as a 14-point home favorite. Next, they got run out of Norman in a 49-21 loss at Oklahoma. Then in Week 3, Fresno State came to the Rose Bowl and dealt out a 38-14 beatdown as a 2.5-point road ‘chalk.’
-- Both teams are off open dates and have had plenty of time to prepare for each other. As of Wednesday afternoon, most books had Colorado (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) installed as a 9.5-point home favorite with a total of 60.5. The Bruins were +290 to win outright (risk $100 to win $290).
-- Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the prize of Kelly’s first recruiting class, has been thrown right into the fire and has taken his lumps early in his true freshman season. He has completed 54.7 percent of his passes for 522 yards with a 2/2 TD-INT ratio. Junior WR Theo Howard has emerged as his favorite target by making 11 receptions for 185 yards and one TD. Caleb Wilson has eight catches for 128 yards.
-- Another true freshman leads UCLA in rushing. Kazmeir Allen has a team-best 161 rushing yards and one TD on just 21 attempts for a 7.7 YPC average.
-- UCLA came into this year on a 14-24 ATS slump as a road underdog over the past decade. However, the Bruins did get the money in their lone such spot this year when they lost by 28 at OU as 31-point puppies.
-- Kelly had dynamic offenses during his four-year run at Oregon that produced an incredible 46-7 record. So far at UCLA? Not so much. The Bruins are ranked No. 119 in the nation in total offense (319.7 YPG), No. 102 in passing yards (189.0 YPG), No. 104 in rushing yards (130.7 YPG) and No. 121 in scoring with their abysmal 17.3 PPG average. UCLA’s defense hasn’t fared much better, ranking No. 116 in the country (37.7 PPG).
-- Colorado is undefeated going into its Pac-12 opener. Mike MacIntyre’s club opened the season by beating up on Colorado State by a 45-7 count as a seven-point favorite in Denver. Next, the Buffaloes went to Lincoln and captured a 33-28 win at Nebraska as three-point underdogs. In Week 3, they knocked off FCS foe New Hampshire 45-14 but failed to cover as 37.5-point home ‘chalk.’
-- Junior QB Steven Montez has connected on 73.4 percent of his passes for 855 yards with an 8/2 TD-INT ratio. Sophomore TD Laviska Shenault has 26 receptions for 455 yards and three TDs, while K.D. Nixon has 17 catches for 181 yards and one TD.
-- RB Travon McMillian, a grad transfer from Va. Tech, has made his presence known early and often. McMillian has rushed for 290 yards and three TDs while averaging 8.8 YPC. Beau Bisharat has 144 rushing yards and a 7.2 YPC average.
-- Colorado owns an 11-6 spread record in 17 games as a home favorite under MacIntyre.
-- UCLA has been victorious in six of the past seven meetings in this rivalry, including a 27-23 victory last year. However, the Buffs covered the number as 7.5-point road underdogs.
-- When these teams met at this venue on a Thursday night two years ago, star QB Josh Rosen was out with an injury. Nevertheless, I backed the Bruins as a 13-point road underdog and they covered for me in a 20-10 loss. The game was tied at 10-10 early in the fourth quarter.
-- The ‘over’ is 2-1 overall and 1-0 in UCLA’s lone road contests. The Bruins have seen their games average combined scores of 55.0 PPG.
-- The ‘under’ is 2-1 overall for the Buffs, but the ‘over’ hit in their lone home outing.
-- According to weather.com on Wednesday, the forecast for Friday night in Boulder calls for clear skies, light winds and a low temperature of 45 degrees.
-- Fox Sports 1 will provide television coverage from Folsom Field at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
-- Northwestern RB Jeremy Larkin has been forced to retire due to a recent diagnosis of cervical stenosis, which is not a life-threatening condition but prohibits him from continuing to play football. Larkin ran for 503 yards as a freshman in ’17 while serving as the back-up to Justin Jackson, who is the all-time leading rusher in school history. Larkin had five rushing TDs and a 6.0 YPC average last season. He also caught 11 balls for 115 receiving yards. Larkin was enjoying an outstanding year to date, rushing for 346 yards and five TDs with a 4.8 YPC average through only three contests. He also had 19 receptions for 127 yards. This is a crushing blow for the Wildcats, who have lost back-to-back home games vs. Duke (21-7) and vs. Akron (39-34) since winning 31-27 at Purdue in their opener. Pat Fitzgerald’s team if off an open date and has had two weeks to prepare for Saturday’s home date with Michigan.
-- San Diego State star RB Juwan Washington is expected to miss six weeks with a fractured clavicle. Washington had run for 513 yards and five TDs with a 5.2 YPC average through four games.
-- After true freshman QB Trevor Lawrence was named Clemson’s starting QB on Monday, Dabo Swinney gave the senior signal caller Kelly Bryant the day off to absorb the decision. Then on Tuesday morning, Bryant announced that he will transfer and play his senior season elsewhere in 2019. Bryant threw for 2,802 yards with a 13/8 TD-INT ratio in ’17, helping the Tigers advance to the College Football Playoff, where they lost to Alabama in the semifinals. Bryant had completed 66.0 percent of his passes for 456 yards with a 2/1 TD-INT ratio this year. He had rushed for 144 yards and two TDs. Meanwhile, Lawrence has a 9/2 TD-INT ratio. Bryant will have plenty of suitors and be immediately eligible next year.
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.
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8-3 Sat., 5-1 G-Plays, 11-4 Totals
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