THE SPORTS ADVISORS
(4) USC (6-1, 2-5 ATS) at (10) Oregon (6-1, 5-2 ATS)
The weeks lone matchup of Top 10 teams comes from Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore., where the Ducks host USC in an important battle that has Pac-10 and national-championship implications.
USC went down to the wire with Oregon State last week, eventually prevailing 42-36 for its fourth straight win but coming up way short as a 21-point home favorite to fall to 1-5 ATS in its last six. Freshman QB Matt Barkley passed for 202 yards and two scores, but was also intercepted twice, while the usually stout USC defense got ripped for 482 total yards, including 329 passing yards and three passing TDs. The Trojans gave up a total of two TDs and 43 points in their first five games, but have surrendered 63 points and eight touchdowns the last two weeks to Notre Dame and Oregon State.
Oregon ran its winning streak to six in a row with last Saturdays 43-19 thumping of Washington, easily covering as a 10-point road favorite the teams fifth consecutive spread-cover. The Ducks, who had 259 rushing yards and forced three turnovers against Washington, have won their last four games by 39, 46, 14 and 24 points. Oregon is unbeaten in four home games (3-1 ATS).
The host is 3-0 SU and ATS in the last three years in this rivalry, with USC cruising 44-10 as a 16-point favorite last year after the Ducks won 24-17 as a three-point chalk in Eugene in 2007. USC has won four of the last five meetings and is 10-5 ATS in the last 15, including 5-1 ATS since 2001 (3-1 ATS at Autzen). Finally, the favorite has covered the number in each of the last five and seven of the last eight.
After scoring just 18 points at Ohio State (loss) and 13 at Washington (win), the Trojans have erupted for an average of 33.8 ppg during their four-game winning streak. Also, prior to the games against Notre Dame and Oregon State, USCs defense had given up 10 points or less in 13 of 18 contests, including yielding a field goal or less eight times. Pete Carrolls stop unit still ranks 15th in scoring defense (15.1 ppg), 16th in total defense (291.7 ypg), fifth in rushing defense (79.9 ypg) and fourth in yards-per-carry (2.4).
Since mustering just 152 total yards (31 rushing) in a humiliating 19-8 loss at Boise State, Oregon has averaged 40 points and 404.2 total ypg, including a whopping 240.7 rushing ypg. The Ducks defense has played well all year, allowing just 16.7 points and 297.1 total yards per outing (119 rushing ypg).
In addition to its 1-5 ATS slump overall (all as a chalk), USC has now failed to cash in six of seven on the road, six of seven against Pac-10 opponents and 14 of 19 in October, and the Trojans are 7-15 ATS in their last 22 Pac-10 roadies. Conversely, to go along with their 5-0 ATS run overall, the Ducks are on pointspread surges of 16-8 at home (4-1 this year), 6-0 in Pac-10 play, 6-1 against winning teams, 13-5 as an underdog of three points or less, 9-3 as a home underdog and 8-0 after a SU victory.
The last four meetings in this rivalry have stayed low, and the under for USC is on runs of 21-9-1 overall, 4-1 on the road, 33-16-2 in league play, 25-11-1 as a favorite, 11-4 in October and 6-1 on artificial turf. However, the over is 7-1-1 in Oregons last nine at home and 5-2 in their last seven Pac-10 contests.
ATS ADVANTAGE: OREGON
(3) Texas (7-0, 2-4-1 ATS) at Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-2-1 ATS)
The third-ranked Longhorns go for their 12th consecutive victory overall and 12th straight win over Big 12 South rival Oklahoma State as they hit the highway for the third straight week with a visit to Stillwater, Okla.
After escaping with a 16-13 neutral-site win over archrival Oklahoma, Texas last week went to Missouri and throttled the Tigers 41-7 as a 13-point road favorite. The Longhorns raced out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and finished with 400 total yards to 173 for Missouri. QB Colt McCoy (26-for-31, 269 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT) had one of his better games of the season. Nine of Texas 11 victories during its current win streak have been double-digit romps.
The Cowboys have ripped off five straight wins (2-0-1 ATS) since suffering a stunning 45-35 home loss to Houston as a 15½-point favorite back on Sept. 12. Last week, Oklahoma State went to Baylor and rolled 34-7 as a 9½-point road chalk. Senior Zac Robinson (23-for-27, 250 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs) led an offense that rolled up 445 total yards (195 rushing), while the Cowboys defense held Baylor to 284 yards (43 rushing).
