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Green Sheet Issue #6 is posted

Don’t miss this week’s issue of the Green Sheet with an in-depth look at the 2020-21 football season in the Big XII.

Can Oklahoma continue its reign in the conference or can a team like Texas or Oklahoma State rise to the top. Four head coaches will be looking to take a step forward in their second seasons while Dave Aranda joins the conference as one of the most accomplished first time head coaches in recent memory.

Get this week’s issue for only $12 or join for the entire season subscription for only $99!

That season price includes all five past issues and works out to just over $3 per issue for the season! That rate goes up to $149 soon, don’t wait any longer!

Baseball and Basketball are just around the corner – email us at nelly@nellysports.com if you’d like our MLB Preview or our NBA Restart Guide!

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Green Sheet Issue #5 in the SEC

This week’s Green Sheet release is all about the SEC. LSU delivered a historically great championship season last year to keep the conference on top of college football. The Tigers will return minimal experience in 2020 as there is likely to be a change at the top. 

Find out which three programs return top five experience ratings on both sides of the ball for 2020, one of which rates as a clear surprise candidate given its schedule with a 10-0 start very possible. We also have seven pages of coaching stats and team history, along with the 2020 schedules in this week’s issue. 
Find out which coach is a nearly 79% ATS proposition in his career as a road favorite, including going 4-0 last season in that role. What role has Nick Saban only covered at a 20% ATS rate in his tenure at Alabama? It is the same role that Gus Malzahn has covered at an 80% clip in his time at Auburn.

Mike Leach and Lane Kiffin are well-traveled high-profile additions to the SEC this season and we have all of their past results broken down in Green Sheet issue #5, available now for just $12, or you can still sign up for the full season subscription for only $99, this rate will be going up to $149 soon, so don’t delay! 

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Fiesta Bowl Preview

Fiesta Bowl CFP Semifinal – Dec. 28

Clemson and Ohio State meet in Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl in a pairing of undefeated teams for the College Football Playoff semifinals. Both teams are far from home in Glendale but both programs have College Football Playoff Championships in the five years of the existence of the playoff format and this is perhaps the most highly anticipated game of the bowl season as dominant 13-0 programs face off.

Match-up: Clemson Tigers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Venue: At State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona

Time/TV: Saturday, December 28, 8:00 PM ET ESPN

Line: Clemson -2, Over/Under 63

Last Meeting: 12/31/2016 Fiesta Bowl CFP Semifinals Clemson (+1) 31, Ohio State 0    

Three seasons ago these teams met in this same stadium in the 2/3 matchup of College Football Playoffs. The spread was nearly even and Clemson delivered a blowout win 31-0 with a huge production edge of 470-215. Deshaun Watson and J.T. Barrett had a pair of interceptions each but the Clemson running game had a clear edge while the Tigers were able to hit a few big plays in the air. Clemson would go on to beat Alabama in the championship game for the first of now two titles for Dabo Swinney.

Clemson also beat Ohio State in the 2013-14 Orange Bowl a year before the playoff format and Clemson enters this game on a 29-game winning streak, completing a perfect 15-0 championship season last year and this year again unblemished with only one close call back in late September in Chapel Hill with a one-point escape.

The Tigers didn’t look like a dominant team early in the season as coming off brilliant championship performance last season, quarterback Trevor Lawrence battled interceptions early in the season. The Tigers closed the season on a dominant run with Lawrence combining for 16 touchdowns and no interceptions in the final five games of the season. 1,500-yard rusher Travis Etienne has often been overlooked despite an amazing 8.2 yards per carry average this season as the Tigers scored 605 points this season for more than 46 points per game.

Clemson is the #3 seed however having played through a light ACC schedule and high-quality wins are absent from the schedule with the best results coming over 7-5 Texas A&M, 9-4 Virginia, 8-4 Wake Forest, 7-5 Louisville, and 6-6 North Carolina. The Tigers did technically beat seven bowl teams when you add Charlotte and Boston College to the mix but behind Clemson it was a clear down year for the ACC. The Tigers beat two SEC teams but Texas A&M and South Carolina both had disappointing seasons and like many ACC teams, Clemson also played a FCS foe to pad the numbers.

Swinney is 9-5 S/U and 10-4 ATS in his bowl and playoff games but after starting 1-3 S/U and ATS the Tigers have been on a roll in the postseason under his watch with the only ATS loss in that span being the 2017-18 Sugar Bowl vs. the eventual national champion Alabama. Clemson has actually been an underdog in nine of the past 10 postseason games with the lone exception last season’s 30-3 win over undefeated Notre Dame in the semifinals.

In contrast to Swinney’s amazing resume, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day will be a head coach for the first time in a postseason game. Day filled in for Urban Meyer for three wins early last season and is now 16-0 as a head coach for the Buckeyes for an amazing start to his career. Day has only been with the program since 2017 as an assistant with past experience in the NFL as well as with Temple and Boston College. Despite his success, his first season will ultimately be judged on this game alone with the Buckeyes back into the playoffs after narrowly missing out as Big Ten champions the past two seasons.

Controversially Ohio State was flipped from the #1 seed in the playoff rankings to the #2 seed, passed up by LSU following the respective Big Ten and SEC championship wins. LSU was more impressive vs. a higher rated foe on championship Saturday but Ohio State’s overall resume bested LSU’s in many of the counts that the selection committee values.

On championship Saturday four teams that Ohio State defeated in the regular season were playing in championship games as the Buckeyes wound up with nine wins over bowl teams. Ohio State was penalized for a poor first half vs. Wisconsin in Indianapolis as well as not getting as much credit for beating a highly regarded Wisconsin team twice compared to if they defeated two distinct similarly highly rated teams. Ultimately Ohio State has five wins over teams rated higher in the playoff rankings than Clemson’s best win over #24 Virginia, including four wins vs. the top 14.

