Big Al's Daily Angle: EPL, NCAA Basketball and NCAA Football Preview

by Alec McMordie

The Friday sports card features three games in college football as well as a light card in college basketball and the opening match in Matchweek 12 in the English Premier League.

The college football card begins at 6 PM ET with UTEP playing at North Texas. The Charlotte/Marshall contest was canceled after injuries and COVID issues with the Thundering Herd, which left them without enough players at key positions. The Utah/Colorado game scheduled for 9:30 PM ET was moved to Saturday at noon after Michigan/Ohio State was canceled.

UTEP takes the field for the first time since November 14th when they lost to UTSA by a 52-21 score, which lowered their record to a 3-4 mark. North Texas fell to 3-5 on the season with a 42-31 loss at home to Louisiana Tech as a 1-point underdog. The Green Mean host this game as a 10-point favorite with the total set at 64 (all odds from BetOnline). 

The Friday night game on ESPN features a battle for the oldest rivalry trophy in college football. Arizona State and Arizona have played for the Territorial Cup since 1899. The winner of this year’s incarnation of this game will also earn their first victory of this abbreviated season. 

Arizona State has only played two games this year, which is the fewest for any team that did not forego the season given COVID concerns. They had not played for three weeks given COVID cancellations before taking the field last week in a 25-18 upset loss to UCLA. Head coach Herm Edwards conceded his team started slowly given the layoff. The scoreboard validated that assessment as the Sun Devils trailed the Bruins by a 17-0 margin before scoring 18 of the final 25 points. 

Arizona has lost eleven games in a row with their 0-4 start to this season. Ten of those losses have been by double-digits to firmly place head coach Kevin Sumlin on the hot seat in the third year with the program. The Wildcats lost at home to Colorado last week by a 24-13 score. 

The Sun Devils are an 11.5-point favorite, with the total set at 55.5. The ESPN broadcast starts at 7 PM ET.

The college football nightcap is on the CBS Sports Network at 10 PM ET with Nevada playing San Jose State with the Spartans the designated home team at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. San Jose State has relocated given local county ordinances prohibiting contact sports given COVID concerns. 

The Spartans raised their record to a 5-0 mark with their 35-25 win at Hawai’i last week. Nevada is a game behind with a 6-1 mark after they defeated Fresno State last week by a 37-26 score. The winner of this game will play in the Mountain West Conference championship game next week.

The college basketball card involves four games on national television. At 5 PM ET on ESPNU, Charlotte hosts Appalachian State as a 3.5-point favorite with the total at 131.5.

Three more nationally-televised games take place at 7 PM ET. Kansas plays at home against UMKC as a 24-point favorite with an over/under of 131.5. Villanova travels to Georgetown as an 11.5-point road favorite on FS1 with the total at 142.5. Iona plays at Fairfield on ESPNU as a 3.5-point favorite with the over/under at 135.5. 

Matchweek 12 of the English Premier League starts on Friday, with Leeds United hosting West Ham United at 3 PM ET as a -0.25 goal-line favorite with the total at 3. The NBC Sports Network has the broadcast.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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