Texas held off Oklahoma State 28-24 last year, but the Cowboys scored 10 unanswered fourth-quarter points to get the easy cover as an 11½-point road underdog. The Longhorns have won 11 consecutive meetings in this rivalry, going just 7-4 ATS (all as a favorite). The last two clashes were decided by three and four points.
The Longhorns defense is yielding just 13.6 points, 235.6 total yards and 41.6 rushing yards per game, figures that rank ninth, second and first in the nation, respectively. Also, Texas allows opposing backs to gain just 1.5 yards per carry, by far the best in the country. However, tonight, that defense runs up against a potent Oklahoma State offense that is putting up 37 points and 417.6 yards per outing (185.6 rushing ypg).
McCoy has tossed a surprising eight INTs this year, but otherwise is having an outstanding senior season, connecting on 71.7 percent of his throws for 258 ypg with 14 TDs. Robinson is also enjoying his final collegiate season, connecting at a 63.7 percent rate for 194 ypg with 11 TDs against just two INTs.
Going back to last years Fiesta Bowl win and non-cover against Ohio State, the Longhorns are 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight overall (all as a favorite), and theyre 4-8-1 ATS since the middle of last season and 4-11 ATS in their last 15 when laying between 3½ and 10 points. But Texas is also 6-2 ATS in its last eight on the highway (5-2 ATS as a road favorite). Oklahoma State is on pointspread runs of 7-3 at home, 7-3-1 in Big 12 action, 9-1-1 in October, 7-2 after a spread-cover and 8-3-1 after a SU win. However, the Cowboys are 2-6 ATS in their last eight as an underdog, 0-4 ATS in their last four as a home pup and 7-22 ATS in their last 29 when catching between 3½ and 10 points.
The over is 16-7-1 in Texas last 24 on the highway, but otherwise it is on under runs of 5-1 overall (all as a favorite), 6-0 in conference and 4-0 in October. However, Oklahoma State carries over trends of 35-17 at home, 4-1 as a home dog and 5-2 after SU win.
ATS ADVANTAGE: TEXAS
Georgia (4-3, 2-5 ATS) vs. (1) Florida (7-0, 3-3 ATS) (at Jacksonville)
Coming off three straight shaky SEC victories, the Gators look to regain their dominating form when they take on rival Georgia in the annual Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
The Bulldogs have had two weeks to prep for this showdown, taking last week off after scoring a 34-10 rout of Vanderbilt and cashing as a 7½-point road favorite. That victory snapped a two-game SU and three-game ATS slide for Georgia, which averaged just 17.3 ppg during that three-game stretch against Arizona State (20-17 home win), LSU (20-13 home loss) and Tennessee (45-19 road loss).
A week after surviving a scare in a 23-20 home win over Arkansas as a 24-point home favorite, Florida went to Mississippi State last Saturday and struggled all night, pulling out a 29-19 win but again failing to cash, this time as a 21½-point road chalk. QB Tim Tebow had a poor outing at Mississippi State, going 12-for-22 for just 127 yards with no TDs and two INTs, both of which were returned by the Bulldogs for touchdowns, including one of 100 yards.
Despite struggling the last two weeks, Florida still owns the nations longest winning streak at 17 in a row, with 16 being double-digit routs, and it is 12-3 ATS in lined action during this stretch while allowing 21 points or less in every game.
Motivated by a post-touchdown end zone celebration in a 42-30 loss to Georgia as a seven-point favorite in 2007, the Gators got payback in a big way last year in Jacksonville, crushing the Bulldogs 49-10 as a 7½-point chalk. Georgia actually outgained Florida 398-373, but the Gators dominated on the ground (185-106) and Tebow (10-for-13, 154 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs; 39 rushing yards, 3 TDs) thoroughly outplayed future No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick Matthew Stafford (18-for-33, 265 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs).
The Gators have won nine of the last 11 in this rivalry, but the teams have split the cash the last eight years, with Georgia getting the money in two of the past three. The dog is 5-3 ATS over this eight-year span.
In three games since returning from a concussion, Tebow is completing 63.5 percent of his passes but for only 172 passing ypg with two TDs and three INTs, and the Florida offense has averaged just 21.7 ppg over the three games.