Day was not the only new piece for the Buckeyes, led by Georgia transfer Justin Fields at quarterback. Fields left Georgia last season after not getting a great opportunity behind Jake Fromm. In his first season as a starting quarterback he delivered an incredible campaign finishing third in the Heisman voting with an amazing line of 40 touchdowns and one interception while also rushing for nearly 500 yards. J.K. Dobbins eclipsed 1,800 yards rushing and along with star defensive end Chase Young, that trio comprised half of the top six in the Heisman voting. Ohio State outscored foes 633-163 on the season with dominant numbers, though the defense allowed 17 or more points in each of the final four games following seven straight games allowing 14 or fewer points.

Ohio State has not been an underdog in the postseason since winning the initial College Football Playoff championship game 42-20 vs. Oregon in January 2015. The Buckeyes have been the Rose Bowl champion the past two seasons and this is the first playoff trip since the ugly loss in Glendale vs. Clemson.

Ohio State has been an underdog six times since the start of the 2012 season going 6-0 S/U and ATS including winning 62-39 vs. Michigan last season in the only instance getting points since the 2014-15 national championship. Clemson has rarely been in the small favorite role under Swinney going 4-5 S/U and 3-6 ATS as a favorite of 3 or fewer points, though all but one of those games was a regular season contest.

Clemson wound up 10-3 ATS this season including 10-2 ATS in FBS games, going 7-0 ATS in FBS games since October started for an incredible run, as a lot of folks fared well supporting the Tigers even at inflated prices including a 30-point spread in the ACC Championship. Ohio State wound up 9-4 ATS this season but lost ATS in three of the final four games including missing the spread in big games vs. Penn State and in the Big Ten championship after an 8-0 ATS run September to early November, with the Buckeyes also faring extremely well in first half numbers.

The victor of this game will head to New Orleans for the national championship in what could be a very hostile environment depending on the Peach Bowl outcome but either team will be a serious threat for the title as this semifinal figures to live up to the billing and hype as one of the best playoff pairings in the history of the format.

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4Q Covers NCAA Wk 13

4th Quarter Covers – NCAA Week 13

11/24/2019

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread in the fourth quarter last week in the 13th and second-to-last full weekend of the college football season. Each week there are several teams that cover despite not necessarily deserving it, as well as other teams that played much better than the final score shows.

Georgia Tech (+2½) 28, NC State 26: The Yellow Jackets opened as a slight favorite but Thursday afternoon the line flipped to leave the Wolfpack as a slight road favorite in the underwhelming ACC prime time matchup. Georgia Tech came to play with a 14-0 edge early and also delivered a touchdown on a short field in the final minute before halftime. Another score late in the third quarter seemingly put the game away with a 28-10 edge for the Yellow Jackets but early in the fourth quarter NC State was back within one-score down by eight, making the most of an extra opportunity off a fumble. With about five minutes remaining NC State completed a lengthy drive for a touchdown but the two-point conversion attempt failed and Georgia Tech was able run off the remaining time to hold on.

Wyoming (-4) 17, Colorado State 7: The Friday night home favorite line crashed down to -4 from -7 or -6½ much of the week and in chilly conditions in Laramie it was a 7-7 tie at halftime. Out of the break Colorado State went for it on 4th-and-short on its own side of the 50 and came up short with Wyoming able to take advantage of the short field for a touchdown drive to lead by seven heading into the fourth quarter. After the aggressive call backfired earlier in the game Mike Bobo opted to try a 50-yard field goal on 4th-and-2 early in the fourth quarter down by seven for a puzzling move that also failed to work out. The Rams later failed going for it on 4th-and-6 just across midfield and also came up short for another missed opportunity. Wyoming added a field goal to lead by 10 and the final Colorado State threat ended in an interception as the Cowboys managed to win and cover despite totaling just 17 points and 273 yards.

Kent State (+3) 41, Ball State 38: In a bowl elimination game Ball State led 24-21 at halftime as a slight road favorite in a game where both teams wound up with big yardage totals. Kent State score 10 points in the third quarter but Ball State answered twice in the fourth to keep the game tied at 31-31 and then 38-38 with four minutes to go. The Flashes were able to work the field and the clock, kicking the game winner with 19 seconds to go for a minor upset, with 6-6 still in reach next week.

Oklahoma State (-7) 20, West Virginia 13: With Spencer Sanders injured, Hawai’i transfer Dru Brown stepped in at quarterback for Oklahoma State. The road favorite trailed in Morgantown through three quarters but consecutive scoring drives put the Cowboys up by seven in the fourth, even with the closing number although much of the week the line was down to -6 and even -5½ though it briefly hit as high as -7½ early in the week. Needing a touchdown to tie West Virginia was a late threat, reaching the 17-yard-line in the final minutes but the Mountaineers got stuck in a long downs and distances and could not finish the drive.

BYU (-42) 56, Massachusetts 24: The Cougars had a 49-0 edge at halftime and with little at stake in the second half, Massachusetts was able to get a muffed punt for short field to set up a score to get on the board. BYU still led by 46 heading into the fourth quarter and stopped the next UMass drive at the goal line to keep points off the board. The Minutemen would still add two late touchdowns with the game out of hand to secure the underdog cover with the massive price.

Minnesota (-16) 38, Northwestern 22: Tanner Morgan being cleared to play for the Gophers pushed this line upward but the Gophers turned in a 21-0 edge by early in the second quarter. Northwestern would stay in the game however and is was only a 28-16 score through three quarters. Minnesota would add 10 points in the fourth to lead by 22 but with about two minutes to go Northwestern completed a 77-yard drive and down 16 went for two in a key play for some with the late rise on the spread. The conversion failed as Minnesota cleared the number for all but the latest backers who left with a push.

UCF (-8) 34, Tulane 31: UCF had a 31-17 lead through three quarters and a field goal made the margin 17 with about 10 minutes remaining. Tulane didn’t mail it in however and added a touchdown with seven minutes to go. Rather than adding a field goal UCF went for it on 4th down late in the game and didn’t get there, leaving time for the Wave. After an earlier 4th down conversion Tulane faced 4th and goal from the 7 with 26 seconds left down by 10 and converted for the spread-stealing score.

Michigan State (-21½) 27, Rutgers 0: Michigan State looked to snap its losing streak and got in front of Rutgers 17-0 by halftime. The Spartans only added a field goal in the third quarter but got the ball right back with an interception. Michigan State added a touchdown four plays later and forced two late Rutgers punts to preserve the shutout and road favorite cover.

