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Dr. Bob Previews NEVADA (+7) Vs. MISSOURI

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 5: Blaine Gabbert #11 of the University of Missouri Tigers passes against the University of Illinois Fighting Illini during the State Farm Arch Rivalry on September 5, 2009 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Tigers beat the Fighting Illini 37-9.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Robert StollCorrespondent ISeptember 24, 2009

Missouri (-7.0) 34 NEVADA 27

Over/Under Total: 61.0
06:00 PM Pacific Time Friday, Sep-25

Nevada is 0-2 now after losing 0-35 on opening day at Notre Dame and then 20-35 last week at Colorado State, but the Wolf Pack are a better team than what they've shown. The offense in particular is better than the 10 points per game that they've averaged so far, as they've averaged a solid 5.9 yards per play in those two games against two solid defensive teams.

The culprit has been the 8 turnovers in two games, which is uncharacteristic given that quarterback Colin Kaepernick has only thrown 14 career interceptions on 691 pass attempts (2.0% is very low). If the Wolf Pack can keep the turnovers at more normal levels then they should move the ball at a decent clip against a good, but not great Missouri defense that is 0.3 yppl better than average.

The Tigers' offense has been very efficient is scoring 38.7 points per game on 6.2 yppl and part of that is that they've turned it over a total of just 2 times in 3 games, which is an average that is likely to go up. Nevada should do a good job defending the Tigers' rushing attack with a very good defensive front, but Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert, averaging 7.6 yards per pass play without an interception, should perform well against a Nevada secondary that has been exploited for 11.9 yppp in their first two games.

Nevada was 1.3 yppp worse than average in pass defense last season despite having a good pass rush and things appear to be worse this season.

My ratings favor Missouri by 8 1/2 points, but home underdogs are 92-66-4 ATS if they lost straight up as a road favorite of 3 points or more the previous game and the Wolf Pack apply to a 61-29-3 ATS subset of that situation tonight.

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