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Week 9: Scarlet Knights vs. Huskies Preview/Pick

NCAA Football Odds – Rutgers at Connecticut

Saturday, October 31 – Noon ET
BetUS NCAA Football Odds: CONNECTICUT -7.5, Total 47

Here are some of the NCAA college football betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

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RUT has won 12 of its last 14 games SU
RUT has covered its last five road games
RUT has won four of its last five road games SU
RUT has played five of its last seven road games UNDER the total
CONN has won 14 of its last 17 home games SU
CONN has covered the last five meetings

Connecticut’s football team has obviously been through some trying times with the murder of cornerback Jasper Howard. They played their hearts out in West Virginia last week, going ahead late in the game but falling with two minutes to go on a Noel Devine touchdown (they did win in the NCAA football odds). Needless to say, there has been a lot of emotion spent over the last week or so.

Rutgers has found someone who can carry the football for them. Joe Martinek did not do much against Pittsburgh two weeks ago, but he rambled for 139 yards against Army, and he has a very solid 5.3 ypc average on the season, with seven TD runs. The Knights lost Tiquan Underwood and Kenny Britt to the NFL draft this past year, but Tim Brown has helped to pick up the slack, becoming the team’s top target with 86 yards or more in five of the team’s six games.

Tom Savage was thrown into the fire as a freshman quarterback when senior Dominic Natale did not work out, and he has responded with relatively error-free football. Savage has not lit up the scoreboard, but he has been steady, tossing just one interception in 144 attempts. Savage threw for 248 yards against Pittsburgh when he was faced with having to everything himself, and he threw his lone pickoff in that contest. He is one reason why the Scarlet Knights have a +14 turnover margin, which ranks them second in the country.

Greg Schiano’s defense alone can keep them in games when the opponent is not too explosive. Rutgers has registered 21 sacks and they rank eighth in the country in the category of tackles for loss, which means they get off the ball quickly and know how to penetrate the backfield. They’ll certainly need that kind of quickness to deal with the Huskies’ duo of Andre Dixon and Jordan Todman, who have combined for 1250 yards.

Cody Endres, a sophomore, has provided the U-Conn offense with somebody who can throw the ball, and he has passed for 650 yards in the last two weeks. But he also threw three pickoffs against West Virginia. Coach Randy Edsall says, “I think we have a lot more balance now in the offense. We’re throwing the ball more consistently and getting some big plays in the passing game.”

This is true, and it is also true that U-Conn has gone undefeated against the NCAA football odds. Rutgers, however, has the ability to hang in there all the way, especially if Savage stays away from big mistakes and the defense gets some pressure on Endres. The Huskies could also be sapped emotionally and even a little distracted by now, as this is the first home game after their teammate’s death. We’ll grab the points with Rutgers, the 7.5-point underdog in the BetUS NCAA football odds.

OUR PLAY: RUTGERS +7.5 ***

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