Air Force (-24½) 44, New Mexico 22: Air Force had only a 14-10 lead at halftime as the heavy favorite cover looked unlikely. The lead was just 21-16 after exchanging touchdowns but a blocked PAT gave Air Force two points after New Mexico’s touchdown. A few minutes later the Falcons hit on a 59-yard pass play to lead by 14. Air Force added two more scores both in the air in the fourth quarter to lead 44-16 but New Mexico would eventually answer with fewer than two minutes remaining. Down 22, the Lobos went for two and failed to leave the margin there at 22 on a spread that climbed from 21½ to 24½ during the week.

Georgia (-12) 19, Texas A&M 13: Georgia never really got going on offense but managed to lead by 13 into the second half even with only one of four scoring drives going further than 23 yards. Field goals were exchanged as early in the fourth Georgia still led by 13 but the Aggies converted a pair of 3rd-and-longs on the way to a touchdown with 11 minutes remaining. Texas A&M reached the Georgia 43 on a late drive down six but opted to punt on 4th-and-11 with still more than four minutes remaining and three timeouts left but the Bulldogs never gave the ball back.

USC (-12½) 52, UCLA 35: USC scored four straight touchdowns in the middle of this game to lead by 24 but UCLA trimmed the margin to 10 by the start of the fourth quarter. Seconds into the final frame USC connected for a 49-yard touchdown to go back up by 17 but UCLA was able to answer. Defensive stops weren’t common in this rivalry game and USC was back in the end zone a few minutes later on the way to amassing 643 yards in the game. Down 17 UCLA went for it on 4th-and-7 in field goal range came up short late in the game leaving the deficit at 17 despite producing 540 yards in the game.

California (-1½) 24, Stanford 20: The Game was knotted at 17-17 halfway through the fourth quarter before Stanford connected for a 44-yard field goal with just 2:23 remaining. Chase Garbers led the Bears 75 yards in just six plays, finishing the drive with a 16-yard run to go in front and the Bears held on defense for the win, eliminating Stanford from bowl contention.

Navy (-3) 35, SMU 28: SMU led 21-10 at the half but Navy was within one by the start of the fourth quarter. Just seconds into the fourth the Midshipmen delivered the go-ahead touchdown and got the two-point conversion to lead by seven. SMU didn’t take long to answer hitting a 61-yard touchdown pass but Navy had a 70-yard touchdown run a few minutes later. SMU reached the Navy 12-yard-line in the final minutes before being stopped on 4th-and-4.

UAB (-6½) 20, Louisiana Tech 14: The Blazers led 20-7 through three quarters but Louisiana Tech spoiled the cover with a 14-play touchdown drive in the fourth quarter following a UAB interception in the end zone. There was little production either way in the final eight minutes as the final margin landed on six with a push a common result as well and results both ways possible depending on the timing.

New Mexico State (-7) 44, UTEP 35: The Aggies led 21-16 through three quarters before scoring exploded in the fourth. UTEP would briefly take the lead 22-21 but then New Mexico State added the next 16 points including a defensive score to lead by 15. UTEP closed to within eight but The Aggies answered with a 53-yard touchdown run. As time expired UTEP would find the end zone but it wasn’t quite enough with a nine-point final.

Wake Forest (-6) 39, Duke 27: Wake Forest had a convincing yardage edge and a 10-point lead heading into the fourth quarter but Duke was able to stay within striking distance with a touchdown early in the fourth and then held the Demon Deacons to a short field goal. Duke then delivered 98-yard kickoff return touchdown to suddenly take the lead. Wake Forest would answer in only three plays but couldn’t get the conversion and led by just five on a favorite spread that fell from -7½ to just -6 by kickoff. Duke wasn’t able to pick up a first down but the defense had a chance to get the ball back as Wake Forest went for it on 4th down just outside of field goal range. An 11-yard run followed and the Demon Deacons were into the end zone two plays later for the 12-point final margin.

Cincinnati (-8½) 15, Temple 13: The Bearcats led 13-0 through three quarters in this game despite several scoring chances for Temple in the first three quarters and a substantial production edge for the underdog Owls. The favorite spread for Cincinnati crashed from -10½ to -8½ on Saturday and the favorite cover still seemed possible after Temple finally got on the board as the PAT was blocked and returned the other way to keep Cincinnati ahead by nine. Temple forced a 3-and-out on defense and converted two third downs on the way to another touchdown to trail by two with seven minutes to go. Cincinnati missed a field goal on the next drive to give the Owls a great shot at the upset. A play after converting a 4th down, Temple quarterback Anthony Russo was intercepted taking a shot into Cincinnati territory as the Bearcats survived to stay perfect in AAC play.

Arkansas State (-1) 38, Georgia Southern 33: Big plays were the name of the game for Arkansas State with four early touchdowns on passes for 27 or more yards plus a 94-yard kickoff return touchdown, taking a 35-10 lead. Georgia Southern produced a massive rushing edge in this game however and while more methodical in its pace, found a way back in the game. A touchdown and a two-point conversion in the third quarter brought the Eagles within 11 and the defense caught a break with a missed Red Wolves field goal. With about five minutes left in the game Georgia Southern scored to climb within five and Arkansas State again missed a kick trying to extend the lead to eight. In the final two minutes Georgia Southern reached the Arkansas State 33-yard-line before taking a sack and a 4th-and-11 scramble netted only 10 yards as the Red Wolves escaped.

LSU (-41) 56, Arkansas 20: Two Arkansas field goals early in the game seemed possibly enough for the underdog cover with a massive spread in this contest. LSU managed two touchdowns late in the first half however and took over in the third quarter, eventually leading by 50 early in the fourth quarter. Arkansas would score twice in the fourth however including a short field score following a successful on-side kick to take the spread win.

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4Q Covers Week 12

4th Quarter Covers – NCAA Week 12

11/16/2019

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread in the fourth quarter last week in the 12th weekend of the college football. Each week there are several teams that cover despite not necessarily deserving it, as well as other teams that played much better than the final score shows.

