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Saturday, September 8
10:30 ET
ESPN

The biggest factor (or non-factor) of this game will be the health of Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase. Even if the star quarterback plays, he will likely be restricted by an ankle injury. The Fighting Illini offense has had
problems with consistency even with Scheelhaase in the game. They need him to make plays through the air and ground if they want to move the ball and sustain drives. Their rushing attack looked very skeptical last week as Scheelhaase was the leading rusher (7 carries for 21 yards). The defense of Illinois ended up carrying the team last week in a win over Western Michigan. Expect that defense to allow Illinois to hang around, but ultimately Arizona State’s quick-strike attack should pull away in the second half to win the game and cover the spread. Ultimately, the Sun Devils are more stable, disciplined, and healthy than a Fighting Illini program still trying to figure things out with a new coach, injured star QB, playing in a tough environment on the road. Take Arizona State -4.

 
 
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Saturday, September 8
3:30 ET
Big Ten Network

The talent gap between these two teams has been gradually closing for the past several seasons. Iowa State pulled off the big upset last year, and they will look to repeat that success this year in Iowa City. Cyclone QB Steele Jantz looked poised in the season opener, even when Iowa State trailed early in the game against Tulsa. He has established a good connection with his favorite wideout, Josh Lentz. Meanwhile, Iowa QB James Vandenberg struggled in the vertical passing game against Northern Illinois. He had 21 completions for only 129 yards. Iowa had to rely on the ground game to notch a late touchdown to get the 18-17 win. If Iowa cannot pose a threatening downfield passing game, look for Iowa State to load the box and shut down the Hawkeyes one-dimensional offense. Iowa State’s balanced offensive attack led by Jantz should keep Iowa on their heels for most of the game. Even though the spread of this game has decreased from 5 to 3.5, it is still a good play considering ISU has a good chance at pulling off the outright win. After all, the underdog has won six straight against the spread in this matchup. Take Iowa State +3.5.

 
 
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Saturday, September 8
10:30 ET
Pac-12 Network

This matchup between the Cowboys and Wildcats has all the makings for a high-scoring affair late Saturday night. After all, the over/under on this game is set at 68. If this game does turn into a shootout, look for Oklahoma State to outpace Arizona down the stretch. Oklahoma State freshman QB, Wes Lunt, will receive his first true test against a major BCS opponent. Lunt, along with most of the Cowboy’s starters only played in the first quarter of their 84-0 routing of Savannah State. Meanwhile, Arizona’s new starter at quarterback, senior Matt Scott, needed more than four quarters to help his team secure a 24-17 overtime victory over Toledo.  Arizona’s offense looked impressive in the game, but they turned the ball over in several critical situations, which kept the game close. As coach of Oklahoma State, Mike Gundy is an impressive 13-4-1 ATS as an away favorite. On the other sideline, new Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez is still trying to implement his system to a program in transition. Take Oklahoma State -10.5.

 
 
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Sunday, September 2
6:30 ET
FSN

As of Sunday morning, the point spread on this game has fallen from Baylor by 10.0 to 7.5. The late money in favor of SMU could probably be attributed to the public having less confidence in a Baylor team without RGIII. However, senior Bear’s QB Nick Florence is fully capable of running an offense that still has an abundance of talent returning from an impressive 2011 campaign. The Bears usually play well at home, and they are 21-13 ATS as a home favorite under Art Briles. Meanwhile, SMU only has three starters returning on offense led by Texas transfer QB Garrett Gilbert. They will face a Baylor defense that should be improved, returning its entire secondary from last season. SMU will have a difficult time keeping up with a still potent Baylor offense. Take Baylor -7.5.