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Week 9 college football betting primer

Seven plays we’re taking to the counter for Saturday’s slate of action. Joe Fortenbaugh

October 23, 2013
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Did you know that through six games, the Baylor Bears have outscored the opposition during the first half 257-44 for an average margin of victory amounting to 35.5 points per 30 minutes? Did you also know that the Kansas Jayhawks have been outscored by their opponents—who include South Dakota, Rice and Louisiana Tech—during the first half of their six games by a total of 75-57?

Do you see where we’re going here?

Last week: 2-3-1

Season: 29-16-1 (.644)

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#24 Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-1, 1-0 road) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-2, 3-1 home)

When: Saturday, 12:00pm ET
Open: Nebraska -8.5
Current: Nebraska -10

Nebraska in 2013: 4-2 ATS, 3-3 to the OVER
Minnesota in 2013: 4-3 ATS, 4-3 to the OVER

Bo PeliniBo Pelini's Cornhuskers have been on fire since falling to UCLA.

Analysis: Since their September 14 meltdown against UCLA that resulted in a 41-21 loss, Nebraska has been on cruise control, winning and covering in three straight contests with an average margin of victory of 32.0 points per game. Further favoring our position is the fact that the Cornhuskers have had an extra week to get ready for a Minnesota team that has dropped two of their last three, but is primed for a letdown following last Saturday’s 20-17 upset of Northwestern, who was in an awful spot. Despite the Gophers’ 5-2 record, the team has been outgained by 336 yards through just seven games this season. Lastly, take note that Minnesota is just 1-5 ATS over their last six games following an ATS win.

Notable Trends: Nebraska is 5-2-1 ATS over their last eight conference games while Minnesota is 1-4 ATS over their last five conference games.

Pick: Nebraska (-10)

Houston Cougars (5-1, 3-0 road) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-2, 3-0 home)

When: Saturday, 12:00pm ET
Open: Rutgers -9.5
Current: Rutgers -7

Houston in 2013: 6-0 ATS, 3-3 to the OVER
Rutgers in 2013: 3-3 ATS, 3-3 to the OVER

Analysis: This is a tricky spot for Houston, who travels to the east coast for an early start time coming off a heartbreaking loss (47-46 vs. BYU) to play a rested Rutgers team. Got all that? Good. Now let’s focus on the positive, which is the fact that the Cougars are 6-0 ATS this season and 8-0 ATS over their last eight games dating back to 2012. Houston is +14 in turnover differential this season and is 10-4 ATS over their last 14 games after scoring 40 or more points in the previous contest. The spot favors the Scarlet Knights, who have already played in two shootouts this season, but we’re more inclined to take the points with this much-improved Houston team.

Notable Trends: Houston is 16-5 ATS over their last 21 games following an ATS win while Rutgers is 1-4 ATS over their last five games following an ATS win.

Pick: Houston (+7)

Ball State Cardinals (7-1, 3-1 road) at Akron Zips (2-6, 1-2 home)

When: Saturday, 12:00pm ET
Open: Ball State -11.5
Current: Ball State -10

Ball State in 2013: 6-2 ATS, 4-4 to the OVER
Akron in 2013: 4-4 ATS, 6-2 to the UNDER

Analysis: Those who have been following this column all season are well aware of our love for Ball State, so we’re just going to drop a few trends on you here and be done with it. The Cardinals are 20-7 ATS over their last 27 games overall, 39-14 ATS over their last 53 road games and 5-0 ATS over their last five road games against teams with a losing home record. Meanwhile, Akron is just 1-6 ATS over their last seven home games. That’s all she wrote.

Notable Trends: Ball State is 7-2 ATS over their last nine conference games while Akron is 5-11 ATS over their last 16 conference games.

Pick: Ball State (-10)

Toledo Rockets (4-3, 1-3 road) at Bowling Green Falcons (5-2, 4-0 home)

When: Saturday, 2:30pm ET
Open: Bowling Green -2.5
Current: Bowling Green -4

Toledo in 2013: 4-2-1 ATS, 5-2 to the UNDER
Bowling Green in 2013: 5-2 ATS, 6-1 to the UNDER

Analysis: Bowling Green missed out on the MAC Championship game last season because their 6-2 conference record fell short of Kent State’s perfect 8-0 mark. One of those two conference losses came in the form of a 27-15 defeat at Toledo, so we’ve got a revenge game on our hands here. In addition, Bowling Green is currently tied with Buffalo at 3-0 in the MAC East, so the Falcons know they cannot afford a slip if they want to keep their dreams of facing either Northern Illinois or Ball State in this year’s title game alive. Take note that Bowling Green has covered the number in 12 of their last 16 games and is 7-3 ATS over their last ten home contests, while Toledo is 0-7 ATS over their last seven games following a bye week.