Western Michigan (PK) 37, Ohio 34: Western Michigan led 10-0 at halftime but Ohio took a 14-10 lead eight minutes into the third quarter. A back-and-forth finish followed with the game eventually knotted 24-24 with 10 minutes to go. Western Michigan put together a touchdown drive to lead by seven and then stopped Ohio inside the 10-yard-line to seemingly wrap up the game. The Bobcats still had all three timeouts however and got the ball back with 47 seconds to work with. Nathan Rourke delivered four straight completions to find the end zone with nine seconds to go and the Bobcats opted to kick to play overtime. Ohio had to settle for a field goal going first in the extra session and in just three plays the Broncos got the win with a touchdown.

Northern Illinois (+1½) 31, Toledo 28: The Huskies were in command with a 28-7 edge through three quarters but Toledo put a scoring drive together to cut the margin to 14 points. A botched punt attempt provided the break the Rockets needed to get back in the game, inheriting great field position and closing the margin to seven points two plays later. Toledo would force another punt on defense and went 91 yards to tie the game with about five minutes remaining. The slight underdog Huskies were able to milk most of the clock and come away with the go-ahead field goal in the final minute and the Rockets ran out of time despite eventually reaching the 26-yard-line.

Kent State (+6½) 30, Buffalo 27: The Bulls had a commanding 27-6 edge in the fourth quarter before Kent State turned in perhaps the comeback of the season. The Flashes scored two touchdowns in the span of 27 seconds of game clock in the middle of the fourth quarter thanks to an onside kick recovery. The Flashes were set to get the ball back quickly after forcing a 3-and-out and did even better, blocking the punt to start at the 4-yard-line. Despite the field position it came down to 4th-and-goal but Dustin Crum got the completion for the tying score. Buffalo again was held to a punt and now with a chance to win Kent State had possession with about two minutes remaining, getting the 44-yard field goal as time expired after consecutive timeouts.

Pittsburgh (-4½) 34, North Carolina 27: The Panthers had a 24-10 edge into the fourth quarter but the Tar Heels hit a few big plays to quickly tie the game. Slowing down the pace Pittsburgh drained nearly seven minutes off the clock before kicking a field goal that wasn’t going to be enough against the home favorite spread. The Tar Heels reached the red zone late in the game but went backwards and facing 4th-and-12, kicked for overtime. Pittsburgh was backed up but converted on 3rd-and-14 and eventually scored seven going first in overtime, allowing for the favorite to have a shot to still cover. North Carolina converted 4th-and-4 on its overtime possession but took a sack and was left with 4th-and-16 and the final throw fell incomplete.

Northwestern (-38) 45, Massachusetts 6: This game got a bit more coverage than it deserved based on the oddity of the line with the low-scoring Wildcats a massive favorite. The line climbed as high as -41½ on a Northwestern team that had scored 100 total points over the first nine games. The first touchdown came on a field goal block as the Wildcats didn’t score on offense until 22 minutes into the game and stayed well short of the spread through three quarters with a 24-6 edge. Northwestern would take over in the fourth quarter however with three consecutive touchdowns incredibly giving the Wildcats as a 39-point edge with just over five minutes remaining to slip past the opening and closing numbers though there were plenty of successful UMass tickets in the middle. The Minutemen were a threat to spoil it but only could reach the Northwestern 6-yard-line on the final play as time expired.

UAB (-14) 37, UTEP 10: The Blazers took a 23-0 lead in this game but UTEP got on the board just before halftime and by the early fourth quarter had closed to within 20 points, or a touchdown short of covering. The Miners reached UAB territory on its next drive but opted to go for it on 4th-and-7 and fell incomplete. UAB didn’t look like a threat to add points but on 3rd-and-long connected for a 40-yard touchdown to make a late UTEP drive inside the UAB 5-yard-line meaningless. 

Oklahoma State (-18) 31, Kansas 13: The Cowboys cruised to a comfortable win over Kansas and led 31-0 through three quarters. The Jayhawks didn’t go away however with a touchdown halfway through the fourth quarter after an Oklahoma State field goal miss, but an unsuccessful 2-point try kept Kansas down by 25. Oklahoma State went 51 yards on its next drive but still wound up punting and Kansas was able to put another touchdown in with just over a minute to go, bringing the margin to 19. The Jayhawks kicked this time and the 18-point final matched the closing spread though -17 or -17½ remained common numbers that still cashed.

TCU (-4) 33, Texas Tech 31: An early 17-0 edge for TCU disappeared with a 27-16 margin at halftime and Texas Tech leading 28-27 through three quarters. The spread consistently climbed higher for the road team throughout the week after opening with the Red Raiders as a one-point favorite at some outlets. Field goals were exchanged early in the fourth quarter, then TCU burned a significant amount of clock and reached the Texas Tech 4-yard-line before offensive pass interference pushed the Frogs back. Ultimately TCU had to settle for a short go-ahead field goal rather than a touchdown that could have cleared the favorite spread. After a pair of punts Texas Tech would get the ball back with two minutes to work with but fumbled away its opportunity on 1st down.

Wisconsin (-14) 37, Nebraska 21: The Cornhuskers came to play in this game but had a few tough breaks, allowing a kickoff return touchdown while also giving up a short field score after an interception as Wisconsin led 27-14 at halftime and 34-14 late in the third quarter despite Nebraska winding up with more yardage in the game and having little trouble moving the ball against the highly regarded Wisconsin defense. Nebraska snuck within the spread with a touchdown late in the third quarter to trail by 13 after missing a field goal earlier in the quarter but in the fourth quarter the Huskers had drives of 81 and 74 yards that both come up empty on 4th-and-goal failures. In-between those long scoreless efforts for Nebraska, Wisconsin added a field goal to win by 16.

