A look, now, at all the big games this weekend on the NCAA landscape, complete with all relevant college football betting information (all lines courtesy Sports Interaction):
No. 9 Miami at No. 11 Virginia Tech Hurricanes -3.0, Moneyline 1.71
The Hurricanes are easily the biggest surprise of the 2009 college football season. Unranked coming into the year, Miami has racked up impressive wins over two ranked opponents – No. 18 Florida State and No. 14 Georgia Tech – with its dynamic offense. Led by all-world QB Jacory Harris, Miami is averaging 35.3 points per game and leads the ACC with 465 yards of total offense per game.
If you’re a fan of athletic, mobile quarterbacks, then this contest is for you. Harris’ exploits are well known as he’s vaulted himself into Heisman Trophy talk, but don’t sleep on the Hokies’ Tyrod Taylor, who paced Tech to a last-second win over No. 19 Nebraska last weekend. Taylor completed an 81-yard pass to Danny Coale and then an 11-yard TD pass to Dyrell Roberts with 21 ticks remaining in one of the most exciting finishes we’ve seen this year. It’ll be up to Miami DE Eric Moncour and DT Allen Bailey to slow down Taylor and the vaunted Tech running game, a tough assignment at the always-rowdy Lane Stadium in Blacksburg.
Iowa at No. 5 Penn State Nittany Lions -10, Moneyline 1.26
A classic Big 10 rivalry comes alive this weekend as the Hawkeyes travel to University Park. This one should be intense based on what happened last year, as Iowa spoiled Penn State’s national title hopes with a last-second upset win.
Iowa comes into this one unranked, though it’s not for a lack of trying – the Hawkeyes are 3-0 after dispatching Northern Iowa, Iowa State and Arizona, though none of them could be classified as “impressive” wins. This really is Iowa’s first big test of the young season. And if the Hawkeyes are going to pass this test, they’ll need to contain Penn State RB Evan Royster, who has been a star offensively – he’s run the ball 45 times for 236 yards and three TDs while hauling in four passes for 67 yards and a score, a ridiculous 16.8 yards-per-reception average. Because of this, pay close attention to the play of Iowa safety Tyler Sash; one of the best playmaking defenders in the country, he’ll have to keep an eye on Royster and deal with the passing prowess of Penn State QB Daryll Clark, a veteran signal caller that doesn’t make many mistakes.
No. 1 Florida at Kentucky Gators -21.5
Last week, the Gators were a 30-point favourite against Tennessee, but struggled throughout the contest before putting away the Vols 23-13. Traditionally, Florida has had little problems with the Wildcats, having not lost to Kentucky in over two decades, but the Gators are struggling with a team-wide flu bug. While that might help the Wildcats, there’s still going to be a ton of pressure on Kentucky QB Mike Hartline to match Florida’s expected offensive production (the Gators have scored 141 points through three games) – while Hartline has looked good in wins over Miami of Ohio and Louisville, his workload has been light and it’ll definitely get heavier against the Gators.