At this point the Arizona State Sun Devils absolutely have something to protect. After their big 55-31 victory over Notre Dame last week, they are now the #8 team in the country, which means that with a lot of critical games happening not only this weekend, but also in the remaining weeks of the college football betting season, they might be able to move up the four spots necessary to get into the four-team football playoff.
Actually, America’s Bookie customers can see that the road is paved in that direction, but of course Todd Graham’s team has to win out. On Saturday night (10:45 PM ET), they face off against the Oregon State Beavers, and then after this they have Washington State, Arizona and then possibly a date with the Oregon Ducks in the Pac-12 title game, provided that they stay unscathed the rest of the way.
This is obviously an exciting time at Arizona State, where they lost their starting quarterback, Taylor Kelly, for six weeks, but got him back just in time for the home stretch. Last week they made it look like child’s play for a while against the Fighting Irish, but they almost blew a 34-3 lead, allowing Notre Dame to get within three points before finally turning on the afterburners. The Sun Devils were actually outgained in the contest, but they enjoyed the benefit of four turnovers, and also sacked quarterback Everett Golson seven times. The clincher was an interception return for a touchdown by Lloyd Carrington. The America’s Bookie audience knows that Arizona State can be explosive; if you remember, they hung 62 points on UCLA.
They have to take care of business this week against Oregon State, which laid an egg last week when it lost at home to Washington state, which is playing with second-string quarterback Luke Falk, who has stepped in for Connor Halliday. Oregon State gave up 471 passing yards in the game, and plummeted to their eighth loss against the football pointspread in nine games. OSU quarterback Sean Mannion, who was lighting up the stat sheet last season, has been relatively benign this year. Part of the reason was that he lost some of his weaponry, including wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who is now with the New Orleans Saints. When Mannion was much more productive, he was intercepted four times in last year’s 30-17 loss to this Arizona State team. In the college football betting lines that have been posted at America’s Bookie on this game, Arizona State is laying seven points, with a total of 63 points.
Can the Arkansas Razorbacks get off the schneid in conference play? That is the question for Saturday night in Fayetteville (8 PM ET), as Arkansas plays host to the LSU Tigers, who could be at a vulnerable emotional spot right now, after last week’s heart-breaking loss to Alabama. LSU had the lead with less than a minute to go, but allowed Alabama to come back and tie the score with a field goal, and Nick Sabin’s team proceeded to score a touchdown in overtime to clinch the victory. LSU is so-so at quarterback, but at least Anthony Jennings has played a little against this Arkansas defense, having come in for Zach Mettenberger last season in an LSU victory. Arkansas, unbelievably, has lost 17 straight SEC games, although they have been competitive with some of the best squads in the country, losing 17-10 a couple of weeks ago to #1 Mississippi State, and also coming within a whisker of upsetting Alabama, losing 14-13. In this game, the team with the long conference losing streak is a 2.5-point favorite at America’s Bookie, with an over/under of 45 points.
The game between the Florida State Seminoles and the Miami Hurricanes takes on a lot of meaning this season, as Florida State is #2 in the country and looks on track to be a part of the four-team college playoff. Of course, Miami can upset those plans, and it should be noted for the benefit of college football bettors that the underdog has covered eight of the last nine games in this series. That didn’t happen in last year’s game, though; Miami, which had made things very competitive in the first half, was outscored 24-0 in the second half of action, and they lost running back Duke Johnson to an injury. This year Johnson has stayed healthy, gaining 1213 yards, and freshman Brad Kaaya is growing into the job, with 20 touchdown passes. Florida State is allowing eleven points per game more than they did last season, but they still find ways to win behind reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, who appears to be unaffected by all of the controversy swirling around him. This line is short; at America’s Bookie, Florida State is just a two-point favorite, with a total of 62 points. The Seminoles will be going after their fifth straight win over Miami, and there WILL be a big crowd for change at Sun Life Stadium.
Can Michigan State rebound from a highly disappointing loss to Ohio State? That is something we wonder about, as they get ready to do battle against the Maryland Terrapins (8 PM ET). Michigan State, which is well-known for its defense, allowed 568 yards to the Buckeyes last week, and they’ve got to show a little bit of anger coming back for this one. Maryland, in its initial season in the Big 10, has not done so well with the big boys in the conference, losing 52-7 to Wisconsin and 52-24 to Ohio State. Remember that Michigan State still has some reliable weapons with quarterback Connor Cook and running back Jeremy Langford (978 yards). The Spartans have also covered ten of their last 12 games as a road favorite. Here they are laying double digits, as America’s Bookie has them posted as an 11-point choice, with a total of 58 points. Maryland should be handicapped a bit on offense as they are missing top wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who was both suspended AND injured. Either way, he’s out for the duration.