Iowa (-3) 23, Minnesota 19: Iowa was in command in the first half with a 20-3 edge but Minnesota managed a field goal just before halftime and going first after the break the Gophers looked the part of a comeback threat with a quick touchdown to close to within seven. A long scoring drought on both sides followed and included what will be an infamous moment for P.J. Fleck as he was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct call for running on to the field to check on injured player after a 4th down incompletion, eliminating leaving Iowa back inside its own 10-yard-line. Iowa eventually converted a short field goal to lead by 10 nearly midway through the fourth quarter. Minnesota answered with a touchdown to seemingly climb even with the underdog spread but the PAT was missed in a monumental play relative to the spread. The Gophers were able to get the ball back but Tanner Morgan took a second down sack and had to leave the game with an injury. Backup quarterback Cole Kramer stepped into a tough spot with a 3rd-and-21 incompletion and a 4th-and-21 interception as Iowa held on.

Central Michigan (+1) 45, Ball State 44: The Cardinals led 27-11 at halftime and still led by 10 entering the fourth quarter. Central Michigan proved up to the task however with an early touchdown in the fourth quarter offset only by a field goal for a six-point deficit for the Chippewas. Getting the ball back with about five minutes to go, Quinten Dormady didn’t face great resistance leading a drive 72 yards in 10 plays before cashing in with a minute to go for the one-point edge. Drew Plitt wound up intercepted on 4th down for Ball State’s final opportunity as the slight underdog delivered the comeback win.

Utah State (-5) 26, Wyoming 21: The Aggies opened at -6½ but dipped to -4½ and even -3 by Saturday before a late rise to close back at -5 at some outlets. The timing wound up mattering as a 23-14 Utah State lead through three quarters was threatened. The Aggies went up by 12 with a field goal following an interception after just missing a field goal on their last drive. Wyoming answered with one of its best drives of the game to climb within five with fewer than seven minutes remaining. Utah State didn’t offer much of a threat to add points late while Wyoming’s final drive across midfield ended in an interception, the third of the day for a Cowboys team not accustomed to passing that often.

Georgia (-3) 21, Auburn 14: Auburn was kept off the board in the first half despite three drives into Georgia territory with a missed field goal, getting stopped on downs just outside of field goal range, and a fumble. Up 7-0 Georgia managed another score right before halftime to lead 14-0 and that became 21-0 with the help of a big personal foul call late in the third quarter. Auburn flipped a switch from there with two quick touchdowns and two 3-and-outs on defense and had the ball back across midfield with a chance to tie the game. A surprising replay overturn took a 1st down catch away from the Tigers and then two plays later Bo Nix missed a wide-open Harold Joiner in what would have been an easy 4th down conversion and likely a big gain. Auburn had timeouts and got the ball back with another chance in worse field position with nearly two minutes remaining but a facemask on Nix was ignored on the series and Auburn was eventually sacked on 4th down to seal the win for Georgia, who clinched the SEC East despite being held to only 251 total yards.

Iowa State (-7) 23, Texas 21: The Cyclones controlled this game but a 20-7 lead through three quarters was erased with two Texas touchdowns to suddenly put the Longhorns in the lead by one with about five minutes to go. Sam Ehlinger would get the ball back with about four minutes left after the Texas defense held but the Longhorns didn’t gain a yard before punting. Texas got hit with back-to-back pass interference calls as Iowa State looked to go back in front for 30 free yards early in the drive and then defensive offsides converted 4th-and-5 for the Cyclones. Eventually Iowa State burned the remaining clock and Connor Assalley hit the 36-yard field goal for the win but the late rally was enough for Longhorns backers.

Hawai’i (-6½) 21, UNLV 7: These teams were tied 7-7 until late in the third quarter and Cortez Davis gave the Warriors the lead with a 43-yard interception return touchdown. The Hawai’i offense added a score a few minutes later and then the defense got another interception to thwart a long UNLV drive. The Warriors then soaked up all the remaining clock with an 11-play drive to seal the win.

Washington State (-11) 49, Stanford 22: Washington State led 19-0 early in this game but Stanford remained competitive trailing 25-22 late in the third quarter. Both teams had big production totals his game but Washington State kept the scoring going, closing the game on a 24-0 run to boost the numbers and create a misleading final result with Stanford suffering two late interceptions.

Air Force (-10) 38, Colorado State 21: The Rams led 14-0 led by a defensive touchdown in the first quarter. Air Force would score 10 in the second quarter but the underdog Rams still led into the fourth quarter with a spread that reached +10½ at some outlets. Air Force took over in the final frame with a pair of scores to match the common spread with a 10-point advantage before Colorado State went 75 yards in two plays to stay in the game. Air Force scored with 2:32 to go to again make the margin 10 points and then as the Rams were poised to seal the underdog cover with a red zone opportunity, the Falcons got a 99-yard pick-six for the improbable road favorite cover.

Oregon State (+1) 35, Arizona State 34: A slight favorite all week Arizona state found itself down two scores in the second half after a short-field touchdown for the Beavers made it 35-21 late in the third quarter. It took fewer than two minutes for the Sun Devils to respond closing the margin to seven heading into the fourth. Scoring stalled from there with fumbles costing both teams scoring chances before Jayden Daniels led a 90-yard drive into the end zone. With 1:40 on the clock the Sun Devils opted to go for two but couldn’t convert as Oregon State narrowly held on.

Southern Miss (-17) 36, UTSA 17: Southern Miss allowed 422 yards to the Roadrunners in this game and led by only six late in the third quarter. A long run put the Golden Eagles up 12 heading into the fourth before five punts were traded between these teams. On a short field Southern Miss added a late touchdown to slip past the favorite spread and then had to hold off four UTSA plays from the 10-yard line with a late Roadrunners threat ending up empty.

LSU (-21½) 58, Mississippi 37: LSU continues to tantalize with its offense posting big numbers again but a now 4-7 Mississippi team put 614 yards up against allegedly the #1 team in the nation as the championship trophy shouldn’t be shipped to Baton Rouge just yet. LSU led 28-0 early in this game but Ole Miss made several charges back into the contest including trimming the margin down to 11 points late in the third quarter. The Tigers would push the margin back to 21 with about five minutes to go in the game but the Rebels would answer with another big play. LSU ran for a 49-yard score on the first play after recovering the onside kick and the game ultimately would end with Ole Miss barely hanging on to the heavy underdog cover as LSU took a knee at the 10-yard-line.