Florida ranks in the top two nationally in scoring defense (10.1 ppg, tied for 2nd), total defense (229.6 ypg, 1st) and passing defense (135 ypg, 2nd). The Gators have also given up an NCAA-low two TD passes while nabbing 10 interceptions, and going back to the start of last season, Urban Meyers team has allowed more than 21 points just once in 21 games. By comparison, Georgias defense this season is getting torched for an average of 27.7 points, 365.6 total yards and 238.3 passing yards per game.
The Bulldogs have cashed in five of their last six neutral-site games, and theyre 6-2 ATS in their last eight as an underdog, 5-0 ATS in their last five when catching more than 10 points and 10-2 ATS in their last 12 when coming off a bye in the regular season. On the downside, Mark Richts squad is in pointspread slumps of 4-12 overall, 3-9-1 in SEC play, 4-11 in October, 2-6 versus winning teams and 0-3-1 after a spread cover.
Floridas two-game ATS slide comes on the heels of a 20-5 ATS run overall. The Gators remain on pointspread surges of 19-7 as a favorite, 12-4 in SEC action, 18-4 versus winning teams, 5-1 after a non-cover, 5-2 at neutral sites and 7-3 when laying more than 10 points.
Georgia is on over runs of 7-3 at neutral sites, 4-1 as a neutral-site dog and 6-1 as a pup overall. The over is also 5-2 in Floridas last seven neutral-site games, but otherwise the Gators carry under trends of 5-0 overall, 6-0 in conference, 5-0 against winning teams and 37-17 after a non-cover. Finally, the last two meetings in this rivalry went over the total following a 5-1 under run in this series. ½
ATS ADVANTAGE: FLORIDA
(18) Miami, Fla. (5-2, 4-2 ATS) at Wake Forest (4-4, 2-5 ATS)
A week after a gut-wrenching overtime home loss to Clemson, Miami attempts to regroup as it hits the road for an ACC battle with the struggling Demon Deacons at Groves Stadium.
The Hurricanes took a three-game SU and ATS winning streak into last weeks battle with Clemson, but got caught in a high-scoring back-and-forth contest, eventually falling 40-37 as a four-point favorite. Miami gave up a game-tying field goal as regulation expired, then got the ball first and managed just a field goal, with Clemson answering quickly with a 26-yard TD pass to steal the win. The teams combined for 843 total yards, with Miami getting 433 of those (177 rushing). QB Jacory Harris offset a 256-yard, two-TD passing day with three picks.
Wake Forest followed up a disastrous 38-3 loss at Clemson as an 8½-point underdog with last weeks 13-10 setback at Navy as a 2½-point road favorite, its third straight non-cover. The Demon Deacons last three losses came on the road, but since a 24-21 season-opening home loss to Baylor, Wake Forest has won four straight in Winston-Salem (2-1 ATS in lined action). The Demon Deacons have scored 21, 24, 35, 30 and 42 points at Groves Stadium, compared with netting just 12.3 ppg on the road.
Miami has won and covered all three meetings with Wake Forest since joining the ACC in 2004, including last years ugly 16-10 win as a three-point home favorite. In their last trip to Winston-Salem, the Hurricanes rolled 47-17 as a 16-point favorite, but that came back in 2005.
The Canes are still 6-2 ATS in their last eight overall and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 on the road, but otherwise theyre in pointspread nosedives of 2-5 in conference, 17-35-1 as a favorite, 4-9 as a road chalk and 1-10 when laying between 3½ and 10 points. Wake Forest has failed to cover in four of five overall, four of five in ACC action and four straight as an underdog, but Jim Grobes team is 6-2 ATS in its last eight at home, 8-4 ATS as a home pup since 2004 (5-1 last six) and 4-0 in the last four when catching between 3½ and 10 points at Groves Stadium.
The under is 5-2 in Miamis last seven as a favorite, 5-1 in Wakes last six as an underdog and 6-2 in Wakes last seven in October.
ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER
(24) Ole Miss (5-2, 4-2 ATS) at Auburn (5-3, 4-4 ATS)
Auburn will try to put the brakes on a three-game losing skid when it welcomes the Rebels to Jordan Hare Stadium for an SEC West battle.
