Cash in on college football Saturday by parlaying three money line home favorites -- Duke, Michigan State and Washington State -- that enjoy solid matchup and situational advantages.
Dating to last season, Duke has covered its last 8 when rushing for 200+ yards. The Blue Devils face a Pittsburgh defense that repeatedly gets gashed for 200+ rush yards. The Panthers rank 106th in allowing 5.2 rush yards per carry and 94th in allowing 194 rush yards per game.
Running back Shaun Wilson holds the record at Duke with 6 rushing touchdowns of 50+ yards. He can display his big-play ability against a Pittsburgh run defense that allows .6 yards per carry more on the road. Brittain Brown provides support as a backup, averaging 6 yards per carry to Wilson's 5.8.
Offensively, Pittsburgh cannot rely on a quarterback. Backup Ben DiNucci is mustering a passer rating of only 113.7, with 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Pittsburgh's coach has so little confidence in DiNucci that, in a still fairly close game last week, he replaced him with a freshman. DiNucci will play vs Duke's respectably ranked passing defense that has yet to allow 300 yards to a quarterback this season.
Pittsburgh does not have the tools on offense to keep up with Duke.Indiana at No. 18 Michigan State
The Spartans' defense had not given up 20+ points in a game since they relaxed with a dominant lead last week in the fourth quarter against Minnesota. The Spartans have progressed from 65th last season with 29.1 points allowed per game to 16th at 18.2 ppg.
An enormous issue with Sparty's defense last season was its anemic pass rush. Mike Panasiuk and Raequan Williams began playing a role in the defensive line towards the end of 2016 and made an instant impact. The sophomores are complemented by former walk-on Kenny Willekes, who leads the defensive line with 3 sacks. Sparty is 35th with 2.5 sacks per game. The strength of Michigan State's defense is its linebacking corps, led by rising sophomore superstar Joe Bachie and Chris Frey, who leads the team with 3.5 sacks. The linebackers learned from their soft performance against Notre Dame and, with their aggressive and collective pursuit of the ball, limited an extremely talented Michigan rush offense to 2.6 yards per carry a couple of weeks ago. The Spartans rank 10th in allowing 2.9 yards per carry.
This season, Sparty is 4-1 ATS when they allow less than 120 rushing yards, the one non-cover happening as their complacent defense allowed Minnesota to cover backdoor. Indiana's rush attack is anemic and ranks 103rd with 3.5 rush yards per carry. The Hoosiers' absence of rush attack helped motivate their decision to turn to freshman Peyton Ramsey at quarterback. The mobile but often inaccurate Ramsey has yet to develop consistency against Big Ten opponents, having thrown 3 interceptions and completed less than 50% of his passes. He's unlikely to find his way on the road against a Spartan pass defense that has yet to allow 220 passing yards in a game.
Colorado at No. 15 Washington State
Washington State looks to bounce back after an embarrassing defeat at California. Wazzu still racked up yardage, but Cal revealed the recipe for beating the Cougars: achieve pressure and force turnovers.
Whereas California ranks 12th in sacks per game, Colorado ranks 98th. The undersized defensive line especially struggles to reach the backfield. Colorado’s inability to achieve pressure will allow Luke Falk to do what he does best: scan the field, read opposing coverages, accurately place balls and maintain rhythm and tempo on offense. Before facing California, he had 19 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions. Colorado’s once highly-ranked defense has proven to be porous against Pac-12 competition. Oregon State’s Darell Garretson threw for 289 yards, almost a career high, in the Beavers’ near-upset as 10 point underdogs, and Josh Rosen threw for 327 in UCLA’s victory.
In order to keep up with the Cougars, Colorado quarterback Steven Montez must prove himself against a top-ranked secondary. The Cougars, who gave USC star Sam Darnold his worst passing performance of the season, rank 12th in opposing quarterback rating allowed and should force turnovers against the typically interception-prone Montez.Free NCAAF Pick: Duke -305 & MSU -245 & Wazzu -325Best Lines Offered: Bookmaker