Oregon (-27) 34, Arizona 6: Arizona trailed by 22 heading into the fourth quarter as the defense kept Oregon in check respectably but the offense wasn’t able to take advantage of a Justin Herbert interception to add points in the fourth quarter. The Ducks connected for a 33-yard touchdown with about 10 minutes remaining to slip past the spread with a 28-point edge, even with a missed PAT. Arizona reached the red zone on the next possession but after converting a 4th down via penalty earlier in the drive, the Wildcats failed to come through on 4th down from the Oregon 13-yard-line. The Wildcats had another late drive into Oregon territory but couldn’t add points as Oregon managed to cover the nearly four-touchdown spread despite scoring only five touchdowns.

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Free Pick Saturday

#360 Oregon State +2.5 over Arizona State 6:30 PM CT

Oregon State has covered in six of the past eight in this series but has lost by double-digits each of the past two seasons. Jayden Daniels wound up not playing last week with a knee injury but after falling behind early the Sun Devils made a late charge behind Joey Yellen. Oregon State’s rise to respectability this season took a hit hosting Friday night TV action with a loss to Washington that was a far worse showing than the score revealed with the Beavers held to 119 yards. This is still the team second place in the Pac-12 North and winning this game is a must for a bowl bid with a finale at Oregon still ahead for the upstart Beavers. This line camping out at +2.5 to attract action on the road favorite looks favorable and the Beavers are worth a shot to get the job done today for a fourth Pac-12 win for the first time since 2013.

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4Q Covers Week 10

4th Quarter Covers – NCAA Week 10

11/02/2019

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread in the fourth quarter last week in the 10th weekend of the college football season to start November. Each week there are several teams that cover despite not necessarily deserving it, as well as other teams that played much better than the final score shows.

Coastal Carolina (+2) 36, Troy 35: It was clear early on that this Sun Belt game would be a high-scoring back-and-forth affair with five touchdowns combined in the first quarter. Coastal Carolina scored 11 points out the break to lead by seven but Troy answered to tie the game heading into the final frame on a spread that was near-even most of the week with the Trojans closing as a slight favorite. Troy got the ball back in the fourth and connected for a touchdown to go up by seven with just over eight minutes remaining. The Chanticleers couldn’t answer but pinned Troy deep and got the ball back with over two minutes remaining though having already used up all three timeouts. Bryce Carpenter and Coastal Carolina faced only one third down in an 11-play drive resulting in a touchdown and playing to win Coastal Carolina went for two. Pass interference was called on the initial failed conversion but inched closer on the retry CJ Marable raced in to take the lead and secure the clear cover for Coastal Carolina.

Pittsburgh (-9½) 20, Georgia Tech 10: Pittsburgh had a nearly 2-to-1 yardage edge while holding Georgia Tech below 200 yards for the game but the Yellow Jackets got a third quarter field goal following a blocked punt to trail by only seven. The Yellow Jackets were poised to tie the game reaching 1st-and-goal from the 6-yard-line but fumbled on 3rd down with a 79-yard return setting up a Pittsburgh field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter to put the Panthers back up by 10, past a spread that jumped from -7½ to -9½. Pittsburgh couldn’t put the game away missing a 44-yard field goal later in the fourth but Georgia Tech’s next play was an interception. The Yellow Jackets would punt deep in their own territory with more than six minutes remaining and never held the ball again as Pittsburgh escaped with the win and narrow cover.

Purdue (+4) 31, Nebraska 27: Adrian Martinez returned for Nebraska and fueled a 10-0 first quarter for the Cornhuskers. By halftime Purdue led 14-10 however, scoring with 14 seconds before the break on 3rd down to complete a 96-yard drive. Nebraska took a 3-point lead early in the fourth quarter and still led by three with about four minutes remaining after an exchange of touchdowns with a road favorite spread that was commonly at -3 upon release before sliding upward to -4 by kickoff. Purdue went 82 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with just over a minute remaining relying on Aidan O’Connell at quarterback after Jack Plummer was injured again earlier in the fourth quarter.

Arkansas State (-1) 48, UL-Monroe 41: The Warhawks led 21-3 early in this game before four touchdowns from Arkansas State in the span of just over 12 minutes in the second quarter. UL-Monroe would rally to tie the game by the end of the third quarter but the Red Wolves would strike first in the fourth and would add a second touchdown in the middle of the fourth to pull away. The Warhawks got back within seven and crossed midfield on its final drive before running out of time.

Tulane (-10) 38, Tulsa 26: Tulsa led 13-10 in the second quarter but would up down 31-16 by the end of the third quarter with a defensive score for Tulane part of the turnaround. The Golden Hurricane would climb within five with 10 minutes to go but on 4th-and-goal with fewer than five minutes to go Tulane was able to cross the goal line and slip past the favorite spread with a 12-point final margin as a torturous run of late-game stumbles continued for Tulsa.

Utah (-3) 33, Washington 28: Washington led 21-13 late in the third quarter before a pick-6 put Utah right back in the game. The Utes missed on the two-point conversion but added a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to suddenly lead by 12. Washington would score a late touchdown but it wasn’t enough as the Utes avenged the Pac-12 championship loss from last season while stealing the cover as well in a game that Washington didn’t trail in until the fourth quarter.

South Carolina (-14½) 24, Vanderbilt 7: The Gamecocks led 14-7 through three quarters despite dominating the production in the game. A fourth quarter field goal after an interception calmed the upset risk and after forcing a punt the Gamecocks put the game away with a 76-yard touchdown drive completed with about six minutes remaining. Vanderbilt had another interception on its next possession as South Carolina escaped with the win and the narrow favorite cover.

Memphis (-5½) 54, SMU 48: The showcase game in the AAC Saturday night lived up to its billing much of the way before Memphis pulled away late in the third quarter. Down 16 entering the fourth quarter SMU was able to get eight to cut the margin in half but about a minute later the Tigers were back in the end zone. Memphis would go up 54-32 with about nine minutes remaining but SMU delivered a long run to stay in the game. Down 14 with just over two minutes to go SMU found the end zone and again went for two, converting a third straight two-pointer with this late conversion having a big impact on plenty of folks with late week numbers of -6 or -6½ on the Tigers.