Ole Miss followed up a 48-13 non-conference rout of UAB (23-point favorite) with last Saturdays 30-17 victory over visiting Arkansas, cashing again, this time as a 6½-point chalk. QB Jevan Snead snapped out his slump in a big way, going 22-for-33 for 332 yards with two TDs and two INTs, while Dexter McCluster had a combined 260 rushing and receiving yards as the Rebels rolled up 553 total yards and held the Razorbacks to 299.
The Tigers season has gone south since starting the year with five straight wins (4-1 ATS), as theyve dropped their last three games, all to SEC foes Arkansas (44-23 as a 1½-point road favorite), Kentucky (21-14 as a 13½-point home chalk) and LSU (31-10 as a 7½-point road underdog). In last weeks loss to LSU, Auburn was pushed all over the field as it got outgained 376-193 and committed three turnovers.
Mississippi snapped a four-game losing skid to Auburn exactly one year ago, winning 17-7 as a 6½-point home favorite. The Rebels have cashed in each of the last three meetings after the Tigers had gone 5-1 ATS in this rivalry to start this decade. Finally, the visitor has covered in nine of the last 13 in this rivalry.
The Rebels are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games (2-1 ATS this year on the highway), and theyre riding additional pointspread surges of 19-7 overall, 5-2 in SEC play, 23-11 in October, 9-4 versus teams with a winning record and 7-1 as a favorite. However, Houston Nutts team has failed to cover in nine of 12 as a road chalk, including five of its last six on the highway when giving between 3½ and 10 points.
In addition to going 1-4 ATS in its last five, Auburn is in pointspread dips of 3-10 in SEC action, 1-7 in October, 0-7 after a SU defeat, 5-16 after a non-cover and 2-5 as an underdog.
Its been all unders for Ole Miss lately, including 4-1 overall, 5-2 on the road, 38-17 in league play, 3-1 as a favorite and 6-0 as a chalk of 3½ to 10 points. Meanwhile, the Tigers have topped the total in four of five at Jordan Hare, but otherwise theyre on under runs of 6-2 against the SEC, 21-7 as a dog, 7-2 as a home pup and 4-0 both after SU and ATS loss. Finally, four of the last five Ole Miss-Auburn meetings at Jordan Hare have stayed low.
ATS ADVANTAGE: OLE MISS and UNDER
California (5-2, 3-3 ATS) at Arizona State (4-3, 3-3 ATS)
California shoots for its third straight Pac-10 victory when it travels to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., for a battle with Arizona State.
Since getting crushed by Oregon (road) and USC (home) by a combined score of 72-6, the Bears have bounced back with a pair of impressive victories over UCLA (45-26) and Washington State (49-17). Although Cal covered easily as a 3½-point road favorite at UCLA, it came up short as a 35½-point home chalk last week despite jumping out to a 35-3 lead and finishing with 559 total yards (309 rushing) and allowing 440 total yards (55 rushing). The Bears are averaging 48 ppg in their victories, with all five being double-digit blowouts.
Arizona States two-game winning streak ended with a thud last Saturday at Stanford, falling 33-14 to the Cardinal as a 6½-point road underdog. The Sun Devils, who have failed to cover in three of their last four overall, got outgained 473-290 at Stanford (237-129 on the ground).
Cal topped the Sun Devils 24-14 last October, barely covering as a 9½-point home favorite to improve to 5-1 SU and ATS in the last six meetings. However, in their last trip to the desert, the Bears fell 31-20 as a three-point road underdog, and the home team (and favorite) has won and covered the last four meetings dating to 2004. Also, the SU winner has covered the spread in each of the last nine series battles.
The Bears rank 12th in the nation in rushing at 216 yards per game (5.7 per carry), but theyre facing an Arizona State defense that yields just 83.4 ypg on the ground and 2.7 ypc, which ranks sixth and eighth in the country, respectively.
Cal is 5-11 ATS in its last 16 road games and 3-8 ATS in its last 11 as a road chalk, but the Bears are also on positive pointspread rolls of 7-3 as a favorite, 16-4 when laying between 3½ and 10 points and 5-1 after a non-cover. The Sun Devils are mired in ATS funks of 3-7 as an underdog and 0-3 as a home dog under coach Dennis Erickson, plus 1-11 as a pup of 3½ to 10 points, 1-4 in Pac-10 play, 1-4 in October, 2-7 after a SU loss and 3-9 against winning teams.
