Despite USC’s botching of the Arizona game last week, Saturday night still offers college football fans two of the biggest games of the season. If you don’t plan on heading out to watch the action, we highly recommend investing in some fresh batteries for your remote.
Last week: 2-3
Season: 26-28 (.481)
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Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (5-3, 3-1 road) at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (6-2, 2-1 home)
When: Thursday, 9:15pm ET
Open: Western Kentucky -10
Current: Western Kentucky -9
Analysis: This clearly isn’t the sharpest of handicapping strategies, but we’ve been cashing on Willie Taggart’s Hilltoppers all season and see no reason to buck the trend on Thursday night. Middle Tennessee State is 0-4 ATS over their last four games played in the month of November and 1-6 ATS over their last seven contests against teams with a winning record. Meanwhile, WKU is 10-1 ATS over their last 11 November games and 21-5 ATS over their last 26 games overall. Might as well ride the hot hand once again.
Take note: Middle Tennessee State is 0-5 ATS over their last five Thursday games while Western Kentucky is 4-0 ATS over their last four Thursday games.
Pick: Western Kentucky (-9)
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0, 3-0 road) at #5 LSU Tigers (7-1, 5-0 home)
When: Saturday, 8:00pm ET
Open: O/U 42.5
Current: O/U 42
Nick Saban and the nation's top-ranked scoring defense head to Baton Rouge on Saturday night.
Analysis: The Crimson Tide bring the nation’s top-ranked scoring defense (8.1 pts/gm) to Baton Rouge on Saturday night for an SEC showdown with the LSU Tigers, who currently rank ninth in the country in scoring defense (14.6 pts/gm). Three of the last four games between Alabama and LSU have seen a combined 39 or fewer points scored, with a grand total of just 36 points scored in two meetings between these schools last season. In addition, the under is 13-5-1 in Alabama’s last 19 games played in the month of November and 4-1 in LSU’s last five conference games.
Take note: The under is 4-1 in Alabama’s last five road games and 4-1 in LSU’s last five games coming off a bye week.
Pick: Under (42)
#4 Oregon Ducks (8-0, 2-0 road) at #17 USC Trojans (6-2, 3-0 home)
When: Saturday, 7:00pm ET
Open: Oregon -5.5
Currently: Oregon -7
Analysis: It’s time to wake up and realize that this USC team is not who we thought they were back in August. You need to be disciplined if you want a shot at beating a team like the Oregon Ducks. And if there is one thing that USC is not, it’s disciplined. Lane Kiffin’s squad is averaging an embarrassing 10.4 penalties per game this season to go along with their 2.2 turnovers per game. The Trojans’ national championship hopes were decimated one week before a team playing the revenge card comes to town looking to finish the job for good. Matt Barkley hasn’t lived up to the hype and the USC defense looks lost. Throw in the fact that Kiffin is incapable of out-coaching anybody and you can see why we’re heavy on Oregon for this one.
Take note: Oregon is 5-1 ATS over their last six road games while USC is just 2-6 ATS over their last eight games overall.
Pick: Oregon (we bought it at -6 earlier in the week, but will play it at -7 as well)
Vanderbilt Commodores (4-4, 1-2 road) at Kentucky Wildcats (1-8, 1-4 home)
When: Saturday, 12:00pm ET
Open: Vanderbilt -8
Current: Vanderbilt -7
Analysis: The Commodores are two wins shy of becoming bowl eligible, so there’s still plenty of motivation on the Vanderbilt sideline to come out and get the job done. The same thing can’t be said for the Wildcats, who have dropped seven straight and go on the bye next week, meaning these kids could be ready to pack it in before the end of the first quarter on Saturday. Keep in mind that Kentucky is just 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall.
Take note: The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings between these two teams while Kentucky is 1-5 ATS over their last six conference games.
Pick: Vanderbilt (-7)
SMU Mustangs (4-4, 1-2 road) at Central Florida Knights (6-2, 3-1 home)
When: Saturday, 7:00pm ET
Open: Central Florida -10
Current: Central Florida -12
Analysis: Just before kickoff of last Saturday’s showdown at Marshall, Central Florida got the word that their appeal over a one-year bowl ban that was handed down this past summer would not be heard until after the season. That meant the Knights would be eligible for postseason play this year, which prompted the team to put a 54-17 ass-kicking on the Thundering Herd. With plenty to play for, look for another solid effort from UCF on Saturday in a game in which the favorite is 3-0-1 ATS over the last four meetings.
Take note: SMU is 2-5 ATS over their last seven road games while Central Florida is 12-5 ATS over their last 17 games after allowing less than 20 points in the previous matchup.
Pick: Central Florida (-12)
#24 Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-2, 1-1 road) at #2 Kansas State Wildcats (8-0, 5-0 home)
When: Saturday, 8:00pm ET
Open: Kansas State -8
Current: Kansas State -9.5
US PRESSWIRECollin Klein looks to make another Heisman statement Saturday against the Cowboys.
Analysis: Kansas State has covered the number in four of their last five matchups and needs to keep the gas pedal to the floor if they want to hold off Oregon and Notre Dame for that coveted spot in the BCS Championship game. In addition, the Wildcats are 21-6-1 ATS over their last 28 conference games while Oklahoma State is just 1-4 ATS over their last five games following an ATS win. If we have to lay a big number, we’ve got no problem doing so with Bill Snyder as our head coach.
Take note: Oklahoma State is 2-6 ATS over their last eight games against Kansas State.
Pick: Kansas State (-9.5)