Nevada (-4) 21, New Mexico 10: The Wolf Pack scored a pair of touchdowns in the span of three minutes in the second quarter to lead by seven at the break. New Mexico managed a field goal in the third to trail by four, even with the closing spread though lines as high as -6½ and as low as -3 were possible at various times. Early in the fourth quarter New Mexico reached the Nevada 11-yard-line but failed going for it on 4th-and-1. A series of punts followed before a solid return sparked a short-field Nevada touchdown drive to go up by 11 with just over five minutes remaining. New Mexico’s final drive reached Nevada territory before four straight incomplete passes for a Lobos team not used to throwing.

Fresno State (+2) 41, Hawai’i 38: The Warriors led by 10 at halftime, getting 48-yard touchdown 23 seconds before the break. In the third quarter Fresno State took over, outscoring Hawai’i 17-0 to take a 31-24 lead into the fourth and a few minutes into the final frame the Bulldogs went up by 14 after an interception. Hawai’i turned in a long drive to answer but came up empty despite reaching 1st-and-goal from the 4. Getting the ball back with fewer than four minutes remaining Hawai’i got back within seven and then saw Fresno State fumble on the kickoff. Five plays later the game was tied with just over a minute remaining with a roughing the passer call aiding the drive led by Chevan Cordeiro, who took over for Cole McDonald earlier in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs were left with enough time and with limited resistance. Fresno State reached long field goal range. On 3rd-and-10 Fresno State picked up 13 yards to make it a more manageable kick and Cesar Silva was good from 37 yards to seal the minor upset as time expired.

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Free NCAA Pick Saturday

Western Kentucky +1 over Florida Atlantic 3 PM CT

The Owls had 576 yards and pulled away in the second half at home in this matchup last season, sending the Hilltoppers to 1-9 in a challenging 2018 season. FAU dominated Old Dominion last week 41-3 for now five wins in the past six games to sit on the edge of bowl eligibility after missing out last season. FAU has scored at least 28 points in six straight games but now will face a Western Kentucky defense that may be the best in the conference. The Hilltoppers have held five opponents to 14 or fewer points this season while allowing only 70 points combined in five conference games. Western Kentucky lost by three at Marshall last week as the Herd made a 53-yard field goal as time expired after the Hilltoppers tied the game in the fourth quarter. That loss opens the door for Marshall and FAU in the division race but the oddsmakers are showing a lot of respect for the home team with Tyson Helton posting one of the more impressive first-year coaching performances in the nation so far. With the line dropping from -3 all the way to +1 with action on the more popular and well known Owls behind Lane Kiffin, the time is right to jump in on the Hilltoppers at home.

Nelly’s went 3-1 last Saturday including sweeping our 2* and 3* picks – get a 2/3 offer Saturday for $25 or play our full weekend package for HALF PRICE this week for only $30!

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4Q Covers NCAA Week 9

4th Quarter Covers – NCAA Week 9

10/27/2019

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread in the fourth quarter last week in the ninth big weekend of the college football season to close October. Each week there are several teams that cover despite not necessarily deserving it, as well as other teams that played much better than the final score shows.

Toledo (-2½) 37, Eastern Michigan 34: This MAC contest had major momentum swings going from 10-0 to 10-10 by halftime before Toledo scored three touchdowns in the first six minutes of the third quarter to lead 31-10. Eastern Michigan would take over the game with three consecutive touchdowns, the third of which tied the game with 2:35 to go. Toledo fumbled deep in its own territory on the next possession to seemingly hand the Eagles the game but the Eagles would miss a 33-yard field goal. Going first in overtime Eastern Michigan would settle for another field goal and made it but on a 3rd-and-10 Toledo would find the end zone for the win and narrow cover.

Southern Miss (-10) 20, Rice 6: Rice got on the board with a touchdown with six minutes to go in the third quarter to trail by only seven after missing the PAT. The Owls wound up with only 139 yards in the game but were in position to cover with Southern Miss missing a field goal in the fourth that would have put the Golden Eagles up by 10. Looking to run the clock out Southern Miss converted a 3rd down near midfield and Rice called timeout with 1:24 remaining. The Owls got a stop on 1st down but on 2nd down Kevin Perkins broke through for 38 yards and a touchdown, slipping past the spread with 32 seconds to go.

Hawai’i (-10) 45, New Mexico 31: The outcome in Albuquerque was not in doubt for long with a 35-3 halftime lead for the Warriors. New Mexico broke a 67-yard run in the third quarter to find the end zone but Hawai’i added 10 more points to lead 45-10 with nine minutes remaining. New Mexico would score three consecutive touchdowns to become a late backdoor cover threat and they had the ball back with more than three minutes to go. The offense moved the ball and had a new set of downs at the Hawai’i 28-yard-line with a score looking inevitable, but an interception would save Warriors backers with 2:25 to go.

Marshall (-3½) 26, Western Kentucky 23: The line on this game fell throughout the week but Marshall took command early up 23-7 with a field goal midway through the third quarter. Western Kentucky would score near the end of the third to climb within 10 but missed on the PAT. The Hilltoppers quickly were a threat to score again but settled for a short field goal from 1st-and-goal. Up seven Marshall stalled near midfield and had to punt and Ty Storey led Western Kentucky quickly down the field, tying the game at the 6:19 mark. After an exchange of punts, overtime looked likely as a dormant Marshall offense had just over a minute to work with but the Herd inched their way down the field going 51 yards in 10 plays to have a late shot, with kicker Justin Rohrwasser winning the game after an icing attempt by hitting from 53 yards, though those on the favorite were hoping for overtime.

Appalachian State (-28) 30, South Alabama 3: The Mountaineers couldn’t have been much more in control of this game but through three quarters the lead was just 23-0 on a spread that was as low as -24½ early in the week and climbed to close at -28. With just over five minutes remaining South Alabama would hit a field goal to avoid the shutout and seemingly secure the underdog cover but about a minute later Appalachian State broke a 67-yard touchdown run to get there for early week wagers on the Mountaineers.