The Bears are on over streaks of 7-3 overall, 6-2 on the road, 4-1 as a favorite and 5-2 in conference play. Conversely, its been all unders for ASU lately, including 24-8 overall, 4-1 at home, 7-0 in conference, 6-1 as an underdog, 15-5-2 in October and 6-0 after a non-cover. Finally, three of the last four in this rivalry have stayed low.
ATS ADVANTAGE: CAL
Kansas State (5-3, 3-3 ATS) at (22) Oklahoma (4-3, 2-3-1 ATS)
Kansas State, which has won two in a row and surprisingly sits atop the Big 12 North division, faces a difficult test when it travels to Memorial Stadium for a league contest against the Sooners.
The Wildcats followed up an eye-popping 62-14 rout of Texas A&M as a five-point underdog with last Saturdays 20-6 thumping of Colorado as a four-point home chalk. After getting outgained 739-284 in a 66-14 loss at Texas Tech three weeks ago, Kansas State has come back to out-gain its last two opponents by a combined 163 yards. The Wildcats are undefeated through four home games (2-0 ATS vs. lined competition), but 1-3 SU and ATS on the road, where they average 12.7 ppg and allow 35.3 ppg.
Oklahoma bounced back from a difficult 16-13 loss to third-ranked Texas with last weeks 35-13 destruction of Kansas as an eight-point road favorite. The Sooners have alternated SU wins and losses in their last five outings, and while their three defeats this year were by a total of five points, their four wins have come by a combined score 177-20. OU has won 27 consecutive home games (18-8-1 ATS).
These teams played a record first half against each other last October, with Oklahoma taking a 55-28 lead into the break, eventually winning 58-35 and covering as an 18-point road favorite. The teams combined for 1,078 total yards, with the Sooners gaining 273 of 528 yards on the ground and K-State picking up 486 of 550 yards through the air. Oklahoma has won six of seven meetings this decade, including the last three in a row, but the teams are 3-3-1 ATS in this stretch, with the underdog going 4-2-1 ATS. Going back to 1997, the visitor is 6-2-1 ATS in this series, with the Wildcats going 3-1-1 ATS in their last four trips to Memorial Stadium.
Kansas State has cashed in three of four overall and eight of 11 in October, but theyre 3-9 ATS in their last 12 against opponents that have a winning record. The Sooners are on ATS streaks of 8-4-1 overall, 8-3 as a favorite, 7-1-1- in Big 12 play, 19-8-1 as a favorite of more than 10 points, 13-5-1 as a home chalk in that range and 7-3-1 against winning clubs.
The under is 4-2 in the Wildcats last seven overall and 4-1 in their last five on the road, but theyre also on over stretches of 28-11 in Big 12 play, 21-8 as an underdog, 14-5 as a road pup and 8-3 in October. The over is also 9-3 in Oklahomas last 12 league games, but otherwise the Sooners are riding under streaks of 7-0 overall (6-0 this year), 3-0 at home and 6-0 against winning teams.
ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE
(12) Penn State (7-1, 3-4 ATS) at Northwestern (5-3, 2-5 ATS)
Fresh off its fourth straight double-digit blowout victory, Penn State takes to the road for the second week in a row for a Big Ten battle with the Wildcats at Ryan Field.
The Nittany Lions went to Michigan last week and allowed a touchdown on the Wolverines opening possession, then took the game over from there, scoring 35 of the next 38 points to win 35-10 as a 3½-point road favorite. Since getting upset 21-10 by Iowa as a 9½-point home favorite on Sept. 26, Penn State has won four in a row (3-0 ATS in lined games) by a combined score of 142-30, outgaining all four opponents by a combined 939 yards. Take away the loss to Iowa, and the Nittany Lions have won seven games by an average of 23 ppg (33.1-10.1)
Northwestern rallied from a 28-3 deficit to Indiana last week and escaped with a 29-28 victory, kicking the game-winning 19-yard field goal with 21 seconds left. The Wildcats, who outgained Indiana 474-305, won for the third time in their last four games, but failed to cover as a 4½-point home favorite, falling to 2-5 ATS on the season (0-4 ATS at home, all as a favorite).
The underdog has covered in all seven of Northwesterns games this season, and the dog got the money in Penn States first four contests before the Lions came back to win and cover their last three lined outings as a favorite.