Notable Trends: Toledo is 1-5 ATS over their last six games following a straight-up win while Bowling Green is 8-2 ATS over their last ten conference games.

Pick: Bowling Green (-4)

Temple Owls (1-6, 0-3 road) at SMU Mustangs (2-4, 1-2 home)

When: Saturday, 3:00pm ET
Open: SMU -10
Current: SMU -12

Temple in 2013: 4-3 ATS, 5-2 to the UNDER
SMU in 2013: 2-4 ATS, 5-1 to the OVER

Analysis: Temple halted a six-game losing streak with a 33-14 home win over 3-5 Army last Saturday, so it won’t surprise anybody if the Owls come out flat in this one. SMU is just 2-4 on the season, but the Mustangs’ losses have come against quality opposition in Texas Tech, Texas A&M, TCU and Rutgers. The Owls are 0-3 on the road this season, losing by an average of 12.0 points per game while scoring an average of just 16.6 points per game. That won’t cut it against an SMU team that is averaging 35.3 points per home contest this year. Take note that the Mustangs are coming off a 34-29 upset win at Memphis and go on the bye next week, so there should be plenty of motivation to win this one before heading on vacation.

Notable Trends: Temple is 20-8 ATS over their last 28 games after surrendering fewer than 170 passing yards in the previous contest while SMU is 8-3 ATS over their last 11 games on turf.

Pick: SMU (-12)

Boston College Eagles (3-3, 0-2 road) at North Carolina Tar Heels (1-5, 1-2 home)

When: Saturday, 3:30pm ET
Open: North Carolina -10
Current: North Carolina -7.5

Boston College in 2013: 4-2 ATS, 4-2 to the UNDER
North Carolina in 2013: 2-4 ATS, 5-1 to the UNDER

Steve AddazioAddazio has already won more games in six outings at Boston College (3) than the Eagles did in all of 2012 (2).

Analysis: Outside of a 40-20 home win over 3-4 Middle Tennessee back on September 7, the Tar Heels have been lousy this season, which is a statement that can be punctuated by a 55-31 home loss to East Carolina. Scoring an average of just 23.5 points per game this season, North Carolina shouldn’t be favored by ten points over anybody, which is exactly why the early bettors steamed Boston College and dropped the line to UNC -7.5. Boston College, on the other hand, is in the midst of an impressive turnaround. The Eagles went just 2-10 last season, but new head coach Steve Addazio has this team at 3-3 on the year, with their three defeats coming at USC (35-7), at home to Florida State (48-34) and on the road at Clemson (24-14). Throw in an extra week of prep for a Boston College team that is 4-1 ATS over their last five games and you’ve got a nice underdog bet that’s also worthy of a small moneyline play.

Notable Trends: Boston College is 5-1 ATS over their last six games following a straight-up loss while North Carolina is 0-4 ATS over their last four games following an against the spread win.

Pick: Boston College (+7.5)

Wyoming Cowboys (4-3, 1-2 road) at San Jose State Spartans (3-3, 1-1 home)

When: Saturday, 7:00pm ET
Open: San Jose State -3.5
Current: San Jose State -6.5

Wyoming in 2013: 4-3 ATS, 4-3 to the OVER
San Jose State in 2013: 4-2 ATS, 3-2-1 to the UNDER

Analysis: Something’s wrong in Wyoming, where a 3-1 start was quickly followed by a 42-21 loss at Texas State, a 38-31 home win over a suspect 2-5 New Mexico team and a 52-22 home drubbing at the hands of Colorado State last Saturday. Now the Cowboys have to turn it around and hit the road once again, this time for a trip to San Jose for a showdown with a Spartans team that has covered the number in 21 of their last 27 games overall. Take note that San Jose State already defeated common opponent Colorado State 34-27, is coming off a bye week and is 23-9 ATS over their last 32 games following a straight-up win.

Notable Trends: Wyoming is 2-5 ATS over their last seven games following an ATS loss while San Jose State is 9-2 ATS over their last 11 games against teams with a winning record.

Pick: San Jose State (-6.5)

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

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