North Carolina (-3) 20, Duke 17: North Carolina led 14-3 early in the third quarter after a four-play touchdown drive out of halftime. Duke scored two touchdowns in 20 seconds of game clock in the middle of the third aided by an interception to suddenly take the lead. The eventful third quarter continued with a tying field goal from the Tar Heels before a run of five consecutive punts with only one combined first down. North Carolina would go in front with a 40-yard field goal at the 7:00 minute mark, right even with the closing spread though much of the week UNC was at -3½. Duke couldn’t answer and it appeared the Tar Heels would put the game away after they converted a 4th down in the red zone and had 1st-and-goal. On the next play a fumble was recovered by Duke and Quentin Harris would lead an epic late drive that included two fourth downs. Duke eventually had 1st-and-goal at the 3 in the final minute and inched closer with a pass interference call. The clock wound down to just 18 seconds before an inexplicable trick play went horribly wrong for Duke as after a handoff Deon Jackson leaped into the air and attempted a pass that went right to a pair of Tar Heel defenders, intercepted by former quarterback Chazz Surratt.

Navy (-5) 41, Tulane 38: Navy stormed out to a 24-0 lead and still led 31-14 at halftime. Tulane made some adjustments and benefited from good field position to add two touchdowns in the third quarter to get back in the game, trailing by only three. With 10 minutes to go Tulane tied the game with a field goal with Navy held to nine net yards on its first three second half drives. The Midshipmen made a bold decision to go for it on 4th-and-1 from their own 34 and got it and then converted another 4th-and-1 a few plays later still on their own side of the 50. Two plays later Navy was in the end zone and back up by seven with about five minutes remaining. Tulane converted its own 4th down on a 12-play 77-yard drive to tie the game with about a minute to go. Not known for big plays or quick scores Navy was able to get into field goal range and Bijan Nichols was good from 48 for the win, though Tulane held the underdog cover.

Miami, FL (+4½) 16, Pittsburgh 12: The Panthers had a severe production edge in this game but had three turnovers and settled for three field goals as Miami led 10-9 through three quarters with Miami’s scoring drives coming on 30 and 17 yards respectively. Pittsburgh was in position to take the lead midway through the fourth quarter but back-to-back penalties pushed the Panthers from the 1-yard-line to the 11 and they kicked the field goal to go up by just two. Getting the ball back with fewer than four minutes remaining a Miami offense that had produced 154 net yards in the game didn’t seem like a great threat for a game-winning drive but a 4th down was converted near midfield and Jarren Williams hit K.J. Osborn for a 32-yard touchdown with 58 seconds to go.

Charlotte (+3½) 39, North Texas 38: The Mean Green led by 14 entering the fourth quarter but Charlotte would hit a big play to climb within eight and failed going for two. The 49ers would block a North Texas field goal attempt with just over six minutes to go to stay in the game and they quickly added another touchdown but again were unable to come up with the conversion. On its next drive North Texas kicker Ethan Mooney hit from 51 to push the lead to five with just over a minute remaining, a huge kick for those involved on the spread. It wound up not mattering however as Charlotte’s offense again wouldn’t be stopped, going the distance and finding the end zone with 18 seconds to go for the win.

LSU (-12½) 23, Auburn 20: LSU led just 16-13 through three quarters despite a substantial production edge, missing a few opportunities to get ahead further in the third quarter. An 11-play drive that was completed early in the fourth quarter put LSU up by 10 before six consecutive punts as LSU was unable to pull away. Auburn would add a late touchdown for get within three despite a 508-287 yardage edge for LSU.

Memphis (-9½) 42, Tulsa 41: Memphis led 14-0 quickly in this game and still was ahead 35-24 late in the third quarter. Tulsa would rally however with a touchdown late in the third, a quick Memphis punt, and a 14-play, 85-yard touchdown drive that put the Hurricane in front. Memphis would fumble to hand the ball right back but Tulsa had to settle for a field goal to lead by six. A nice kickoff return put the Tigers in good field position and three plays later Memphis was back in front by one. Tulsa delivered a great final drive but kicker Jacob Rainey missed from only 29 yards as the Tigers escaped to set-up next week’s big AAC West showdown with SMU.

Kansas (+6½) 37, Texas Tech 34: Texas Tech led 27-14 late in the third quarter but Kansas would connect for a 65-yard touchdown, getting within seven after the PAT was blocked. The Jayhawks hit another big play in the fourth quarter with a 70-yard pass play to tie the game. Texas Tech answered just a few plays later with a long strike of its own to go back up by seven, just past the common spread. After a pair of punts Kansas delivered a 10-play touchdown drive to tie the game with about five minutes to go and the Jayhawks would force a quick punt on defense. Carter Stanley led an effective drive that chewed up the remaining time and Kansas lined up for a field goal with 13 seconds to go. The kick was blocked and recovered by Texas Tech but fumbled back to Kansas on an ill-advised lateral attempt. Two seconds remained on the clock and with the change of possession it was first down and Kansas kicked in the game-winner on the retry.

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Free Pick Saturday

#141 California +21 over Utah 9:00 PM

Purely on a numbers perspective this is an instance where an elite defense is getting three touchdowns in a game with one of the lowest totals of the season, at just 36.5. After early week expectations that he could miss this game, Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley is expected to play tonight but if his leg injury impacts him it could greatly affect the Utah offense with his ability to scramble and move in the pocket of great importance in this system. The injuries on California’s side are more significant, already down to backup quarterback Devon Modster, he left late in last week’s game to give way to freshman Spencer Brasch. Even at full strength, California wouldn’t project to score significantly in this game as the downgrade isn’t likely worth what has been a four-point swing in this price since it opened last Sunday. California has now allowed more than 24 points in any game this season including road games vs. Washington and Oregon while in Pac-12 play Utah has twice been held below 24 points as in reality one Bears score could be enough to cover in this contest.

A 3* Top Play is available from Nelly’s for $35 or you can get our Saturday and Sunday cards in our Half Price Weekend package.

Don’t miss Maximum’s 15* College Game of the Year tonight!