Penn State has won two in a row and seven of the last nine in this rivalry, including last years 33-7 rout as a 20-point home chalk, ending the Wildcats 3-0 ATS run in this series. Five of the last eight head-to-head battles have been decided by 10 points or less, and the home team is on an 8-2 ATS roll, with Northwestern going 4-1 ATS in the last five at Ryan Field.
Not only have the Nittany Lions cashed in three straight lined games overall, but theyre also on pointspread surges of 6-2-1 on the road, 4-1 in Big Ten action, 6-1-1 as a road favorite, 5-0-1 when laying more than 10 points on the road and 14-4-2 in October. Northwestern has cashed in five straight and seven of nine as a dog, but in addition to going 2-5 ATS this year (0-4 ATS at home), the Cats are 16-34-1 ATS in their last 51 games after a SU victory.
The under is 6-1 in Penn States games this year (all as a favorite), including 4-0 as a double-digit chalk, and the under for Northwestern is on runs of 7-3 overall, 4-1 in October and 5-0 as an underdog. Also, three of the last four in this series have stayed low.
ATS ADVANTAGE: PENN STATE and UNDER
Kansas (5-2, 2-4 ATS) at Texas Tech (5-3, 4-3 ATS)
Two Big 12 teams coming off blowout conference losses try to get back on track at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, where the Red Raiders host Kansas.
The Jayhawks have followed up a seven-game winning streak with consecutive conference losses at Colorado (34-30 as an eight-point road favorite) and Oklahoma (35-13 as an eight-point home underdog), and theyve now failed to cover in four straight games. After outgaining seven consecutive opponents, Kansas ended up on the short end of a 337-305 yardage discrepancy against Oklahoma, and QB Todd Reesing (22-for-42, 224 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs) had a miserable day against the Sooners defense.
Texas Tech went off as a 21½-point home favorite last week against Texas A&M and proceeded to get steamrolled 52-30, ending a three-game overall and eight-game home winning streak. QB Taylor Potts got picked off twice and the Red Raiders also lost three fumbles, while the defense surrendered 559 total yards, including 321 on the ground.
Texas Tech crushed the Jayhawks 63-21 as a two-point road favorite last year, finishing with a 556-315 edge in total offense. The Red Raiders have won 10 of 11 meetings by an average of 14 ppg, including the last three in a row (1-2 ATS). Prior to last years contest, the dog had covered in four straight series meetings, and the visitor is 4-1 ATS in the last five.
These teams feature two of the top passing attacks in the country. Kansas averages 329.3 ypg through the air (7.9 yards per pass attempt), which actually is dwarfed by Techs NCAA-best 419 passing ypg (8.2 yards per pass attempt). While Reesing has passed for 2,203 yards (65 percent completion rate) with 15 TDs and seven INTs, the Red Raiders QB duo of Potts (67 percent, 2,127 yards) and Steven Sheffield (74.5 percent, 1,014 yards) have combined for 27 TD tosses and 10 picks.
In addition to its current 0-4 ATS slump, Kansas is 1-4 ATS in its last five as an underdog and 1-5 ATS in its last six conference games, but the Jayhawks have covered in 12 of their last 14 road games and five of six as a road pup. Meanwhile, going back to November 2006, Texas Tech is 18-2 SU at home and the Red Raiders are 28-8-1 ATS in their last 37 after a SU defeat, but theyre also 2-5 ATS in their last seven as a favorite and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 when laying 3½ to 10 points.
Kansas is on over stretches of 4-1 overall, 6-1 on the road, 7-2 in Big 12 action, 4-1 in October and 5-2 as a dog. The over is also on several streaks for Texas Tech, including 10-4 overall, 5-0 at home, 7-3 in conference and 5-1 in October
ATS ADVANTAGE: TEXAS TECH and OVER
(21) South Carolina (6-2, 5-2 ATS) at Tennessee (3-4, 4-3 ATS)
Tennessee tries to bounce back from a near-miss at top-ranked Alabama when it returns to Neyland Stadium for an SEC East clash with the Gamecocks.
South Carolina barely held off Vanderbilt last Saturday, winning 14-10 but never threatening to cover as a 13½-point home favorite. Despite outgaining the Commodores 431-273, the Gamecocks needed a 43-yard fourth-quarter TD pass by Stephen Garcia to erase a 10-7 deficit in a game in which neither team committed a turnover. South Carolina has won five of its last six only setback being a 20-6 loss at Alabama as an 18-point road dog but has failed to cover in two of it last three lined games, with the underdog and road team going 3-0 ATS in this stretch.
