College Football Picks: Rutgers at South Florida Betting Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 11/2/2010
It’s hard to figure out the Big East these days, as two-time defending champion Cincinnati is in the conference basement while perennial doormat Syracuse looks like the biggest challenger to first-place Pittsburgh. This Rutgers-USF game could still have an impact on the conference race as Rutgers 4-3 overall and 1-1 in the Big East while USF is 4-3 and 1-2.
The Scarlet Knights enter Wednesday’s game on a down note, having been blasted, 41-21, by Pittsburgh back on Oct. 23. But certainly the Rutgers players’ heads probably weren’t in that one as it came a week after Eric LeGrand, a defensive lineman, became paralyzed from the neck down while making a tackle against Army. It also didn’t help that leading rusher Mohamed Sanu was dealing with a foot injury and carried just once for one yard as Pitt outgained the Scarlet Knights 513-203. Sanu is much healthier with the time off.
USF, meanwhile, enters off easily its best effort of the season, a 38-30 victory over Cincinnati. That was the Bulls’ first win this season over a major Division I program. The USF offense had five touchdowns after not having scored a single one in the previous two games.
Last year when these two met in New Jersey, Rutgers won, 31-0, in the first regular-season shutout in USF history. Rutgers forced four turnovers, blocked a punt and recorded seven sacks. It was the fourth straight win for Rutgers in the series and it has rushed for more than 100 yards in all four.
Rutgers at South Florida College Football Odds and Line Movement
South Florida is a 10.5-point favorite with the total at 41.5. It’s a near 50-50 split on the side lean. The line opened at 9.5 at most books while the total has risen maybe a half-point at some books. USF is 3-4 ATS this year and 3-4 at home, while Rutgers is 1-6 ATS and 0-2 at home.
The Quarterback Story
Rutgers Coach Greg Schiano is going to stick with Chas Dodd as the team’s starting quarterback. The true freshman has started the past three games, winning his first two starts. But he was ineffective in a 41-21 loss to Pitt and was pulled late in the game in favor of Tom Savage, the team's former starter and one of the top freshman QBs in the nation last year.
Schiano had said there would be a competition during the team's opening week and Savage had been dealing with some nagging injuries but is now healthy. Dodd, a true freshman, is 58-of-110 for 817 yards with five touchdown passes and three interceptions, while Savage started the first four games this season.
As for Daniels, he had been awful in the previous two games prior to beating Cincinnati. Against the Bearcats he was 13-of-16 for 286 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions and he also rushed for two scores. In the previous two games Daniels had five interceptions. In three losses Daniels has thrown a total of nine interceptions. In four wins he has one interception total. He was totally held in check last year vs. Rutgers and turned the ball over three times.
This and That
Rutgers ranks last nationally in sacks allowed per game (4.71) and total sacks allowed (33). The offensive line has allowed 15 sacks in the past two games and Schiano promised some changes. One likely change will be that converted defensive lineman Andre Civil will see his first college snaps, likely at right tackle.
South Florida is tied for ninth nationally in sacks per game.
The ‘over’ is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings and the underdog is also 4-1 in the past five. USF is just 1-5 ATS in its past six following a victory.
A victory in this one would be the 100th in USF history.
Rutgers at USF College Football Picks and Predictions
I have little doubt that USF wins this game – after it all did also just break a four-game losing streak to Cincinnati – but 10.5 points is too many. So take the Knights before that line dips back under double digits. That’s a low total, however, so take the ‘over’.
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