"The Grove, University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), Oxford, Mississippi" by Ken Lund is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
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College Football Week 11 Picks

College Football: Week 10 was a smash week for us. We went 4-1 and have now gone 7-3 over the past two weeks. On the season, we are now 25-21 and a little above our target goal for the season.

Sam Howell and North Carolina rallied from 18 down, late, to beat Sam Hartman and Wake Forest in the most exciting game of the week. Penn State took care of Maryland, Rhode Island easily pulled-off the upset over UMASS, and Georgia Tech capped our amazing week with a cover against Miami.

Our only loss on the week was Baylor at TCU. With two strong back-to-back weeks, we look ahead to the gritty Week 11 (loads of good conference matchups).

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A Look Ahead to Week 11

Week 11 has a slew of entertaining games on the slate, much like Week 10. #11 Texas A&M travels to #15 Ole Miss (College Gameday and myself in attendance). #9 Michigan heads to Happy Valley to play #23 Penn State. #4 Oklahoma travels to Waco to face #18 Baylor. Purdue faces #6 Ohio State. #21 NC State will face #13 Wake Forest, and Minnesota heads to #19 Iowa.

It’s a fun slate this week and that means fun bets. Let’s keep the winning weeks rolling!

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

 

#11 Texas A&M -2.5 at #15 Ole Miss

I’ve been focusing on this matchup more than any other this season. On paper, this looks like the classic “dynamic offense vs amazing defense” type of matchup. In reality, this game is more about the fine details.

Going into last week’s game against Liberty, Ole Miss was struggling mightily on defense. Following a 9-sack performance, casual fans of Ole Miss will look at that as an optimistic performance. Unfortunately, Texas A&M is not Liberty and it’s highly unlikely we’ll see anywhere near the same pressure on Zach Caldaza this week.

Offensively, Ole Miss has some issues that should rise to the surface this week. The first red flag is the absence of their best WR (Mingo). The other major issue surrounds Matt Corral. He is still dealing with the ankle injury. Given the fact he typically does a lot of damage extending plays and running the ball, his status compromises the offensive potential.

Texas A&M has the best defensive unit Ole Miss has faced to this point. Offensively, A&M runs the ball very well, which looks like a terrifying prospect for this poor Ole Miss run defense. I say this as an Ole Miss alum. Sadly, I think A&M wins this in a similar fashion to the Auburn game.

Texas A&M 38 Ole Miss 22

 

#4 Oklahoma -5.5 at #18 Baylor

Oklahoma is a threat to the vast majority of the college football landscape. Early in the season was the time to get them, and the Sooners have been exceedingly fortunate the way many of their games have turned out. They could’ve easily lost to Texas, Tulane, Nebraska, and Kansas. That’s not very reassuring for a team we assumed to be 10+ point favorites in every game.

Baylor has exceeded expectations on both sides of the ball. We rolled with Texas against Baylor a few weeks ago in a first half bet and it paid-off big. Since then, Baylor stumbled a week ago against TCU in Ft Worth. Now, Baylor has to get up for a big home game against the suddenly surging Oklahoma Sooners.

For much of the season, Oklahoma has been fools gold. This season, Oklahoma is just 4-5 ATS. Despite the lofty expectations for the season, Oklahoma has disappointed, from a performance perspective. The encouraging news is, Caleb Williams looks substantially better than Spencer Rattler. I trust this Oklahoma offense, even against a decent Baylor defense at home.

Oklahoma 41 Baylor 31

 

Maine -1 at UMASS

We are riding the UMASS pain train until the wheels fall off! Last week, it was Rhode Island who came into town and “upset” UMASS at home. Now, it’s Maine’s turn to do the same.

Maine is an FCS team, like Rhode Island (last week’s pick). Though Maine is just 4-5 on the season, they’re 3-1 in their last four, including a big 45-24 win at Rhode Island. Derek Robertson has over 1,500 passing yards this season with 12TDs and just 4INTs. Defensively Rhode Island has allowed just 19 PPG over their last four games.

UMASS is a disaster this season. We’ve milked them already for some easy wins this season, so hopefully the vault door is still wide open. UMASS has a high turnover rate and a low completion percentage. They’re a bottom 25 offense nationally and dead last (still) in points allowed.

Maine 27 UMASS 20

 

South Carolina -1.5 at Missouri

South Carolina appears to be playing into form. After a rough start to the season, South Carolina emerged against Florida; blowing out the favored Gators by 23 points. I say this after just one good game, but one good game carries a lot more weight in college football than in the NFL.

Missouri is among one of the worst defensive teams in the SEC. Missouri has just one SEC victory (Vanderbilt) and they are fresh off a beat down against Georgia. One team in this matchup is coming in flying high, while the other (Mizzou) is still searching for something to hang their hat on.

The rub here is Missouri’s abysmal defense and South Carolina’s surprisingly decent pass defense. Mizzou loves to throw the ball, and that could be an issue against South Carolina. On the other side, Mizzou is so terrible on defense, the Gamecocks shouldn’t have much trouble moving the ball any way they prefer.

South Carolina 44 Mizzou 34

 

#6 Michigan at Penn State +1.5

Penn State is probably a top 15 team this season. Had Sean Clifford not been knocked-out of the game against Iowa, Penn State would’ve won and would be getting a lot more attention. Penn State’s defense and their balanced offense should keep them close, however the game script plays-out.

Michigan hasn’t really beaten anyone of note. Their one big game was a loss to Michigan State, in a game in which they were taken to the woodshed on the ground (5 rushing TDs surrendered). Part of the concern this week is the environment. Michigan will again be in a rowdy stadium (perhaps the toughest in the BIG 10), as Penn State’s red zone defense will be tough to crack.

I expect Michigan will experience some issues throwing the ball. Michigan favors a balanced attack, favoring the run slightly (59% run to 41% pass), so the expectation here is that Penn State will focus on stopping the run and forcing Michigan to beat them through the air. On the other side, I like the prospect of Jahan Dotson dominating the Michigan secondary (which should struggle to contain him).

Penn State 27 Michigan 24

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