Keep an eye on Hurricane Joaquin and the effect that could have on the upper half of the Eastern Seaboard. Any games on the East Coast on Saturday are likely to have inclement weather, so that should be affecting your totals betting. In fact, the matchup between No. 22 Michigan at Maryland has already been moved from 8 p.m. to noon because of the impeding storm. Thus, alter your TV plans accordingly. In addition, with that Big Ten Network game moved up, the Nebraska-Illinois game is being shifted back 20 minutes to allow for a television break between the early games on the network. Huskers-Illini, originally scheduled to kickoff at 3:42 p.m. ET, will now kick at 4:02 p.m. ET.
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Here's some news, notes and any line moves for some of Saturday's games around the country, in no particular order. It's the best weekend slate of games of the year thus far, and it's not close.
Oregon at Colorado (+7.5): This has moved from an opening of 10.5, and I don't understand that at all. I get people are down on the Ducks right now after they were spanked at home by Utah last week and fell out of the polls for the first time since 2009. And more bad news: excellent receiver Byron Marshall left in the second half against the Utes with a lower leg injury and now might miss the season. Marshall has played both running back and wide receiver during a career that has included both 1,000-yard rushing and 1,000-yard receiving seasons. He had nine catches for 121 yards and two scores in 2015. Still, this line is joke. Oregon giving less than double digits at Colorado? Maybe the Buffs are bit better than the past couple of years, but I love this game for Oregon to cover by a mile. The Ducks still have the Pac-12 North Division to play for.
South Carolina at Missouri (-2.5): Line has dropped from an open of 3.5, and I'm presuming it's because the Tigers have suspended starting quarterback Maty Mauk for the game. Mauk has started the past 18 games for Mizzou and gone 17-5 overall as a starter. He has struggled a bit this season, completing only 57-for-110 passes (51.8 percent) for 654 yards and six touchdowns against four interceptions. He has rushed 36 times for 145 yards and a score. True freshman Drew Lock, a touted recruit who is the future of the program, gets the start against the disappointing Gamecocks. Lock, who has appeared in all four games, has completed 15 of 25 passes for 225 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech (-4.5): Opened at -5. The Hokies suffered a big loss this week when All-American cornerback Kendall Fuller, a lock NFL first-round pick, was lost for the season after knee surgery. Fuller initially tore the meniscus in his knee during preseason camp but tried to play through it. He missed last week's game against East Carolina. It's not clear if this will alter Fuller's decision to declare for the 2016 draft or return as a senior. All three of Fuller's older brothers -- Vincent, Corey and Kyle -- went on to the NFL. Corey, a wide receiver for the Lions, and Kyle, a cornerback on the Bears, are currently active.
Texas Tech at No. 5 Baylor (total of 88): This actually got as high as 90.5 at some books, and I'm talking about the total and not the line on this game -- TTU at +17 after an opening of 14 -- because I can't remember a total this high. I couldn't determine what the all-time record is, but I know I've never seen 90 in the years I've been doing this. "It's the highest total ever, to my knowledge, and I've been booking totals forever," said Art Manteris, a 40-year veteran Las Vegas bookmaker and current vice president of Station Casino's sportsbook, to ESPN. And you know what, the over is taking the lean. And why not, since Baylor is No. 1 in the nation in scoring at 64.0 points per game and Texas Tech is No. 3 at 53.8; the Red Raiders are also atrocious on defense. The status of Tech QB Patrick Mahomes, who is among the nation's passing yardage leaders, is a bit in question due to injury, but I'm sure he plays. This game is in Arlington, Texas. Baylor beat TTU there last year 48-46 when a late Red Raiders rally came up a failed 2-point conversion short.
Louisville at NC State (-4.5): Opened at 5. The Cardinals are the ACC's biggest disappointment at 1-3, with that lone win coming against little Samford last week. NC State is the conference's biggest surprise at 4-0, although the Wolfpack have played one of the worst nonconference schedules you will ever see: Troy, Eastern Kentucky, Old Dominion and South Alabama. So even though they won each of those handily, I'm not sold. And now the team's top running back, Shadrach Thornton, has been dismissed from the team for his latest legal problems. Thornton led NC State last year with 768 yards rushing. He had played in just two games this season, tallying 203 yards and three touchdowns after returning from a two-game suspension because of a department rules violation.
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