The Volunteers gave No. 1 Alabama all it could handle last week, but two blocked field goals in the fourth quarter including one on the final play of the game proved the difference as Tennessee lost 12-10 but easily covered the 14-point spread. The Vols, who have alternated wins and losses in their last five games (3-2 ATS), actually outgained the Crimson Tide 341-256 and allowed just four field goals. The last time Tennessee took the field at Neyland Stadium, it hammered Georgia 45-19 as a one-point underdog, putting up 472 yards of total offense.
South Carolina had no trouble with the Vols last year, winning 27-6 as a six-point home chalk, just the second win for the Cocks in their last 16 meetings with Tennessee. The favorite is 3-0 SU and ATS the past three years in this series, and the SU winner has cashed in each of the last five clashes. Also, the visitor is on a 10-1-1 ATS roll in this rivalry, with South Carolina going 4-1-1 ATS in its last six trips to Knoxville.
The Gamecocks are on ATS upticks of 5-2 on the road, 10-4 as a road pup, 4-0 as an underdog anywhere (3-0 this year) and 5-1 when catching between 3½ and 10 points. Tennessee has covered in five of six SEC games, but otherwise is in pointspread funks of 3-7 as a favorite, 9-21 as a home chalk and 3-8-2 when giving between 3½ and 10 points.
The over is 6-2-1 in South Carolinas last nine road games, but the under is 4-1 in its last five as an underdog. Tennessee is on under rolls of 20-5-1 overall, 33-16-3 at home, 19-7-1 in SEC games, 7-1 in October and 10-3-1 as a favorite. Finally, six of the last eight meetings between these schools have stayed low, and four of the last five in Tennessee have featured 43 total points or fewer.
ATS ADVANTAGE: SOUTH CAROLINA and UNDER
Southern Miss (5-3, 3-4 ATS) at (15) Houston (6-1, 5-1 ATS)
In a possible preview of the Conference USA championship game in December, streaking Houston aims for its fourth consecutive win overall and its 13th straight home victory when it entertains the Golden Eagles, who have won two in a row.
Southern Miss followed up a three-game losing skid (1-2 ATS) all on the road with back-to-back blowout home wins over Memphis (36-16 as a 14-point favorite) and Tulane (43-6 as a 21-point chalk). Last week versus Tulane, the Golden Eagles gained 253 of their 380 total yards on the ground, while allowing just 212 total yards (54 rushing). Southern Miss has averaged 38.8 ppg in its five wins (all at home) but just 22.7 ppg in three defeats (all on the road), and the Eagles defense (30 ppg, 372 total ypg, 168 rushing ypg) has struggled on the highway.
Houston returned from a three-game road trip and smacked SMU 38-15 as a 16½-point home favorite last week to improve to 3-0 SU and ATS in its last three. Since a stunning 58-41 loss at UTEP on Oct. 3, the Cougars have allowed a total of 55 points (18.3 ppg) during their three-game winning streak. With standout QB Case Keenum (70.1 percent, 390.6 ypg, 20 TDs, 4 INTs) at the controls, Houston fields the nations second-most lethal passing attack at 403.1 passing ypg, and its 21 TD passes is tied for second nationally.
These teams last met in the 2006 Conference USA title game on Houstons home field, and the Cougars won 34-20 as a five-point chalk. The host has won four in a row in this rivalry, with Houston going 3-1 ATS (2-0 ATS at home). Also the home team has covered in eight of the past 10 meetings, with the favorite going 5-1 ATS in the last six.
Southern Miss is 2-7 ATS in its last nine in October, but otherwise is on pointspread surges of 10-4 on the road, 6-2 in C-USA games, 5-2 as a dog, 4-1 a road pup and 6-2 after a SU win. The Cougars carry positive ATS streaks of 6-1 overall, 6-1 at home, 4-1 as a home chalk and 5-1 against an opponent with a winning record.
For the Golden Eagles, the under is on stretches of 4-0 overall, 4-1 on the road, 7-0 in league action and 7-1 when playing on grass. Similarly, Houston is on under rolls of 4-1-1 overall, 8-3 at home, 4-1 as a home chalk and 4-0 on grass. However, the last two clashes in this rivalry have hurdled the posted price.
ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER